Hello dear readers! Tis I, iguanachocolate, here to bring you the final night of Las Vegas week. Yup, this one is for all the marbles. It’s the night we’ve all been waiting for: the Top 20 will be announced! Finally, we can leave the Sex’s far behind us whilst we sit back and enjoy another fine season of dancing. After a few surprises during Wednesday night’s show (the elimination of Natalie being the major one for me) will there be any surprises left for tonight? Probably not, but I am sure they will try to build up some fictional suspense with a dancer or two. Oooh, and I heard that Mia gets mean(er) and Mary gets pissy. Good times! Let’s get started, shall we?
Alas, it appears there will be no dancing tonight, just some brief flashbacks to dancing before the final judgment. The lovely Cat (and my next girlfriend) takes us down the same long lonely hallway the contestants will walk solo to find out their fates. The judges are the same from Wednesday: Debbie Allen, Nigel, Adam Shankman, Mary, Lil C and Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels (<-- I am contractually obligated to write her name like that. No, really. She’ll send hit men after me if I don’t).
First up is Janette Manrara and she’s been having a rough time of it before coming to Vegas. She was in a car accident and her boyfriend broke up with her. I wonder if she asked him to dance with her one last time and then she tried that flip split thing she did in her audition with her dance partner? Except with her boyfriend (ex, that is) she actually kicks him in the head instead of missing it. I would have. Well, if I had a boyfriend. Which I don’t. And I am happy about that, because my girlfriend would be mighty upset if I did. Enough about me – Janette gets all wiggly and happy because she is the first one through to the Top 20!
Our first rejection comes in the form of a dancer named Diana who I remember slightly from a couple of background dance shots and maybe from a montage of good dancers. Anyway, her lack of airtime was a sure indicator that she was not making it to Vegas this year and she is devastated when given the news by Debbie. One down, 11 to go. Oh wait, that was from another reality program…. (a special shout out in my next recap if anyone can pm me with who said that and on what show!).
Vitolio Jeune is the first guy to take the long lonely walk to the stage. I don’t remember him exactly – I had thought he was the African Dance dude, but his flashbacks proved me wrong. He has a seriously sad backstory, but he seems all bubbly and sweet and I am rooting for him. The judges are to, and he is the first male into the Top 20.
The glossed over a few of the ones who are not in the Top 20 and then comes Kayla Radomski (she has the single mom and the crying supportive grandfather). Mia loves her strength and her ability to move the people watching her emotionally. She is in.
Aloha is in the house! Kuponohi'ipoi Aweau, or Kipono for short, shows us he can take a note form Nigel and has shorn his hair since we saw him at auditions. He has also made his to do list for the day and the final item is “Make Top 20”. Adam tells him he is one of the stronger guys (apparently he dumped the feminine parts of his solo the judges had complained about) and he is in the Top 20. Check that off your to do list, Poi Man!
We see a clip of dancers who made the Top 20 who are not being pimped by the show and they are: Paris Torres, Jeanine Mason, Ade Obayomi, Karla Garcia and Jonathan Platero. They better be strong on personality, because they are getting weak exposure now. Whilst I am glad this is not a two hour sludgefest extravaganza, I am disappointed yet again that the pimping through airtime has started so early. I don’t even know who these dancers are.
Now we come to Brandon Bryant. He was seen in last year’s auditions, but did not make it into the finals. Even though he made Mary weep with joy during his audition before Vegas, he’s been on the receiving end of a lot of vitriol from Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels. I am not sure where she is getting all this hate from, but I going to guess that perhaps Miss Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels might be harboring some inappropriate thoughts towards Brandon. Just tossing that out there. She immediately starts in on him again, telling him that he annoys the #@!$ out of her and she doesn’t like his attitude. Lil C chimes in with the fact that Brandon doesn’t impress him at all. Debbie tries to break in with some positive comments but Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels doesn’t want any of it and finally Nigel has to tell her to shut up (well, he does it in a much nicer more British way) and Debbie says how she loves Brandon and the power he brings onto the stage. Mary gets frustrated with all the Brandon hate and shuts up the two dissenters. It’s not looking good for Brandon until Nigel tells him that he has 4 out of the 6 votes and he is in the Top 20. Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels wants to know what it will be like when they get in the same room together (presumably for rehearsals, one would hope) and Brandon laughs and tells her it’s on.
Tony Bellissimo must have something special we weren’t shown because he made it through all the way to the final round, and was given a couple of second chances along the way. And now he is being put through to the Top 20. Amazing.
Those also making it who do not warrant extra face time are: Maksim Kapitannikov, Melissa Sandvig, Jason Glover, Caitlen Kinney, and Ashley Valerio who realizes that forget three, four times a charm.
Randi Strong-Evans and her unitard are up next and Emmy Award Winning Choreographer Mia Michaels comments on how committed she is to her unitards and we are treated to a unitard montage. Convinced that America will love her, the judges let her know she is in the Top 20. She can’t speak through her tears of joy, but she is happy!
Ahhh, Alex Wong is next. I first saw him at the beginning of Vegas week and his solo was incredible. Nigel addresses him and lets him know that SYTYCD knows about his contract with the Miami Ballet and indeed, Nigel spoke with his artistic director who, not surprisingly, was not willing to let him out of his contractual obligation to the ballet. They spend some time pumping him up, but he is upset about not being able to explore different styles of dance. You know what should happen next year? A Natalie-Alex pairing. That’s what I want to see. That would be awesome.
We lose four more nameless dancers, though one was the partner of Asuka who we will see in just a bit.
And now we have made our way to popper Philip Chbeeb. We saw him last year during auditions but he never made it to Vegas week because of a bout with pneumonia. We also saw him on the last day of the season doing a ‘pop off’ with Robert Muraise, the popper last year who dropped out of Vegas week, but then went on to a respectable showing on the Superstars of Dance. Anyway, the judges love the fact that Phillip loves dancing and it shows. He’s in the Top 20. Seeming both delighted and incredulous, he tells us we are going to see stuff we have never seen before from him. Well, good to know, Phillip, I am looking forward to it!
There are four dancers left, two girls and two boys. Cat helpfully tells them that there are only two spots left, one girl and one guy. The two girls Deena and Asuka Kondoh and they are called out first. Now, we all know who is going through – we’ve seen a lot of Asuka and she is adorable and practically nothing of Deena who seems a bit dim, in my opinion. And yes, it is Asuka who is in the Top 20 and Deena who is sent home. With some really fake sounding crying, in my opinion, even though I know it was probably quite real.
And now we are down to our final two guys. As luck (or the producers) would have it, the final two are the Kasprzak Brothers, Evan and Ryan. Evan of the superior (in my opinion) dancing skills and Ryan of the mad choreography skills. And it is Evan who goes through to the Top 20. Ryan is disappointed, but so happy for his brother. I was sad, because I really wanted to see a tapper make it through and I thought Ryan was well rounded enough to do it. Nigel gives Ryan choreography props as he tells him it is probably his skills in that area that helped Evan into the Top 20. I’m hoping that Ryan get some acknowledgement on the show for his tap skills – maybe a Tap Off between he and Silky? It could happen.
Join us next week when the competition begins! The lovely Critical will take you through the show and I will be there to take you through the results. Let the dancing begin!
Don’t forget to pm me if you know the answer to my trivia question….