Last night on So You Think You Can Dance, after a grueling second half of Vegas callbacks, an incredibly emotional (and awkward) round of contestant home visits from the judges; we finally met the lucky 10 (make that—gasp—11) who will try to dance their way into our hearts (as if they haven’t already) to be named “America’s Favorite Dancer”. There were some shocking and saddening decisions, and some sweet surprises. See who up and quit and who earned spot number 11.
Christina Santana came so close in Season 6. The salsa dancer from Mexico wowed judges in Los Angeles with and without her dance partner Pepe. In Vegas, during the contemporary category, Adam Shankman told her, “Could’ve been a mess, but instead it is a yes.” Toni was the judge who got to tell Christina, Pepe, and her whole family that she made it to the Top 11.
Lauren Froderman, the 18-year-old Arizonian, who made the judges jaws drop with her sexy-yet-playful routine in Los Angeles had a repeat reaction in Vegas last night. Her final solo to Etta James “At Last” (the only solo we got to see, sadly) made more than half of the judges stand and applaud her number. Lauren, along with her parents, and littler Bieber—err brother, got a call from Nigel from on their front porch where he was waiting with their mail carrier (see, we told you these in person final decisions were awkward). It was no surprise to us that Lauren made it. She definitely sparkles.
Ashley Galvin we were actually very surprised that Ashley took a slot as one of the top 5 girls. Until now, very little has been shown of her dance and style. But considering that judge Lil C made Ashley and her family wait six hours before arriving with results, we’re glad it wasn’t for bad news.
Jose Ruiz, the B Boy from Miami really impressed the judges in Vegas. He is currently the only dancer left in this competition with no formal training. After an annoying “Tyce Goes Loco In Miami” montage, he dropped by the Ruiz household to give the family the great news. It’s hard not to root for Jose in this competition when he’s up against dancers who have already performed and toured professionally. It’s nice to see someone with talent and a dream have their first big break.
Alex Wong was eliminated in Vegas last season because of his contract with the Miami City Ballet. This year after Vegas auditions he took a risk and resigned, even though it meant that even if SYTYCD told him no, he might never get his position back. Luckily for Alex, second time was a charm. Tyce pulled Alex into a private room at MCB to break him the good news.
Ade Chike Torbert, the contemporary dancer from New York had a rough start in Vegas. When the judges gave him the ultimatum to dance for his life, it not only worked, it helped earn him a spot in the Top 11. Mia Michaels got to break the great news to Ade Chike and his family, but then turned the spotlight back on her, telling his family at their happiest moment that she had just lost her mother three weeks ago. They really should rethink these judge house calls next year.
Alexie Agdeppa and her family were anxiously awaiting Mary Murphy’s arrival with the verdict of her fourth attempt to make it on to SYTYCD. Mary started to tear up and hugged Alexie as she asked would she audition a fifth time if she didn’t make it in this season. PSYCHE! Mary Murphy even had us fooled this time.
Kent Boyd the farm boy from the town in Ohio with the unpronounceable name, got the judges choked up during part 2 of Vegas callbacks. They applauded him for his talent and he told them he didn’t even feel worthy to share the stage with Alex Wong or Billy Bell, but he knew he had the heart for the competition (and ours!). Nigel went on a four hour wild goose chase (of which we would have preferred to see Kent’s solo) just to find Kent’s house. Upon arriving he went straight to the restroom. It was not surprisingly a yes. Nigel told him that he wouldn’t have driven four hours to deliver a “no”, we had already figured that out.
Robert Rolden was another contestant we knew little of before last night’s show. Adam Shankman paid a visit to Robert and to SYTYCD hopeful Billy Bell after watching their performance in the Alvin Ailey company in New York (again, hard to be rooting for someone who is already part of a prestigious company). With only one spot left in the top 10 Adam tearfully tells Robert it has gone to him. He is in shock, but not in as much shock as Billy is when who will be taking the slot for #11:
Billy Bell had to leave Season 6 of SYTYCD early due to health problems, but this season he got a pass straight to Vegas. It would have been shocking if the judges let in Alex (who also got a pass to Vegas) and not Billy. While we’re happy that Billy got another shot at winning this season we wonder which of these eliminated contestants feels like this is just the salt in their wound.
The only thing sadder than hearing you’re not going to be competiting on So You Think You Can Dance, has to be hearing it in your living room surrounded by your entire family. Man, that’s just cruel. We noticed that Nigel didn’t have to be the bearer of bad news in person. Several contestants got their “No’s” over the phone (Some from Nigel while he was waiting at a diner. How tacky!) We said good bye to Adrian Lee, Lexi Contursi. It was heartbreaking to watch Mia give Anthony Burrell the axe, he worked so hard and danced while injured. We feel he was robbed! We also bid farewell to Ryan Ramirez. And then there’s Ida Sake who offed herself. She told the judges in Vegas she was quitting due to committments and school. She said that she didn’t want to take the slot in the Top 10 of someone who really wanted to be there. Nigel turned back around and slapped her with a, “You wouldn’t be.”
So how will our Top 11 dance with their So You Think You Can Dance All-Star partners? What amazing routines does tonight hold for us? And which All-Star will come back to partner with Billy Bell? We’ll just have to tune in and see.