By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh
Kenny Ortega/Courtesy of Seekingthetruthmjfans.com
Tonight it was time for the Top 20 to take the stage and compete for the viewers’ votes!
The opening number was a phenomenal piece – office workers and bosses using mug and desk props, among other things. An intense number for the beginning of the show, keeping the dancers in a small space – but their movements, even in that small space, expressed the high stress of the piece perfectly.
Then it was time to welcome the Top 20 as individuals – so great to see Detriot’s Will Thomas strut his stuff!
Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Kenny Ortega were all on deck to judge this evening – Happy Birthday Mr. Lythgoe!
We’re voting for individuals this week, not couples.
What’s coming for next week? Two boys and two girls will be cut. The judges are making these decisions at the beginning stages.
First up were Witney and Chehon. Each couple had nine seconds to talk about themselves. What we learned: Witney is afraid of crickets. Chehon is bilingual and a dual citizen. They took on the Samba to “Jump.” Witney look like a Latin pop princess in her sparkly pink outfit. The couple’s movements were sharp.
“You are a star,” said Lythgoe to Witney, though he thought Chehon was a bit out of his style, and apparently, his feet.
During the commercial break we saw a preview for “Step Up: Revolution.” Join the Mob here and you could be in a music video!
Then we had Tiffany who has baby hands, and George and he hates the outside, together for a Sonya routine. The lines and the movements were beautiful, expressing great emotions for people so young.
“You both surrendered to this choreography,” said Murphy. “You were living it.”
We then met Janaya, who wants to meet Shamoo and is afraid of Chucky, and Brandon, who is from Kansas City and very allergic to animals. They would work together to build an emotional hip hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. AND OMG TABITHA IS PREGGERS!
Janaya and Brandon’s routine required a lot of partner work and you could sense the level of trust that existed between the two contestants.
Alexa was up next. She loves red lipstick. Daniel, her partner, is Australian. VERY Australian. They had a jazz routine. And speaking of partnering and props…and tight red suits…looked like Alexa’s diet of sprinkles can’t be that unhealthy. Looked tricky but the couple pulled it off. Lythoe wanted more passion.
Next: Amber. She loves bunnies and used to run track. Nick. He just took 23 credits and said it was crazy “don’t do it.” They were set up with the Viennese Waltz. Did they get it together in time?
Murphy thought it was dreamy – and Amber pulled it off in heels.
“So lovely,” said Ortega.
However, the Viennese Waltz, like the Disco, rarely does well with fans of the show.
Remember Amelia from the auditions? Her dad is a tattoo artist. Partner Will (YAY) loves orange…but apparently not short interviews. Character Pop was the style assigned to these colorful dancers and the audience loved it.
Janelle can cook anything. Dareian can imitate Donald Duck. They had to tackle African Jazz. Very fast, totally in sync, and, as Tyra Banks would say, “Fierce!”
“It was like a jungle dance-off!” Murphy said. She was proud of Janelle for tackling the new styles (Janelle is a belly dancer).
A special reminder: National Dance Day is July 28. Please visit fox.com/dance for more info!
Meet Eliana: she hates raisins. And Cyrus: he has gauges. Together: Broadway. “Run and tell that!”
“She just gets down!” said Murphy of Eliana. Ortega felt as though he were at a Broadway show.
“You gave it your heart and soul, and you kicked it to the back wall,” he said. Lythgoe believes she has set the bar for the other girls.
We met Audrey – she loves Taylor Lautner – and Matthew – he loves hiking. And then what we love – a Titanic routine by Travis Wall to “Enchanted Melody.”
Last of the night were Lindsay, who hates tomatoes (me too), and “karate kid” Cole who is a cliché, with a fiery Paso Double to “Unstoppable.” Very passionate and highly dramatic – would be a perfect ten on “Dancing with the Stars.” It was Lythgoe’s favorite Paso Double, from Cole out of the guys on the show – ever.
Time to vote!