Vegas Week – The SYTYCD Top-Twenty Battle Begins

06/22/12 1:12 PM

Auditions are over, and it was Vegas week in So You Think You Can Dance land. Contestants were put to the test to see who will make it to the end of the week to land a top-twenty spot. Dancers were either sculpted into gyrating excellence or sent home. This season’s judges are “King Crumper” Lil’ C, Adam Shankman, Debbie Allen, Tyce “Jazz Hands” Diorio, Mary Murphy, and Sir Nigel “I Run This Mutha” Lythgoe. Dancers faced eight grueling rounds of callisthenic hell.

Round one solos rendered the SYTYCD load lighter. Hampton “The Exorcist” Williams set the tone when he summoned the judge’s tears of cathartic joy with his dexterous moves. Belly dancing diva Janelle Issis gave a hip-riveting performance and was sent through, but more than a quarter of the contestants were cut at the round’s end.

The choreography round saw more relentless cuts. Many dancers split after choreographers “Comfort” and “Twitch” accelerated the competition with their brand of “hip-hop-on-speed” dance directives. The intensity compelled Hampton to give back his “Judge Favorite” sticky, and he humbly left the competition amidst adoring applause from judges and peers.

Atlanta’s “Dragon House Crew” began to slowly crumble under the pressure. Two-thirds of this highly favored house was sent home, leaving lone member Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer to weather the storm.

Shafeek “Snaggletooth” Westbrook performed his final act, schlepping barefoot across a Vegas casino floor with tote bag in tow as he cursed the SYTYCD gods for his inevitable dismissal after the jazz round.

The same round produced more casualties. Bacon fanatic Daniella Dominguez was accidentally whacked in the head after volunteering her dance partner services. She was sent to the hospital and then home, soon thereafter.

Both contemporary dancer Amelia Lowe and her 1920s era fixation were almost sent home for boring the judges. But Amelia danced for her life and salvaged her place among the soon-to-be-greats with her passion-inspiring moves.

The free routine round proved to shatter newly formed friendships and dreams; however, Aubrey Klinger choreographed an effortless routine for her “Highschoolers” crew and became an instant favorite. But she was sent back home to bask in obscurity after her cha-cha moves failed to impress.

In dance-speak, “cha-cha” must mean “from favorite to damned in 60 seconds,” because another beloved dancer Cyrus, who won the hearts of many, was almost sent to his doom because of it. His unprecedented determination and the “Holy Ghost” he embodied when he danced for his life rendered Sir Lythgoe speechless.

Joshua Alexander did not fare as well. Before the final solo round, he tumbled straight to the hospital due to head trauma. Two male dancers were nixed, while all the remaining ladies remained.

Next week, the Vegas few become even fewer as they all fight for the top-twenty spots.

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