Vegas week was rough for me. This is the first season that I’ve picked up So You Think You Can Dance before the Top 20 started performing. While the auditions didn’t cause me stress—I was moved by many dances but I wasn’t stressed out by the outcomes—Vegas week took it’s toll on the dancers and me.
Looking back at the people I highlighted as loving during the audition process, so many of them were cast out during the week. Some of them didn’t even get the TV needed so I could see why they were eliminated. Folks like Kelsea Taylor, Travis Prokop, Arielle Coker, Sammy Ramirez, Ricky Sun (although he made it to the Top 36, I didn’t get to see him dance much in Vegas) were there and then gone.
Others we got to witness their flame outs. Gabi Rojas was so good in audition, but just couldn’t seem to keep up with the Vegas grind. And Natalie… I didn’t feature her clip in the audition posts becuase I couldn’t find it. But she was dazzling. She was good enough in Vegas to do an example of the jazz choreography and she killed it! She and Brandon were brilliant. Then she performed it for the judges and I’m not sure what happened, but she was a little off and she was dispatched. She didn’t even get to dance for her life.
There are some Top 20 though, two of the girls and four of the guys, who became favorites during auditions.
For the girls, I was thrilled to see Catlin and Asuka get through. They are going to be fun. I particularly think watching Asuka get out of her ballroom comfort zone is going to be stunning.
Kupono (who apparently shortened his name from auditions becuase he’s now Kupono instead of Kuponohi’ipo) was under my radar until he was called out of the Top 36 to get his Top 20 vote. He took the note to cut his hair and he looked completely different. I’m thrilled to see him go through.
Brandon polarized the judges. Mia hates him. Debbie and Mary love him. Lil’ C isn’t a fan and Nigel and Adam seem to be in his court. I think he’s pretty awesome. It’s going to be interesting to see how he gets along with everyone.
Phillip made it and showed that just because you’re a hip-hop popper, doesn’t mean you can succeed in other dances.
Some of the real stress for me was around the Kasprzak brothers. I’m glad Evan made top 20 becuase I like his style a bit more than his brother’s. It was tough seeing them standing together knowing that there was only one spot left. I suspect Ryan will try again for the fall.
I also fell in love with Tony Bellissimo. I don’t remember seeing him during auditions. He’s a fun dancer to watch though. He’s got good energy and movement. He was another the judges either really love or really hate so i think it will be a tough road for him.
Next week the serious business of whittling down the Top 20 to find America’s favorite dancer begins!