So You Think You Can Dance – Vegas Week – VIDEO

Awesome, well paced show–short on the fake drama, long on the fantastic dancing. I feel like I got to know the contestants a little bit better.   Ken Warwick, take notes, this is the way to do the American Idol Hollywood rounds.

One-hundred and seventy-two dancers gather in Las Vegas to vie for a spot in the So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 Top 20.

The Vegas judging panel consists of: Mia Michaels, Lil’ C, Debbie Allen, Mary Murphy, Allen Shankman and Nigel Lythgoe.

Re-cap and video after the JUMP…

Day 1: The solos. First up, Alex Wong, 22, from Miami – He’s so good, he makes Mia swear! – VIDEO

Next solo is Tony Bellisomo, 20, Buffalo NY, dancing a comic routine to “Somebody’s Watching Me.”   The charming Tony incorporates some very clever sucking up to Nigel in his dance. – VIDEO

By 5 pm, the solos are over, and the judges are ready to do some slicing and dicing. Nigel tells the gathered dancers that they aren’t as good on the big stage as they were in their individual cities, so let the cutting begin!   Kayla Costa, Erica Rae, son of footbal coach, Travis Prokop, widow Talia Rickards, and hip hop dancer, Chimezie Nwosu. Forty-five dancers are cut.

Next, is the first round of choreography–hip hop with Napoleon and Tabitha. Early favorite Gabi Rojas is struggling. “I love cutting, ” says Mia Michaels, “Because I like to see people who aren’t good at what they do go home.” B*tch! Nigel tells Gabi that her hip hop was not good, and that she needs to adapt to styles other than her own to stay in the game. She barely squeaks by. – VIDEO

Thirty-seven more dancers are cut. At the end of day 1, 97 dancers remain.

Day 2 begins with the Ballroom round. Jean Marc Generaux and France teach the dancers a waltz. Phillip Chbeeb is a popper, and doesn’t shine exactly in the waltz, but the judges love his energy so much, the advance him. His partner, Arielle Coker performs next, and she does not move on. I’m not surprised, I figured she moved on with Phillip to be his foil. – VIDEO

But hey some poppers can ballroom. Nobuya Nagahama stuns the judges with a beautiful waltz. After advancing to the next round, he leaves the stage in tears–the 5 months worth of dances classes he took before Vegas paid off. – VIDEO

Sixteen more dancers leave after the ballroom round.

It’s mid-afternoon on Day 2 and time for the Jazz round, led by Sonya Tayeh. Natalie Reid and Brandon Bryant were stars at the Denver auditions, but things are going so well for them in Vegas. Sonya loves them both, but the judges not so much. Natalie gets cut, to gasps from the rest of the dancers, just like that. I suspect she was a made-for-tv shock boot. Poor thing, she was a foil last year too, cut at the last minute while her roomate, Katee Shean went on to the Top 20. – VIDEO

Mia and Lil’ C are not impressed with Brandon, who made Mary cry during his Denver audition. Nigel still loves him, so he’s on to the next round, after a tearful goodbye to his bud Natalie. – VIDEO

Gabi Rojas is in the last group to dance in the Jazz rounds, and she sucks! The judges harp on her solo, but it appears she can’t dance choreography. They ask her to dance for her life. Her solo is brilliant. Despite only being good at her own thing, and nothing else, all the judges pass her to the next round. – VIDEO

Seven more dancers are cut, including popper, Sammy Ramirez.

As Day 2 is nearing it’s end, the remaining dancers find out they’ll be up all night practicing routines for Day 3’s group rounds. Some groups gel, and some others don’t. Tapper, Erik “Silky” Moore thinks he’ll be able to save himself with a kick-ass “dance for your life” after his group tanks. – VIDEO

Brandon Bryant still can’t impress Mia, even after a decent group routine. – VIDEO

Adam Shankman tells a dancer named Jason that he’s “so So You Think You Can Dance, ” he’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make it into the Top 20…

The final group, Nerdography, is the last group to take the stage, choreographed by the wonderful Ryan Kasprzak, who I dare say is a better dance than his brother Evan… It’s the best routine of the day, Adam cries, the judges rave, and everybody is on to the next round. – VIDEO

Sixty-eight dancers move on to the next round.

But Erik “Silky” Moore is not one of them. Despite an impressive tap routine, he does not move on to the next round. – VIDEO

It’s Day 3 begins with   Mia Michael’s Contemporary round.   Her choreography is difficult and she is tough. Tony Bellisimo sailed through the other rounds, but his contemporary was not good enough.   But the judges like him and allow him to repeat the choreography later.

Amanda Kerby, whose dad has MS, is cut here.   Adam tells her she’s a beautiful dancer and to come back next season. Nobuya Nagahama is cut here, too.

Will the sisters Megan and Caitlin Kinney make it through the contemporary round together? Megan is up first, and while Nigel is a little iffy on her, she makes it through. Caitlin is next, but the judges are disappointed.   They tell a weepy Caitlin she’s got to dance for her life. – VIDEO

Caitlin seems to be losing it, but she takes a breath and dances a gorgeous solo. The judges advance her to the next round, but warn her. Nigel calls her routine “old-fashioned” and that she needs to bring her dancing up to date. Nigel, Debbie and Mary say yes. Adam, Lil’ C and Mia say no. – VIDEO

The adorable siblings, Jazz dancers Ryan and Evan Kasprzak, also survive Mia’s contemporary round, making it to the next round. – VIDEO

An emotional Tony Belissimo takes the stage again at the end of the day to re-do his choreography, and gets enough votes to move on.   Tony’s crying, the judges are crying. Cat is nearly crying! – VIDEO

Day 3 is over.   Thirteen more dancers are cut. Fifty-four dancers move on to Day 4.

Day 4 features something new.   The boys and girls are split into groups.   Choreographer, Tyce Diorio, will teach each group a Broadway routine from West Side Story.   The girls dance in the morning, the guys in the afternoon.

The girls take the stage in small groups, dancing a routine to “America.”   Tap dancer, Bianca Revels is cut after the round.   Disappointed and a little pissed, she says she ain’t coming back. – VIDEO

Also cut: Priscilla Marrero, Gabi Rojas and Megan Kinney.

The boys dance to “Cool”, after 6 more boys are cut. – VIDEO

The 32 remaining dancers perform solos for the judges panel.   Day 4 ends as the judges choose the dancers who will make up the So You Think You Can Dance Top 20. – VIDEO

Thursday night:   The 32 take the long walk to center stage to find out if they made the Top 20.

About mj santilli 34833 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!