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We're down to 14 on So You Think You Can Dance. Let's review how we arrived at that number last night...

Group Dance - Broadway (Michael Rooney): The geek in me loved that the tune was from The Incredibles. The choreography looked a bit chaotic because of how many dancers there were; several weren’t synchronized. This was the most obvious with the flips and the leaps, but even one arm in the wrong place sticks out. I did like the group assist slow turn at the end; we’ll probably see a dance crew try that in the future.

Caitlynn Lawson and Ricky Jaime

Eliminations - The first three couples were up, with Melanie/Marko safe, kisses and all. Ashley/Chris were in the bottom mostly because their piece had a disconnect with the audience. It wasn't anything about their technique because they were spot on. Finally, Ryan/Ricky were safe, thus proving that dances from the heart are successful.

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We're down to 16 contestants and most of them were fighting hard to stay in the competition last night.

The judging panel was increased from three to four, with Kristin Chenoweth joining Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe and Lil' C. As you might expect, Lil' C and Chenoweth were hawking new albums as they critiqued the following performers...

Tadd Gadduang and Jordan Casanova

Group One Performance (Ryan, Sasha, Tadd, Mitchell, Marko, Miranda, Clarice, Chris) - I'll be the first to admit that I'm tired of Tyce's Broadway choreography. I was more interested in the fact that someone stuck tap lights under the chairs. The guys’ choreography was off. The girls had an easier time using the chair as props in the first half; when the girls were attempting their high kicks, it looked like Miranda kicked someone in the face. At least all the chairs ended in the right places all the time. My Grade: B

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So You Think You Can Dance eliminated four hopefuls last night, following a week in which no one went home. Who got the axe? A review of the evening's performances and decisions follows...


Top 20: Hip-Hop (Dave Scott) - The slow run made a return from last night; I guess Dave Scott was convinced that the slow-motion run was an emotionally grabbing element of choreography. The middle looked like a step aerobics class because all the dancers were lined up so equally with spotlights for each dancer.

The Eliminations: We started with Missy & Wadi, who were in the bottom three. All of Missy's hard work couldn't compensate for Wadi's wooden performance. Caitlynn & Mitchell and Sasha & Alexander were both safe. In the second set, Miranda & Robert, Melanie & Marko, and Jordan & Tadd were safe, with Iveta & Nick joining the bottom three; people probably forgot to vote for them. In the final cluster of couples, Ashley & Chris and Clarice & Jess were safe. Ryan & Ricky was the final couple in the bottom three.

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Following a shocking non-elimination last week, the pressure increased for the 20 remaining contestants last night.

Along with Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, Debbie Reynolds sat in on the So You Think You Can Dance panel. Unfortunately, she thought everything was amazing and wanted to bring all the dancers to her home for some unknown reason, even those who struggled to earn passing grades...

Melanie Moore and Marko Germar

Ryan & Ricky: Jazz (Mandy Moore) - Mandy wanted a sexual jazz routine and "Roderick" didn't seem like the type that would fit. While Ryan was sexy, there was something I didn't believe about Ricky involving their supposed sexual tension. Ryan had the right amount of camera mugging with partner eye contact and her leaps into Ricky were done with confidence. There were a few movements that Ricky did that were too feminine. My Grade: B-

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From the boring Keri Hilson performance to the bland opening of Lady Gaga's music video, much of this episode felt like a waste of time.

The big question, of course, is which could would be eliminated after the previous night's performances on So You Think You Can Dance?

Here's our recap from beginning to end ...

Cat Deeley Picture

Group Dance - Jazz: The dance reminded me of a 90s routine; the throwback factor was actually nice. Then again, I like anything Sonya Tayeh produces.

Pre-Elimination Drama: The first three couples were up and Melanie & Marko, Missy & Wadi, and Iveta & Nick were easily safe. Ashley & Chris and Caitlynn were safe, while Jordan & Tadd and Clarice & Jess were the first two of the bottom three. Finally, Ryan & Ricky and Sasha & Alexander were safe, leaving Miranda & Robert in the bottom three. I wasn't surprised much, save for Jess not having the fan base I expected.

Musical Guest - Keri Hilson, "Lose Control": If this routine didn't scream pre-recorded and lip-synced, I don't know what would. I think the highlight was when her feather earrings got stuck in her mouth. It's not like Keri was even dancing so intensely that she'd be out of breath.

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Megan Mullally is more than just Karen Walker. That was one lesson learned last night on So You Think You Can Dance.

This actress sat in with the judges, overseeing the season's first injury (to Mitchell), along with a slew of solid performances. We grade them all below...

Contemporary Dancers

Jordan & Tadd - African Jazz (Sean Cheeseman): Jordan's definition of Afro Jazz would be an amazing routine (Afro-sporting 80's jazzercise) but Sean explained that they were supposed to be a volcano. As the first competitive dance of the show, the performance had the fire, but there were moments of sloppiness like the lifts and holds. The two never seemed fully synchronized. I knew that Jordan would have picked up the choreography, but Tadd did a good job keeping up with Jordan. Nigel thought Jordan exploded all over the stage; I proceeded to vomit a little in my mouth. My Grade: B

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So You Think You Can Dance is down to its final 20. How did it arrive at that number? Read on for a review of last night's two-hour episode...

The Contemporary Dancers - Ricky, Miranda, and Melanie ended up as finalists. Of the three I loved Miranda's face when Nigel said "bad news" and how quickly she changed when she found out she was in. The fourth space was filled by one of the Mallory sisters. Sasha (the skinny one) was in, but Natalia (the diabetic) was cut, yet remained supportive.

Cat Deeley and Contestants

Stacey Tookey Contemporary Routine - I'm usually upset when they use dry ice in performances, but there were enough leaps and the smoke moved around well with the dancers' turns. I'm not sure what the story was, but the performance covered some good area. I assume that all four dancers were supposed to be as lost as the song exclaimed, but it was mostly flowing ripped clothing looking pretty.

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So You Think You Can Dance became So You Think You Can Survive last night.

The excitement of the contestants called back to Las Vegas for seven grueling rounds of auditions was quickly replaced by a montage of blood, ambulances, tears and an angry Laurie Ann Gibson trying to rip weak dancers in half.

Robin Antin, Adam Shankman, Debbie Allen, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lithgoe were all on hand to whittle the hopefuls down to 30...

Hip to the Hop

The Main Storylines
The Mallory Sisters - We saw a lot of Sasha and Natalia, the siblings we met last week that often hit each other. The two performed the first solo as a group and made it through. While Sasha easily advances (who needs technique doing the Jive anymore?), Natalia suffered from a physically weak partner in the Jive and was forced to perform with Professor Lot, who was physically stronger and succeeded with lifts.

Things started to get cloudy for Natalia as she found out that she had diabetes and, while she survived the group round, she was given a free pass to the final solo. I'd be shocked if the two were the last to find out their fate in the green mile.

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So You Think You Can Dance made its final auditions stop last night in Los Angeles. 

As always, the evening began with waiting line cheers, high kicks, Cat learning how to move and slow motion flips. Along with Nigel and Mary, Tyce Diorio brought nothing but snarky sound effects to accentuate Mary's yells.

So You Think You Can Dance Cast Pic

Let's take a look at both the good, the bad and the ugly from the night, shall we?

The Good
Determination: Ariel Cocker auditioned in seasons four, five, and seven and made it through easily. You could see the drive in her eyes. Her walking had the kind of fire that only years of rejection could show.

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So You Think You Can Dance took its auditions to Salt Lake City and New York City last night, as Robin Antin joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe in Utah, while choreographer Jason Gilkinson was in Brooklyn. Robin's face actually looked less plastic then I remembered, but the commentary she provided was as fake as her face.

We always have a string of contemporary dancers do well during the auditions, so it was nice to see the show try to focus on several different genres, including krump and waackin'. The break dancers and ballroom dancers also delivered a good amount of talent.

Season 8 Contestants

Salt Lake City

Devon and Micha: The two steppers were good, but if you've ever been to a college campus, there are a high number of teams that are at the same caliber. Mary pointed out that they would probably struggle outside of their genre and it proved true. Micha couldn't hack the choreography, but Devon showed that he could get some air in his leaps.

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