One of the things I love about this show is its attention to technique and its honesty that personality matters. The judges aren't afraid of eliminating early favorites if they don't live up to expectations.
They proved this by cutting 46 dancers right out of the gate, several of whom were featured heavily on the audition shows. Including Japanese hip hop dancer Hero and super cool, bow tie wearing, hip hop dancer Patty.
Since Vegas week is so all encompassing, I'll just highlight the best performances and emerging new favorites.
- I have completely fallen for the Professor. He excelled in all styles, was a constant gentleman and had a little flirtation with both Mallory sisters.
- Speaking of the sisters, while Sasha is the better dancer, Natalia has more personality and could be great with the right choreography. They're clearly setting up a final two, one spot moment.
- Unless they're hiding them, there were very few ballroom dancers this year.
- Though I don't like it when the show pushes favorites on me, Wadi Jones got increasingly impressive throughout the week.
- Debbie Allen should be a full time judge, because her critiques are honest and entertaining. "You got big dreams..."
- I appreciated the honesty the judges gave Alexis Mason by not keeping her around just because her sister is season five winner Jeanine.
Here are the dancers I definitely want in the top 20:
Natasha, Sasha, the Professor, Wadi, Melanie (Ginnifer Goodwin look-alike) and Clarice.
At two hours, tonight's "Meet the top 20" episode will be mostly filler, but I like seeing the dancers in their own style on the big stage before the competition starts.