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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Hopes and Dreams

The judges pick the top 20 on a night filled with plenty of drama but little dancing

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You Think You Can Dance
Kelsey McNeal/Fox

So You Think You Can Dance

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Nigel Lythgoe, Cat Deeley, Mary Murphy
Current Status:
In Season

Hold on a minute. I did spend an hour last night watching So You Think You Can Dance, right? So how come I feel like I sat through an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? There were cheers, hugs, and enough tears to put M’Lynn Eatenton herself to shame. But where was the dancing?

Of course, I understand that choosing each season’s top 20 is a dramatic affair. And it is admittedly enjoyable to watch the judges give the dancers good news through cruel speeches like: ”You’re a wonderful dancer…but we need to see you grow…and we think you will…but somewhere outside of the competition…as well as in the competition…Did I remember to pick up my dry cleaning?…That’s right, I did…and I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home and got a great deal on light bulbs…which shine almost as bright as you…and that’s why you’re in our top 20.”

But in previous seasons, we were allowed at least a glimpse at the top 20 dancers’ solos. Last night? We only saw a few seconds of Billy Bell’s solid solo, a routine that we’d already been given a chance to experience last week. Come on, SYTYCD! You could have cut all that footage of Mollee and Noelle playing MASH and Pretty Pretty Princess to make room for just a few solos, right?

So the lack of dancing in last night’s episode left me unsatisfied. But the news the judges dropped on us in the show’s final minutes left me utterly heartbroken. Just as I was firming up my prediction list — which we will get to shortly — the judges informed us that Paula Von Oppen declined their top 20 offer because she was already contractually bound to a film. And to that I say: Hell to the no! My favorite female dancer of the season bows out of the competition? Please: Somebody deliver Tyce Diorio to my apartment right now so I can punch something! (Because you know you wanted to after hearing him smarmily reject a contestant by telling her, ”Please continue on your shining journey,” a sentence that was less genuine than a pair of studs from Claire’s). Watching Ashleigh replace Paula in the top 20 was a bit like watching blue M&Ms replace tan M&Ms: I understand that it was a necessary move, but I’d prefer the reliable to the flashy. Alls I got to say is that better be one heckuva of a movie, Paula. And good luck to ya!

Now, on to the dancers who survived the walk of truth to nab a spot in season 6’s top 20. (The Close Encounters stage lighting was sure appropriate, considering Mia’s new Ellen Ripley cut, eh?) Though it’s tough for me to weigh in much about our dancers — thanks to the lack of, you know, actual dancing — take a look at my predictions for the season! (Keep in mind that I’m taking into account the fact that we lose both a girl and a guy each week. And keep in mind that these are my predictions, not a countdown of my personal favorites.) In descending order…

NEXT: Legacy’s early out?