Alright Australia, we’ve scoured the country to find your Top 20 and now they’re ready to throw their hearts on the stage and show you their souls. They think they can dance. The question is, do you?
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! The SYTYCD stage is set for something resembling a sci-fi spectacular, the control room of a spaceship burning in brilliant orange and cloaked in dry ice. The futuristic feel is bang on for what you’re about to witness – the future of dance.
Our Top 20 have endured the trials and tribulations of Top 100 week – now, how will they fair in front of a hyperactive audience of hungry dance fans with a gazillion roving lights, sweeping cameras and a lanyard-and-headset-laden crew making it all come together?
During the past week, our supercool dancers have been paired up, randomly assigned dance styles and have begun work on a brand new routine for you. After tonight’s show and the audience SMS and phone votes have come in, the couples with the lowest number of votes will have to Dance For Their Life to stay in the competition. Our judges will then pick one boy and one girl who will have to call it quits. The overall winner walks away with a cool $200,000 and a money-can’t-buy experience in LA with a surprise guest… Keep your ears peeled for deets on that soon!
And… action! The cameras start rolling and onto the stage strut twenty of the sexiest, spunkiest, sassiest performers Australia’s ever seen. Reality TV just got freakin’ cool. Aiight, pick your jaw up off the floor, ya’ll. It’s time to get busy.
First up it’s Rhiannon and J. D. Hey, what’s that silver splattered all over the floor? Oh it’s the mercury from the thermometres that have just exploded. Yu-huh, Sydney’s summer just got steamier, with this sizzling duo’s street-smart Hip Hop routine. Matt told the couple they were so well-suited: Rhiannon the pint-sized hottie next to the cool, calm and collected J.D. while a blinged-up Bonnie said they were just fabulous. Jason commented their only problem was unison; Rhiannon danced slightly in the front of the beat, while the laidback JD danced at the back of the beat. But overall a cracking way to start the show!
Next it’s Courtney and Hilton. Their gorgeous Jazz Lyrical take on the oldest love story in the world Romeo + Juliet mythology had a heart-breaking ethereal feel as a result of being set to the masters of emotional alt-rock, Radiohead. Hilton mentioned in his blog that his partner was helping him express his emotions and it’s clear to see what he meant. Matt commented that while Courtney was so likeable, he was very good at faking her technique while Hilton was a contender to win the competition. Bonnie said she felt the chemistry between the pair while Hilton made great use of the floor, and while she could see he was nervous with the lifts, he did them well. Bonnie said she was sure Courtney would go a long way. Jason said that while Hilton missed a lift, he got back on the horse, and that Lyrical suited him so well. He agreed with Matt and said Courtney did need to watch her feet, but all in all, a great first performance.
Next, Vanessa and Henry: What happens when a Ballet babe meets a Latin lover in the search of Salsa? Lots and lots and lots of turns. Who needs a rollercoaster when you’ve got a dude like Henry to take you on a journey of thrills and spills. And for someone who claimed in their blog they’d have trouble acting sexy, Vanessa had no trouble burning up that stage. Matt hit the nail on the head when he said it was an exciting and fantastic routine, but he would have liked to see Vanessa with a little more strength in her upper body. Bonnie commented that she could see Vanessa wasn’t in her comfort zone, but Henry was a great help in guiding her through the challenging routine. Jason said that as ballet to let go of her training to master Salsa is a real challenge that Vanessa rose to, but she could make her moves a little sharper. The audience had no trouble roaring their approval though: these guys were hot!
Next onstage Camilla and Sermash: Um, did we mention this show is kinda sexy? Sh’yeah – hormones have well and truly replaced tears, and this performance was no exception. The girl from Ipswich and the boy from Port Hedland spending up big to the sultry sounds of Shirley Bassey in the genre of Musical Theatre. Cat burglars, both of them – meow… Matt said he was a fan of both dancers and it was great to see Sermsah onstage with more confidence. The bubbly Camilla had nothing but praise for the leaps and bounds her partner had made. Sermsah said while it was full on working in a new genre, Camilla was nothing but support. Jason said that everyone had faith in him, and that with more centred energy, he’d nail the lift he missed. Hot song, hot bodies, hot routine.
Next up, Jemma and Rhys. Under a starry night sky, a flowing, romantic waltz was a beautiful way to showcase Emma’s talent and give Rhys the chance to show the audience a different side to the harder, urban feel of his audition pieces. Rhys floating on cloud nine. Matt said it was really beautiful: a breath of fresh air, and made the point that because Jemma was used to dancing in bare feet she had to make sure her feet were stretched at every moment. Bonnie: said it was stunning, she loved the opening, and it was overall smooth, lovely, and that Rhys had grown so well and did extremely well, while Jemma nailed it. The biggest praise came from Jason who said it was lovely, light, luscious: his favourite routine of the night.
Now welcome Laura and Anthony. Their Lyrical Contemporary bedroom piece showcased the anger and passion of love. As two of the tallest contestant in the competition, this routine was able to show-off their gazelle-like figures which both cut a fine form. All judges agreed the choreographer did a great job on complimenting both dancers strengths, and that the combination of great dancers and great choreography resulted in an excellent routine. Matt said Laura did a great job in stepping up to the challenge and that Anthony was wonderful. Jason said he had doubted Laura when she entered the top 20 but she did an excellent routine. He said Anthony was a formidable dancer and he was looking forward to doing Hip Hop.
Past the halfway mark and it’s Steph and Marco. Are you born to (hand) jive? This feisty pair sure looks like they are! Their unreconstructed pop punk look is a perfect match for the upbeat vibe of Australia’s fave twins, The Veronicas. Their high-energy jive sees Step’s feminine look transformed into something quite grungy and dirty, while Marco looked totally at home with the complicated footwork. Matt said it was exciting, and not a typical jive. He said he felt Marco was one of the strongest dancers in the competition and he was happy Steph had lost her ‘ballroom cheese’. Bonnie loved the costumes, thought it was fun and felt Stephanie had no trouble concentrating and working with her partner. She thought Marco was fabulous. Jason disagreed: he didn’t get the correlation between the costumes, the music and the jive. He felt the couple were loose in their unison, and didn’t work enough with each other. They were fierce, but not fierce together. Bonnie didn’t agree. Do you?
Next on the d-floor, Kate and Khaly. Our KFC-dependant b-boy meets health conscious Kate in a wack Edward-Scissorhands-meets-Alice-in-Wonderland routine set to a Silverchair song. Matt asked Khaly if he’s ever lifted a girl before. The answer was no, and matt commended him on nailing it – it was so far away from what he did: this was a b-boy free routine, and he did a god job of holding his own. He said that Kate was the finest female dancer in the competition and she did great. Bonnie said that Khaly didn’t have enough eye contact with Kate, but she was sure he’d go far on the competition’s journey. She said Kate was beautiful in everything she did, her lines were extended and her turns were sharp. She was a fabulous dancer, and together they were an extremely professional couple; they put it all together and made it great. Jason began with the ominous words, “Houston, we have a problem”. Khaly and Kate were two of his favourite dancers, but he didn’t like the choreography. Will it be enough to keep them in the competition? You decide!
Get ready for Demi and Jack. It’s fun, it’s slick, it’s Boogaloo Choreographed by Boogaloo extraordinaire Nacho Pop (who we all met in Top 100 week), this is a style derived from popping, but it’s a lot more smooth and all about feelin’ that funk. Matt said he felt the funk – there’s nothing better than watching joyous dance, and it had him groovin’! Bonnie loved their style and how they were cheeky with each other – she thought Demi was just lovely and Jack was spot on. Jason said their likeability factor was sky high – and they were a huge threat in the competition!
Last be certainly not least, Kassy and Graeme. Ah, the passion of young love. These hotties served up some late night angst, possibly post-formal, pre-meltdown. Their sexy disheveled look… Matt said it was brilliant: Kassy stepped up to the next level, with only a small technique critique for Graeme. Bonnie thought it was a beautiful routine, and that Kassy exuded warmth, energy and sex appeal, as well as dancing so well, and that the routine was believable. Jason reminded Kassy of a comment from her audition: that if a dancer is a canvas and the choreographer is the artist, that was art.
There you have it! Your Top 20 waiting to see who will stay and who will go. Get voting!