'So You Think You Can Dance' narrows hopefuls during Vegas Week
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/09/2011
TheSo You Think You Can Dance journey ended for 129 eighth-season hopefuls during last night's broadcast of the Fox reality competition series.
So You Think You Can Dance's eighth-season Vegas Week ended with only 31 of the season's 160 contestants left competing for the competition's Top 20 spots.
Over Vegas Week's three-day period, the 160 dancers were progressively reduced through two rounds of solo performances and five rounds of choreographed dances which required them to perform hip-hop, Broadway, ballroom, contemporary and group routines.
Vegas Week began with each of the hopefuls performing a solo routine for the judging panel, which consisted of Robin Antin, Adam Shankman, Debbie Allen, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe.
Once all the dancers performed their solo routines, the judges made their first round of cuts. Seven of the first 15 soloists who danced were immediately cut, and a total of 46 hopefuls were eliminated by the end of the initial solo round.
The 114 remaining hopefuls then participated in the hip-hop performance round, with their routine choreographed by Napolean Dumo and Tabitha Dumo.
After the hip-hop performances, the judges individually gave each contestant either a yes or a no -- with three yes' or more advancing them through to the next round and anything less sending them home. With the hip-hop performance round and Day 1 in the books, more dancers were eliminated.
The second day of Vegas Week commenced the next morning with the Broadway portion of the auditions, and the dancers learned a routine choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Later that day with nearly half of the original contestants eliminated, Jason Gilkenson taught the hopefuls a ballroom routine.
A total of 74 dancers -- 39 guys and 35 girls -- advanced to the next round, including Alexis Mason, an 18-year-old from Miami, FL. The 74 contestants were then organized into small groups and randomly assigned a song they would have to perform the following day, giving them the rest of the night to choreograph a routine.
Nearly everyone impressed the judges during the Day 3 group rounds, resulting in only seven hopefuls being cut and 67 dancers -- including Natalia Mallory, who was sensitive about the fact she was larger than the rest of her competitors -- moved on in the competition.
The remaining 67 contestants then were required to dance a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall. After they all performed their contemporary dance, 12 more hopefuls were eliminated.
Fifty-five hopefuls were still left at the end of the contemporary round, including Mallory. However, Mallory was hospitalized during the contemporary round and returned to the judges hours later to discover they had given her a free pass to move onto the final solo round.
Once the contemporary round ended, 24 more dancers were sent home and the judges selected 43 hopefuls to remain in the competition and perform their solo routines, fighting for a position in So You Think You Can Dance's Top 20 semifinalists.
After the remaining dancers gave it their all in their solo dances, the judges narrowed the field to 31 contestants. Those 31 dancers ended Day 3 celebrating their hard work and accomplishments in a hotel suite, but only 20 will make the final cut.