'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: 71 dancers survive "The Academy" solos, All-Stars begin picking teams
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/18/2017
So You Think You Can Dance kicked off The Academy round, as the 10 All-Stars began putting together their teams of four dancers each during Monday night's broadcast of Season 14 on Fox.
Following weeks of audition episodes, So You Think You Can Dance began its next round called The Academy in which the season's Top 100 dancers arrived in Hollywood ready to undergo a grueling boot camp filled with choreography and cuts.
First, the 100 dancers attempted to survive the solos round in which each hopeful took the stage one by one with an original routine. However, they weren't critiqued by regular So You Think You Can Dance judges Vanessa Hudgens, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe. Instead, the 100 dancers performed for this season's set of All-Stars.
The All-Stars for Season 14 are Robert Roldan, a contemporary dancer from Season 7; Gaby Diaz, a tap dancer from Season 12; Paul Karmiryan, a ballroom dancer from Season 10; Jasmine Harper, a contemporary dancer from Season 10; Marko Germar, a jazz dancer from Season 8; Comfort Fedoke, a hip-hop dancer from Season 4; Cyrus Spencer, an animation dancer from Season 9; Jenna Johnson, a ballroom dancer from Season 10; Fik-Shun Stegall, a hip-hop dancer from Season 10, and Allison Holker, a contemporary dancer from Season 2.
Jenna and Allison are also known for being professional partners on various seasons of Dancing with the Stars. Fik-Shun is also currently competing on Jennifer Lopez's new World of Dance reality series.
During the solos round in The Academy, the All-Stars had to vote for whether they'd like to see a contestant advance or go home. If the majority of All-Stars voted to keep a dancer, he or she would stay in the competition and advance to learning hip-hop choreography by Napolean D'umo and Tabitha D'umo, better known as Nappytabs.
By the end of the solos round, only 71 dancers remained. Those dancers included standouts Logan Hernandez, Robert Green, Matthew Deloch, Chaz Wolcott, Kyle Bennett Jr, Kevin Davis Jr, Lex Ishimoto, Kristina and Vasily, and Kiki Nvemchek.
If a contestant blew the All-Stars away while performing the hip-hop choreography, he or she would automatically make a team for Season 14 without having to prove themselves in the upcoming choreography rounds, such as ballroom and contemporary.
In some cases, multiple All-Stars fought to have the same dancer, so then it's up to the contestant to decide which team he or she would like to join and which leader he or she would like to work with.
Kevin Davis Jr. was shown peaking the interest of five All-Stars after the hip-hop choreography, including Comfort and Fik-Shun. He ended up picking Allison as his team leader in order to improve in dance areas, other than hip-hop, that he doesn't excel in.
A contestant named Dassy Lee was wanted by both Cyrus and Fik-Shun, and she picked Fik-Shun. Logan Hernandez was also a sought after contestant, as several All-Stars bickered over him joining their teams. In the end, Logan picked Allison's team over Robert and Jenna's teams.
Kiki self-admittedly bombed when trying to perform Nappytabs' choreography, however, Jenna believed in the ballroom dancer so much that she asked him to join her team. Jenna told the cameras that Kiki is the best ballroom dancer to ever audition for the show.
Robert unfortunately ran into a rough patch when trying to persuade multiple contestants to be on his team. It seemed like every dancer he wanted chose to be on a different team.
Next week, the contestants will face contemporary choreography by Travis Wall as well as ballroom choreography by Dmitry and Jenya. In subsequent episodes, the remaining hopefuls will also learn jazz choreography by Sonya Tayeh and participate in the daunting group round.
In the end, only 10 contestants will survive, and those 10 contestants will dance with a particular SYTYCD All-Star each week for home viewer votes.