Being back in the SYTYCD studio with the judges and choreographers and audience is like getting together with old friends. Have I mentioned I’m super happy this show is back? This episode was jam packed announcing the TOP 20 and giving us 9 performances. Here are Season 8’s Top 20 Dancers!

The Top 20

Rickey Jaime, 18, Contemporary
Melanie Moore, 19, Contemporary
Miranda Maleski, 19, Contemporary
Sasha Mallory, 23, Contemporary
Iveta Lukosiute, 30, Ballroom,
Christopher Koehl, 21, Hip-hop
Tadd Gadduang,25, Street
Wadi Jones, 24, Breaking
Robert Taylor Jr., 30, Hip-hop
Nick Young, 19, Tap
Jess Leprotto, 18, Broadway
Clarice Ordaz, 19, Jazz
Jordan Casanova, 18, Jazz
Marko Germar,> Jazz, 22, Jazz
Missy Morelli, 19, Jazz
Mitchell Kelly, 20, Contemporary
Ashley Rich, 22, Contemporary
Caitlyn Lawson,18, Contemporary
Alexander Fost, 21, Contemporary
Ryan Ramirez, 19, Contemporary

The Performances

Who: Rickey, Melanie, Miranda and Sasha
What: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “In This Shirt”, by The Irrepressibles

I think Melanie and Rickey definitely stood out, even if production went too heavy with the fog machine. Rickey’s spins were amazing. I look forward to learning more about Melanie, especially since we’ve seen a lot of her, but know nothing about her.

Who: Chris, Tadd, Wadi, and Robert
What: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Everyday (Coolin’)” by Swizz Beatz feat. Eve

I was really sad that The Professor and Lil’ O didn’t make it. I really like those guys. Hopefully, Lil’ O auditions next year and comes back. I loved Robert Taylor’s reaction to winning. He was just so happy. And his personality really shined in Dave Scott’s Hip-Hop routine. I loved the Urkel outfit chosen for him. Chris also showed a lot of skill. I loved it when he did the reverse back flip. I guess it would be called a front flip?  Also, the tutting section (yes I got that word from ABDC, hopefully I used it correctly) in the middle of their performance was pretty cool.

Who: Iveta Lukosiute
What: Ballroom (She dances the Argentine Tango??)
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Song: “Ven A Bailar (On The Floor)”, by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

Despite the unfortunate song choice (sorry JLo, I don’t like your music), Iveta won me over with her song choice. I really want to dislike her, but she was incredible. And I think it helped that Pasha from Season 3 was her partner. Oh Pasha! He rips off part of her dress that’s actually a cape, and whips it around. It’s a really creative routine. Nigel says to her, “What I love about you is your humility.” And I agree with him. Whoa.

Who: Clarice, Marko, Jordan, Missy
What: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Vanguardian” by Steed Lord

I’m hoping since Jordan made it into the Top 20, we never have to see that clip of Tyce calling her a “naughty naughty girl.” Seriously, it creeps me out.

As for the dancing,I love Sonya’s choreography. It’s original. You can tell it’s hers. Marko sure got a work out lifting all those girls and pushing and pulling him. And that leap in the beginning took a lot of precision. However, none of the girls really stood out.

Who: Jess and Nick
What: Broadway and Tap
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Funkier Than A Mosquitos Tweeter” by Nina Simone

Right off the bat I’m admitting to a big crush on Nick. He’s a good looking kid with a lot of charisma, plus him being a tapper makes him that much cuter. I will ignore the fact he’s 9 years younger than me. His routine with Jess is really entertaining. I can see what Nigel means when he says Jess has a bit of arrogance in him, but the routine is so cute. Dueling street performers. I think Nick wins this one though with overall skill and personality. The fact that Jess is so much shorter is a bit distracting and I’m turned off by his playing to the crowd when it’s all over. My vote is for Nick and not just because he’s adorable.

Who: Caitlyn, Ashley, Mitchell, Ryan, Alexander
What: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Moth’s Wings” by Passion Pit

The routine is good as far as I can tell, but I think there are too many people on stage to really focus on the talent. Catlin does a cool jump into Alexander’s arms during the performance. Also, the song is really awesome, I want to download it. The whole routine was really joyful, but no one stuck out, though maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing?

After the group performances the Top 10 guys perform a Christopher Scott Hip-Hop/Contemporary routine to Nathan Lanier’s “Velocity. The routine is very Matrix/Inception like and I’m digging the red doors. Halfway through the routine, half of the guys do a cool move where they spin in the hair, feet parallel to the floor. It’s snazzy work, but not stand on your feet awesome.

Whereas the boys routine felt aggressive and a little all over the place – not necessarily in a bad way, the Top 10 girls routine was so clean! Sonya’s jazz routine turned the girls into “weird and creepy and exiting geisha’s.” They perform a jazz routine to a strange song: “Pop Drop and Roll” by Chonique Sneed & Lisette Bustamante. The movements were clean and precise and weird and interesting. They were also very doll/bobble head-like.


The final performance of the Top 20, was a nice closer to the night. They danced to “Little Bird” by Annie Lennox and it was a good way to end the show. I’m ready for it to begin. How about you?




Random Thoughts:

  • I knew Natalia wouldn’t make it. But it is a bummer.
  • The guys are really diverse this year, the girls, not so much!
  • Love the fact that Dave Scott says he and Christopher are twins. I believe it.
  • Love when Soyna gets the girls in the circle (after her grueling rehearsal) and asks, “Anyone need a medic?” and they all raise their hands while she giggles. She’s evil. And I love it.
  • Anyone notice Nigel give Lil’ C a hug after his sweet little poem to Sonya (after the Top 10 girls performance)?

“Look we made an oreo” What Cat after squishing herself between the Mallory sisters.

“Milking it for all it’s worth, have you ever?” God love ya, Cat.

“They don’t just favor guys…like other shows.” Was that a little dig on Idol, Nigel?

Sonya: “I’m gonna push them, until they can’t be pushed anymore. They’ll be fine!”

Sonya: “Feel like you’re gonna puke? Welcome, Honey, welcome to So You Think You Can Dance.”


Right now I’m rooting for Melanie Morales, Robert Taylor, and Nick Young, but the thing about this show is sometimes I end up rooting for unexpected people. Who are your favorites so far? Who do you wish made it, that didn’t?


  1. cfgrlfrdy says:

    I just love your summaries and thoughts!! I’ll hope and assume you’ll do it after every show? It’s really thorough – thanks for listing all the songs!

  2. Bethal says:

    Awesome recap! Rooting for Melanie, Ryan and Nick for now! I loved the way they announced the final 20 and integrated the dancing into the show. Much better than clips of them at their home either making the top 20 or getting their dreams crushed. More dancing!!

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