June 03, 2009 08:52 PM by DA Southern
So You Think You Can Dance heads into hell week, commonly know as Vegas Callbacks,or should be called, “Don’t call us we’ll call you” back. It is always so much fun to see the contestants arrive in Vegas full of promise and hope until the reality of what they are there to do starts to sink in. Usually by day two, after Mia Michaels and the rest of the choreographers have gotten their claws into them, they are rarely smiling. At this point, many have gotten on each other’s nerves as the realization that, while many come, only a few will actually go on to the “Big Show” and it comes down to every move that may make, both on and off the dance floor, has an impact on whether they move on. Wait, it just occurred to me that I haven’t even mentioned Cat Deeley yet,
OK, I have to admit that I get as worn out as the dancers watching Vegas week and as they drop like flies, some who we barely get to know, it is gratifying sometimes just to see glimpses of dancing brilliance, but that is not really the point of Vegas Callbacks is it.
So we begin with 172 dancers and, as I said, they fall like flies as Mia Michaels, Lil C, Adam Shankman and Debbie Allen have noting on the Terminator except none of them “Will be back.” Sorry, I could not help myself. The dancers all began with solo dances and as fast as dancers were cut, it was hard to see who is standing out as FOX doesn’t want to give away the farm here.
There was not a lot to “Mary Scream” about but shirtless Alex Wong had Mia all tingly and Tony Bellissimo danced in a full suit , briefcase and all, to impress the judges. It didn’t hurt to have pics of dear ole Nigel on display to help sway votes, either.
After the solo dances, Nigel was so hacked by the overall quality of the dance routines that the guillotine started to fall rather quickly. 172 dropped to 127 in what seemed like mere minutes and, unfortunately, an early termination was the football coaches’ son, Travis Prokop. That kid is going to get so beat up I bet.
After the initial cuts, Hip Hop was next on the agenda from Tabitha and Napoleon. After that bloodbath, 37 more dancers were booted off and after day one’s carnage, we were down to about half of what we stared with. The way it is going, we won’t have but about six to choose from if the judges don’t stop the insanity.
Oh crap, it’s Ballroom on day two and since a lot of these dancers never partner with anyone, you can see them struggle and can feel their pain along the way. We watched a couple of favs early on, Phillip Chbeeb and Arielle Coker, who were tight as glue; have to partner up with someone new. With the mad skills these two brought to the competition, it was disheartening to see Phillip barely skate by and Arielle get her walking papers. One big surprise to me was Popper, Nobuya Nagahama, who took to Ballroom like duck to water but the carnage continued with 15 more getting cut. I believe there are now only two people left for crying out loud.
Jazz hands choreography is next and the always scary, Roller Derby queen, I mean, choreographer, Sonya Tayeh, adds more injuries to the already bruised dancers. By the end of this session, seven more have left their last once of sweat on the dance floor as Cat Deeley seems to be playing major comforter to those leaving. A couple of big surprises from Jazz Hands, a couple of favs of Mary Murphy’s, Natalie Reid and Brandon Bryant, who she thought were both a shoe-in for Top 20, suffered setbacks when Natalie got cut and Brandon barley redeemed himself. Mary even made a comment about dying if they didn’t get in the Top 20. We are presuming they have a defib machine at the place the callbacks are held.
Next up were “Random CD” dance routines where teams were established and had to take the evening, work up a routine and then perform it for the judges. Trust me, nothing good came of this catastrophe as I thought the entire season was about to be called off. From the judges mocking most all of the routines and even Mia Michaels saying she was going to cut Brandon Bryant, we were left with a paltry 68 beat-up dancers. FOX should have called this “The most brutal season yet” of SYTYCD.
Now, it’s Momma Mia Michaels turn to demoralize the youngsters and that she did. If she isn’t the scariest choreographer ever, then dress me up and call me Sally. More of our favorites fall and it really doesn’t matter at this point because I just don’t want to get attached to anyone as thirteen more leave Vegas penniless and with shattered dreams. Well, I don’t know about the penniless part,
For the final day, the remaining two dancers, I mean, 54 dancers, according to Cat, did some Broadway with Tyce Diorio, who said he was inspired by West Side Story. With the boys and girls paired off, Tyce gives them instructions for their routines and sends them before the judges for a final flogging. After this bloodbath, we are left with 16 guys and 16 gals and tomorrow we will see our Top 20.
In a unique turn of events, both Kasprzak brothers have survived as Brandon Bryant and Tony Bellissimo, who will probably not win any trophies for being suave and debonair but will have most of the girls voting with their,hey, what do girls vote with in situations like this?
Anyway, tomorrow we will see who are Top 20 are but after this brutality that was Vegas Call backs, maybe we should let them all go through.
Photo courtesy of Fox Broadcasting