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SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Top 20 Performance Episode Recap

The highlight of summer television is officially underway! So You Think You Can Dance unveils their Top 20 dancers and has them perform their first routines in their own styles, as well as group routines with the top 10 guys, top 10 girls, and the entire top 20.

Keep reading to find out who made the cut and how they performed.

Hip Hop Dancers

Obviously this kid was going to be in. There was no real tension so I’m glad they got his entry , this kid stood out above the rest all throughout the audition process. While he’s untrained, he’s got natural talent and charisma.

Mariah – Austin female hip hopper/krumper. She’s so cute and definitely doesn’t look like the stereotypical
Markus Shields just missed out on Season 4 and just missed out on Season 10. Emilio made it to the Top 20 but unfortunately got injured soon after. He had to withdraw from the show, but hopefully he’ll be back next season.

Fik-shun & Mariah
Luthor Brown hip hop routine
“Ball” by T.I. Feat Lil Wayne
They’re the most adorable hip hoppers I think the show has ever had. While they’re cute, they can hit their moves hard and sass it up. Mariah is the first girl hip hopper in years (was Comfort the last truly great one?) and she really shined. Nigel thought the choreography was great, but thought Fik-shun needed to be a little bit stronger and not rely on just his charisma. Mary could see him thinking too much, but thought Mariah was on fire up there. Adam loved that the routine let their personalities shine and again heaped more praise on Mariah. Maybe they’re trying to backtrack a bit after all the audition love for Fik-shun? They’ve got to try to level the playing field already.

Contemporary Dancers

Mackenzie, Jasmine, Tucker, Mika
Stacey Tookey Contemporary
“Goes On and On” by Sleeping At Last
Absolutely loved the choreography of this routine – how they were dancing together, but not dancing the same or in synch. Mary thought it was seamless and gorgeous, with amazing transitions in the beginning. For the first dance, they had amazing chemistry. They were all so strong, it’s hard to pick out one to feature. Adam gave them all a criticism to help them learn and improve more before the voting really starts, except for Mackenzie who he said was real and killed it. Nigel loved her feet, which helped her stand out more. He wanted to be grabbed more emotionally, but that’s bound to increase in the coming weeks as they get more comfortable on the stage and with their partners.

Tap Dancers

Erin, Curtis, & Alexis
Anthony Tap Routine
“You Really Did It (Live)” by Jason Mraz
Obviously they all have amazing footwork and I loved their slides and tricks in the center of the stage. Jason Mraz’s off-beat, low-key music worked incredibly well with tap. Adam thought it was the best, most fun tap routine that’s ever been on the show and thought their talents complimented each other so well. Nigel thought they looked like an act that had been together for years instead of 3 dancers who only had a week to rehearse.


After the success of Cyrus on last season, it’s no wonder that there are now 2 animators in the mix for the season. While Blue Print had the choreography skills, he didn’t have the personality. Jade had a partnering issue, but personality to spare. So of course, they both made it in to the Top 20!

Blue Print & Jade
Christopher Scott Routine
“Trigger (Original Mix)” by Kezwick featuring Mel Presson
Absolutely loved their animator routine and it got the judges not only standing, but also bowing. Some impressive isolation and they used the size difference to their advantage. Mary thought they were out of this world amazing! I loved that they even animated their response to the applause.

Contemporary Dancers Part 2

Carlos, Hayley, & Malece
Mia Michaels Contemporary
“Stay” by Rihanna feat Mikky Ekko
This was my favorite routine of the night. Loved the costumes, makeup, and story within the routine. The girls really captured the emotion and spirit and there were some amazingly strong moves in there. Mary loved Malece, but thinks Carlos needs some work still. Nigel is looking forward to them maturing and growing as they’re on the show, especially with Malece who has an immaturity to her movements. Watch the routine right here:

Ballroom Dancers

That was brutal to watch Brittany & Serg get their decisions together, as well as the Burston brothers. It doesn’t seem right to do that, but it’s a ploy that SYTYCD loves doing to amp up the drama. Jenna is the first of her sisters to make it past this stage and in to the Top 20, which makes her entry into the top 20 all the more satisfying.

Alan, Brittany, Paul & Jenna
Louis Van Amstel Routine
“Wings” by Little Mix
There were some moments where the boys weren’t synchronized when it seemed like it was meant to be, but otherwise that was a fast and sexy ballroom routine! It got the judges standing, so they definitely enjoyed it. Adam thought the whole group was impressive, but the boys needed to fill out every movement. Nigel loved the girls, but wants to see the boys stronger as the weeks progress. They didn’t look like in control of the dance, which traditional ballroom dancers should. Mary loved Paul’s stage presence in his face, but his body doesn’t live up that just yet.

Jazz Girls

Amy stood out in auditions because of her dad, but she really shined in Vegas. Nigel called her “the beast this season” and Adam put her in his Top 20 after one of the very early rounds. Jasmine and her best friend came down to the wire last season and this season’s a bit of repeat in that regard. However, she beat out her friend to make the cut.

Amy & Jasmine
Sonya Tayeh Routine
“Enjoy” by Bjork
I love Sonya’s quirky, odd routines. Amy just fits with Sonya’s style, and while Jasmine doesn’t have the technique just right, she’s a great performer. Nigel couldn’t keep his eyes off her. This was Mary’s favorite routine of the night, and Adam is totally buying in to everything about Jasmine.

Top 10 Guys

Christopher Scott Hip Hop Routine
“Sand” by Nathan Lanier feat Karen Whipple
I loved the idea Christopher Scott had for this – the men manipulating the earth and dancing with the sand as a beautiful prop in motion. Everyone got a moment to shine as well and I particularly enjoyed Blue Print’s, Jade’s, and Erin’s moments. Mary thinks this is going to be the craziest season ever after that. Adam thought they looked amazing and enjoyed that each style got a moment. Nigel would like them to dance with his ashes like that when he dies – it was that amazing.

Top 10 Girls

Ray Leeper Jazz Routine
“Let’s Have a Kiki” by Fanny Pak and District 79
This was the total opposite of the boy’s routine since everything was so together and didn’t really incorporate the dancers’ individual styles. It’s a testament to how strong they all are that no one really stood out whether this was their own style of Jazz of if they’re ballroom, hip hop, etc. Nigel thinks it will be very hard for America to choose between them on who goes home from this show.

Season 10 Top 20 Finalists

Sonya Tayeh Routine
“Ghost of Sky (Epic Dub)” by Steed Lord
The costuming, music, and stage set up reminds me of a dystopian future. Once again, every dancer is so strong that no one stood out as a weak link. I’m very excited to see how this all shakes out once voting starts.
Best Routine of the night:
Mia Michael’s contemporary

Since there’s no voting, I won’t take a stab at who’s getting voted off first. Stay tuned for next week’s recap for that information.

Did you watch the So You Think You Can Dance Top 20? What did you think? Sound off in the comments!

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Kristal Bailey

Kristal Bailey

With a soft spot for movies that fall into the “So Bad They’re Good” category, Kristal Bailey regularly watches B-movies, 80s comedies, and sci-fi from the 50s and 60s. She also refuses to grow up if that means she has to hide her love for Disney and Pixar films.

In her free time, she enjoys reading graphic novels or books that are soon to be turned into movies, watching hours and hours of television, and spending way too much time on Twitter.