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Fox is staging the ultimate dance battle with $100,000 on the line. Who'll get served, and who'll be the last dancer standing?

Recaps by Pierre Kelly, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Lauren Sanchez
Judges: Brian Friedman, Mia Michels, Nigel Lythgoe, Dan KAraty
Announcer: Mark Thompson
Creators: Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe
EP: Simon Fuller, Allen Shapiro, Nigel Lythgoe
Packager: 19 Entertainment, dick clark productions
Airs:
Wednesdays at 8pm ET on Fox


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"Round of 16 (or 'The Tougher the Sixteen, The Sweeter the Juice')" - August 17

This is it, people, the top 16 are placed and are ready to do battle with one another. In front of a live studio audience and people at home, the nation gets ready for the very first studio competition of So You Think You Can Dance. When the dust is finally settled, it's your turn to decides who's getting ahead, and who's getting served big time.

But first, we waste a portion of the show, so we can get to know our 16 dancers. They'll be shown by pictures and footage of them when they were young, and some footage from auditions and the hollywood round. After that, we get a short chat with host Lauren Sanchez, who starts out high above the rafters in the bird's eye section. Now, here comes your sweet 16!

Kamilah Barett, 27 (A Sagittarius who started dancing at age 4, had a story about playing with maracas when their parents got back from a honeymoon trip in Puerto Rico)
Nick Lazzani, 21 (A Leo who at age 9 perfected some pirouettes across the floor)
Michelle Brooke, 27 (A Capricorn who started dancing at age 4, who last December, had a car accident, but took 4 months to recover)
Johnathan Tannis (aka Jonnis), age 20 (He is the youngest of 6 kids, but was a dropout in high school to join an act in Atlantic City)
Sandra Colton, 27 (A Leo who formed acts with her sister back then)
Artem Chigvinsev, 23 (A Moscow, Russia native who tells us why his home city is so cold 7 months every year)
Ashle Dawson, 21 (A Cancer who start dancing at age 3 who disliked tap, but started in jazz. She was on the high school swimming team and set a few records herself)
Jamile McGee, 21, (A Leo who had a disease at age 9, one year off of when he started dancing. Had he not chosen dancing, he would've been a scientist)
Melody Lacayanga, 28 (An Aquarius who started dancing at age 5)
Craig DeRosa, 18 (An Aquarius who at age 4, started gymnastics and after that, he started dancing for 10 years)
Destini Rogers, 22 (By age 2, her mom put her in dancing, and in high school, she put her in dances that got insulted by her classmates a bit.)
Blake McGrath, 21 (At age 12, his parents got divorced, but needs to stay confident, not cocky in this competition)
Melissa Vella, 20 (A Libra who started dancing at age 3)
Ryan Confriedo, 22 (A Gemini who learned dancing though television)
Snejana Urbin (aka Snow), 25 (A Cancer who is a great ballroom dancer all her life, and is originally from Siberia)
Allan Frias (aka Big Poppa), 30 (A Sagittarius who never did kicks or spilts. He had no friends during his school years, but when he took dancing, it got him some)

Okay, this get-to-know portion is over with, but we got the competition ahead, so let's go!

After the show's opening sequence, each dancer got a chance to do a solo, starting with Kamilah, Nick, Michelle, Jonnis, Sandra, Artem, Ashle, Jamile, Snow, Allan, Melissa, Ryan, Destini, Blake, Melody and Craig. All of them ended with a group dance. Mark Thompson, the voice guy behind "Greed," introduces Lauren Sanchez, and she tells the people at home that the prizes are up for grabs like a stay in a NY apartment for 1 year and $100,000 cash. And now, we get to see our judges. In the #1 position, Hip-hop choreographer, Brian Friedman, #2 belongs to "A New Day" choreographer, Mia Michels, the 3rd position goes to executive producer of this show, Nigel Lythgoe and in the final position, it's a man who worked with Britney Spears, Dan Karaty. Here's how it goes: The couples will dance for your pleasure, and then the judges decide who the bottom 6 will be. Whoever's in the bottom 6 will dance one last time this week, but this time, it's for your votes. The 1 guy and girl who have the lowest scores is gone for good. So, with the millions of people watching, its time to........DANCE!

COUPLES ROUND
For this round, the guys had to pick names out of a hat. Nick is the first person to choose Kamilah, and now she gets to pick a style and it's...Hip-Hop. So, they'll be working with hip-hop teacher, Marty Kudelca. It's a jazz dancer paired up with a hip-hop dancer in Hip-hop. In the studio, Kamilah put on a little acting and put on her hat. they both did a lot of shaking & swerving, but the song ended with Kamilah spinning to her. When it was over, she said it was a tingle up her spine. Will the bottom 6 give her the chills? We get our first look at the judges to find out. Brian said the musicality was great, but Nick needs a little more hip-hop. Mia said it was an amount of space and energy, Nigel said they were both brilliant and Dan said it was a phenomenal job. They know they'll stay safe for another week, but will being safe happen to Jonnis?

Jonnis chose Michelle as her partner, and she chooses...Mambo. They both train to be with Alex Da Silva, a Latin teacher from the Hollywood round. It's 2 hip-hop dancers trying to take on the mambo. In the studio, they did spins, but Michelle did a flip over his back. She also did a flip to split move, and by the end, she jump and did a tumble. Did their mambo work? We go to the judges to find out. Brian said it looked sexy, but there were a couple of arm moves that didn't work, Mia said their mambo didn't feel hot, Nigel agreed with Mia, because the steps were too big for him, and Dan said it missed the little important things. That mambo didn't work, but there's another couple ready to go to work.

Artem picked Sandra to be his pony, and she chose lyrical as the style to master. Alex Mango was the teacher to work with them. When the rehearsal was over, their bodies had a bruise, but no black-and-blue stuff here as this lyrical dancer and tap dancer get ready for the lyrical performance. A very nice artistic performance throughout the song, but they both did some nice twirls. Getting near the end, Artem laid down and Sandra walked over him, and by the end, she did a squirm over his body. Can this be one colorful performance? Brian said the technique was on point, Mia said they wanted more technically, Nigel said the cameras loved Artem, and it nailed the techniques, but Sandra didn't, and Dan said both weren't getting it. The mixed reaction made them tickled pink, but who's the next guy to paint these steps by the numbers?

Jamial called out Ashle to be his compadre, and she chose...Jive. Mary Murphy will work with them for rehearsal. It's a hip-hop dancer and a contemporary dancer getting ready to jive like they mean it. Ashle did a flip over, and they both did some kicks, but Ashle did a split, followed by a turn around and a split halfway between his legs to end the song. Did they do it like nobody's business? Only the judges will know. Brian said Jamile was amazing and Ashle was a strong dancer, Mia said it was a great performance, Nigel said that Jamile's like a professional dancer in 5 Guys Named Moe, and Dan said Jamile attacked way beyond that, but Ashle rose to the occasion. Nigel then asks Mia on why she picked Jamial. So, Jamile & Ashle were strictly business in Jive, but who's the next guy who means business?

Allan Frias chose somebody who's perfect, and it was Snow that chose him. She chose hip-hop as the dance to perfect to. They'll be the 2nd couple to rehearse with Marty today. It's a Siberian with her fast feet, and an American with his hip-hop moves, as they go for hip-hop. Throughout the song, they both did some arm & leg gestures, and Snow worked it with her pump gesture. By the end, Snow took a knee when he touched Allan. And we go to he judges once again. Brian said he loved it, but not on more hip-hop. Mia said they were both amazing, Nigel said it was a great routine, but needs more technique & personality, and Snow needs a better style next time, and Dan said it was phenomenal, but they weren't smooth. So Allan chose the wrong partner and the wrong style, but who's the next male to pick the right person?

Ryan tracked down Melissa as his partner, and she chose Mambo as a test of power. At Alex's rehearsal room, they were the 2nd couple there, but there was one problem about Ryan: It's his hair. Will his hair problem be solved? It's a break-dancer and a daycare worker doing the mambo. To begin with, Melissa did some turns and they both did arm work. But Melissa flipped over Nick's body and they both did some contortion arm work. Melissa did another flip, and she did a back a forth floor swing between his legs, and again when she did a tumble at the end. Will the pass the test of power for these 2? Brian said superb, and they set the bar high, Mia said they show that great dancers rock, Nigel said Nick proved it possible and both were fantastic and Dan said it was Bad$#^...Okay...we move on....

Blake gets Destini as a partner, and she chooses lyrical as a style to work with. They're the 2nd to work with Alex Magno. How will this Tulsa girl and a California boy do in the lyrical performance? Both dance great, but Destini did a leg lift, and Blake did a little tumble. Then, Blake lied down as Destini walked over him, and by the song's end, she did a squirm all over his body. Is lyrical the style the fans love for Blake & Destini? Only the judges will know. Brian said it didn't need a lift and gets a 30 for technique, Mia said they made the word DANCE, Nigel said it made his night and Dan said it proved him wrong that it didn't work with their partner well. So Blake & Destini proved America that they can dance, but we got one more couple to prove it.

Craig chose Melody to be his partner, and she's taken up Jive for these 2 to perfect on. They're the 2nd couple to rehearse with Mary Murphy today. It's 2 best friends, both jazz dance artists, looking to paint some corners in Jive. To begin, Craig did a between the legs slide, and did a spin on his own. Melody, however, did a split and they both did some spin bending. By the end, Melody did a spin & split. Will they sit on the bottom 6 couch or spin into next week? We get to our judges one last time. Brian said they were like a perfect desert, Mary said they did an amazing job, Nigel said there was a little dance schooling in their routine and Dan disagreed with Nigel, but it looked easy. So the best friends round out this round, but it's not over yet.

THE CUT
Now it's time for the judges to pick 6 of the worst dancers to make the bottom 6. Brian chose the first couple...Sandra & Artem, next up, Mia said it's time to cut...Jonnis & Michelle and finally Nigel wanted to choose somebody, but Dan said it's Snow & Allen who did the worst. So you got 6 worst dancers, and they'll do it one last time for your votes in...The Solo Round!

THE SOLO ROUND
Each dancer gets 45 seconds to impress the folks at home and Michelle goes up first to music by The Black Eyed Peas. She does flips, swerves, and a flip to toe touch to wind down the clock. To vote for her, it's 1-888-TEMPO-01. ( I was thinking DANCE, but oh well) Next, Johnnis as he does a swing around on both arms and did some kicks on the floor. As time winded down, he did a mock Michael Jackson impersonation. To vote for him, it's 1-888-TEMPO-02. Sandra's up and she'll dance to Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." She's having fun with a pom-pom, but did a little tap dance. Later, she did flips, and more tap dancing and a twirl as time ran out. Want this tap dancer to not tap out? Hit up 1-888-TEMPO-03. Artem's up doing Mario's "Let Me Love You" and he did some swerves & turns, as the clock reached the 5-second mark, he did a little turn to knee bend when the buzzer rang. Wanna vote for him, write down 1-888-TEMPO-04. Snow is taking the stage next, and she did some fast footwork and a few turns. She even did some fun with a camera shot as the clock hits zero. Wanna keep Snow's fancy footwork? Try 1-888-TEMPO-05. Allan will bat cleanup this round, as he's doing a hip-hop dance to Luther Vandross. During a time portion, he took off his cap and then put it back on. Do you think Big Poppa will stay here? Go to 1-888-TEMPO-06. That ends the Solo Round, and it's America's turn to choose who will stay here. The lines stay open for 2 hours, and let me remind you, they're not 866 or 800 numbers, okay. Nigel had some parting words that everyone walked out a better dancer, but Artem & Allan wan't enough for him. A the credits roll, all 16 party down on the floor.

Next week, 2 people are sent home and we pair up once again. Tune in and find out. I'm Pierre Kelly, and until then, dots & power pellets, I'm out.

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