Ah, it’s time to announce the top twenty on the latest season of  "So You Think You Can Dance" which also means giving the boot to a bunch of quivering-lipped kids whose big eyes well up like they're Disney characters facing a firing squad every time they step in front of the judges. Which, now that I think of it, isn’t so far off. I could totally see Mia Michaels leaping from her seat, screaming, “I LOVE TO CUT!” while brandishing an AK-47 and riddling the subpar dancers with hollow point bullets. I’m just saying. Woman’s rough.

Of course, I’m basing a lot of that impression on watching her rip poor Brandon a new one for what seemed like no good reason. Mia, like crunkster Lil ’C, was not a fan of my man Brandon. Or, to quote gentle Mia, “I can’t take you. You annoy the $%^#@ out of me.” Wow. Whatever happened to, I ’m not feeling you? I’ll pass? It’s not you, it’s me?

 

[Full recap of Thursday (June 4) night's "SYTYCD" after the break...]
 
But even though Brandon seemed to shrug off the invective, wow, Mary Murphy and Debbie Allen sure as hell didn’t. I half expected Mary to just reach over and bitch slap Mia while Debbie tap performed an impassioned samba on Lil ’C’s geek glasses. Mary even used the c-word, which for her is crap, as in “I don’t want to listen to this crap,” but still, that means she’s really mad. And I couldn’t blame her.
 
Maybe I’m missing something, but to my admittedly untrained eye, Brandon seemed like a powerhouse dancer. The guy is graceful, can fling himself into the air like a pizza and cross the stage in two leaps. I could understand if Mia had said he didn’t have the moves, or his ballroom skills sucked. But this time she got personal, and honestly, I think she crossed a line. Big props to Brandon for being able to keep smiling in the face of crazy, though. When Mia asked him what would happen when the two of them got into a room together, his answer – “It’ll be bomb, don’t worry,” was downright aw-shucks charming. And I think at that moment even Mia felt a little bad for dumping on him. So yeah, you can guess who I’m rooting for.
 
Of course, Brandon is my second pick, as Alex Wong of the Miami Ballet Company will not be in the top 20 (big sigh). Yes, because Alex’s stoopid boss won’t let him step out of his contract for a few lousy weeks, the best dancer in the competition gets the boot. Watching Alex, of course, you can understand why the ballet’s artistic director isn’t willing to let him go – the guy’s amazing. But seeing how deeply disappointed he was, it’s hard to believe he’ll be able to go back to his day job with the necessary passion, which I’m sure inspired Debbie Allen to tell him to return with “a positive spirit.” Fingers crossed we see Alex next year, because if your the gambling type, he’s a lock.
 
I don’t mean to get all hung up on the guys, but the truth is, the show didn’t seem to have as many big deal moments with the girls this episode. We got to learn Randi was a “tigress” with a commitment to her unitards, but I think Mia found that way funnier than it actually was. The woman wears unitards. Um, okay. Maybe that’s all she packed. Calm down, Mia.
 
While I thought the producers would surely take us back to yesterday’s episode in which sisters Caitlin and Madeleine struggled through the competition (Caitin was called "old-fashioned" while Madeline was cut), they hardly devoted a blip of screen time to Caitlin getting put through to the top 20, a shocker by anyone’s standards. That oversight was especially odd considering we got to see "moths in my stomach" oddball Diana talk about her good luck monkey and discovered Antonio was having a “diarrhea moment.” Really? We really needed to know that? Okay, fine, go for the poop joke. It is Fox, after all.
 
I guess they figured having two sets of siblings would just confuse us, and I can understand how Broadway brothers Evan and Ryan stole the spotlight. Unfortunately, there was only one spot left in the top twenty by the time the bros got called to the chopping block, and I was rooting hard for Ryan after he admitted he’d been sitting on the couch for the last four years, having been told he was too bald, too fat and too short to have a career. And, though Nigel made a point of telling him he wasn’t too bald, short or fat to be in the competition, he then went ahead and picked his younger, slightly thinner brother who just happens to have a full head of hair. Yeah, that didn’t sting at all.
 
Though the brothers hugged and cried and professed their love for one another, there was one gut-wrenching moment as Ryan pushed his brother into the arms of his new castmates and, turning away, his face just sort of... crumpled. Like a wet Kleenex. And you just knew, as happy as he was for Evan, as much as he appreciated the warm things the judges had said, he was going back home to sit on the couch. Again.
 
Okay, now I’m REALLY depressed. So let’s move on to Kupono, because just thinking about him makes me smile, and not because he has a silly name. The guy makes to-do lists, which I can definitely appreciate, because my house is filled with them. Of course, mine have items like “get cilantro and eggs” while his say “live on the stage,” so his are much more fun. And I had to appreciate that, after the judges pointed out he had a tendency to perform in a “very feminine” manner, the guy busted out a full-on girly-girl move the minute they put him through to the top 20. You go, Kupono!
 
There were other notable moments that, in the cavalcade of new faces, kind of became a blur. Tony has a brother in Afghanistan, so you have to root for him. Although if he busts out a suitcase with another judge’s picture in it, I will seriously throw something at my TV. Kayla has nice grandparents. Jeanette broke up with her boyfriend and lives with her mom, and she also threatened to die if she didn’t mak e the top 20, so we may want to keep an eye on her. Just a thought.
 
In any case, here is our top 20. Read ‘em and weep.
 
TOP 20
Ade
Ashley
Asuka
Brandon
Caitlin
Evan
Janette
Jason
Jeanine
Jonathan
Karla
Kayla
Kupono
Max
Melissa
Paris
Phillip
Randi 
Tony
Vitolio

What do you think of the Top 20? Did the right people make it through? Who's your favorite to win?

 

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