Okay, cue overly dramatic music, preferably something Fox News played during the Balloon Boy incident. And then cue the increasingly annoying SYTYCD theme, which always sticks in my head for a good week, only to be flushed out just in time... for another episode. Finally, imagine Cat Deely reading this in her usually breathless but appealing foreign accent: One hundred fifty-two came to Las Vegas with a dream. Thirty-eight made it to Hollywood. And now... the final 20! Can you stand it? Apparently the excitement was too much for Mia Michaels, as she quit the show last week but not before Hollywood auditions were done, so I’m watching girlfriend for clues as to why she’d walk away from one of the better dance gigs out there. On first glance, I’m wondering if that prison haircut may have made her all kinds of crazy. Hello, Mia? The skinhead look, better left to actual skinheads. Blech.

Anyway, let’s cut to the cutting. Conducting the bloodshed are judges Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe, Debbie Allen and the soon-to-be-out Mia Michaels.

Nathan is 18 and Mia thinks he’s a baby. Too young, too much to learn. But... he’s in the top 20! But we knew that, right? I mean, he got a pass to Vegas before he was even old enough to make it onto the show. And the judges like to torture people by insulting them before they get passed to the next level. Good reality TV = torture. But we knew that, too.

Then, there’s lots of rejection, and it’s literally like watching bad break-ups between high school couples. Toasty Oreo actually tells one girl to stay on her “shining journey.” Wha? 

David, the ballet dancer with the sexy accent was cut. Wah-wah. No, breakdancing was not his thing, but still, sad to see a ballet dancer go, 

Ooh, the first member of the top 20 that I hate! Kathryn from Georgia, who gets squeaky and weepy thinking about her parents, annoys the crap out of me. Grow up, Whiny. How was your week? Kathryn: Waaah! Do you love your family? Kathryn: Waaah! Do you like the judges? Kathryn: WAAAAH! Somebody, slap some duct tape over her mouth. And yet she makes the top 20. I think the judges were afraid she’d just lose it altogether if she actually got bad news. Sorry, but a little emotional is fine. Acting like you’re one period away from a mental institution, not so much. 

Channing from Boston... has no chemistry with partners, according to Nigel. But she’s in the top 20! Why are judges so mean? You could see her little face crunching up. And Nigel wants to play soccer with her. 

Mollee and Noelle were Vegas roommates. They’re total besties. They hold hands. They don’t want to be separated. It’s not even about making it through or not, they just LOVE one another. These girls stopped developing emotionally around 5th grade, but they’re good dancers and good TV, so here they are.

Billy Bell thought Vegas week was really really fun. He made Adam Shankman cry, and only probably a little bit because he wanted to date him. He goes to Julliard. On a scholarship. But they’ll hold his spot if he gets on the show. And Debbie Allen tells him, unfortunately... he’ll have to do that! Top 20! This fake-out routine is getting reallllllly old. 

Jake and Brandon are out. Jake has potential, Brandon just didn’t make it. Wah-wah.

Amber Jackson will freak out if she makes the top 20. Amber is wearing a cute outfit. Mary says her technique is exquisite. But that’s not enough. Amber must find her personality. She’s so sad to tell her... she will not be going on to the top 20. But she believes in her! Yeah, that and a quarter will get you some gum. 

Everyone is DEVASTATED Amber didn’t make the cut. Mollee and Noelle can’t believe she didn’t make it, even though they’re silently thrilled there’s now a spot for at least one of them. 

Russell the krumper is starting to doubt himself. Will he be the first krumper to make the show? Mia was blown away by his audition. He starts crying. But it’s okay, because he’s going to be in the top 20! And then he really starts bawling. Debbie Allen tells him to call his momma. Possibly for SSRIs. 

Hip hop dancer Kevin, also makes it. Russell is thrilled, because they’re besties. They hug. Everyone loves one another. Did anyone NOT make a new best friend on this show? Seriously, what was in the water? When I watch reality shows with a competition element, I expect someone to say the all-important, “I’m not here to make friends” line, but apparently, these people DO come here to make friends. Weird. No wonder ratings are slipping. I need some snarling, people! They even get bitchy on Top Chef, for crying out loud. 

Time for tappers! Bianca will just be thrilled any tapper makes it. She’s been auditioning since season 4. This has been the best experience of her life. Nigel tells her she would be in the top 20 if the show was just about tap. But it’s not. But she’s in the top 20! Would the judges stop giving these kids heart attacks? It’s like they enjoy seeing people cry. Seriously, that’s messed up. But Bianca can’t stop crying she’s so happy. I say she can’t stop crying because she’s been traumatized. Tomato, tomahto.

Tapper Phillip is up next. Toasty and Nigel have been disappointed with him in the past. He admits to being defensive. But he makes it!

 
Tapper Peter seems really nice. But he’s gotten crap reviews. Mary tells him he must be proud to have made it so far (uh-oh). But he’s in the top 20! THREE tapdancers, count ‘em, three. This is going to be the loudest season yet!

Then, a whole bunch of people get cut. And cry. And it’s depressing. It’s almost worse when they smile and take it on the chin. Have you noticed that the judges the lavish the losers with compliments? “We really, really like you,” gushes

Victor, who once rocked the Mohawk, dances with confidence, according to Adam. But confidence isn’t enough. But he’s in the top 20! So is fellow contemporary dancer Jacob! Whee!

And you know besties Noelle and Mollee are going to be at the very end, because they keep crying and freaking out and it’s just good television, so the producers want to milk it. Oh, it’s Mollee’s turn! Nigel says it’s a tough day today, and he’s talking kind of fast, which is not a good sign. He says she dances like a 14-year-old. But she’s in the top 20! But she has to grow. Like Mollee heard anything after “you’re in the top 20!” Please. But will Noelle be joining her? And, btw, there’s a twist. They’re telling us that so you’ll keep watching, because the top 20 episode is kinda boring. 

Pauline, the chick who hurt her ankle is in the top 20. Really? I would think being kinda crippled would be a drawback.

Noelle has wanted to be a dancer since she was three. Her family is proud of her no matter what. She was cut in season five, but she’s regained the essence of who she really is. But she made it! And the producers actually play “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen as Mollee and Noelle jump up and down together! Squee!

Okay, a cutting montage. Lots of sad nodding. B-boy legacy Perez is worried. Any other year, he’d go right into the top 20. But it doesn’t matter, because he’s in the top 20! OMG! 

Paula is fantastic and special, says Toasty, and then he tells her she’s in the top 20. Apparently the judges are tired of torturing people. I’m sure that gets old, unless you have no soul, and Toasty’s never struck me as a robot or plain evil. 

Ooh, a Glee promo! Is it wrong to love that show? If it is, I don’t want to be right.

Married ballroom dancing couple Ryan and Ashleigh are hoping to get in, but if they don’t, they promise to be supportive of one another. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Ryan is competing against Gene from Boston for the last guy spot. Ryan... you are top 20! Sorry, Gene. 

Ashleigh is up against Karen from Boston for the last chick spot. Ashleigh is already crying thinking about her husband getting through. Karen never took a false step in Vegas, but Ashleigh grew in Vegas. So Karen gets the spot. Sorry, Ashleigh. Hope you got a pre-nup. 

But Ryan starts crying for his wife like a good husband... wait, is that crying? He’s not actually crying, just wrinkling up his face. Wait, Ashleigh comes out and says she’s in the top 20, too! Paula decided not to take her spot! What? 

Okay, here’s the footage of Paula’s rejection. She got a contract for a movie and can’t do the show. Oh, girlfriend, should have taken the show unless you’re the hot chick in a Will Smith movie. 

Anyway, here’s our final top 20:

Channing, contemporary

Nathan, contemporary

Russell, krump

Kathryn, contemporary

Billy, contemporary

Ariana, contemporary

Ellenore, jazz

Jakob, contemporary

Bianca, tap

Kevin, hip-hop

Mollee, jazz

Phillip, tap

Noelle, contemporary

Victor, contemporary

Pauline, jazz

Peter, tap

Karen, ballroom

Legacy, b-boy

Ashleigh, ballroom

Ryan, ballroom

And not a single ballet dancer! I’m so bummed! But it looks like we have some good dancers, a married couple and lots of besties, so it’s going to be like a big ol’ love in with lots of hugging. Is that a good thing? Well, it should improve my karma, that’s all I’m saying. 

CHECK OUT THE TOP 10 MEN

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Do you think Paula should have given up her spot for a movie? Is three tappers two too many? And place your bets – who do you think is going to be the winner?