And we're off—the elimination rounds of So You Think You Can Dance have begun. The top 20 competed for the first time last night, taking to the stage in their pre-selected genres and, as always, there were some standouts and some ...sit(?)outs. Tonight, two dancers will be elimnated—so who do you think will be the first duo to get the boot? Let's recap.
Ilona and Nick
Too much character, not enough dancing, that was the general consensus among the judges. And I have to agree. Square division, you're piece may have been fun and quirky, but the next time you're asked to choreograph a jazz routine, try popping some steps in it. Chances: Iffy
Jessie H. and Matt
There's no denying it: this was one beautiful contemporary. The choreography was soulful, the use of props clever and the dancers sublime. Matt is bound to be a fan favourite, in all his bogan-glory, while Jessie proves that Barbie-like performers are over-rated. Chances: Safe.
Jess S. and Doug
OK, so the judges were spot on—as solos the dancers were superb, but together, they came out lacking. The raunchy love affair they were depicting seemed kind of cold. But, pft. I still give them props for learning a ballroom routine in a matter of hours. Chances: Iffy.
NARRATIVE HIP HOP
Renee and Phillipe
I may not be her biggest fan (or even a fan of Hip Hop in general), but Renee sure did shine in last night's performance. Strong, funky and rather impressive for a jazz dancer. While Phillip excelled in his style of choice. I take last weeks concerns back—these two made a solid team. For now. Bring on the next genre, I say. Chances: Safe.
Grace and Will
Adam William's fast paced, Flashdance-cum-Futurama style jazz was hands down the oddest routine of the night. And though the coolest named duo did well with what they had (and despite Grace's broken thumb), there was no denying the routine "fizzled." I wouldn't be surprised to see these two talents dancing for their lives. Chances: Iffy.
Mikhaela and Robbie
Graceful, maybe, but like the first ballroom couple of the night, this match-up fell a little flat. The cutesy faces and weak lifts made for one sanitised dance of love. We can't help but wonder if Robbie would have been better off matched with Issi. Chances: Iffy.
Carly and Kieran
Zing, this was the spice the night needed. Carly and Kieran managed to break out of their ever-smiling selves to deliver a brooding and dark piece choreographed by the fabulous Sarah Boulter. Thumbs up, indeed. Chances: Safe.
Jessica and Heath
Have I said how much I love these two? No? Well, I do and last night's performance proved why. The pair were fantastic. Ballroom Jessie proved her versatility, while Heath demonstrated his strength—even if there was a dud lift or two. Chances: Safe.
Ivy and Gaz
The gypsy, exotic vibe suited these two to a tee. Despite her ankle injury, Ivy proved that she can tackle ballroom and Gaz was appropriately strong and domineering in his performance. Though whether he is the best hip hop dancer in a ballroom routine, as Jason claimed, remains to be seen. Chances: Safe.
Issi and Don
This routine just didn't work for me. The choreography was there, but the dancers just didn't gel. Even choreographer Juliette Verne questioned their ability to perform. I think Don may have been dealt a bad hand with this pairing—Issi is a beautiful dancer, but her privileged background may not sit well with voters. Chances: Iffy.
All in all, I thought it was a solid start to the season. And being the first round of audience voting, it's almost impossible to pick who will go—or even who will dance for their lives. So I'm going to reserve final judgment this week (yes, yes, terribly indecisive of me). But tell me, who do you think will be voted off first? Are you pumped to be in the throes of the competition? Do you agree with Natalie that this is the most talented cast, ever? Dish in the comments below.
And don't forget to vote before 7.30pm AEDT to ensure your fave is safe tonight!</p>