Las Vegas begins with judges getting the dancers to perform solo on stage. First up is Iveta Lukosiute, who has arrived dressed as a policewoman. She tells us that she's going to arrest Nigel for sending her home from Vegas twice, but he's saved when she gets a yes to the next round. Also sporting an interesting outfit (a unitard made by his mum and painted by a friend) is Marlon Pelayo, who is less fortunate. Debbie tells him his outfit distracted from the dance, although he argues that he just wanted to show bravery.
Also making it through the solos are Wadi Jones and Sasha and Natalia Mallory. In all, 114 dancers move on to the next round.
Hip Hop Round
The hip hop round, choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo, begins with a thud for Chyna Smith who looks totally lost in her routine. She knows she didn't deliver but the judges give her a second chance to learn the choreography, and she gets a pass to the next round. Less fortunate are Hero McRae, Patty Anne Miller and Irish dancer Mary Kate Sheehan, who all head home, along with 19 others. B-boy Wadi Jones suffers an injury during rehearsals and his legs are in "crippling pain", but he's given the all-clear to perform and manages to impress the panel anyway.
Rebecca Hart and Jeremiah Hughes are up next. They've both been in Vegas before (Rebecca four times and Jeremiah twice) and are desperate to succeed this season. It's good news for Jeremiah, who "scrapes" through despite his timing being off and nearly running into a post. Unfortunately for Rebecca, Jason says she needs to bring more personality, while Tyce says she needed to really attack the dance. She wants to dance for her life but isn't given the chance. 14 more dancers are eliminated at this stage.
Next up is a jive routine choreographed by Jason and it's clear the intense dance schedule is having an effect. Ryan Ramirez, who was cut last season, is one of the dancers suffering sore, bleeding feet. First up is Natalia Mallory and partner Josh Williams. She knows her size could be a problem during the lift because she isn't as small as some of the other dancers, and the judges decide to pair her with a stronger dancer and watch the routine again. She teams with Bryce 'Professor Lock' Johnson instead and both advance, with Nigel telling her that there are "no words to describe the joy" she brought to the routine. It's also good news for sister Sasha Mallory, who gets through (although Nigel tells her to keep her knees together in a jive) and Ryan Ramirez.
Alexis Mason, the sister of season five winner Jeanine, is next. Tyce thinks she is a "fine dancer" but questions her maturity. The panel decide they want her to dance for her life with a solo and although Nigel is still a no, the other judges see something in her routine and give her a second chance. In the end, 39 guys and 35 girls are advanced to the group round.
Unfortunately for Natalia Mallory, the next day she isn't feeling well and a medic is called, meaning her group are unable to rehearse and are unsure if they want to perform without her.
The first group on stage, which includes Wadi Jones, sets the bar high with their fast-paced, well-choreographed routine which prompts Mary to say it's one of the best performance she's seen in years. A string of other groups are given the yes to the next round before it's Natalia's turn, alongside teammates including Arielle Coker, DC Chapman and Jordan Casanova. She's been given the all-clear to perform and the judges are impressed with the results. Nigel points out, politely, that although there is more of her to move around the stage, she's "brilliant" and breaking down barriers. Robin also tells the group they made her "watch the music through the choreography" which is a huge accomplishment.
> Mary Murphy: So You Think You Can Dance talent getting better
The remaining 67 dancers start the next day by the pool before joining Travis Wall, Jamie Goodwill and Robert Roldan for choreography. It's a bad start for Ryan Ramirez, however, who sustains and injury and worries she might have broken her tailbone. She tearfully explains the situation to Nigel, who sends her to the hospital for X-Rays. Unfortunately for Natalia Mallory, she soon follows when her blood sugar drops.
Her worried sister Sasha Mallory is in the first group but puts her concerns to one side to perform a stunning routine that secures her a place in the next round. Also advancing are Bryce 'Professor' Locke Johnson, Robert Taylor Jr, Wadi Jones and Lil O. Ryan returns from the hospital and explains she has deep tissue bruising and swelling, although she has been cleared to dance. Despite not having time to learn the routine, she impresses the judges with a "beautiful" performance. "Go somewhere and ice that little butt and get ready for the next round!" jokes Debbie.
Natalia Mallory returns from the hospital and says the medics think she has diabetes but she'll be okay to perform as long as she takes care of herself. She gets through to the next round following a solo performance, as does Clarice Ordaz. Less successful are dancers including Kimalee Piedad, Amber Williams and Chase Thomas. The final performer of the day is Alexis Mason and it's bad news... The judges think she should come back in a year or two. As she heads home, the 31 dancers who made it through relax in a luxury penthouse upstairs before the Top 20 are chosen.
So You Think You Can Dance names its Top 20 on Thursday at 8/7c on Fox
Images Copyright: Fox / Adam Rose