The top 20 kick up the competition on 'So You Think You Can Dance'

June 16, 2011 at 10:04 AM ET

It’s time for the top 20 to duke it out, and I have to say this season is going to be tough. Tougher still is going to be sorting out who deserves your votes and, conversely, who deserves the boot. This season might just have to come down to a popularity contest, so I guess the goofy little intros each dancer films are going to be even more important than they’ve been in the past. And by the way, if you’re competing in the HitFix “So You Think You Can Dance” Fantasy League, I think it’s truly anyone’s game to win with a cast this good.

First up, we meet our dancers again. Extra credit points for anyone who can memorize the name of each dancer (not that you need to; two are going home soon anyway): Ashley, Alexander, Caitlynn, Chris, Clarice, Jess, Iveta, Marko, Jordan, Nick, Melanie, Ricky, Miranda, Robert, Missy, Tadd, Ryan, Wadi and Sasha.

Of note: Ryan, Wadi and Sasha all get a lot of applause. But maybe that’s because they were at the end of the intro. I don’t feel like anyone got passed over.

Our judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and ... Megan Mullally? Who knew she was in a ballet company? She had more to say about her dance experience, but tornado warnings in Chicago cut the feed briefly. Stupid weather!

First up we have Jordan Casanova. Instead of the usual relaxed intro, each dancer gets eight seconds to impress us. This is actually really cute – we get a funny rundown of what they’re saying and we get to see the clock tick down. Nice improvement, “SYTYCD”! She wants to be a Pussycat Doll and she talks FAST. She’ll be dancing with Tadd Gadduang who was a dancing taco and almost died doing Bollywood. Okay, now I actually want to learn more and that rarely happens after watching one of these intros. Very cute idea.

They’ll be tackling African Jazz with Sean Cheesman. The number is inspired by the lava of a volcano. They’re going to shake the floor and erupt. This should be fun!

It’s nice to see Jordan do something that isn’t, well, Pussycat Dolls-worthy. It looks like there’s a bit of a struggle with some of the lifts, but this is a fierce, fun number and a great way to start the night strong. Tadd’s a B-boy and I’m impressed he can really handle not only a partner but a completely new style.

Read the full recap at

Watch this clip to see the night’s most memorable routine:

Which routine was your favorite?Tell us on our Facebook page.

Related content: