After tonight’s relatively filler-free one hour episode, we have our top 20. There were plenty of faces I’d never seen before (one of whom is certain to be the first sent home, a casualty of the producers’ tendency to show favoritism), but some of my favorites survived the final cuts to make it in.
The Season Five Top Twenty – There’s not much to say about most of these contestants yet, since we’ve only been properly introduced to a handful of them. It’s interesting that in a couple of months, I’ll be very attached to some of them, won’t be able to stand others, and will have forgotten a few of them. It’s too soon to make any predictions about who will win or who my favorites will be, but at least going in, I like Brandon, Kayla, and Evan the best.
- Ade – I don’t recall ever seeing this guy before, much less hearing his uncommon name.
- Ashley – I don’t remember her either, so I have nothing to say about her.
- Asuka – She made it in, but her ballroom partner did not. It will be hard to top Anya, who has been my favorite female ballroom dancer on the show.
- Brandon – I wonder why Mia hates him so much! I am super impressed by his dancing, but fear he may be this season’s Danny, and have to overcome the judges’ and audience’s perception that he is arrogant. I think his neck is so big and stiff that some people misinterpret his posture as exhibiting overconfidence and arrogance.
- Caitlin – I’ve been impressed with her smooth, classical dancing, but have trouble reading her personality.
- Evan – How sad that both of the Kasprzak brothers didn’t make it in. I really thought they would choose Ryan, because from what I could tell, his performances during Vegas week were better than Evan’s. However, Evan is the less cheesy of the two (I didn’t have a problem with either of them, though), and he has Mia Michaels’ favor, which apparently counts for a lot on this show.
- Janette – This Latin dancer has a fun personality. We’ll see how she fares with a variety of dance styles.
- Jason – He has a cute, friendly face, and the judges have talked up his dancing a lot (I just haven’t seen much of it).
- Jeanine – I don’t think I’ve ever seen her before tonight.
- Jonathan – Who is he? Where did these people come from, and why didn’t we seen them during the audition rounds?
- Karla – Drawing a blank…
- Kayla – This glowing, blond beauty with a contagious smile is my favorite female dancer of this bunch. We hardly saw her at all after her initial audition in Denver, but I have high hopes for her in the competition.
- Kupono – I am glad that this Hawaiian dancer cut his hair – he looks much better now. I can relate to his list-making, and am glad it worked out for him to cross “make top 20” off of his list.
- Max – I think I remember seeing his audition, but I’m not sure how I feel about him. I’m not a fan of his choice of costume (jeans, black vest, and a bowler hat).
- Melissa – All I know about her is that Adam called her a naughty ballerina.
- Paris – Another dancer I’ve never seen before
- Phillip – It’s always nice when they let a self-trained dancer into the top 20 so they can improve in different areas. And like they said, this popper seems to care about dance and have a lot more passion for it than many of the others who auditioned.
- Randi – Randi the unitard wearing tigress. I hope she adds some variety to her wardrobe for the show, because I really don’t like unitards.
- Tony – I’m all for letting inexperienced dancers have a chance in the competition, but I don’t see what the judges see in this guy. He’ll really need to prove himself to earn my vote.
- Vitolio – I didn’t remember seeing this Haitian dancer’s audition, but he won me over with his joyful tears and disbelief when he made the top 20.
It will be interesting to see who is paired with whom, and what styles they draw during the first week of competition. Those two factors will go a long way in setting up the contestants for success or failure.
One final note: I was disappointed that Alex Wong wasn’t able to continue in the top 20 because of his contract with the Miami city ballet. It seems strange to me that no one would have thought of this potential conflict before it came down to the Top 20 reveal. Oh, well. Since Alex is already finding professional success, maybe he doesn’t need to be on this show as much as some other aspiring dancers. I wish him well in his career, and hope that he is able to find dance venues through which to express himself beyond ballet.