Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Witney Carson perform a Bollywood… (FOX )
The first eliminations: 20 dancers enter, 16 leave -- or four dancers leave, however you'd like to put it.
The six dancers with the least support from the voting audience, will be at risk tonight. The judges will save one boy and one girl from the long sad walk home.
Cat Deeley welcomes us and leaves us to the tender mercies of Cyrus in creepy half-skull makeup demanding to be shown beauty in a wicked way. All 20 dancers are on the floor; the girls are in flowy bits of red or black and the boys appear to be wearing black sequins and half a jacket. I
'm calling the dance a steampunk-inspired worship of Zuul. Graveyard setting is implied.
The dancers, suddenly in their performance costumes, rush onto the stage when Cat calls their names and give us a step and a posture. Here are the girls and "your guys" according to Cat; don't we get the girls as well?
Cat comes out with a shimmy and thanks Napoleon and Tabitha for the routine. We'll find out who's in danger at the end of the night, after every one performs.
Love for the judges! Mr. Nigel Lythgoe, the magnificent Mary Murphy, and Mr. Step Up Himself, Mr. Adam Shankman, who says Cat looks like a big sexy tomato in her red halter and skirt and instead of whacking him with her microphone Cat invites him to take a bite.
More about Dance Day: the USPS is offering choreographer stamps, and Nigel will be dedicating the stamps in Grant Park. Cat tells us to put the date in our diaries: July 28. As part of the night's festivities we'll be getting a sneak peek of Shankman's latest film,"Step Up Revolution," which opens Friday and features former dancers.
Lindsey and Cole are up first: Cole is a nerdy kid in need of a checkup and Lindsey is not your average dentist. In rehersal Cole is wearing a t-shirt that says "I do all of my own nude scenes" and there would be nothing wrong with that. Christopher Scott promises this will be the trip to the dentist everyone wants ... or is it?
In performance Cole is dressed as Urkel. They're dancing to "Teeth" by Lady Gaga (I was hoping for something from "Little Shop of Horrors"). Lindsey tears off an abbreviated lab coat and shows us more than her teeth. Possibly under the influence of gas, Cole does a flip off a dentist chair.
Nigel says good characterization from Cole but thinks he plays a character in real life too. Cole says thank you sir in a nerdy chipmunk voice. Judges laugh. Nigel posits Lindsey would be a solution to British dental problems, but thought her performance was a bit immature, played to the audience not her partner.
Mary Murphy gives the choreographer a shoutout and a good-girl pass to Lindsey for being insufficiently vampy. Cole stays nerdy which Mary says is unnerving. Adam Shankman agrees and blames Cole's chest-high pants.
Amelia and Will are next. Sonya says they're two souls carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders: they'll be dancing to "3326" by Olafur Arnalds. Slow motion and angst seems a stretch for these two sunny personalities, but they bring the ballet, beautiful extensions and lovely lifts. From their costumes one might assume they're dancing a dream sequence in the "Adventures of Huck Finn."
Sonya gives them Two Raised Fists of Triumph and Mary screams. They were just in it, Mary says, and have taken another floor up in the elevator. Shankman tells Sonya that was sickness but appears to mean it in a good way. He tells Will he stepped it up and admits that was a movie plug. Nigel gives Sonya more praise and notes Amelia buried her quirkiness for the routine.
Amber and Nick get the season’s first tango -- one body four legs. They're dancing to a very violin-y instrumental version of the tango from "Moulin Rouge." Why does my heart cry? Because this dance is lovely.
I get the feeling Amber is selling it more than Nick but that may because she's wearing the sequins. Shankman says Amber became a firebreathing dragon and compliments Nick on his skills as a partner even if they made him disappear. Nigel says Amber was absolutely perfect and Nick was strong. Mary says they made it look easy and praises Nick's reverse pivots with Amber on his hip.
Audrey and Matthew will be portraying the robotic power struggle between a man and a woman. Their costumers forgot to give them shirts. Music is "Hear Me Now" by Steed Lord. This means war, Cat says at the end.
Two for two on the choreography, Nigel tells Sonja, and imitates the "stank steps" of her darker style. Audrey and Matthew would be one of America's favorite couples, Nigel says he would have thought -- is that foreshadowing of disappointment to come?
Mary says they maximize everything for such a little couple. Shankman says the night belongs to Sonya, but Audrey is freakin' brilliant and with that dancing the competition is Matt's to lose.