Only 32 hopefuls were left after the Las Vegas callbacks, but just 20 (10 boys and 10 girls) would be asked to stick around on SYTYCD Thursday by the panel of judges, which consisted of Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels and Lil C, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy — all of whom spared no time at all dropping the good, the bad and the ugly news.
First up was Janette Manrara, the sexy salsa dancer from Miami, Fla., who in the final weeks leading up, got into a car accident, broke up with her boyfriend, and moved back in with her mom. Well, fate had finally taken a turn for the better, as this “spicy” mover was the first of the girls to join the top 20.
Haiti’s Vitolio Juene, 26, a contemporary dancer, who once danced on the street for money, called the long wait before getting the news a “diarrhea moment.” But he got a dose of stomach-soothing medicine when he found out he made the cut.
Blond jazz/contemporary beauty out of Aurora, Colo., Kayla Radomski, 18, whose grandparents have been her pillars of support throughout her entire dance life, managed to inspire even the tough Michaels enough to retract her claws and deliver happy news.
With almost half the positions now filled, much-talked-about contemporary dancer out of Miami, Brandon Bryant, 19, now faced the big question: Had he proven his reputed talent? Michaels incited a fight with Allen after saying Bryant just “annoys the s— out me.” When Lil C joined in, a peeved Murphy told her fellow judges she “just didn’t want to sit and listen to their crap” anymore. Why? Because he had made it through. Take that, Michaels.
Shaking with nerves, hip-hop sensation Tony Bellissimo, 20, whose brother is currently serving in Afghanistan, made the top 20, as did fourth-timer Ashley Valerio, 22, a contemporary dancer, who had her dreams fulfilled by finally making it through.
It finally came down to the final spots and two agonizing decisions to make. Evan Kasprzak made it through while his brother did not, and of the hot ballroom duo of Ricky and Asuka, only Asuka Kundoh, 25, got to move on, taking the final spot for the girls. — Jed Dreben
Tell us: Did your favorite guy and girl make the cut? Were you sad to see anyone go?
The Top 10 Girls Randi EvansSpecialty: Jazz Hometown: Orem, Utah Age: 23
Karla GarciaSpecialty: Jazz/Contemporary Hometown: Oxon Hill, Md. Age: 23
Caitlin Kinney Specialty: Contemporary Hometown: Annapolis, Md. Age: 21
Asuka Kondoh Specialty: Latin Ballroom Hometown: San Francisco Age: 25
Janette Manrara Specialty: Salsa Hometown: Miami Age: 25
Jeanine Mason Specialty: Contemporary Hometown: Miami Age: 18
Kayla Radomski Specialty: Jazz/contemporary Hometown: Aurora, Colo. Age: 18
Melissa Sandvig Specialty: Ballet Hometown: Los Alamitos, Calif. Age: 29 (the oldest on show)
Paris Torres Specialty: Contemporary Hometown: Issaquah Plateau, WA Age: 19
Ashley Valerio Specialty: Contemporary Hometown: Mesa, Ariz. Age: 22
The Top 10 Boys Kupono AweauSpecialty: Lyrical/Contemporary Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii Age: 23
Tony BellissimoSpecialty: Hip Hop Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y. Age: 20
Brandon BryantSpecialty: Contemporary Hometown: Miami, Fla. Age: 19
Phillip Chbeeb Specialty: Popping Hometown: Houston, Texas Age: 20
Jason Glover Specialty: Lyrical/Contemporary Hometown: Fresno, Calif Age: 21
Vitolio Jeune Specialty: Contemporary Hometown: Petionville, Haiti Age: 26
Max Kapitannikov Specialty: Latin Ballroom Hometown: Moscow, Russia Age: 26
Evan Kasprzak Specialty: Broadway Hometown: West Bloomfield, Mich. Age: 21
Ade Obayomi Specialty: Contemporary Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz. Age: 20
Jonathan Platero Specialty: Salsa Hometown: Orlando, Fla. Age: 21