'SYTYCD' : Melinda Shines as Top 10 Push Their Limits

Photo: Kelsey McNeal/Fox/PictureGroup

After saying goodbye to Alexie Agdeppa last week, the remaining dancers took the stage on So You Think You Can Dance Wednesday night to conquer uncomfortable routines. And the results were mixed.

B-boy Jose Ruiz couldn’t even spell “Bollywood” less than a week ago but on Wednesday’s show, he had to perform a genie-inspired number that was way out his element. “I was freaking out,” he said of his assignment. “I was like, ‘I have never even heard of that dance in my life.’ “

While the sparkly pants might embarrass him around his break-dancing buddies, the judges’ praise should make him proud. Though Nigel Lythgoe said the dance took him to South Africa and not quite India, Mia Michaels thought it was so wrong it was right and Adam Shankman was “signed, sealed and delivered” by the end of the piece.

“This definitely shocked me,” said Ruiz. “This was like a curve ball. This week I got the real taste of what the show’s really about.”

Another surprising moment came when “super boy” Billy Bell was told he would be krumping on stage.

“When I was little I never thought I’d dance with a girl like that,” he told PEOPLE after the show. “That definitely wasn’t in the dance vocabulary at my ballet academy.” Though he tried to transform into an alter ego, “Billy B Buck,” for the performance, Shankman declared his routine was a “bad experiment.”

Despite Jose and Billy’s best efforts, tapper Melinda Sullivan‘s contemporary piece most impressed the judges. Lythgoe said she had an “absolutely tremendous” night and Shankman reaffirmed how happy he was that they decided to save her from the bottom three last week.

“Last week I was out of my element and I felt that they were hard on me, but it really pushed me this week to work,” she said. “I’m just excited that the show went great and I know everyone’s happy with their performance.”

While early favorite Alex Wong and Robert Roldan were also forced out of their comfort zones, salsa dancer Cristina Santana (who danced a paso doble) and lyrical dancer Ashley Galvan (who performed a jazz number) stuck close to their specialties. A little too close, in Galvan’s case: She told PEOPLE that it was “a little tough to swallow” the judges’ critique that she brought “nothing new” to the stage.

“I felt different from last week,” she said. “I didn’t really get the chance to go outside of my element. Hopefully I get to show another side of me through ballroom or hip-hop.” –Mussarat Bata

Tell us: Who was your favorite dancer of the night? Who’s in danger of going home?

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