Last night, the contestants danced for the first time without fear of elimination.  Tonight the judges will cut one girl and one guy tonight from our top 20!  There is no voting!  The Judges will make a decision on the spot. 

Judges Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe were there with that vacant chair for Paula Abdul…..Seriously?  Is she coming or not?  As it has been announced earlier, Billy Bell will not be returning due to an illness and now we learn that Noel has hurt her leg and it is unclear if she will continue!   What is this?  The new DWTS?  Tonight, Noel’s Choreographer will dance in her stead.  So there is a chance she will return.  I do feel really sorry for Billy and hope that he returns next season.

Channing and Phillip.  Channing revealed that she was a Tomboy as a child and Phillip showed us that he has crazy skills as a Spoken Word Poet.  Jason Gilkenson choreographed their Jazz number.  It seemed like they really had great chemistry.  They danced to ‘Rockin Robin’ by The Jackson 5.   Love it!  They really compliment each another. I noticed a little hesitation with the lifts, but overall fantastic.  Adam thought they were a classy pairing.  Phillip did fantastic.  Channing was the big surprise for him, he would have liked more of her plies.  They dropped character in the drop lift.  Mary thought that they started the dance with a high energy, but their legs got lazy a little.  Fairly good, but she wants more from them.  Nigel agrees with Adam, he expected Phillip to be good, so he isn’t that surprised.  Channing has to learn to use her legs more and get more bounce into her moves .  He would have liked to see more chemistry from them.  Hmmm….

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Ashleigh and Jacob.  Ashleigh revealed that when she was sick for a period of 4 years, she was unable to dance, so now she truly appreciates the privilege of dancing.   Jacob grew up really sheltered but as soon as he grew up, he moved away to pursue dancing.  Tyce Diorio choreographed a sultry Broadway routine.  They had instant chemistry in their practice.  They danced to ‘Hit me with a Hot note’ from Sophisticated Ladies.  I enjoyed this dance, but I’m not so sure about their connection, they could be performing two seperate routines, but then at the end, things got pretty intimate.   I think Ashleigh got more into character than Jacob.  Adam thought that they found the chemistry.  He thought that Jacob sets a high bar for all the dancers and he congratulated her for being able to keep up with Jacob.  Mary thought that Ashleigh was phenomenal, sexy and great.  Jacob was perfect in everything he does.  Nigel thought that Ashely proved why she came into the top 20.  And because she is dancing with one of the greatest dancers of the competition.  He feels that Jacob will go a long way in this competition.

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Ariana and Peter.  She is a country girl who grew up on a farm.  Peter grew up in Philadelphia and he is a proud Italian.  Naps and Tab choreographed a Hip Hop routine.  I think that they have to work on their chemistry to make this dance work.  They danced to ‘Black and gold’ by Sam Sparro.  Interesting dance.  The beginning didn’t look like hip hop, but towards the middle, it picked up. This was a pretty sexy dance.  Definitely not traditional hip hop. I think I liked it.  Adam thought it was a little rough that they didn’t dance like each other when they danced, but there wasn’t enough tension.  Not enough reaction to the action.  He wants them to focus on the similarity of their musicality.  Mary loved the beginning, but she felt that  it got a little sloppy in the middle and then returned in the end.  Nigel didn’t think that they ever found it.  He was disappointed in both of them the next time (ouch). 

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I missed most of Russell’s dance and all of the practice.  (Breaking News keeps interrupting the show).  Russell is dancing with Choreographer Melanie (for Noel). They did  the Fox Trot.  I thought that Russell did excellent.  He’s dancing next to the choreographer and he is keeping up like a peer.   Adam said that Russell continues to defy explanation and he felt that that performance was an uncontested partnership.  Effortless!  Fantastic.  Mary pointed out that he has had to partner up twice (since the competition began) and he did a respectable job.  He has an ‘it’ factor, but he has to work on his smoothness.  Nygel said that he is living proof of why all kids should be exposed to art.  There were mistakes, but well done.

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Bianca and Victor.  She is a hard working girl on her own and the only family she has is her dog.  Victor was  born and raised in Miami and everywhere he goes, he shows that he has the heat.  They danced to a Travis Walls’ contemporary piece.  I think that this my favorite.  They danced to Wasted time’ by Meshell Ndegeocello.  I really loved this and it doesn’t hurt that they are dancing to Meshell.  This dance was funky and sexy.  I really enjoyed it.  Hot!  Adam is impressed with Travis Wall’s choreography.  Bianca did well, but she needs to drop her shoulders and watch her toes.  Victor was a revelation.  He found the character so easily.  Mary thought that Bianca conquered the dance.  She sold it and they had great chemistry.  Victor surprised her and took it to another level.  Nygel thought they had the best connection tonight more so than any other couple.  He loved many elements of the dance.

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Karen and Kevin.  Karen came from Venezuela when she was 7.  Kevin has been modeling for 2 years now and he knows how to work the camera.  Melanie and Tony choreographed the Cha Cha for the two. The Cha Cha comes natural to Karen, so Kevin had to work a little harder.  They danced to Push it’  The ‘glee’ version.  Clearly this was Karen’s dance and at one point, I seriously thought he was going to drop her, but he kept up, so kudos.   Adam thought that it was hard to watch anything but Karen and that is not usually his thing (we know).  He commended Kevin for trying to keep up with her.  The lifts were a little slow and tired.  Mary thought that Karen was sexy, rhythmic and sharp.  She put her on the Hot Tamale Train!  Kev needs to work on his sharpness, because he is rhythmical and sexy already!  Negel thought that he danced it very well indeed.  This was totally out of his dance and he performed really well.  Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Ellenore and Ryan.  Ryan is a fitness nut who works out constantly.  Ellenore has been dancing her whole life.   Her parents  were dancers.  They danced to Sonya Tayek’s Contemporary jazz.  They danced to ‘Arcadia’ by Apparat.  Ellenore tooted her own horn and said that this would be the greatest choreography that Sytycd has ever seen from Sonya.  Interesting, because this one did nothing for me.    I will let the judges say it all.  Adam said that Sonya rocked his world.  He thought that they are two of the most exciting dancers and they were both showcased well.  Bravo.  Mary thought the chemistry was crazy!  They stayed in character the whole time.  Nygel loved that they (and Sonya) brought a completely new style and he enjoyed it.  I couldn’t see it, but it looks like everyone else did.

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Brandon and Pauline.  They danced to ‘You light up my life’ by Whitney Houston.  Brandon just came in a day and a half ago.  But you wouldn’t know it.  They really gelled.  Mary agreed that their chemistry was dynamic.  The actual dancing though was another story, Brandon is going to have to really work on it.  Pauline was beautiful and elegant.  Nygel thought it felt a little like a prom couple and it wasn’t strong enough.  He didn’t get enough from her.  He doesn’t know if it is strong enough for this competion (ouch).

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Katherine and Legacy.  Kat loves the outdoors.  Legacy started out as a street performer.  Dave Scott choreographed a hip hop routine.  the story is that they are cavemen and Hip Hop has taen over their bodies and they don’t know how to handle it.  They danced to ‘On and On’ by Missy Elliiott.  Now this was a really cute and fun hip hop routine.   I thought that they really brought it.  Dang….it looked like she really knocked him out at the end.  Adam thought this dance was hot!  Kudos to Dave Scott.  Great chemistry and they have to use this amazing opportunity to learn from each other.  Mary is yelling so much that I didn’t actually hear her say it, but I have to assume that she put them on the Hot Tamale train.  She admitted that she had been on Legacy’s case for not coming with it, but he really mastered everything tonight.  Katherine also pulled it off well.  Nygel said that they are another couple that he is looking forward to developing over the season.

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Mollee and Nathan.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the entire clip of these two (breaking news is really interrupting my night).  Adam thought that they are such a cute couple.  They had great energy and connection.  They did great sexy lifts ( I was really scared for her when she locked her legs around his neck as he spun her around).  Adam was a fan of disco tonight.  Mary thought they really pulled this dance off.  She thinks that they will be in the competition for a really long time.  Nygel thought that they really brought the music alive and anyone who doesn’t like disco is crazy. 

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It is now the dreaded time for 2 girls and 2 guys to be selected to dance to save their life in this competition and the four unlucky dancers are:  Ariana, Brandon, Pauline and Russell.

Ariana danced to Darkest hour by Charlotte Martin.  Strong performance!  I hope that she stays .  Russell danced to Give the drummer sum by Drummer Milk.  As the song says it doesn’t make no sense how Sick this boy is when he dances.  Pauline danced to ‘Magdalenha by Sergio Mendez.  Pauline’s solo was also very good.   Brandon danced to ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’ by John Mayer, but I didn’t feel like he was trying to save his life.

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The Judges are unanimous with the decision on the Girl to go home and it is Ariana going home.  She took the news gracefully.

The Judges were unanimous again with their decision for the guy as well and it is Brandon going home.  Kind of a yo- yo bit for him, but he also took it well and Nygel will talk to the Execs to see about him being allowed to compete again, since he technically was a top 20 (for a show) and he should be ineligible to try out again.