This week on So You Think You Can Dance, the Top 12 dancers were announced and paired together for the first time during the show’s 300th episode. Along with the Top 12 reveal, we were also introduced to our new judge Emmy Award-winning actress Leah Remini is rounding out the judges’ panel after Matthew Morrison left the show.
While we haven’t seen a ton of changes to the competition format, one new feature was announced this week. At the end of each episode, the studio audience will vote for their favorite dancer of the night. The two girls and the guys with the least votes will be in danger of going home.
But before anyone was in danger, the Top 12 had to be announced! While in seasons past the dancers have been announced at the end of the choreography round, Season 17’s top dancers were announced in pairs ahead of their first performances with their newly assigned partners.
The Top 12
Lord Finn and Virginia
The first pairs up were James “Lord Finn” Thomas and Shafar Delgado and Jaliyah “Juicy” Kirsten and Virginia Crouse. Lord Finn and Virginia were the first to make it through the choreography eliminations and secure their spots in the Top 12.
Virginia and James were the first pair on stage, performing a hip hop routine to “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” tWitch said that Lord Finn and Virginia “showed up for each other” this week and Leah and JoJo were both excited to see this first performance of the competition as well.
This routine was choreographed by Luther Brown.
Jordan and Waverly
Jordan Betscher and Jocelyn Martinez, the show’s last-standing tap dancer, and Konnor Kelly and Waverly Fredericks were next up for the choreography eliminations. Jordan and Waverly both made it through and were paired up in the Top 12.
Moving from hip hop to a mellow contemporary routine, Jordan and Waverly danced to “Bob in the Rain and the Lizard of Hope” with beautiful umbrella choreography. “Your chemistry after one week is insane!” JoJo was impressed by their prop work and obvious connection.
Their performance was choreographed by Mandy Korpinen and Elizabeth Petrin.
Anna and Beau
These pairs must have been a tough choice. Mia Mellican and Anna Miller and Samuel McWilliams and Beau Harmon went in front of the judges after choreography, but it Anna and Beau would become a new duo in the Top 12.
Take us back to black and white movies! Anna and Beau were “Dancing in the Dark” this week as theater ushers. Their routine was full of comedy, and everything from the faces to the movement received enthusiastic compliments from Leah. JoJo was excited to see their commitment to the scenario, and tWitch was excited to see the two talented character dancers working together.
This performance was choreographed by Al Blackstone.
Thiago and Essence
We love to see paired dancers challenge each other and with such different styles, we’re sure that’s exactly what this duo will do. Thiago Pacheco and Jerome Cunanan and Flora Dickens and Essence Wilmington entered the choreography round, but Thiago and Essence made it to the Top 12.
Dancing to “No More ‘I Love You’s,'” Thiago and Essence entered a winter forest showing off their contemporary skills. tWitch congratulated Essence on the dramatic genre change (with some feedback about her feet). Both tWitch and Leah wanted to see more investment from Thiago, but JoJo disagreed.
Thiago and Essence were choreographed by Tessandra Chavez.
Carter and Ralyn
Tristen Sosa and Carter Williams and Ralyn Johnson and Jojo Lokhorst went before the judges hoping for spots in the Top 12. Carter and Ralyn secured those spots to dance for us again this week.
Another throwback, Ralyn and Carter had a dance floor romance complete with a jukebox dancing to Elton John. tWitch was excited to see Ralyn continuing to come out of her shell.
This jive was choreographed by Alan Bersten.
Keaton and Alexis
Ok, someone knew what they were doing when the paired these two powerhouses together. Keaton Kermode and Matthew Deloch and Camila Schwarz and Alexis Warr were the last dancers we saw from the choreography round. Keaton and Alexis round out the Top 12.
This routine! Keaton and Alexis danced to “Rome” in a beautiful blue contemporary routine that received a standing ovation from the judges and the audience. “Talia, are you crazy!?” Leah asked, at a loss for words about the routine. JoJo kept the compliments high. “Out of the tens of thousands of dances I’ve seen in my life, this is probably the best dance I’ve ever seen.”
Called one of SYTYCD‘s top routines of all time by Nigel Lythgoe, this performance was choreographed by Talia Favia
The studio audience voted, and the four dancers in danger this week were Carter, Virginia, Thiago, and Essence. It was up to the judges to save two dancers from elimination…Well, you’d think it was, but tWitch announced that no dancers would be going home this week. There aren’t any eliminations during the 300th episode!
The show ended with a group performance choreographed by Luther Brown.
Now that we’re properly into the competition, we’re interested to see if any more changes are coming to the show. Will the pairs change each week or continue for the whole competition? Will we see any changes in how each duo is given a genre? We’ll just have to wait and see.
So You Think You Can Dance airs on Fox Wednesdays at 9pm ET.