'So You Think You Can Dance' Top 20 (again): Royal wedding redux and Debbie Reynolds' bird calls

sytycd-top-20-2.jpgSo you think you can... withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by 2012? President Obama sure does. And after he explained his plan, which pushed "So You Think You Can Dance" back by 15 minutes, Mary Murphy promptly put him on the hot tamale train.

... In our dreams!

The "Groundhog day" episode of "SYTYCD" let the top 20 perform one last time before the week 2 elimination sends one two three four competitors home. We hope you enjoyed it. Because starting tomorrow, s*** gets real.

Adding to the night's drama, song-and-dance memorabilia auctioneer Debbie Reynolds sat in as guest judge, with lots of kooky observations, including a Woody Woodpecker impersonation and some pseudo-creepy threats to take some of the dancers home with her.

Let's break it down, couple by couple:

Ryan and Ricky
Tackling a Mandy Moore jazz number  set to Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love," the '80s nostalgist in us was happy to see the iconic video's red and black motif echoed on stage. The problem? Not even a hint of air guitar. We also take issue with Ryan trying to sell sexuality -- not feeling it -- but the judges were unanimous in their praise.

Catlynn and Mitchelll
Well, the extremely lucky Mitchell stopped crying long enough to actually dance. The duo's first real performance, a contemporary routine to Adele's "Turning Tables," went off without a hitch -- and props to choreographer Stacey Tookey for going with the unexpected prop choice of chairs and not tables.

Wadi and Missy
Ballroom is a bummer for those unfamiliar, and Wadi probably drew the shortest stick of the night. They danced an underwhelming cha cha to a Ke$ha tune, bringing out the most substantial criticism of the night. Nigel was not a fan. And after he called out Wadi on his lack of strength and coordination, one of his co-panelists chimed in, saying that she would take him home with her. Sawi, Wadi. If it's any consolation, Debbie Reynolds wants to molest you.

Iveta and Nick
Did we say that Wadi got a bad hand this week? Because tapper Nick has been catapulted from his comfort zone the last two weeks in a row. We weren't in love with the Bollywood number, but their crazy-fast moves and coordination deserve praise for likely being the toughest routine of the night. Bra. Vo.

Robert and Miranda
Tabitha and Napoleon are back! And they've brought a... wildlife-themed hip hop routine with them. The shtick of this was a tough pill to swallow, but the dancers pulled it off, and Miranda even got the sort-of-absurdly-flattering assessment from Mary that she may have given the best contemporary dancer's take on hip hop in all eight seasons. Damn.

Jess and Clarice
Another contemporary routine, another attempted kidnapping by Debbie Reynolds. There's not much to say about this one, other than the fact that the royal romance told in the dance is no "Will and Kate." It was great, but it fails to stand out from the rest of the night's dances.

Tadd and Jordan
Listen. You do not put a park bench on the "SYTYCD" stage. It's been done. It was the most beautiful thing ever. And it can never be attempted again. That said... we're calling Tadd for the final four. The judges reserved their strongest praise of the night for his amazing work with the Viennese Waltz. Also? he packs his clothes in Ziploc bags -- which we totally appreciate. (And by "appreciate," we me "do ourselves.")

Melanie and Marko
The champs from last week solidified their standing as ones to watch and "future stars," with their awesome jazz dance with bowler hats. Melanie, in particular, rocked it, channeling Columbia from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

Alexander and Sasha
That's more like it. Maybe we're just a little kitsch averse, but Tabitha and Napoleon 's woodpecker thing was heavy on the cheese. The solider returning home, however, was the most goosebump-inducing dance of the night -- and probably the best showcase of hip hop we've gotten to see this season. Oh, and was this planned to tie in with the Obama address? Nigel caught the "irony," though we're sure he meant "coincidence."

Chris and Ashley
1) Kudos on the inventive and intimidating concept of separating the dancers with a prop for the entire routine.
2) Way to totally pull it off and land two first class tickets on the hot tamale train. WOO-HOO.

Alright folks, you can do the math. 20 percent isn't just a suggested tip, it's the number of these dancers who will drop back into obscurity tomorrow night. Predictions on the first four to head home? Sound off.




Photo/Video credit: FOX