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- Now that the Top 11 are set, it was time for them to take the stage for real. Each dancer will be paired with a previous "So You Think You Can Dance" finalist, and the opening group dance set the tone quickly. The 11 all-stars came out to start a performance that was finished by the 11 finalists from this season. Then they closed out the routine as one big group.
Host Cat Deeley reminded us that the all-stars were here to help this season, but would not be competing. Then she introduced us to the judging panel for the evening: regular judges Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe. Thursday was all about getting to know the dancers and their abilities, and no voting was involved. Next week, viewers will vote on the dancers' performances.
Lauren & Kent: For the first dance of the night, Mark (Season 5) and Kathryn (S6) joined Lauren and Kent in a Jazz number by Travis Wall. Adam heaped praise on everyone -- including Nigel and Mia. He said Travis was getting so good as a choreographer, and then he jumped out of his seat to compliment Lauren and Kent.
Alexie & Melinda: After years of trying out for the show, Alexie told us she was a Laker Girl for two years. Melinda called herself an old soul. Allison (S2) and Lauren (S3) joined Alexie and Melinda for a Broadway routine choreographed by Tyce DiOrio. Nigel paid the best compliment he could give them, saying he couldn't distinguish between the competitors and the all-stars on the stage.
Jose: Jose Ruiz, who touted his humility and confidence, was joined on stage by hip-hop all-stars Twitch and Comfort (S5) and Dominic (S3). Tabitha and Napoleon choreographed a routine that initiated him into the "SYTYCD" hip-hop family. Adam said he was "so glad" Jose was on the show.
Cristina: Salsa dancer Cristina was joined by Season 3 all-stars Anya and Pasha. The three of them put on a dazzling and hot display of salsa choreographed by Jason Gilkison. Nigel enjoyed it and said Cristina had a tough job sharing the stage with what he called two of the best ballroom dancers in the world. He cautioned her to watch her "lazy feet," but otherwise thought she nailed it.
Alex and Billy: The two comeback kids were joined by Ade (S5) in a contemporary routine choreographed by Mia Michaels, who explained that her dance was about "time and the turning of life." Mia said she loved it and it was "an honor" to have them dance her routine. She said Billy was a "freak of nature" and Alex is "a beast." Those were both compliments.
Adechike, Robert &Ashley: Adechike described himself as the underdog of the competition but vowed to represent not only New York, but the entire east coast. Ashley said she loves to shop, watch football and described herself as a "huge nerd." Robert said he used to play baseball. All-stars Courtney (S4) and Neil (S3) joined them for a Sonya Tayeh jazz number. Sonya loved it and told Adechike he isn't an underdog.