Now that we know who the top 20 are on “So You Think You Can Dance,” we can officially kick off what is always a found tradition here at Cartermatt.com — sizing up the competition! Admittedly, ranking these dancers is harder than ranking “American Idol” singers for a number of reasons:
1. We barely know some of these contestants at the moment.
2. They are all so good that dance is subjective.
3. Some styles like animation and stepping are so different from ballet and contemporary that it is hard to even compare.
Since this season is going to have a male and a female winner, we’re going to separate them here, as well — and we’re going to mostly provide quick one-liners about the contestants until we start to find out more about their style and performance quality in the weeks ahead.
10. Matt Kazmierczak – We have no idea who he is. When he has been featured, it hasn’t been for long enough to make an impression.
9. Nick Bloxson-Carter – He also has had little screen time, and the female ballroom dancers outshined him in the routine Wednesday.
8. Brandon Mitchell – His lack of airtime is aided by him being a stepper, which is rather unique for this stage of the game.
7. Will Thomas – Will is hurt by being a contemporary dancer, which is frequent at this stage of the game.
6. Cheton Wespi-Tschopp – Cheton is hurt by both an impossible-to-pronounce name and being a ballet dancer alongside our current favorite.
5. Cole Horibe – A martial arts-infused dancer is fascinating, but he has to prove to us that he can handle some of the slower, more lyrical routines.
4. Cyrus Spencer – You can make the same argument about Spencer and lyrical dances, and he may even be the most inexperienced contestant left. What is working for him is that he was featured frequently in Vegas Week.
3. George Lawrence II – A brilliant dancer, but we need to see more of his personality for him to be a favorite.
2. Dareian Kujawa – He reminds us a bit of Marko Germar from last season, which certainly is not a bad thing.
1. Daniel Baker – There are so many reasons why Daniel is at the top at the moment. He’s an incredible dancer, is someone that the ladies will love, and he also is memorable enough from the early stages of the competition. Can anyone say “total package”?
10. Janaya French – Like with Matthew, she’s an unknown.
9. Amber Jackson – Despite having auditioned multiple times, she still didn’t receive much of an edit this time.
8. Tiffany Maher – A strong dancer, but does not necessarily jump off of the page.
7. Amelia Lowe – Stylistically, we love Amelia — but she has to prove herself to be more than just a one-note performer.
6. Alexa Anderson – She could either be boosted by her ton of Vegas Week screen time, or destroyed by it as the new Ryan Ramierez who never quite lived up to the hype.
5. Whitney Carson – Really, the two ballroom dancers are pretty close to even in our mind.
4. Lindsay Arnold – Unfortunately for them, that means that they may also be even in the minds of voters. If you can’t stand out from each other, than finishing in the top 3 will be tough despite your talent.
3. Audrey Case – Easily, Audrey is the best jazz dancer in the competition — so much so that we can ignore her fart sound talent that she showed off back in the Atlanta auditions.
2. Janelle Issis – Janelle’s skill across the board is remarkable, especially from a skill in belly dancing that you would not think would translate to such things as contemporary or Broadway. When you have a style this unique, it makes you stand out immediately.
1. Eliana Girard – Yes, we do feel think is the year of ballet. Eliana’s performance alongside Chehon and Daniel was stellar, and we have a feeling that she may excel no matter what style is thrown at her. We’re excited to see what comes next.
Who are some of your current favorites in this competition? Share your thoughts below, and head on over to this link if you want to view some photos of the top 20.