So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 Review

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

Wednesday we saw So You Think You Can Dance's top 20 season 11 contestants get whittled down to 18.

They started off with a whole-group dance that saw the women in high-waisted booty shorts and the men in really shiny suit pants.

To be frank, I would have rather seen them all in the girls' uniforms. If the men and non-hetero ladies in the audience get some eye candy, I should too, right?

Upon watching the brief individual intros, here are some brief impressions: Carly is weak and will be gone soon. Nick is adorable, Emilio is in love with himself, and that's just fine. So is Jessica.

Rudy, on the other hand, is a bundle of joy, as is Tanisha. Valerie just makes me want to cry, she's so joyful when she dances.

She's probably the one I'll be rooting for as the season progresses, especially as I cannot tell most of them apart from one another.

Is there a reason all the female dancers are white, pretty skinny and almost all are blonde? Maybe every other dancer got to the auditions and realized she'd left the iron on.

Jason Derulo is guest judging tonight, and it's intriguing to see the guy who is fluent in booty judging a dancing competition. Maybe booty really doesn't need explaining.

The competition is on!

Serge and Brooklyn start with a short cha-cha Jason Derulo. Hmm.

I'm not feeling the music.

They've got some really slick moves and they've gone ultra-modern to fit the music but I guess I'm more of a classic cha-cha girl at heart.

?Viva Cuba! The judges don't agree with me, but what do they know? They're just trained dancers and have been judging this contest for 11 years.

At least now we know why Derulo agreed to judge this contest. Money in the bank, baby.

In an attempt to beat the shit out of their viewers, FOX has changed voting from calling in to using a special app you have to download. You can also go online, but who has time for that?

Emily and Casey are up with a more modern routine to John Legend's All of Me. This is one of my favorite songs (though it's way overplayed) to one of my favorite kinds of routines.

It would be hard for me not to love it, what with the flowing skirt Emily has on, the soft lighting and the balletic leaps.

Derulo absolutely adores their piece. He and Nigel both talk about the story being as important as the technique and if these two don't make it to the top 18, I'll eat a shoe.

Valerie and Zach bring a tap routine out as their first piece to Ed Sheerhan's Sing. Sadly, Valerie appears more concerned about getting the steps right than feeling the dance or the music. Zach's a little better, but not much.

Their outfits are damn cute, though. Nigel is blown away by the difficulty of the routine and the fantastic beat they contributed to the song, but I'm still not convinced.

Stop staring at your feet, Val. (We were all rooting for you, Valerie!)

Stanley and Bridget treat us to a contemporary routine which, once again, is about the story. They dance to Doesn't Mean Goodbye by Jon McLaughlin and blow this out of the water. It's an emotional routine and everything they do is on point. There's no excessive movement; everything has a purpose, and Nigel gives them props for their classical forms. I couldn't love this more.

Bridget said in the beginning that she and Stanley need to work on their chemistry, but I disagree. They have it in oodles and oodles.

Mary is more than complimentary and Jason Derulo agrees, but takes the opportunity to joke around and show a little personality. Okay, Jason Derulo. You can stay.

Jackie and Jordan are paired up -- refreshing to see same-sex pairs -- to dance to the Pas de Deux from Swan Lake. Not a whole lot to say about this one. Just picture twirling, twirling, twirling ballerinas in matching black tutus.

Pretty as a picture. Kat has a girl crush on Jackie and Jordan.

I can't blame her in the slightest. Both of them received very small but significant critiques by Nigel (slightly out of line attitude, not as high an elevation as possible) but overall adored.

Derulo and Snoop Dogg performed Wiggle, and I had not realized that was by Jason Derulo. I like it, but is his entire album about asses? Not that that's a bad thing; I'm just curious.

Malene and Marcquet share their 8-second facts and then proceed to samba onto the stage to Morning Drums by Gregor Saito. Now this is fabulous. Their costumes are perfectly appropriately shimmery and sparkly, Marquet is showing off some fabulous chest and they move together smoothly and energetically. Marquet throws her so beautifully and her landing is perfect.

Just take home the gold, you guys. Competition over.

You win. Nigel loves their energy and passion, saying "you two are going to have very exciting lives." Mary thinks they were cooking hot samba rolls in the oven. Mary, you are too darn cute.

Rudy and Carly dance a modern routine to Take It Easy by Jetta about slowing down and enjoying where you are. Good advice for everyone, and a great routine. Rudy's biggest challenge here was bringing the serious instead of the goofiness that comes so easily to him and he does so, focusing all his energy on his partner.

The crowd erupted halfway through their routine at the heart in their dance, their perfectly synchronized pirouettes and elegantly controlled bodies.

Rudy's technique might need a little work, but Malene and Marcquet have some real competition in Rudy and Carly.

This entire group is clearly very strong; Nigel goes so far as to say this is the strongest top 20 they've ever had on SYTYCD.

Emilio and Teddy come out together (plus their mop and bucket) to dance a modern piece to Nighshift by the Commodores. It's a jazzy little number and just a little goofy. In other words, it's perfect for Emilio's love of self and Teddy's lightheartedness.

They're not completely in sync when they're supposed to be, close enough that it's actually a little distracting. Their dance styles and personalities are contrasting but work well together.

Jessica and Ricky are up next, taking on contemporary dance to Vow by Meredith Monk. It's haunting and silent to the point where you're left contemplating celestial bodies and what happens after you die. Dance is a kind of religion, for those who truly love it.

Ricky and Jessica did more than dance for us, they brought us into the performance and simultaneously deeper into ourselves at the same time. This was beyond anything we've seen other dancers do tonight and they are guaranteed to go to the final four.

(On a side note, Jason Derulo is the most polite guest judge we've ever seen. He's simply adorable.)

Our final two, Tanisha and Nick bring us back to the beginning with another cha-cha routine. They dance to Enrique Iglesias' I'm a Freak, ft. Pitbull.

I'm going to quibble with this choice, because while Pitbull is Cuban, Iglesias is 100% Spanish-from-Spain and while he does a good beat, I don't think he gets the heart of the cha-cha, and I don't think these two do either. Tanisha is clearly the stronger dancer of the two, and while the routine is fun, after Jessica and Ricky's class-A performance this looks like amateur hour.

Tanisha even improvises a kiss -- to which Ricky looks absolutely shocked and everone promptly cheered and/or laughed -- but despite that, the piece didn't blow me away.

The judges think it was fantastic and they hit it hard, but for the viewers at home the placement was definitely unfortunate for them.

We won't find out who is gone until next week. Who did you vote for? Tell us in the comments!