It was top 100 (well really top 140 something) in Sydney and there were tears, laughter, injuries, disappointment, and great dancing. Oh and did I mention the tears.
Jason Coleman appeared to be struggling with a cold, with his nose and eyes matching the pink stripes on his shirts.
Bonnnie Lythgoe, now I loathe to say this, but who is styling her? Is it that Sheridan Tyler from Australian Idol who would churn eventual winner Natalie Gauci onto the stage each week in some hideous outfit? If so sack him now.
Really a sleeveless light blue waistcoat with frayed edges would be hard pressed to look good on Kate Moss. I am sorry Bonnie it was baaaaaddddddd. Can we bring Trinny and Susannah out?
Matt Lee was wearing a hat as usual, but he was much stronger this episode and was much tougher then the others. He must be a happy camper this week as Hilary Duff selected him to choreograph a commercial for her.
Tonight they also had a fourth judge choreographer and performer Kelley Abbey. The Gen X viewers remembered her from the show E Street.
Kelley was really good, and if Bonnie does not come back for a second series, then they could consider her as a judge on the show.
Each day was going to be a different dance style. The dancers would have to learn the routine, then perform it for the judges. At that time they could either be culled, through to the next round, or if it was a hanging jury ie two yes's, and two no's then they would be dancing for their life.
The first routine was going to be hip hop with Sydney dance teacher Nacho Pop which I presume it is not his real name if so I hope he divorced his parents at a young age.
Even some of the B boys and girls looked concerned when they found out it was going to be a popping routine. If I heard right 80% of the hip hop dancers there had never done popping. So basically everyone one was on the same level.
The first shock of the day occurred just before the routines were about to be performed. Ten people were called onto stage. The judges said they had been watching them, and thought some were not up to it, and five were culled straight away. Clearly they were disappointed as they had not even gotten to perform the routine and it was only 10.00am on the first day. The other five were given a reprieve but told to improve.
Some of the dancers were starting to stand out. Khaley a b-boy body piercer from a thai background had struggled with keeping in time with the music at his auditioned. But he just stood out when he danced this routine, and in fact the other few routines over the three days.
Vanessa the beautiful asian ballerina from Sydney struggled a bit with the hip hop routine, however she made it through with glowing praise from the judges.
Chris the security guard break dancer from Sydney clearly struggled with the choreography, and I was surprised they did not cull him immediately. The judges made him dance for his life where he did a sensational routine with lots of tricks, however he bailed out in the ballroom round.
Danielle the girl from Sydney who had begged for a second chance at the Sydney audition and was given it was told to dance for her life after the hip hop round. However this time it was not going to be a fairy tale ending for her, as her solo was pretty ordinary and she was culled.
The Adelaide sisters at this stage were spilt.
Day 2 was ballroom, and the cha cha routine was choreographed by Jason Gilkson. All the dancers were split into couples with the most bizarre coupling being tall Stephanie T, with a scrawny guy who came up to her shoulder. To say she was unimpressed was an understatement.
However their performance was fabulous a bit freak showy with a amazon woman writhing around this boy and you thought he was going to buckle under the weight of her leg. However they were given the thumbs up by the judges.
Henry a ballroom dancer was partnered with Cassie a contemporary dancer and they did great. Henry got big wraps in the hip hop the day before, so I would expect him to come close to getting in the top 20.
JD another hip hopper was on fire in the ballroom, he too was partnered with a ballroom dancer Eliza. Bonnie said he was "exceptional as he started off not knowing what he was doing, but ended getting the routine right".
His partner was not so lucky considering it was her genre. After a few "You were outdanced by other girls" comments she was eliminated.
One girl from Brisbane, wore a fluro green latin ballroom dress. However it drew attention for all the wrong reasons. As Jason Coleman said "It was so wrong on so many levels, I couldn't look past the dress to see the dancing". She was gone.
Sarah the girl from the Sydney audition who had battled anorexia and bulima was also eliminated at this point of the competition. As was Bessie the El Salvadorian who had had a difficult life, but she was never going to be up to it. Bonnie said "I believe you are leaving here a winner."
BJ was culled at ballroom as Jason said " you lack the maturity as a performer, you are just not ready". He begged to be given a second chance to dance for his life. The judges acquiesed to his request, and he danced well enough to stay. With Bonnie even saying "I hope you make it to the top 20".
Sermsah the indigenous dancer from Perth had to dance for his life after ballroom. He again did traditional dancing to modern music, and he moves fabulously. I found Jason a touch patronising towards him. "I think you feel unworthy".
Day 3 and it was Kelley Abbey's turn to teach the remaining contestants a jazz type routine. "I want sunshine and joy" she said. The pressure of two 16 hour days were starting to take their toll on the contestants. Sermsah was puking in the toilets and had to lie down for two hours, this did not give him much time to learn the routine. His confidence was shattered and Kelly had to convince him to perform.
Special mention should go to Stephanie T who gets the niceness award or was it fellow Western Australians sticking together, she helped him learn the routine after his rest.
Matt Lee told him "Your uniqueness should give you confidence" . The judges appear to be very keen to get Sermsah through. I think he is good, but I think a year of dance lessons, would make him formidable if a Season 2 was made.
Courtney a dancer from Melbourne blanked during the routine but was still given three yes from the judges so did not have to dance for her life.
At 11.00pm just when they thought they would be shepherded back to the hotel they were told they were going to be put into 12 groups, they would then pick up a mp3 player from the judges table, which would have a song on it which they would have to choreograph a dance to perform for the judges the next day. The routine could be in any dance style they chose.
A lot of them did not get much sleep.
First up in the morning was a group that included Will, the camp hip hop dancer from Sydney. He took the lead and choreographed a pretty entertaining routine in multiple styles. Khaley again rocked. Is he going to be the Hok of the Australian competition? Only one of the group were eliminated.
Next was a routine where the dancers were dolls which had Csaba in it, a dancer who has also been in Dancing with the Stars. I thought he barely danced, just pranced around, surrounded by some pretty ordinary female dancers.
Bonnie said "The routine left me cold", and Csaba was told "he would have to work harder". Courtney got through as well.
Next up was Rhys the gay dancer from Melbourne dancing with a posse of girls to a Prince song. He decided to take a risk and camp it up ala Prince including high heel boots. I thought it was over the top but great. However three judges thought it was too effeminate. Surprisingly Jason, he of the I like guys to dance like guy comments, said "I thought you made a choice to be feminine - liked the boots".
Last group for this episode had to dance to the Queen song called "Killer Queen". They all hated the song, and this showed. They were told by the judges this is sometimes what happens you have to dance to songs and choreography you don't like.
The rest of the 12 groups will be on tomorrow nights episode, which will include the top 24 being announced with the first show next Sunday.