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  • After all the auditions and the "introductory" episode, it was time to get down to business in the finals of "So You Think You Can Dance." The Top 11 were paired with all-stars from previous years.

    Billy: On a night when the dancers would be telling us something America doesn't already know about them, Billy said he loves to do do-it-yourself projects with his dad, a general contractor. He was paired with Lauren for a Tyce DiOrio Broadway routine to Kenny Loggins' "Footloose." Nigel liked it and said the long movements Tyce chose to use worked for Billy. Mia said she loved seeing Billy handle a dance that's different from what he's used to. Adam gave him some pointers to help him grow throughout the competition, including sticking with his character. Adam said Billy had to focus on what happens in between the dance steps.

    Cristina: Salsa dancer Cristina told us she once auditioned for a Spanish-language "American Idol"-style show. She didn't make it. Cristina was paired with Mark for a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine in which the dancers played the role of snakes. Nigel gave Cristina a good compliment by saying he was focused on her more than Mark. He said that the judges know she's good and she was now showing America she's good. Mia said Cristina did an awesome job holding her own on stage with Mark, who she called a genius of darkness in dancing. Adam said he was stunned because he was expecting a disaster when she saw that Cristina was given a Sonya Tayeh routine. He said he saw no trace of the salsa dancer and she "fully inhabited the character."

    Jose: The B-boy told us he practices yoga every morning. Jose scored by drawing all-star Comfort for a hip-hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. He was supposed to give a mean face while dancing to Ne-Yo's "Beautiful Monster." Nigel pointed out to us that breaking and hip-hop aren't the same thing and Jose proved he can handle different things. He called it outstanding. Mia said there was a little hesitation in Jose's performance of the choreography. Adam agreed with what Mia said and stressed that the show is all about improvement week to week. He told Jose to get to his power moves faster.

    Adechike: Adechike told us he went to the "Fame" school, where no less than Al Pacino and Tyce DiOrio attended. He drew a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall and was paired with Kathryn. Nigel said the choreography was wonderful and Kathryn did a lot, but he didn't quite believe the sequence was Adechike's fantasy (the routine was about an office worker dozing off and having his dream lady come seduce him through dance). Mia said there was no sexual chemistry and Adechike "brought nothing but stiffness and strength." Adam said Adechike was a great partner, but he needed to give the extra stuff.

    Melinda: Tapper Melinda said the thing we don't know about her is that she's also an actress who worked on "As the World Turns" and she writes her own music. She drew a jive choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, and was paired with Pasha. Nigel said there was no question Melinda was vivacious, but her legs were a bit wide on some kicks. He said the style didn't suit her and she was in danger of having to dance for her life on Thursday. Mia agreed and said there was a "lack of sexiness" in Melinda's style that she couldn't pinpoint. Adam said Melinda tried to use her acting prowess to cover up for her lack of technique.

    Alex: Alex said America didn't know that he loves to sing and play the piano. He was paired with Allison to do a contemporary routine by Sonya Tayeh. The crowd roared and Cat Deeley said the hairs on her arms were standing. Nigel said Alex had just set a new standard for "So You Think You Can Dance." He said that sometimes the focus is too much on the structure of dance rather than the poetry of dance, and Alex showed that both could be done. Mia said it was "the best, hands down, piece of work danced on the 'So You Think You Can Dance' stage in the world, to date." She said Alex was "sheer perfection and sheer genius." She also said Sonya was "sheer genius," as well. Adam said Alex and Allison made Sonya a different choreographer and said he was unbelievable.

    Alexie: Alexie said America doesn't know she's been on "Star Search" with a group of dancers called "The Hip-Hop Kids," and was actually judged by Adam Shankman on the show. She was paired with Twitch for a Tabitha & Napoleon sultry hip-hop routine that Alexie said would "hopefully not" be suitable for children. Nigel called Alexie a "cute little dancer" and told her to be careful it isn't too cutesy. Mia said Alexie danced "like a young, adorable girl" and said she had to step it up because "there was no coolness to it." Adam told Alexie to dance with the sensuality of a girl but with the power of a guy.

    Lauren: Lauren said she's passionate about working with Kindergartners. She drew a Mandy Moore jazz routine and was paired with Ade. In rehearsals she seemed to struggle with bring sexy. Nigel said it was well choreographed, but he found it sterile and that it lacked chemistry with Ade. Still, he thought she was secure in the competition. Mia said there was unused space "emotionally and character-wise" in her dancing. Adam told Lauren to worry less about presentation and more about her connection with her character and partner.

    Kent: The most famous resident Wapakoneta said he was voted homecoming king in his class, which included only 14 guys. He drew a cha cha by Tony and Meredith, and was paired with Anya. Nigel said the overriding factor in the whole routine was that he enjoyed it and said Kent reminded him of a young Paul Newman, but at one point in the routine he did a move that looked like Jessica Rabbit. Mia said Kent committed to everything and looked "kind of like a ballroom boy" but told him to remove that one move (to which Nigel referred) for the rest of his career. Adam said it was good, but looked a bit like a kid who got lost at the zoo and ended up dancing with the lions.

    Ashley: Ashley said that something America doesn't know about the goofy voices she does. She was paired with Neil for a Tyce DiOrio contemporary routine about love. Nigel said the dance had to be about transcending the steps and connecting with the emotions. He asked her if she's ever been in love and she said she thinks she is now. Mia said she couldn't tell which emotion was coming from Ashley, but it was there -- even if it wasn't coming across as loudly as she hoped.

    Robert: Robert said something America doesn't know about him is that he really wanted to be a professional baseball player, but dance took over. He drew a Sean Cheesman African jazz routine and was paired with Courtney. Nigel said he loved the way Robert dances and said he's a dark horse in the competition. Mia said there were so many things she loved about him, despite it being just the first live competition show of the season. Adam said it was "unbelievable" seeing Robert and Courtney together, and he called Robert one of the best contemporary dancers the show has ever had.

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