so-you-think-you-can-dance-pictures-amber-nick.jpgSeason 9 of “So You Think You Can Dance” is — no joke — features probably the best crop of dancers to ever make the Top 20. But “SYTYCD” is a competition the goal is to end up with two top dancers: one girl and one guy. On Wednesday (July 18), Alexa, Daniel, Janaya and Nick became the first four dancers to leave. Fan favorite Chehon (the Swiss ballet dude) and ballroom-dancing teen Whitney were both saved to dance another week.

To back up, it might be a good idea to review how this season works since the competition has been condensed from two nights a week to just one. Now that the show has reached the elimination stage, each week we’ll watch the remaining dancers as they take the stage. But, while they’re dancing their little hearts out, Nigel, Mary and [insert guest judge here] already know which dancers are in danger of being cut.

Then, at the end of the show the judges can choose whether or not they want to see any of the bottom 3 (or 6) dance for their lives (on Wednesday they did not). Then the judges make their cuts based on — according to Nigel — their own impressions of the dance that landed them in danger PLUS the new as-yet-unrated-by-callers dance and chats with the choreographers from both weeks. Still following this?

Anyhow, Alexa, Daniel, Janaya and Nick were not surprising targets for voters though in the case of Alexa and Daniel they got a tough break since last week’s dance was a chaotic piece from choreographer Sean Chessman that didn’t showcase either dancer or give them any opportunity to connect with the audience.

PHOTO GALLERY: ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Season 9 Top 20

Janaya, it should be noted, did a fab job with this week’s routine — a cute Broadway bit choreographed (ironically) by Sean Chessman. Nick, too, did a solid job with this week’s Argentine tango, partnered again with Amber but apparently he didn’t make enough of an impression on voters to keep him out of danger.

Whitney and Chehon are two dancers who could win this thing given the chance. But although both were saved, this week’s Bollywood routine may not translate into a landslide of votes, either. So if you love them, vote early and often.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson