Las Vegas auditions

Dancers compete in the Las Vegas auditions of "So You Think You Can Dance." (FOX)

Las Vegas! 181 dancers will be winnowed down to 20 over eight rounds in four days. Judges will be Lil C, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe.

First up they're all doing solos and they could be cut immediately if their solo doesn't pass muster.

Hampton "Exorcist" Williams is up first and he's moving Shankman to tears within the first 20 seconds, Tyce within the first 30. I think he's a safe bet to go forward.  

After the first ten solos, Nigel calls them back up for the first cut — girls we've not met before named Jennifer and Brianna.

Bellydancer Janelle Issis is up first in the next round of dancers and, thanks to her metallic gold fabric shawl, is easily microwaveable for your convenience. She loses the shawl pretty quickly and then does things with her abdominal muscles that should really only be possible with the help of an industrial grade washing machine agitator.

We get more quickly edited footage of good dancers and we're reminded how deep the talent pool is on this show, even if they do ultimately cut 51 dancers after the solo round.

The first round of choreography is hip-hop, led by former contestants Twitch (Stephen Boss) and Comfort Fedoke. Before the first round, Hampton is quitting the competition because he doesn't have the training to pick up choreography. Andre, from the Atlanta crew Dragon House, is having a hard time and planning to quit too. 

After the first hip-hop group, Boris from Dragon House is out, as is the Praying Mantis contestant and the mother of two. Cyrus, the last of the Dragon House guys is up in one of the later groups and he makes it through to the next round.

Day 2 and we have Tyce Diorio to choreograph a Broadway round. There's a story, because of course there's a story, about dancers being randomly overcome with lust in the club. It can never just be, "You're sexy people and I'm going to make you look sexy."

Ballroom dancers Witney Carson and Lindsey Arnold, from the Salt Lake City auditions, are very blonde, very happy, and very friendly. And roommates in Las Vegas. They're both in the first group to perform. The whole group is moving on. As are apparently most of the groups in Broadway rounds.

Alexa Anderson, who was cut just before the top 20 last year, is in one of the later Broadway rounds. They ask her to step forward and Shankman says, "I'm getting tired of fighting to save you" and goes on to say that she's not giving the judges or her partner enough of a connection, and admonishes her to "dance like you want it, honey."

Two male dancers are cut from this group and then we see a montage of other cuts, set to a really intriguing cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." I'm going to have to hunt down who's doing that — readers, do you know? 

82 dancers remain at the start of the Jazz round, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. The b-boy we met in New York, Shefeek Westbrook, is having a hard time with choreography and bacon eater Danielle Dominguez is his partner and trying to be encouraging.

They're in the first round along with Rachel the "burlesque jazz" dancer who auditioned in lingerie. Rachel and Shefeek are both cut, with Rachel begging to be kept on. The begging works as as the judges, with the exception of Adam and maybe Nigel, agree to let her dance for her life.

Danielle is back to help out by partnering contemporary dancer Giovanni who repays her kindness by KICKING HER IN THE HEAD. Accidentally, but still. And then he's cut!No good deed goes unpunished. The medics check her out.

In this next round, we see jazz baby Amelia Lowe and Cyrus Spencer from Dragon House who's partnered with bubbly blonde Lindsey Arnold. Lindsey's through, but the judges are split on Amelia, who will be dancing solo at the end of the round. Cyrus is told to take classes to learn the contemporary "lines" but he's through to the next round. 

We check back in with Danielle and she's in a neck brace and on a gurney being taken off in an ambulance. Yikes!

All in all, 15 dancers were cut during the Jazz Round. Rachel is up first and her version of "burlesque" is not that different from what I'd call "stripping." The judges all say no, and Debbie Allen finds the most diplomatic way to say they're not looking for strippers on "So You Think You Can Dance."

Amelia's up next doing a much more balletic style than I remember from her original audition. She's got Adam in tears and Sonya is either enraptured or recently dosed on high-grade pharmaceuticals -- let's assume the former.