Annie Barrett
June 20, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

There’s nothing like the “Vegas Callbacks” round to make So You Think You Can Dance look like a common pool party!

Thirty-five dancers moved on after a grueling Vegas Callbacks round. Contestants had to make it through four routines: Broadway with Tyce Diorio, Jazz with Sonya Tayeh, Ballroom with Jason Gilkinson, and Contemporary with season 2 runner-up and frequent choreographer Travis Wall. We barely saw any names on-screen (so I’m sorry I can’t give you the official list of 35), but the editors did make sure to give us one complete Vegas story arc: that of Blake Lively lookalike Alexa Anderson.

The judges pulled that sneaky move where they single out a contestant to over-criticize about “not connecting”…and then she has a major redemption scene and a killer full-length solo and suddenly she’s the most prominent dancer of the season in everyone’s minds. It’s almost like…they WANT HER TO WIN! Well, that would be fine with me.

Alexa, who was cut right before the Top 20 last season (the judges went with Ryan Ramirez) and has “learned to relax and breathe” since then, fell short in the Broadway performance, prompting perpetual chair sobber Adam Shankman to complain, “I’m sick of saving you. We’re debating putting you through because you are dead.” She died! Oh no wait. “There’s absolutely no light. Dance like you want it, honey. Connect with your partner because you can.” Later, Alexa turned it on and delivered a plethora of what I like to call “jazz faces” — the visual equivalents of “I’m having a blast and being sensual.” Suddenly the judges started writhing around in their seats, growling “Alexa!” “Ahhh!” “Alexa!”

“You’ve got a little star by your name,” Nigel Lythgoe assured the 19-year-old from Arizona. “This child could win,” trilled Debbie Allen (of course) during Alexa’s solo. Pretty big turnaround from the whole group.

Do you think the judges singled her out to pick on with an ulterior motive in mind or was Alexa really lacking in those first two dances?

Favoritism or not, I think she’s wonderful — practically perfect in every way, just like Mary Poppins. I kind of want to BE her. But then who would be me? I bet she’d be really dissatisfied with my mostly sedentary life and the last thing I’d want to do is make Alexa Anderson sad.

Who were your favorites tonight? Can Amelia Lowe a.k.a. short-haired Krysten Ritter eventually connect with a partner? Would Danielle Dominguez have survived the callbacks had she not been struck in the head by a foot? And were you as surprised as I was to see returning hopeful Adrian Lee go?

Stay tuned for EW’s full So You Think You Can Dance recap later on.

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

Read more:

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ recap: Last Stop Before Vegas

What is your damage, Cat Deeley? Wrong ‘Choice’!

Better stankface? Debbie Allen vs. J. Lo on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

‘SYTYCD’: More Jesse Tyler Ferguson, please!

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