The All-Stars are back on "So You Think You Can Dance"!! Amy and tWitch and Jasmine and Ade and a half-dozen more top competitors from previous seasons are being paired up with the Top 10 dancers, also known last week as "Those Left Standing After Four Were Shown the Door."

Did I mention that the All Stars are back? Whee!

The opening number is a kicking, flipping cowboy-style number with the Top 10 dancers decked out in yee-haw outfits in neon colors. The rootin', tootin' routine was choreographed by Jamal Sims and it was awesome! Then, here comes host Cat Deeley, who finally found that sparkly, glittery, shimmery white and light pink dress in the dark recesses of her closet. After the individual introductions, Cat breaks the news that each dancer will find out if they are safe, or in the bottom two guys or gals and could be sent home tonight. Yuck! But I guess the producers want to give them all the "audition experience."

Judges this week are regulars Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, and the guest judge is Olympic gold medal figure skater Tara Lipinsky. I loved watched Tara and fellow gold medalist Johnny Weir when they did such a great job as commentators during the Winter Olympics, so I was expecting her to be good, and I wasn't disappointed.

My absolute favorite pairing tonight was Zack Everhart Jr. with Amy Yakima, Season 10 winner. As choreographed by Sonja Tayeh, the contemporary piece that was a tribute to a friend who had died was incredibly touching. The judges gave the dancers a standing ovation at the conclusion, and even Cat blurted out, "Amazing! Spectacular!" Nigel thought the piece was "absolutely stunning," and Tara recalled that Amy said it could be a "Wow moment" -- but that was an understatement. "I'm speechless," Tara said. Mary tearfully called it a masterpiece. Ironically, Zack was one of the two guys with the lowest votes from last week. Oh, Nigel also gave it away that Sonja will be choreographing for the Martha Graham Dance Company.


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A close second for me was Jessica Richens with Stephen "tWitch" Boss, the king of funk and personality and Season 4 runner-up. They did a hip-hop routine, naturally, that Napoleon and Tabitha, aka NappyTabs, put together about an older guy sitting at on a bus bench who makes the moves on a hip, young thing. Even with gray hair and a fake belly, tWitch has an incredible arsenal of moves, but Jessica really did a great job of keeping up with him. Tara called it "unreal" and said the dancers were so in sync and were so cool. Mary thought NappyTabs did it again and that Jessica is a star, and Nigel added that people don't realize how good Jessica is. Jessica was safe.

And as much as I don't usually care for the Broadway numbers that usually are not done well, I really enjoyed Casey Askew and Kathryn McCormick from Season 6. Mary wasn't the least bit subtle -- "Oh my goodness!" was her first reaction. She said she's loved everything that Kathryn has done and that Casey is becoming a star. Nigel was pleased that Casey found a style that suited him and said he was getting stronger and better each week, and Tara said the piece was so believable. And Casey was safe.

The level of dancing for most of the Top 10 was high with many memorable performances. Bridget Whitman and Brandon Bryant, Season 5 runner-up, did a first-ever Bollywood disco routine that was fast, fast, fast. Tara said it was a lot of fun and thought Bridget sparkled, and Nigel called it a happy dance. Unfortunately for Bridget, she was one of the two lowest vote-getters for the girls.

Tanisha Belnap showed off her considerable ballroom skills with Ryan DiLello from Season 6 in an Argentine tango that smoldered from the first note of the music. As Cat greeted the pair at the dance's finish, she said, "I saw him balance you on his neck. Did I really see that?" And Tanisha said she was right. Mary hit it just right when she said that they made it seem so effortless, and Nigel thought it was fantastic. As Tanisha's mom cried in the audience, Cat told the dancer that she was safe.

Emilio Dosal and Jasmine Harper, Season 10 runner-up, performed a hip-hop routine by NappyTabs. Frankly, I thought that Emilio didn't hold his own in comparison with Jasmine, although the judges complimented him on his growth as a dancer. However, Emilio was the second of the two guys in the bottom. Rudy Abreu and Jenna Johnson from Season 10 took on a cha-cha-cha choreographed by Louis Van Amstel, another crossover from "Dancing With the Stars." Mary screamed, "When you're hot, you're hot!" and told Rudy to pack his bags for the Hot Tamale Train. I guess I just get tired of all of his mugging, winking at the audience, making all kinds of faces -- for me, it takes away from his dancing. Nigel took the time to apologize to Rudy for thinking he was "full of himself," but decided he was "full of life." I think Nigel might have had it right the first time. Rudy was safe.

Two unusual routines were the contemporary ballet duet by Jacque LeWarne and Chehon Wespi-Tshopp, the Season 9 winner. The ballet had Travis Wall's fingerprints all over it, and Jacque and Chehon did a beautiful job of it. I really liked the way the dance included the dancers' shadows playing across the walls. Nigel just said, "Wow!" and Tara called it "flawless." But Jacque was in the bottom two girls. The second routine that was a bit different was a rock-a-billy piece by Ricky Ubeda and Lauren Froderman, the Season 7 winner. Nigel summed it up nicely. "Everybody's raising their game, including you," he told Ricky. "It looked simple but it was really tough." When Cat said Ricky was safe, Nigel laughingly said, "How shocking."

The one routine that fell flat was the jazz piece choreographed by Tyce Diorio for Valerie Rockey and Ade Obayomi from Season 5. I really have liked Valerie and the way she has been showing she is more than a tap dancer, but I think this routine might get her booted next week, and I'm not sure that all the fault was Valerie's. Tara told her that her emotions weren't there for the entire performance, Mary said that Valerie was sweet, but when she needed to take on a rougher, angrier character, she didn't did deep enough. Nigel was brutal -- "I love you, but I didn't love you tonight. People need to remember how good you've been (when they vote)."

After a performance by Christina Perri with dancing by Kathryn and Chehon, Cat lined up the four in the bottom -- Bridget, Jacque, Emilio and Zack -- and the two going home were Bridget and Emilio.

The now Top 8 will be dancing with new All-Stars next week: Tanisha with Nick; Valerie with Ryan; Rudy with Allison; Jacque with tWitch; Ricky with Jaimie; Casey with Comfort; Jessica with Will; and Zack with Makenzie. It should be interesting to see Casey and Comfort get down with some hip-hop. The show will celebrate the music of Michael Jackson. See you next week -- keep dancing.