It’s finally time- Vegas week is over, and the judges had to pick the top 20 dancers to continue on for the title of America’s Best Dancer. And this episode was also special because it’s the 200th one of the show. Mary and Nigel are there of course, and joining them is Zooey Deschanel, star of FOX’s own New Girl. They took this time to make the following announcements:

First: There will be two dancers chosen at the end of this season, a man and a woman. Second: There will be no results show, so each episode will continue to be two hours long, and show the elimination live that night, I suppose. Also, this episode is half live, but will also be used to show the process the judges went through to narrow it down from 35 dancers to the top 20 that will compete this season.

So we’re shown the elimination that had been previously taped. First on the chopping block was Alexa Anderson, who had undergone a lot of trials during Vegas week. And it was all worth it- she made it into the top 20! I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Following her was George Lawrence the 2nd, whose Atlanta audition had wowed Debbie Allen. He made it through, as did Will Thomas. After two rejections, we saw Amber Jackson, who had made it up to Vegas week in season 6, and had auditioned in season 7 as well. After a year’s hiatus, she returned, and this time she made it further than ever before: to the top 20.

The first four were then introduced live, and performed a contemporary number to a slow Jessie J remix of “We Found Love.” It was pretty and set a mood for sure, but personally, the lack of symmetry bothered me. Nigel complimented them (and Tyce’s choreography), and gave them a little push to continue to improve. Mary gave her two cents, and it was all positive and hopeful. Zooey’s comment was about their teamwork, confirming my suspicion that she was only there as a celebrity face.

After a break, it’s back to the taped eliminations. Focusing on ballroom, Witney Carson, Lindsay Arnold and Nick Bloxsom-Carter were the remaining specialists, and Cat’s voiceover seemed to indicate they wouldn’t all make it on, which seems a little ridiculous to me, seeing as how most of this show revolves around partner routines. Nick got emotional in front of the judges before they could even deliver the verdict, at which point they told him to quit the crying because he was in.

I was much more invested in the girls, who have been friends forever and were adorable last week as roommates. I guess the producers agreed this made for good TV, because they sent them to the judges together. As I had suspected, it was all a fake-out, and both were chosen- clearly they need to explore that dynamic a little more. “Dance Again” by J.Lo played as the three showed off their spicy skills, and I got goosebumps. It couldn’t have been easy for Nick to take on both blondes, but they pulled the odd number off quite well. Mary only had negative comments for Nick, and Zooey stumbled over her words in true “Jess” fashion.

The format had been established, so once again it was back to eliminations. This time they focused on Eliana Girard, the adorable ballerina with the bouncy brown curls. Daniel Baker and Cheyon Wespi-Tschopp followed together, the two classically-trained men who had both left professional careers to audition for the show. Again, we were set up for a one-or-the-other type of deal, but both got through, and performed a number with Eliana that was at first icy in nature, but sped up and the audience was pleased. Nigel spoke of the bravery of the choreographers and dancers alike, and Mary remarked on Eliana’s (literally) sharp tutu.

Jazz time! Tiffany Maher was up first, and Debbie told her she was invisible before, but now they want her. What? Audrey Case, cute to the core, was next, and she made it as well. Four more girls who have gotten almost zero screen time were dismissed, and then Janelle Issis, the belly dancer, was called in. Though she made it to the top 20, she didn’t get to dance with the other two girls live due to illness. I have to say that although the dancers were great, I kind of hated the choreography, and the music even more. Zooey disagreed with me, and Nigel compared the pair to Pebbles from The Flintstones before reminding them of the rough road ahead.

Joshua Alexander was finally showcased again, after his accident that landed him in the hospital. He was called in front of the judges though, but they dismissed him along with a number of other guys. Matthew Kazmierczak, the Ryan-Gosling lookalike, made it as well as Dareian Kujawa, who had been told his feet were a problem in the past. Janaya French, who I hadn’t recalled seeing previously, as well as Amelia Lowe and Jill were the last girls to receive the verdict, and the first two were chosen and danced alongside Matthew and Dareian in a lovely contemporary piece. Zooey said it was “delicate and beautiful,” and Mary gave kudos to the choreographer, Stacey Tookey.

Only the boys are left to choose from: three spots for seven guys. Cole Horibe, Mr. Martial Arts himself, made it through first, unsurprisingly, and was followed by two tappers who were dismissed. Devon McCollough and Brandon Mitchell, two steppers, were called in together, but only Brandon was got to stay. It all came down to Cyrus Spencer and a guy who hadn’t been shown much, Feliciano Turk. After all that he had been through, Cyrus was chosen, and they managed to pull together the final three in a baseball-themed number hip-hop number that was impossible to look away from, as cheesy as it was.

The last thirty minutes of the show were filled with an advertisement for National Dance Day, and three routines, including the preparation that went into them. The girls worked with Travis Wall, a SYTYCD vet himself, on a lovely lyrical number that revolved around a door frame. Next, the boys did their piece choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, who made them strip down at rehearsals. Their performance was very masculine and powerful, and took the time to showcase their various talents. Finally, the top 20 donned Men In Black-esque attire for a Mia Michael’s routine that was by far my favorite of the night.