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So You Think You Can Dance: What You Don't Know About the Top 20 Dancers

Evan Kasprzak, Janette Manrara, Max Kapitannikov, Brandon Bryant, Kupono Aweau, Caitlin Kinney, Vitolio Jeune, Kayla Radomski, Ashley Valerio, Karla Garcia, Ade Obayomi, Tony Bellissimo, Melissa Sandvig, Asuka Kondoh, Jonathan Platero, Jeanine Mason, Phillip Chbeeb, Paris Torres, Jason Glover, Randi Evans, So You Think You Can Dance, Season 5 Top 20 Mike Ruiz/FOX

So You Think You Can Dance has selected a new crop of fabulous young dancers for season five's top 20, and we caught up with them all yesterday to find out some fun facts about who they are and learn their hopes and fears for the upcoming competition.

Which choreographer does Caitlin Kinney want to impress the most? Where have you seen Phillip Chbeeb before? And what's Brandon Bryant's plan for making tough-love choreographer Mia Michaels ease up on the tough? We've got the scoop...


Randi Evans, 23, is a jazz dancer from Orem, Utah.
"I'm really down to earth. I love to go camping and four-wheeling, so this is a very glam side of me."

Karla Garcia, 23, is a jazz/contemporary dancer from Oxon Hill, Md. She first auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance two seasons ago as a tap dancer.
"For me [the biggest challenge] is the ballroom styles. You have to be very fluid and upright, and I think I'm more of a gritty attack kind of dancer so I think it's going to be a good challenge for me."

Caitlin Kinney, 21, is a contemporary dancer from Annapolis, Md. She didn't decide to hit Memphis auditions until the day before they were held, but both she and her sister Megan (who auditioned in Miami) made it through to Vegas Week.
"I really want to get [MIA Michaels'] style and work with her and prove to myself that I can learn. I just adore watching it, so I want to be able to not just watch, but do it myself."

Asuka Kondoh, 25, is a Latin ballroom dancer from Irvine, Calif. Fun fact: She swoons for Dr. Gregory House.
"The [style] one I'm nervous about is krumping. Imagine me, this, krumping. That's going to be a sight to see."

Janette Manrara, 25, is a salsa dancer from Miami. She started her performing career in musical theater and realized she loved the dancing aspect the most out of all the creative elements that go into a stage production.
"America has only seen me do crazy flips and salsa, but they don't know that I have a little thing hiding in the back pocket, that I can do a little bit of contemporary and a little bit of hip-hop."

Jeanine Mason, 18, is a contemporary dancer from Miami. She turned 18 five days before her SYTYCD audition, squeaking by the age limit!
"I first started dancing when I was three and what got me dancing was my mom. She always wanted to be a ballerina, but she never had the opportunity to."

Kayla Radomski, 18, is a jazz/contemporary dancer from Aurora, Colo. She's terrified of ballroom dancing.
"I came to audition for the show just from watching it from season one. This is something I always wanted to do."

Melissa Sandvig, 29, is a dancer from Los Alamitos, Calif., whom judge Adam Shankman christened the "naughty ballerina" during the audition process.
"If you Google naughty ballerina, you're not going to find me, you're going to find something totally naughty. So don't do that at home."

Joel McHale Jeremy Cowart / E! Networks

Paris Torres, 19, is a contemporary dancer from Issaquah Plateau, Wash.
"I'm obsessed with Joel McHale and The Soup, obsessed. Joel McHale...I love you!"

Ashley Valerio, 22, is a contemporary dancer from Mesa, Ariz. This is her third time auditioning for the show.
"I want to work with Wade Robson, because I think he's brilliant and his piece with Jamie and Hok, I died. I loved it so much. I just wanted to be like Jamie, like a bird."


Kupono Aweau, 23, is a lyrical/contemporary dancer from Kailua, Hawaii.
Kupono chopped off his seriously long mohawk to be more competitive in the upcoming performance episodes.
"Prior to all of this I had been watching the show. The dances are untouchable. You don't even think that you can do that because they're ridiculous and amazing."

Tony Bellissimo, 20, is a hip-hop dancer from Hamburg, N.Y.
"I love Michael Jackson's Thriller, so when Wade did 'Ramalama' it was something I could relate to. It was really cool."

Brandon Bryant, 19, is a contemporary dancer from Utah who discovered his passion for movement after watching Britney Spears' "Crazy" video.
"Me and Mia have a rough surface right now, I'm trying to smooth it out. It'll be smooth, don't worry, but that's what I'm terrified of. [That] and ballroom."

Phillip Chbeeb, 20, is a popper from Houston. Phillip danced with former SYTYCD contestants and America's Best Dance Crew winners Hok Konishi and Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval. Phillip auditioned in season three, and made it through to Vegas in season four, but wasn't able to compete because he came down with pneumonia. He and fellow popper Robert Muraine battled in the season four finale.
Quote: "My whole goal here was to struggle, that's what I'm looking forward to, because I feel like there's no better way to get through this experience than to struggle and overcome it."

Jason Glover, 21, is a lyrical/contemporary dancer from Fresno, Calif. He was partners with fellow season-five finalist Paris Torres during Vegas last year, and they both got cut in the same round.
"I started [dancing] when I was 12 because of a little girl that I had a huge crush on."

Vitolio Jeune, 26, is a contemporary dancer from Pétionville, Haiti.
"When I was dancing in Haiti, you are shaking your bum-bum, but I started dancing professionally when I was 18."

Max Kapitannikov, 26, is a Latin ballroom dancer from Moscow, Russia, who really wants to learn how to krump.
"Most of Mia's choreography just really gives you this deep sense of what dance could be, so hopefully I'll get to work with her."

Evan Kasprzak, 21, is a Broadway dancer from West Bloomfield, Mich., who first auditioned in season four. He and his brother Ryan Kasprzak made it all the way through Vegas Week together, but Ryan was cut just before the Top 20.
Quote: "I started dancing at six and fell in love with it. The rest is history."

Ade Obayomi, 20, is a contemporary dancer from Phoenix. Fun fact: Heidi and Spencer fighting got him hooked on The Hills.
"For me, Bollywood is the one I'm nervous about. It's new and I'm not familiar with the movement, so I don't know what to expect, so I'm just an open book with that one."

Jonathan Platero, 21, is a salsa dancer from Orlando, Fla., who used to be a wrestler.
"I auditioned in New York. I was actually on vacation, and I saw the posting for the audition the day before so I thought, might as well go try out."

What do you think of the Top 20? Is someone missing you thought would make it through? Or are you superpleased with the new batch of dancers this season? The comments section awaits!

Check back tomorrow morning for exclusive video with the newest dancers on SYTYCD!