"All-Stars?" you say? Well yes! Now that it's time for VEGAS (!) Cat mentions how instead of a Top 20, there will be 10 top finalists, and they'll be paired each week with one of a pool of all-star dancers from seasons past. One contestant eliminated each week until we get a champion. And the returning dancers are, seriously, a grab-bag of my favorite people who have ever been on this show: Mark Kanemura! Neil Haskell! Lauren Gottlieb! Twitch! Ade! Pasha and Anya! Courtney Galiano! Kathryn McCormick! (Also: Allison, Dominic, and Comfort.) Seriously, it's probably a good thing they didn't throw in Jeanine and Jakob, lest I die. But these all-stars will have to wait a couple weeks. For now... VEGAS! I seriously freak out a little bit when they show the mega-clip of what's about to go down in Vegas. Yelling! Pressure! LIL' C IS IN TEARS! Can't take it.
Our judging panel for Vegas: Nigel, Adam, Tyce, Toni (yay!), Mary Murphy and Lil' C. Um... no Debbie Allen? NO DEBBIE ALLEN? Call the fire department, honey, I can't help but be disappointed! As f to preemptively make it up to me for this grave oversight, Cat Deeley quickly reminds me that two of my favoritest contestants of ever are back this year: Alex Wong, who had to quit due to being in indentured servitude to a ballet company back in Season 5, and Billy Bell, who lasted in Season 6 long enough to dance in that killer Wade Robson group routine before falling ill. I am beyond frightened for them this season, as the expectations for them are so high, there's almost nowhere to go but down. (That's the kind of optimism only a lifelong Buffalonian can have, by the way.)