The So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 auditions continue tonight with a two hour episode. Tonight we see auditions from Los Angeles and Austin. From what I’ve heard, there is a lot of family-based stories tonight. Which means adorable dancing children. I’m excited. Are you excited?

And kick. And kick.

And kick. And kick.

I bet they’re excited! Let’s get to it.

We start in LA, where we take a look back at some of the previous dancers to come out of the auditions in the Orpheum. Just a few okay dancers like Twitch and last year’s female winner, Eliana. Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined by a potty mouthed Jesse Tyler Ferguson. I love him and love how much he just genuinely enjoys being there!

After the adorable Cat Deeley introduces us to the show tonight, we get right to it, so I’ll do the same.

Nicholas “Slick” Stewart: Yikes. His whole audition and his intro video gave me the heebie jeebies. For those who missed it, his style is “flexing” –  he can basically dislocate a bunch of joints and move his arms around like crazy. It’s disturbing. I mean, he did a great job, had a lot of great footwork and musicality. But it was hard to get past the creepy factor to really focus on any dance talent, so they sent him to choreography. There he kept up better than expected, but was still sent home.

Alex Kessinger – Alex had a rough time of it as a child, being put into foster care at 4. But she wound up living with her Aunt whom she calls Mom. It was a nice story, and seemed to work for Alex whose now-Mom was a dance instructor. Under her instruction, Alex has done well, even being named Miss Dance America. Her audition was just outstanding. The judges just sat watching her, mesmerized. As did I. I hope she picks up the other styles in Vegas, because there is something special about her. Oh yeah, so she made it to VEGAS. Duh.

Sebastian Serra – Sebastian is from Puerto Rico and dances in the Orlando Ballet. When he came on stages, the judges must have been hungry or getting tired because they were a little punchy and asking absurd questions. I love that Sebastian auditioned in a black tank and neon board shorts which were ridiculous. Not ridiculous – his dancing. He was not a standard ballet dancer. His moves were dynamic and his leaps were huge for such a little guy. He goes to VEGAS, but his shorts go in the trash.

Mariia Lebedeva & Misha Smagin – These Latin Ballroom dancers had one of my favorite types of Pair of Dancers intro videos – the one where the guy indicates that he totally wants to have a sexual relationship with the female partner and the chic Shuts. It. Down. Despite the tension there, none of that hits the floor because, wowza, they were so at great together. I will say that the music choice was a bit cliche. I mean, really, how often can Latin Ballroom dancers use “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez? We get it. It has a good beat for a samba. Anyway, Mariia (yes, there are two “i”s) basically oozed sex, in the good way. The judges can’t get enough of her. VEGAS for them both!

We take a break from the wonderful dancers to montage the crazy. A guy dancing on pointe. A dude with hula hoops or something. And, of course, a chic dressed as a bird. (“What the cluck is going on here?” asks Nigel. “I have no clucking idea,” I answer. Because I talk to my TV.)

Emilio “Millie” Dosal: Phillip Chbeeb is the best friend and roommate of (Thoroughly Modern) Millie, which is a pretty good SYTYCD alum to have in your corner because they just adored him. Watching the way he was so at ease there made it easy to understand why Phillip would want him in his crew. (PS – Philip’s house is really nice. What is he doing nowadays?!) His animation was clean and the choreography was very entertaining. Although stop giving me a heart attack making me think you broke your elbow for a split second, Millie! He was sent through the choreography. Side note – I love when they are clearly disappointed not to get that ticket straight to Vegas. But no need to be disappointed, Emilio, you still earned that ticket to VEGAS.

Makenzie Dustman – Damn, Makenzie is pretty. Almost too pretty. She’s a senior in high school, but comes off as very mature, which probably has to do with growing up on the road with her musician parents, aunt and uncle who have a jazz group. I don’t know where she took lessons, but holy crap she was amazing. She chose to do a classic contemporary routine (as opposed to the more modern styles we are used to seeing on the show, this one edges a little closer to ballet). Her lines were perfection and she, again, was just so mature. I hope she has a good attitude because she is heading to VEGAS, and I think she could go very far!

At this point we head to Austin where Mary’s hair goes insane and Minnie Driver fills the guest judge seat for the first time. WOO! Love her!

Anthony –  First to hit the stage was a little kid! If I could have died from the adorable, well, you wouldn’t have a recap to read right now because OMG I can’t get over this kid. He’s 4 years old, but he tells Nigel he’s 18 so he can be on the show. He’s precocious in a good way, and has an answer for all of Nigel’s questions. He is a huge fan of Cyrus from last year and dances in that style. Mom and Dad are bursting with pride (until the kid calls them old and says they can’t dance, even if they can). All of Austin is enamored with him and I’m thinking they may vote the kid mayor soon. Since they obviously can’t send him to Vegas, they send him to Disney World. Well done, kid.

Hayley Erbert – Hayley has brought her whole family from Kansas to her audition, including a 9 year old cousin who quickly rebuffs Nigel’s idea of setting her up with the 4 year old. I had to laugh because my 9 year old daughter would have reacted the same way. Hayley is a truly lovely dancer – her lines are impeccable and her transitions were so smooth. She worked really hard – she was so out of breath! Great music choice too. Nigel tried to send her to choreo, but Minnie gave him an “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” in her perfect accent and made sure she was sent straight to VEGAS.

Donovan Gibbs – Donovan’s family is having financial difficulties – they gave up their house to keep their dance studio, and were living in it for awhile. It’s a moving story, and one I’m sure a lot of people can understand. Donovan wants to help with the family’s finances, which is why he’s auditioning – a lot of pressure for an 18 year old! All those struggles certainly made their way into his routine. Beyond his great moves – a mix of contemporary and hip-hop – was a lot of anger and emotion. You could see it radiating off him. I hope he goes far, because he clearly would have a lot to offer when dancing the other choreographer’s work. Also he’s smart and knows to tell Minnie she’s pretty. When Nigel finds out the parents are here, of course, Dad comes on stage while mom watches next to Nigel. Father and son battle it out. Dad’s kind of amazing… Can we bring him back? Maybe if Donovan makes the live shows? For now… VEGAS!

Dannon O’Brien– Dannon is a bit of an oddball. His family has a charity haunted house every year – he does the makeup and loves to scare people. What I like is, unlike a lot of the oddballs on this show, he seems in on the joke that is his complete craziness. But on to his dancing – it is really something. He tells a story, and there was a lot of emotion and creativity. I was prepared to see something awful, to be honest. Mary calls it engaging, and I can’t think of a better word for it. His weirdness came out a bit as they praised him, but I’m glad to see that he still gets to go to VEGAS.

Shane Garcia – Oh man, I’m a bit of an emotional wreck going into Shane’s dance. His intro piece and his Q&A with Nigel were just so inspiring. Shane has a pretty severe stutter. He discovered if he taps a beat, he can talk with a bit more fluidity. But in order to really be able to speak freely, he learned to dance. It’s such a lovely sentiment because I’m sure it’s the case for a lot of people sitting in that auditorium, and in every other audition city and those at home watching, even if they have no speech issues. Dance is a way to communicate those things which people can’t communicate otherwise. Shane’s dance is really lovely, but has more of that bone-breaking that freaks me out. Nigel keeps saying “OW!” which is funny. If I wasn’t enough of an emotional wreck before, I’m pretty much a complete mess by the time it’s over. You can see in his face just the need to connect as he dances. It really moves the judges. They send him to choreo, because we just don’t know what else he can do. And he proves he has even more in him and is sent off to VEGAS!! YAY!

Daniela Bustillos – Daniela was born in Venezuela. When she was 8, she, along with a few other kids and her aunt, were taken hostage in her aunt’s house. It’s serious and awful, but turned a bit ridiculous when SYTYCD decides to do a sort-of reenactment a la Rescue 911. Mom is brought up to watch the audition which is adorable as ever. Daniela is good dancer, but as Mary points out, her transitions need quite a bit of work. I think she may have been a no otherwise, but with mom there, they send her to choreo. But she proves something and gets sent to VEGAS (I think she’ll need another year or two to make it past that, though).

Nick Muckleroy – Poor Nick had to sit and listen to Nigel joke about holding Mary hostage in his hotel room last night. But he patiently waited for their nonsense to be done before taking the stage and shutting them up with his audition. And daaamn, that was strong. Not just figuratively. Literally strong – he is just all muscle. They cut away to one girl in the audience who basically had hearts and rainbows shooting out of her eyes when staring at him. He was SOOOO GOOD you guys. I need him to make it so we can see him partner on the live shows. But for now – VEGAS!

Hampton “The Exorcist” Williams & Darlesha Goggens & Kira– Guys, I’m still emotionally recovering from what Hampton did last year during the auditions. It was brilliant. Scary. But totally brilliant. I love finding out that Hampton is a dad to an adorable little 4 year old girl, Kira (someone call Anthony!), with his girlfriend Darlesha. I love how excited the audience is to see him. Anyway, Kira comes up and dances first. She does starts Dad’s exorcist dance. He comes up and they dance together, with Darlesha joining in after a minute. It’s almost too much for me. I’m not sure how much of this they had planned out in advance beyond messing around at home, but the way they all just play off each other, it’s clear how tight this family is. I think it showed exactly what Shane was talking about – dance allows people to talk when they can’t otherwise – this family communicates perfectly through their dance. They all go to VEGAS! I love it.

Next week, SYTYCD Season 10 heads to Boston with guest judge, Adam Shankman! Can’t wait. I hope we get a lot of Boston accents. And Ben Affleck. And Matt Damon. Those last two seem unlikely…

Find me on twitter @serrae

 

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