This week the So You Think You Can Dance auditions were held in Atlanta, GA. Last year’s winner, Melanie Moore, auditioned here with a performance that was so compelling it basically paved her way right through to the finale. What talent will the judges find here for Season 9?
Click on through to read all about the dancers the judges found in Georgia…
This week the guest judge is one of my all time favorites – Miss Debbie Allen. I knew I would enjoy these two hours just hearing her name. I want to have lunch with her (and her sister Phylicia Rashad, if possible, thanks) so she can tell me that everything will be okay and how I can make my life better. Yes, I believe she could make all things better. And you could tell that Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy were just as happy to have a knowledgeable choreographer sitting next to them too.
Cat Deeley, looking stylish as ever in a very fluffy jacket and scarf, herded in the group of wannabe Melanies and Markos into the theater where they waited to perform. And let me tell you, I think there is a chance we’ve found them in the ATL once again. So let’s get to the long list of brilliant dancers…
Audrey Case- This adorable 18 year old danced a beautiful contemporary routine (to a very interesting cover of “Do You Wanna Dance?”) that really showed off her charm and her amazing extensions. And while it earned her a myriad of praise, a standing ovation from judges and dancers alike, and a ticket to Vegas, her pre-audition interview has saddled her with an unfortunate thing we will all remember… That she can “fart” with her neck. It was actually a squeak. But if she makes it to the Top 20, I feel like we’ll never be allowed to forget it.
Boris Penton, Andre Rucker and Cyrus Spencer- Man, oh man. These three roommates who auditioned on the same day (Boris at the start, Andre and Cyrus at the end of the day) were all, to put it mildly, brilliant. Just completely and utterly mesmerizing. Magical. Genius. I could go on with an endless stream of adjectives for these three b-boys. I don’t know what is in the water in their apartment, but I think all the other dancers in the auditorium wanted to head over there and drink some. All three received standing O’s from the judges and the crowd along with a laundry list of superlatives to try to describe how miraculous it was to watch them. Will they go far in this show? I honestly have no idea since we don’t know how they’ll handle partner work. But I know people in the industry will see this and be dying to get their hands on them. We all know there will inevitably be another Step Up movie. Expect to see them in it. I don’t always feel the need to tell people to go YouTube auditions, but I highly recommend it with these guys.
Joshua Alexander- This contemporary dancer danced a gorgeous routine that caused Debbie Allen to have the “Dayum” face going on the entire time. His leaps and tricks were flawless. No judging necessary – just three tickets in the air. He may be one to watch.
Tim Conkel- This kid, who carries around a Selena Gomez backpack just to keep her near him, is an international karate champion. He also wants to not just be America’s Favorite Dancer, but America’s Favorite Person. His dancing was good in no small part to the karate skills that all him to master some major dance tricks. But can he do anything else? He has 7 days of ballet training, so he whips out a little bit of that nonsense… kind of. I’m scared this guy may stray from cute to annoying if he sticks around, but he’ll have to get past the crazy choreo of Vegas first.
Jackson Alvarez- This hip-hop dancer was pretty good, and was sent off to choreography. But he also teaches The Wobble which apparently is quite popular with the youngsters nowadays. A huge group of dancers came up on stage to demonstrate and then Debbie and Nigel Wobbled and we were all a little horrified. And when he went back to wait for choreo, Jackson taught Cat to Wobble. I bet he enjoyed that.
Janelle Issis- In the “dirty old men” section of the evening, we have our first belly dancer. Nigel had way too many gross comments, and part of her video showed her dancing at an old age home where I feared all the men would die from a heart attack. But, while she did audition with a belly dancing routine, she has trained in many other styles, which hopefully will help her in choreography, where the judges send her for now.
Danielle Dominguez- Oh how I love a name with alliteration. And she loves bacon. Like, a lot. My arteries clogged just watching the video. But then Nigel said suggested that Mary and Debbie would like to try this diet… yikes. Danielle also said her mom used to cheer – so Mom did a routine in the aisle. Good on ya, Momma! Her routine was bizarre in a great way. I could imagine Sonya Tayeh sitting at home just aching to get her hands on her, which Mary brought up as well. I love the “weird” dancers (like Mark Kanemura) and was happy she was sent to Vegas.
In choreo after the first day, Courtney Galiano and Robert Roldan put the crew to the test, Janelle and Jackson among them – and they both went on through to Vegas! Now on to Day 2…
Courtney Kirby- Courtney brought her sassy former-dancer Grandma. This old lady was hysterical. Nigel brought her up to watch from his chair and Grandma gets a bit fresh with him then cries her way through Courtney’s very beautiful routine. Courtney is someone I think the audience would vote for. She is cute and talented, in a very Lauren Froderman sort of way. Where the first time a choreographer makes her sexy we are all a bit shocked but she pulls it off and we love her even more. Mary and Debbie say Vegas, but Nigel said choreo. Grandma tells him to change his mind so he doesn’t look ridiculous. Hey Courtney – bring Grams to Vegas, will ya?
Asher Walker- This kid answers the age old question “What if Kent Boyd had been a hip-hop dancer?” Asher lives in Middle-of-Nowhere-Redneck Virginia where he practices hip-hop in his garage. His dream is to be a backup dancer on the Justin Beiber tour. He was super cute and considering some of the things we have seen, like the trio, it’s amazing to how much that really stood out. He wasn’t as polished but it was clear he is just inherently talented. Are you paying attention, Biebs? If so – you’ll know where to find Asher… Vegas!
George Lawrence II- This contemporary dancer’s back story involved his dad not being entirely supportive of his decision to dance. He had a very successful career in track and field, but dance is George’s passion, so he’s hoping Dad will come around. The routine was very splendid and artistic and hopefully the praise from the judges (people who know what they are talking about) will help Dad come around. Maybe he can be convinced with that ticket to Vegas.
Brittany Ortner- Oh this girl… She was an odd duck. Or should I say odd chicken since her background footage was as much about the chickens in her town as it was about her being kind of ridiculous. But despite her need to say her name and age a zillion times to get it right, this girl was quite a dancer. She was cute and fun and had some great moves. She’s sent to choreography for now.
Damon Bellmon and Deon Lewis- This duo last year auditioned with a routine that was stolen from/an homage to the French duo, Les Twins. They said they were just showing they can follow choreography. Some people said they stole it. Edited out last season was them saying it was in tribute to them. Either way, they apologize, giggle with Cat and do a routine they say they came up with on their own. And it was just as much fun as last year’s Les Twins routine. See boys – be creative in in your homages, don’t just rip it off! But they are sent to choreo to see how they do dancing with the ladies.
Courtney and Robert give the kids the routine, they all do their thing and we learn that Deon was sent home, but Damon was sent to Vegas along with Brittany. But not Brittany’s chickens.
Next week – Salt Lake City which is always a hot bed of talent. And the guest judge is another one of my favorites…. Adam Shankman! Bring the crazy, Shank!
Check out what Jessica had to say over on Small Screen Scoop where she gives her thoughts on the dancers. She’s the newbie. I’m the vet. Together we make quite the silly pair.
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serraeSubscribe for Free to SYTYCD updates on Facebook, by Email, RSS, & on Twitter
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