Tonight’s episode takes us to LA to scope out some talent. Nigel and Mary are joined by Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) – he was one of my favorite guest judges last year and it is great to see him on the audition panel. Mary and Nigel tell the dancers that they do not want to see any excessive body touching and no booty shaking unless the dancer is really, really good at it. Jesse says he wants to see all of that!
First up to audition is Alexa Anderson (19) – Contemporary. She tried out last season and almost made it to the top 20 but was beat out by Robert Roldan. She is back to try it again. She knows what this audition process is all about and she is dancing like nobody’s business. I am betting that she will go to Vegas and will proceed pretty far in the competition. Bonus – she is from Chandler, AZ so she gets my automatic vote. Nigel sends her straight to Vegas.
Jontel “Johnny Waack” Gibson (20) – Wacking… last season we had Princess Lockeroo introduce this style of dance to the program, now we have this young man showing his stuff. I love that his music is the “Theme From Shaft” (Isaac Hayes). He is pretty good – but not good enough to win the competition. He is more entertaining than good. The judges decide to send him to choreography, good for him as he says he has contemporary and hip hop experience.
Eliana Girard (20) – Contemporary…she attended school at the Joffrey and was an Alvin Ailey dancer and was a Cirque de Soleil aerialist! She has amazing legs and she definitely has a presence on the stage. It was very hard to take my eyes off of her. Her music (Mouvement Intoductif – Yann Tiersen) was perfect for the evocative performance she gave. She is definitely on my radar! She is going to Vegas…the judges LOVE her!
Nick and James Aragon “The Ninja” Twins (32) – Contemporary …they do everything together. They have been hyping these two for awhile…let’s see what they can do. They dance to “Man In The Mirror” and they are not bad, but they are not fantastic. They may get sent to choreography. They are very entertaining though. I think they are outside of the age limit as the cut off is 30. They were fun to watch though…
Sam Lenarz (18) – Contemporary…6 months ago she came home from dance class and her room was all packed up. Her mom kicked her out of the house. That is CRAZY! She puts all of her feelings into an amazing audition. She chose to dance to Jewel’s Angel Standing By. Nigel wants more heart and passion from her. She is technically very strong but they want to see the heart. I thought she showed enough emotion. The judges send her to choreography.
Caley Carr (25) – Tap…surfing, dancing and trying to pay the bills, that is his plan for life! I love his enthusiasm and his fancy ‘. He also made an interesting song choice in Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know. As enthusiastic as he is while talking to the judges, I thought his tapping was fairly laid back but in control. The judges send him to choreography.
Megan Branch (18) – Contemporary…another potential hometown favorite. She is from Gilbert, AZ and she gets extra points from me because she is dancing to a Björk song (Hunter). She is quite the storyteller in her movements. Each toe point and extension is perfectly placed. Can’t see her going anywhere except to Vegas. She goes to Vegas – as it should be.
Cole Horibe (26) – Martial Arts…Paul infuses his martial arts training with his dancing. In this dance he is portraying a Shaolin warrior who was raised to not show any emotion. Interesting. In a very strange way, his dancing was compelling. At times it seemed as if he was a geisha (yes, I know) and then I got the warrior and then there were the kicks and the spins. I am glad that it wasn’t The Matrix which is what I thought it was going to be. Straight to Vegas.
David Matz (27) – Steel Wheel…we have had seen some very interesting dance styles so far this season! This is another first. Very entertaining, but can he do anything else? The judges send him to choreography - that is the right decision, I think.
Stephen Jacobsen (22) – Non-Classical Ballet/Ballet…he has an amazing body – ok, got that out of the way. He is a really bad mess of a dancer. He says he has been dancing for 17 years. Nigel stops the audition. They ask him to do something more serious to a different song. He is clearly a brilliant dancer when he takes it seriously. They send him to Vegas.
Jonathan Anzalone (25) – B Boy…the last time he auditioned he was full of attitude and Mia told him he was not going to be successful in America. It took him awhile but he is back and he does a fairly decent audition with some really fun tricks. I’m still not sure if he is too serious. They bring up an unsuspecting woman from the audience so that he can demonstrate that he knows how to dance with a woman. Jesse puts money in his shorts…wow! Mary wanted to send him to Vegas, but Nigel and Jesse send him to choreography.
Jasmine Mason (18) Jazz and Marshea Kidd (22) – Contemporary…her brother Marshea has auditioned for the show several times and 6 weeks before this audition he and his sister were in a horrible car accident. He was proclaimed dead on arrival – he is here and he can dance. They are both miracles and they are both auditioning today. I love the way she moves across the floor and her smile is infectious. She dances with pure joy. Also – great song choice…Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind. Jasmine goes to Vegas.Marshea brings it all to the floor and does an amazing contemporary performance to R. Kelly’s When A Woman Loves. Mary stops his audition and just gives him his ticket to Vegas! This will be an interesting story to follow.
The steel dancer, Jonathon, Caley and Johnny Waacks get cut. Sam Larenz makes it through to Vegas along with 20 others from the choreography round. Next week they will be in Atlanta with guest judge Debbie Allen.
This week was great – I am pleased that they are showing fewer bad dancers (I don’t think they have showed any really in the first two episodes) and focusing on the great ones.