My kind of town, Chicago is. Not only has it been my home my whole life, but you just can’t be anything else, with an audition city that gives you both a girl that falls out of her top and also a girl that pukes while on stage. This doesn’t even take into account the overblown egos and parade of dancers who Nigel Lythgoe believes are ripping off their customers as they charge people choreography fees, despite not being good dancers themselves.
The judges are again Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and joining them is Shane Sparks, who choreographed You Got Served. First up is Tony Peltier, 30, who host Cat Neeley notices spends most of his time waiting practicing his pickup lines. She guessed he thought it was like speeddating. As he dances his routine, it looks kind of cool for club dancing, but I don’t think it would transfer to much else. After, Nigel is shocked to read in his notes that Tony believes he’s the only one in his family with rhythm. Nigel proceeds to give him the cold hard truth, that he will never be a professional dancer, despite being fun to watch. Mary called him very spastic and a bit frantic, and Shane agreed with me that it’s fine for the clubs, but not the television show. Nigel asks what he does for a living, and Tony says he works in customer service at a company that makes pacemakers and defibulators. It’s apparent he doesn’t have a future in dancing, despite having it in his heart.
Jessica Wilson, 19, of Crown Point, Indiana struggles with the same thing. She has been dancing since she was three, and is doing a modern/lyrical piece about a relationship she had. She intends to use personality and looking in the judges’ eye to express herself through her movement and face in her dance. She just doesn’t seem to be a natural at it, though, and she seems to struggle to do some of the moves, possibly because she’s a bigger girl. Nigel asks who she feels she dances like from last year’s top ten of the show. Jessica beleives she dances more like herself than anybody else. Nigel tells Jessica it was like watching a a five or six year old’s recital routine. Shane doesn’t want to be mean, but there’s a level of dance they need, and she isn’t even near being ready. Nigel tells her he has to kill her dream that she will never become a professional dancer. Hopefully Jessica has a backup plan, and if not, maybe she can work with Tony in customer service.
Love blossomed last year for Nick Gonzales, 23, of Bolingbrook, Illinois and Angela Savelli, 24, of Chicago, Illinois. They met last year at the auditions, and have been together since. He’s here auditioning in tap, and she is auditioning with a partner in a lyrical dance. They agree to be happy for each other even if only makes it. As Nick does his routine, Mary cackles in the background. I have to say Nick beats the pants out of the Chuckie doll that tapped during the previous night’s auditions. Shane tells him after that he is dangerous, and it’s hard for him to believe Nick could do anything bad, as he struggles to figure out how Nick didn’t make it last year. Mary believes Nick has something that commands attention, and she remembers from last year that he still has the same spark. Nigel admits there is something with being over the top like Nick that makes it exciting to watch, yet he also needs to learn to have control and pull back sometimes. Shane believes Nick could go all the way to the top and Mark agrees, although says it will take a lot of work. Nick is rewarded with a ticket to Las Vegas. It’s just hard for me to concentrate on any of it because of the intricately shaved pattern in his head.
Angela dances with Gret Marchetti, 20 of Ambridge, Pennsylvania to Fever. After mumbling with Shane throughout the routine, Nigel tells Angela and Greg after that there was something very sexless in that. He remembers Angela from last year, and says she did one of he sexiest things he ever saw. Shane says if you are with a dancer you have feelings for, anytime you are near each other, there needs to be an energy. Even if dancing with someone other than her boyfriend, she still needs to find energy in her partner. Nigel cuts to the chase and says “Y’all weren’t good enough.” He doesn’t feel it this year like he did last year. Despite only one of them having a ticket to continue with this, Nick and Angela dance down the sidewalk to the Wizard of Oz theme. This has to be hard on Angela, so it’s great that she still has the great attitude for her boyfriend.
While people wait to get onstage, they all dance and practice in the hallways and on the stairs. One girl has her boobs fall out of her top while she is dancing and showing off to the others. I guess she ended up showing off more than she wanted to. She is never shown again auditioning, so I’m hoping her only fifteen minutes of fame wasn’t that moment. “Remember that show from about ten years ago? So You Think You Can Dance? Yeah, I was the girl in Chicago that had her boobs fall out of her top.”
Knowlton Haaland, 25, of Navarre, Florida shows off his physique, forcing his stomach out to look much larger than it is, saying instead of having a six-pack, he has the whole keg. He sells steak outside on the road from a freezer in the back of his pickup truck. I’m pretty sure just as I wouldn’t buy fruit from a beach vendor when I was in Acapulco for vacation, that I also wouldn’t buy steak from a guy set up on a street corner. He has a completely entertaining dance, although there is no way it’s right for this dance competition. While dancing, Knowlton pretends to be shooting a gun and does a giddup cowboy thing. He also does the running man, and what I found out from Taylor Hicks is the “sprinkler.” Mary, of course, is cackling away like crazy. Nigel calls him a dancing clown, and says if it was “So You Think You’re Funny,” Knowlton would win. He’s not sure how it applies for this dancing competition, but he admits to having great fun. Mary says she thinks he is hysterical, and believes he is the life all the parties around. Yet, she isn’t sure what she could do with him either. Shane says if he could do that, he would have every girl in Los Angeles. Knowlton leaves not really too dejected, as he knows he still impressed the hell out of the judges.
As day two in Chicago begins, the only dancer that made it straight through to Las Vegas the day before was tap dancer Nick. Timothy Cruz, 25, of Lakewood, Ohio does nothing to change this ratio this day. He says he loves the energy of hip hop, and he used to emulate dancers like Michael Jackson on TV until he was 13 and met a personal choreographer. He moved up so quickly with him that he began teaching under him. He does not really do anything during this routine, and has the weirdest facial expressions, that bring to mind David Spade’s line, “Why the long face?” Nigel tells him he gives white dancers a really bad name, and says he didn’t see one ounce of rhythm. Nigel has never done hip hop before, yet he is sure he could do much better, which Mary thinks is a pretty scary thought. Nigel also thinks when Timothy sees this on TV he’ll stop dancing. Mary finds it very difficult to believe he is a choreographer. Nigel looks down at his notes, and says, “What?” He tells him to charge people money to teach them his choreography is stealing, and he thinks Timothy should give the money back.
Imagine thinking you are getting some good lessons, and seeing your instructor embarrassed on TV like this. A montage of other “teachers” is shown, all of them failing. The three judges are beside themselves that someone with no training could teach, especially when they fail themselves to become a dancer. Alison Enriquez, 21, of Alsip, Illinois falls into this category as well. She confirms for the judges that she is in dance class, and says she goes four times a week. When asked if she pays for these lessons, she says for what she is doing now, she is almost like a dance teacher. They plead with her to not be a dance teacher. Nigel has to look away from the stage out of frustration, and Mary just says, “Sorry, thank you.”