Not very fresh at all is Joshua Hill, 18, of Simi Valley, California. He does a rumba that looks like something you learn in gym class. I must be spending too much time with my football coach husband, as I think this guy has a classic linebacker body. Nigel says he promised he would not be mean this year (and when has he kept that?), and what Joshua is doing is great for social gatherings. He’ll get to meet a lotof friends and acquaintances and that’s a good thing. That may not be rude, but it’s odd. Wade tells Joshua he’s not ready for the competition, but he should keep rocking and enjoy it and be passionate about it. Joshua says this one year has gotten him here, so he can’t wait to see what another year will do.
Last week Stanislav was back with his little sister, and this week last year’s winner, Benji Schwimmer, is back with his littler sister, Lacie. She was fourteen days too young to audition last year, and Benji promised her if he did make it, he’d come back the next year with her. Her dad is super stoked for her, and the two together do the “electric sign,” emulating their father in the audience at the finale with the small electric sign with Benji’s name on it last season. Lacie has two titles, one more than her brother, as the Youth Swing Champion and the Youth Latin Champion.
Tonight the two dance Latin and it’s so great to see him again. I admit to having a hard time watching Lacie, still not able to take my eyes off Benji. Nigel jokes she made her partner look very good. He tells her that like Benji did, she needs to stop pulling her face, as it worked on him as he was zany, but not on her as a beautiful girl. Her dance technique is tremendous and he can see her father has taught her very well. Mary wants to know what it would mean to her to follow in her brother’s footsteps. Lacie says it would be incredible and she is excited to be here right now. She’s told she’s a great individual dancer all on her own. Wade thinks she’s wonderful, playful, and sexy, really fun to watch. She’s going to Las Vegas to continue the Schwimmer legacy.
At the end of the day during the choreography round, Brianne makes it through, and is duly thrilled.
We’re off to Chicago with Wade being replaced by Shane Sparks. Their first dancer is Morgan Larson, 18, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. She watched the show last year, and her favoriate was Allison. She says if she is told she is going to Las Vegas, she is going to freak out. She’s not sure if she is prepared to hear she won’t be going. As she starts, Nigel tells Mary he’s never seen that before as she does a cartwheel that ends in a leg lift. Nigel then calls her an interesting little thing and tells her she has some wonderful things he knows the choreographers would love to get ahold of. Mary, with more colloquialisms, calls her a little firecracker, and Shane says she has great danceability with a lot of energy. He’s pleased to send her to Las Vegas.
Phillip Chbeeb, 18, of Houston, Texas, does a little popping with Cat outside and says he wants to show the world what they’ve never seen before and offer something creative. He’s not just pretty good, he’s amazing, with his arms and head. Shane stands up, looks back and screams and calls Phillip “my man.” He adds that was the epitome of what he’s talking about, and he’s not impressed by much, but that was probably the sickest hip hop popping stuyle freestyle that he’s seen in a long time. He knows he’ll win America over. Mary thought he had some really good moves and she’d like to see a little bit more performance. Nigel asks if Phillip were a judge would he put himself through, and he says yes, because he shows potential, but it’s not his job. Nigel, whose job it is, sends him to Las Vegas.
It’s another brother and sister team, Isauro Gomez, 27, and Yesenia Gomez, 23, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She’s a full time student, and he designs big pieces of wood for doors. Shane has always been an inspiration to Yesenia, so she’ll be pouring a little more excitement into it. Isauro takes the stage, but his hip hop needs work. Nigel wasn’t sure what it was, a combo of krumping and tapping, and wonders if that makes it Krapping. Mary calls this all the personality and attitude in the world, more than anyone today, but not a lot of substance. Wade says the competition isn’t for him.
Yesenia takes the stage with a much better hip hop, and Shane gives her a standing ovation, and says says she’s all jittery to be dancing in front of him. He calls her beautiful and a star, and says everything she did was perfect. Mary agrees she’s definitely an entertainer, but didn’t love her as much as Shane. He offers they’re just in the same world right now. Yesenia says she knows jazz, tap, lyrical and even salsa, being Mexican and Puerto Rican. Nigel tells her she was very sharp, but he didn’t see too much dancing. He invites her to the choreography round to see what else she can do. When she makes it, she is so excited she leaves without getting her ticket.
Day two brings us some unique swing dancers that do the lindy hop and charleston. Evita Arce, 21, of New York City and Michael Jagger, 27, of New York City talk a lot about their chemistry and relationship, and while she talks of her boyfriend back home and they deny a romantic relationship, they are less than convincing. As they dance tonight, they remind me of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life. Nigel calls them a lot of fun, and Mary says they are terrific and have great style, especially with the sit drop, as it seemed effortless. Shane says the choreography was great and sends them both to Las Vegas.