Travis Wall shares his chogreaphy with those waiting, and the salsa dancer looks good, but is definitely struggling, as is Brice. He’s up first for the judgement, and Brice tells him he enjoyed him, but the moves aren’t quite there, but they would like him to try again next year. Ashley is told by Nigel she is a great character and he’d love to be her friend, but they aren’t asking her to go to Las Vegas. She explains she has already called and gotten two ballet classes, so they’ll see her next year. Napoleon liked what he saw with Sexy Susie, and she’ll be going to Las Vegas.
For day two of the Milwaukee auditions, Cooper Zamarano, 19, Los Angeles, is up first, and is a great contemporary male. He’s just beautiful to watch. Nigel tells him it’s like watching Travis Wall, with the style and even the shorts. He would like Cooper to be more careful about sticking his tongue out. Mary agrees it was great for her as well, although she’d like to see him a little stronger. Napoleon and Tabitha agree, and Cooper is sent straight through to Las Vegas.
Two friends from last year are back to audition again, Ysenia Gomez, 24, Byron Center, Michigan, and Philip Courter, 20, Battle Creek, Michigan. He feels he could have done better, and while she made it to Las Vegas, she was sent home from there. That experience changed her, to the point of losing fifty pounds, and she feels great. She has been looking forward to this for nearly 365 days. She wants to prove to the judges that all that work was worth this one day.
Yesenia looks gorgeous out there and does a popping routine. At some point it almost becomes a bit manic, and then she collapses, complaining about her knee. She explains it gives in and out lately, and tells Nigel she has had an x-ray, but they’re still trying to figure out what happened. Nigel wants to move on to the critique, and noting that she has lost weight, Yesenia starts to cry, saying she has been waiting for this day for a year, as the show inspired her to change her whole life, not liking who she was before. When they gave her a chance, it felt like the first time she got past the exterior. When they saw that in her, it changed her, and even though she left Vegas, she didn’t have an ounce of sadness, being so excited to tell everyone that she was going to change her life, and she did, that very day. She started eating right and got on that treadmill every single day saying So You Think You Can Dance with every step.
Yesenia wanted to come up here and thank them for giving her that chance. Nigel wants her to get her knee right and doesn’t want her to dance on it. He tells her it’s only another year, and it’s not a bad investment, as look what she has done in a year. He implores her to see what she can do in a year and says he is proud of her and can’t wait to see what she can do. She wants everyone to know they should embrace everything they do like it’s the last time, and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. I’ll admit that something about her story really got to me, and I remember her from last year. She is definitely an inspiration, and seeing how hard she has worked, some of these people that walk on this stage and don’t care should be ashamed.
It’s now her friend Philip’s chance to get up there. He does great and has the judges in hysterics as they watch him go through his popping routine. Before hearing his critique, Philip says he wouldn’t be here without Yesenia and to watch what just happened to her breaks his heart. They don’t have a lot of money, and all they have is their friendship and their dancing. Nigel explains he doesn’t know if things happen that are planned, but he admits to having many setbacks in his own life, but it only turns out to be the beginning of something else.
Nigel asks what he said about Philip last year, and Philip says he had been told that he may be a little one-dimensional. Today, Nigel tells him he was three-dimensional, and he didn’t want to take his eyes off him. Mary points out Philip could have crumbled after watching his friend, but she congratulates him on staying strong. Tabitha tells him to stop crying as they thought he was wonderful, as Napoleon notes his passion. All the judges agree and send him straight to Vegas.
Raymond Love, 22, Grand Rapids, Michigan, auditions with a female that says she is not auditioning. Nigel stops them after a few seconds, telling Raymond it looks like he’s auditioning with a piece of meat, instead of a beautiful girl. Raymond takes his shoes and socks off getting ready to show some passion, apparently. The passion is seen more as they do a hip hop routine. I can’t help but wonder why she isn’t auditioning though. Nigel likes the choreography, and hears from Raymond after that he’s responsible for it.
This causes Nigel to ask how they are going to get Raymond to dance his own choreography better. Raymond explains it was inspired by the story of Solomon, and Nigel explains Solomon had lust, but Raymond isn’t showing that. Raymond breaks down a little, saying there’s “a lot of crap going on at home” telling him he shouldn’t be doing that. Tabitha thinks maybe Raymond just needs to sort out some issues to feel more comfortable, as the point of the whole show is dancing with a woman. Nigel is knocked out by the choreography, but notes it isn’t called So You think You Can Choreograph. Napoleon likes the dancing, and wants to send him to choreography. Mary says no, but Nigel can’t say no to that choreographing talent, and agrees to send him to choreography.
Hao Hou, 27, New Hope, Minnesota, is dressed in tribal gear and doing what appears to be a tribal dance. I’m not sure how it fits in here. Nigel makes a crack asking if his outfit was from Mary’s wardrobe, then asks why this music and why that outfit. Hao decided on this outfit as either “go big or go home.” Tabitha says she just felt uncomfortable, as he had to cover himself up and hide “it” doing some of the floor work. Everyone agrees it’s a no for him, apparently seeing way too much of what was big … or not big.
Lizz Plott, 24, Astoria, New York, tap dances a cappella, and there’s a beauty in it as she is able to make the music on her own with her tapping. Nigel asks for permission to keep it real, then says he thought she was terrific. He loved her face, the way she performed it, the way she stayed cool, and the way she made it look so easy. Liz shows the duct tape on the bottom of her shoes, explaining the tap fell off yesterday. She was here last year doing hip hop and contemporary but didn’t even get in to see them. This year she decided to do tap, as it’s what she does. Mary calls her the best female tap dancer they’ve seen on the show, and Napoleon totally enjoyed it, saying he could have freestyled to her sound. She is straight through to Hollywood.
On to the choreography round, Raymond can’t quite pull it together for the partnering, but Nigel encourages him to work on it. If he never gets the dancing thing down, nigel tells him not to worry about it, as his choreography is splendid and he thinks he’ll get a lot of work for that. Raymond doesn’t seem too thrilled, but maybe that all plays into the thing that he needs to work out on his own.
Before we sign off and head to Las Vegas tomorrow night, we are shown one last auditioner. This person dances with an umbrella, skirt, and shoes, with lots of humor. The judges can’t determine if this is a girl or guy in drag. With a song like It’s Raining Men, I think we have to know that it’s a joke and in drag. The tricks are actually pretty good, despite being a joke. With a standing ovation at the end, Nigel asks if it’s Ryan Seacrest, but after seeing Ryan dance during the finale of American Idol, I’m guessing not. In reality it’s Travis Wall, the choreographer and ex-finalist of the show.
Still, the thing I just can’t get over with this show is how much more it tugs on our emotions than American Idol. We have a few moments that tug at our heart that we remember, such as the older gentleman from season six that auditioned for his wife that had recently passed, but this show seems to have much more of those moments. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ll remember Yesenia once again next season. So sure, maybe the judges are a little tougher, but maybe that comes from the deeper emotion that’s involved altogether.
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