We’re trying to get into this season of So You Think You Can Dance; it’s just a little harder, as we still have the fantastic performances from last season going through our minds. I think once we get to the performance shows none of that will matter anymore, but we still have to get there first. Tonight we have the auditions from Phoenix, Arizona, and have Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Mia Michaels to help us judge. The title above is a good comment and bad comment, and you’ll never guess which is which.
Demetrio “Biggie” Bargas, 18, and Brandon “Shorty” Smallwood, 20, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma are up first, and the editors are working overtime tonight as they have the theme music to What’s Happening behind them. They rap out Oklahoma Tulsa, then do a funny dance and talk about their drive here where they also ran into a deer. Mary’s laughing just at the site of them. They do a funny comedic popping routine together. Mary’s still laughing. I admit they’re really fun to watch. I’m not sure if I can see them doing ballroom, though.
Nigel tells Biggie and Shorty he doesn’t know anybody that watched it and didn’t enjoy it. He’s not sure if Demetrio popped as much as he wobbled. Demetrio explains they met when Demetrio’s sister dated Brandon. Nigel asks Brandon if he left Demetrio’s sister for him, and they both deny it vehemently. Demetrio’s popping wasn’t very good and Brandon’s was much stronger, yet they’re a great act. Mary tells them they’re adorable and thanks them for the entertainment. Mia gives them a no, but says she loves them. Nigel votes for them to go through to choreography, and it just makes everyone laugh more.
Sasha Mallory, 21, Bakersfield, California, auditioned in season four and got straight through to Las Vegas, yet she was still trying to find herself. Now she’s more comfortable, as her family’s here, and it makes her break down a little. She starts out sitting in a chair with what sounds like a lullaby behind her. She dances a great story of struggling to stay awake, then falling into a blissful sleep. It’s beautiful.
Nigel thought some of it was very good, and Mia thought it was a good combination as she did show her technique which was really strong. She danced and took up the stage and made it a really nice solo. Mary calls it beautiful, and Sasha starts crying, as Nigel asks her if she doesn’t like compliments. When she says it’s because her family’s here, Nigel turns to them around and tells them to get out. He hopes they’re proud of her, because the judges are, and asks what else she wants from him. She says she wants to get to Vegas. He obliges her with a ticket.
Katie Muth, 18, St. Charles, Illinois, does another beautiful routine, and … wow. That’s about ten minutes from my home! She probably gets her dance supplies at the same place my daughter does. Nigel thanks her for putting together the two things he was searching for, performance and technique. Ellie Soto, 21, of Mesa, Arizona also does well, and Mary tells her she’s very strong and dynamic, and the judges send both girls to Las Vegas.
Allison Becker, 21, Keller, Texas, was diagnosed with spinal meningitis when she was 16 months old, and her parents were told she was either going to be deaf, be blind, or die. She feels lucky that she became deaf out of those three. Mary asks how she dances if she’s hearing impaired, and she tells her it’s just feeling the music; the vibration helps her to keep the beat and rhythm. She wants to be a role model for other hearing-impaired people. She does dance beautifully despite not being able to hear the music. She has promise.
Nigel signs something to Allison, something that looks possibly like “I love you”, then asks if she lip reads, which she does. He tells her she had beautiful movement and beautiful flow. Her eyes conveyed that she loved what she was doing, although her technique isn’t as good as he would like it, yet he doesn’t know how difficult she finds it to dance, as it doesn’t show. If it wasn’t written down she was hearing impaired, he never would have known.
Mary agrees with everything Nigel says and knows it hasn’t been easy. Mary had a cousin in the same position. Allison is an unbelievable inspiration because she didn’t give up. So many people don’t make it, like her cousin who gave up and is no longer with us. But what Allison is doing is going to make a tremendous difference and already has by showing up there today and by dancing beautifully. She sees the light in her eyes, and even though she’s crying, she actually made her really happy. Mia asks what inspired Allison to dance, as for Mia it’s music. Allison says it’s music for her as well; it’s just that she hears it differently. Mia thanks her for sharing her heart. Nigel asks Allison how she’ll be if they put her through to choreography, and she responds, “I’ll be great.” That’s where she’s headed.
After the furor it caused last season, we have same sex dancers on again. This time it’s Willem de Vries, 29, and Jacob Jason, 29, both of West Hollywood. I’m not altogether sure which is which. They met growing up in the dance world, then in season two auditions they danced in line together and went into competing in same sex men’s dancing, winning a title. They say there are a lot of them out there. As they dance, Nigel says there are great lines to it, and he’s right.
Willem says it’s amazing for young gay people to be able to express themselves, and he thinks that dance expresses that the most. Mary can understand why Mia is welling up and agrees she’s really proud of them, as it showed all of the emotion and passion in a strong way. It had great lines, great technique, and was well done. Mia celebrates the courage they have to expose themselves, their hearts, and their passions. Nigel thanks them for showing him that same sex ballroom dancing can be very strong and very good. Nigel mentions getting himself in trouble last time telling the same sex couple he was going to ask them to dance with girls, but he’d like Willem and Jason to stay for the choreography and see if there’s a difference. Jacob mentions they enjoy dancing with girls as well.