I can’t believe I’m sitting through more auditions. It just seems like it’s been dragging on forever. I just wonder if Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy thought the same, especially since when they were filming it was while the last season of So You Think You Can Dance was airing, so they were doing double duty. You would think filming the performance shows would be much more fun than these endless auditions.
This is going to be a fun one tonight, though, as they’re in one of my favorite places, New Orleans, Louisiana. If you’ve never been, you should. I can smell it and feel it already. I’ll add that smell isn’t a good one, but it’s … New Orleans, or at least Bourbon St. Nigel isn’t here this time, as he’s picking up that Honorary Doctorate he was awarded last summer. Joining Mary at the judging table are Adam Shankman and ‘Lil C.
First up tonight is Shelby “Skip” Skipper, 20, Laplace, Louisiana, who says his dance style is New Orleans Bounce Music. He’s been doing it since he was 7 or 8 years old, and his best friend is the founder of the style. It’s a form of hip hop, but new Orleans way, an upbeat, call out music. He even teaches Cat Deeley to do a little bit of it. I have to say it’s very interesting to watch, highly entertaining. I challenge anyone doing this style to be overweight, as it’s just constant motion. ‘Lil C and Adam look like they’re really enjoying it. I say move him on to choreography to see what else he can do.
Mary says, “Wow, what energy you have. Holy smokes.” She’s never seen New Orleans bounce, so she’s no specialist, but she loved it. She notes the strength of Skip’s legs, explaining her leg was cramping up just watching it. Adam claims he is an expert, having done it for years. Of course, he really knows nothing about it, but he admires Skip’s commitment, strength, drive, and dedication, as it made it unbelievable to watch.
C notes this show is giving so many other different dance styles an avenue to showcase and expose the world to it. His hat’s off to Skip, as it was a great representation, and he thought it was buck. Skip mentions his friend called him this morning and told him to try out today. Unfortunately, Mary tells him he is not going on to choreography. But, C throws him and tells him he is going on to Vegas. Honestly, it gave me chills when he got that ticket. After he leaves, Adam notes Skip was “born to dance.”
Jonathan Litzler, 18, of Loveland, Ohio, grew up doing afro and hip hop, and a few years ago started doing ballet and contemporary jazz. He thinks today on the stage his acrobatics and tricks will add a bonus to what he does as a dancer. First off, I have to give him kudos for a great choice of music, something different, something with a lot of soul. This guy is good with some great spins and great flips and expression. Mia Michaels would have fun with him.
Mary issues a “Welcome to New Orleans.” Adam tells Jonathan that is one of the best auditions he’s ever seen. He’s almost overshadowed by the fact that he’s a tumbler, but he could have done it without the tumbling, but it still didn’t go unnoticed. Yet the strength he showed when he brought his leg up then brought it down so slowly showed great control. C tells him it’s a perfect blend of weight, energy, space, and time. It looked effortless. Mary calls it amazing, gorgeous, breathtaking, fabulous. Yeah, he gets a ticket.
Alison Nance, 19, of Warren, Ohio, does some great dancing as well, with Mary calling her a little firecracker. Calvin Turner Jr., 18, of Mobile, Alabama, is another one with great expression in his dancing. C tells him he lived in the song. Edward Spots, 19, of New Orleans, has a more upbeat song he’s dancing to, but has moves that are amazing. Adam calls him an extraordinary dancer with pure joy in it that completely lifted his day. All three get to Vegas.
Eric Le Blanc, 25, of Wetwego, Louisiana, drinks six energy drinks a day and admits he’s bouncing off the walls. His friends would describe him as funny, silly, outgoing and the person in the crowd that will make you laugh on your worst day. He has a bunch of crazy sounds he does too. Yeah, this isn’t going to go well. His b-boy routine is just as spastic as he is somehow, and it’s better than I thought it would be. He does keep everyone laughing, true to his word. What a few cans of Monster won’t do for you.
Adam asks Eric how he felt about that and he admits very dizzy. He then admits to the six Red Bulls he drank. Ah, so Red Bull is his poison. He starts screaming, and seems like he wants to have a screamoff with Mary. She asks when it is that she does that, and he says when someone does something amazing, although he knows he wasn’t amazing, but he did it to do something fun for his family. C talks to him about his passion. Adam votes no for choreography, but Mary and C vote yes. That ought to be interesting, and I’m sure Pasha and Anya are really thanking them.
Justin Kenney, 23, of New Orleans, was on his way to a hip hop show in an SUV with a bunch of guys and a tire blew out. They started fishtailing and flipped four or five times. Everyone had serious injuries, and some were thrown from the car. Justin was in the front seat and had head trauma, despite having his seat belt on. He was dancing again about three weeks after that. He just isn’t one to sit around. He doesn’t seem to need the Red Bull to get him going. He can’t still do the things he used to do on his head since the accident. He’s really good and even shows some regular dancing moves in between his breaking.
Mary tells Justin he is really strong, especially the beginning. He did exactly what they asked, not saving his signature moves, getting completely airborne, and it’s not something she sees really often. C loved the fact he came right out in the air flair, as no one usually does that, then just went right into the other stuff. Adam keeps it short and sweet saying he rocked it out there, and to do air flairs at his height, that’s a huge deal. He’s impressed enough to send him to choreography, as are the others.