|It’s always hard to switch gears over 24 hours from the American Idol finale to the So You Think You Can Dance season premiere. After the weird results throughout American Idol, though, I’m a little hesitant leading into tonight’s season premiere. Will it lead to more big favorites getting kicked off?
The judges tonight in Atlanta are NIgel Lythgoe, Lil’ C, and Mary Murphy making her return this season. (Yea! I missed the tamale train!) It’s the same rules as always; those auditioning either get sent straight through to Las Vegas, sent home, or if the judges are on the fence, the dancers will be sent to a choreography round at the end of the day to see how well they do with someone else’s moves and music.
First up is Latin dancer Bianka Hinklerian, 18, of Miami with her 17-year-old partner. She announces they’re doing something different, Colombian style, very fast and very intricate. Nigel likes their lines. She is correct that it’s fast and intricate.
Even though they can’t judge Bianka’s partner, Nigel can’t wait for him to come back next year when he’s old enough, stating he thought he was excellent. The pair of them he thought had ants in their pants. For the technical side he bows to Mary, who has to say it was fantastic. She thought their feet were on fire with the fastest salsa she’s ever seen. She also liked the lift and the tricks. C adds that when the tempo is that fast, you can’t see what’s going on, and people tend to lose focus, but they didn’t. Bianka is told to go to choreography, and her partner is told to come back next year.
Melanie Moore, 19, of Marietta, GA, is an art major in college. She likes to draw with pencil and oils, with people being her favorite subjects. She’s happy to be here to see her mom, as her dad died after a liver transplant when she was 12. Her mom is one of her biggest advocates. She thinks her dad would be proud of her today. She’s beautiful at expressing herself. You literally feel her story jumping off the screen.
Talking to Nigel, she admits she normally does pretty well in competitions. He finds her amazing. Every year he gets to see someone like her he falls in love with, and he thinks they’ll win it all, but hey get to Vegas and it doesn’t work out. He tells her if the same thing happens to her, he’ll hunt her down. Mary doesn’t remember having this much damn fun in eight seasons, and it’s because of extraordinary dancers like her. C thinks Zeus would invite her to come dance on Olympus. He doesn’t even feel clapping would do her justice. It’s a ticket to Vegas for her.
People think Deon Lewsa Jr., 18, and Damon Bellmon, 19, both of Atlanta, are brothers, as they do things alike, even when they dance, yet they’re also opposites. Damon thinks Cat was checking him out earlier and thinks he’ll get her number. She asks how many numbers they have, but they tell her they had their phones taken away for the audition. She calls his number, and it rings in his pocket. Hmm. They’re dancing has just as much fun and personality as they showed beforehand. They need to go on to choreography.
Nigel doesn’t know anyone who wouldn’t be entertained by that. Mary loves them both and thought they really came with a plan for it with comedy and movements. C doesn’t think you can even buy that kind of connection with the way they showcased their friendship. Nigel felt Deon brought extra personality. He gets to go straight through to Vegas, surprisingly. Damon is left alone, and Nigel thanks him. He tries not to show his hurt, and Mary saves him and gives him a ticket as he collapses.
Ten dancers in a row were sent to Vegas, something that was unheard of in any other season. Will Marko Germar, 22, of Canoga Park, CA, be sent through as well? He discusses a robbery where he was working a front desk and decided to fight back. He was shot in the joint of his shoulder, and it’s still here,. It’s only made him want to dance more and come back stronger to be a beast. He’s another one who is great at expressing himself. It’s beautiful.
Marko explains to the judges that he decided to leave the bullet in his shoulder because he didn’t want to risk losing mobility after surgery. Nigel thought he was fabulous, Mary was impressed with the athleticism and the speed of his movements. C calls it an excellent audition and great performance. Oddly, he doesn’t go to Vegas, but goes to choreography. Those ten they sent straight through must have been really good if this guy didn’t get put straight through.
So You Think You Can Dance alums Katee Shean and Jacob Karr teach the choreography to the contestants, and Bianka is up first. She makes it through to Vegas. Marko also gets through, as well as some guy who looks very similar to Scotty McCreery. That guy is even more talented than we thought.