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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

So You Think You Can Dance, May 26 – Mary Murphy Back Where She Belongs


The next day, Kimalee Piedad, 27, of Fort Walton, Beach, FL, starts us off dancing with a non-competing partner. Their bodies mold together so easily as they do moves I’ve never seen before, something SYTYCD is always so good at. I wish he was auditioning as well. Looking at him, he might be too old.

Nigel tells them it was fabulous, and Mary agrees, calling it beautiful dancing. C sees them as really good with a potential to be excellent. He thinks they might need to pick a different song, though, as Gravity wasn’t an issue. She goes straight through to Vegas.

It could be our first bad audition. John “White Chocolate” Palermo, 30, of Biloxi, MS, states that all his life people have been surprised by a white boy doing hip hop. Where did he grow up, Mayberry? He wants to prove he can do this and that he’s unshakeable. You can’t break him, fake him, or bake him. He’s calling himself White Chocolate. He’s not as bad as I expected, but I don’t know if it’s up to the same standard as others.

Nigel tells John it was really juvenile and not strong enough for the show. Mary asks if he’s seen the show, then asks what he thought was going to happen. He only had one shot at it because of his age. He stresses he can keep a rhythm, but C disagrees because of his bad transitions. There was no fundamentals or mechanics. He gets a no from all three and asks for a hug.

Kyré Batiste, 18, of Atlanta, feels his parents are supporting him, referring to his grandmother, Mandy Walker, as the original dancing machine. He points her out in the audience, and she’s dancing up a storm. Nigel asks if she’s a good judge of dancing, and invites her up to join the panel, as Kyré starts off in a lump with his face on the floor, Nigel asks Mandy if she taught him that. He does some unique B-Boy moves with much of it in slo-mo. It’s good, but the same stuff over and over.

Mandy lends her critique first and she tells Kyré he did well, but didn’t use his eyes in the right places, as he needs to look at the judges and win their support. C disagrees with Grandma, but is sitting far away, as he knows grandparents have the longest belts. She stands and starts whipping C, as he changes his mind. Mary found him entertaining. She didn’t think it was great, but really good. C votes yes, Mary no, and Nigel adds a no. Grandma gives him a yes, and he moves on to choreography.

In the choreography round he’s holding his own surprisingly well, including the lifts. Mary thinks even when the nerves get to him, he just has a pleasant way about him. However, they aren’t sending him through to Vegas. He’s only 18, so hopes to improve. Mandy wonders if she needs to take her belt off again.

The auditions move on to San Francisco, and our judging crew is now Tyce Diorio, Toni Redpath, and Nigel. First up is Amber Williams, 18, of Brigham City, UT, and she’s a little too excitable. It might not go well. She doesn’t care what people think of her though. She’s ready to dance her “little tusher” off. She’s so much better than I expected. She has great lines that defy her odd personalty.

Tyce tells Amber she’s the person who gets on the stage and commands attention with her body doing amazing things and a quirky personality. Toni loves the mix, white girl freaky with ghetto funky, physicality, the awareness and focus. Nigel makes comparisons to magic of the 60s dancers Shirley MacLaine, Juliet Prowse, and Ann-Margaret. They had a zany quality that she has too. On traffic lights, red means stop, and amber means get ready. So she needs to get ready, as green means go and she’s going to Vegas. She does a funky dance to the stage as Nigel makes the crazy symbol. He’s “not sure what we just let out of the cage.”

Timothy Joseph, 21, of Sacramento, is up next, and I’m glad, as I’m tired of watching them promote his flips before every commercial break. He starts it off with several flips in a row and moves on to B-Boying.

Nigel tells Timothy his B-boying was stunning with no stopping him. He’s not sure if he can keep up with choreography, but if he hits him with something like that, he has to say it’s fabulous. Toni thinks Timothy has a wonderful sense of character, because when he had to catch his breath, he’d do something else in its place, and that was really smart. She thinks the Viennese Waltz would be interesting. Tyce finds him full of strength, muscle, and athleticism. He votes yes, Toni votes no, as she saw only tricks and no dance. Nigel understands, but says those tricks were stunning. He’s through to choreography.


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