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

So You Think You Can Dance – Who's Who in Las Vegas 2011


The audition process was short and sweet this season on So You Think You Can Dance. Frankly it was a little underwhelming until the final stop in Los Angeles. That’s where the talent seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. As a refresher, here’s an alphabetical list of the dancers who made it to the first stop in Las Vegas, and who are looking to move onto the live shows.

Damon Bellmon, 19, of Atlanta, GA. People naturally assume he and his dancing partner, Deon Lewsa Jr. are brothers. Damon thought Cat Deeley was checking him out wanted her number, yet said they had their phones taken away by the production staff. She called his number, and his phone rang in his pocket. After Deon made it through Damon was left to believe he didn’t make it through, and collapsed after he found out he did.

Jordan Casanova, 18, of Chino Hills, CA. She warned she was a completely different person onstage, then performed Naughty Girl by Beyoncé. Nigel Lythgoe, all smiles, couldn’t even speak. Mary Murphy thought it was one of the hottest performances she has ever seen. Tyce Diorio called it “naughty, naughty, naughty girl.” Nigel recovered and didn’t want to sound like a dirty old man, but does say he always asks dancers to grab the audience, and she picked him up and threw him around, dropped him down, kicked him, and picked him up again. He was worried about having another heart attack.

Derion “D.C.” Chapman, 23, of Reseda, CA. He was with his pregnant girlfriend. He explained all the styles he’d be doing for the judges and taught Nigel how to do the Cat Daddy. He was scared to audition last year, and his girlfriend promised to come with and support him this year. Nigel didn’t think he’d enjoyed a routine like this since season four when Twitch did the conducting. Mary agreed. Tyce found him to be a rarity. Nigel thought he transcended what the show is about.

Samara “Princess Lockeroo” Cohen, 24, of Brooklyn, NY. She danced a style called whacking, moving her arms really fast, motivated somewhat by martial arts. Nigel thought there were parts of her audtion that were just sensational, and he loved that she created it for herself. Mary called her the whacking diva, as she knew how to take it and throw it down their throats, then sit back and be admired for it. Jason Gilkison believed Samara showed what she can do, as she showed she could take on characters.

Arielle Coker, 21, of Los Angeles, CA. . She has tried out before multiple times, each time making it further and further. Mary thought she was stronger. Nigel felt the amount of work paid off and felt she captivated the energy that was coming out of her. Tyce hasn’t ever seen someone come back with more of a fire in their eyes.

Kristen Dobson, 23, of Warren, OH. She danced with a non-competing partner, and screwed up and said his name was Susan, because she was thinking of her mom. Jason saw an engaging personality, but when she came to dance with her partner, he felt she was closing off. Mary thought she did remarkably for only dancing for three years. She wanted to to shape her ankles a little, and drop the leg stretch in the middle.

Tadd Gadduang, 25, of West Valley City, UT. A B-boyer, he walked down the stairs on his hands, as the crowd chanted “Vegas.” Mary thought he wasn’t just all tricks, as he had a plan. Robin Antin thought it had a lot of humor, from the power to the steps. Nigel calls it completely, utterly entertaining.

Virgil “LIl O” Gadson, 23, of Philadelphia, PA. He did some B-Boying, and Nigel found him to be not just a dancer, but a performer. Mary predicted America would fall in love with him. She thought he had all the tools in the shed. Jason can instantly imagine him in the top 20.

Marko Germar, 22, of Canoga Park, CA He was robbed when he was working a front desk and was shot in the joint of his shoulder, and it’s still there. 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, and ‘Lil called it an excellent audition and great performance.

Annie Gratton, 19, of Phoenix, AZ. She promised to be spicy, and thought her red hair would make her stand out. Her dad is a dancer and came up to dance with her at the judges’ request. Mary commented she was just eating them up, Robin believed Annie took the bull by the horns, and Nigel agreed she was a firey redhead. Both she and her dad got tickets to Vegas, but obviously he won’t be able to do anything with it because of his age.


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