|9. Caitlynn Lawson, 18, of Moses Lake, WA. She has always told everyone since she was little that she would be on this show someday. In her eight-second intro she noted being from a small town and that she liked the color green. She is paired with Mitchell Kelly who wasn’t allowed to dance on doctor’s orders, so danced a contemporary number with Robert Roldan instead. Nigel agreed with Mitchell that she was “tens across the board.”
10. Jess LeProtto, 18, of Little Falls, NJ. He danced to Mack the Knife at his audition, and Nigel talked to him about his lack of smiling. When he made the top 20, he was told the judges were worried about his arrogance. In his eight-second intro, he was discovered to be a Jersey boy and a potty mouth. After he and partner Clarice Ordaz danced a Broadway number, he was called a gifted dancer. Perhaps he ended up in the bottom seven dancers because of his arrogance.
11. Iveta Lukosiute, 30, of New York City, NY. She made it to Vegas twice before, and made it this time after wearing an open shirt exposing her bra and carrying a night stick. She’s a world champion in ten ballroom dances. In her eight-second intro, she said she was originally from Lithuania and wanted a monkey. She and partner Nick Young danced the quickstep, and Megan appreciated her elegance.
12. Miranda Maleski, 19, of Pittsburgh, PA. We didn’t meet her until the announcement of the top 20. She admitted in her eight-second intro to still sleeping with a night light and liking spicy … something, hopefully food. She paired with Robert Taylor Jr. on a 60s-era routine set to a Bruno Mars song. Nigel wants her to have more confidence.
13. Sasha Mallory, 23, of Bakersfield, CA. She auditioned with her sister, Natalia, doing a modern and African combination, and they made it all the way to the green mile together, only to be split up at that point. We found out in her eight-second intro that she forgets her age and likes purple. She is partnered with Alexander Fost, and they took on a Travis Wall routine. Nigel compared her to Mike Tyson and said he was a little afraid of her.
14. Melanie Moore, 19, of Marietta, GA. Nigel noted in her audition that every year he gets to see someone like her he falls in love with, and he thinks they’ll win it all, but they get to Vegas and it doesn’t work out. He promised to hunt her down if the same thing happens. It didn’t. In her eight-second intro she admitted to collecting nail polish and wanting to go on Ellen. She paired up with Marko Germar on a Travis Wall routine, and Nigel remarked he doesn’t think there’s ever been a better female dancer on the show.
15. Missy Morelli, 20, of Aruada, CA. We didn’t meet her until the green mile, but learned in her eight-second intro she likes to talk in a Jamaican accent and wants to marry an Australian. She partnered with Wadi Jones on a jazz routine where they came out of Pandora’s Box. Nigel thinks she is without question one of the beasts this year.
16. Clarice Ordaz, 19, of Whittier, CA. We met her in Vegas when she was in a very strong group, and the judges loved the solo she did following group. In her eight-second intro she claimed her eyes change colors and that she was shy. She partnered up with Jess LeProtto on a jazz routine, and Nigel told her she’ll have to work hard to keep up with him.
17. Ryan Ramirez, 18, of Morgan Hill, CA. She made the top 24 last season, but just missed making the finals, and told Nigel this time she thinks she has found herself as a dancer. She hurt her back in Vegas and had to go to the hospital. She admitted in her eight-second video she was obsessed with Law and Order: SVU and that she was a very funky white girl. She was paired up with Ricky Jaime on a lyrical hip hop. Nigel feels she stands out among the sea of outstanding girls this season.
18. Ashley Rich, 22, Emeryville, CA. Toni compared her audition to that feeling when you wrap yourself in a blanket on a Sunday afternoon when it’s raining and there’s a fire outside. She said in her eight-second intro that she likes waffles and peanut butter toast. She partnered up with Chris Koehl doing hip hop to Forget You. Mary loved her swagger in the routine.
19. Robert Taylor Jr., 30, of Brooklyn, NY. He is nicknamed the Woo Man, and Mary told him he was probably the oldest contestant to stand in that spot on the green mile. In his eight-second intro he professed to a love of cooking fried chicken and professional wrestling. He partnered up with Miranda Maleski and was told he needs to tone down the personality and show more dancing.
20. Nick Young, 19, of Franklin, WI. We didn’t meet him until the top 20 announcement, but like with Robert, this tap dancer has also been told that personality got him this far. He stammered his way through his name and that he was fun in his eight-second intro. He partnered with Iveta Lukosiute on a quickstep, and the judges all thought he held his own next to a world champion ballroom dancer.
Even knowing who’s who, it doesn’t help me at all decide who should go home next week. I don’t think there are any weak dancers in the bunch. However, there are some weak personalities, and Jess, who has been called arrogant. He and the weaker personalities will probably find their way out the door sooner rather than later. Everyone is far too strong of a dancer, so at least in these beginning weeks, it’s going to have to come down to personality.
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