The next morning, Leo Reyes, 21, of Brooklyn, is up first, and he discusses that he’s had plenty of opportunities to audition, but never did, just taking it for granted. Now he’s doing it for his mom as she’s his everything, and he wants to make her proud. She attempted suicide, and he found her on the couch after she’d taken a whole bunch of pills. She was gasping for air, but just kept telling him she loved him. He told her she couldn’t die yet, as she hadn’t seen him dance on a big stage yet. He realized then that he’d taken his talent for granted and hadn’t done anything to make her proud of him. She’s fine now, but now he’s in full drive realizing that you’re not guaranteed forever. Wow.
Leo takes the stage, and is completely focused. He’s a beautiful contemporary dancer. It’s awe-inspiring. He nearly can’t believe the cheers he hears when he finishes. Nigel thanks goodness that on the show they aren’t in any way, shape, or form manipulated by the audience behind them. However, he’s going to Vegas. There isn’t even any discussion, but of course, I don’t think there needs to be. He runs out and gets his ticket and hugs all three judges. He very excitedly calls his mom and tells her he did it for her. As a mom, this has me sobbing.
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, 22, of Zurich, Switzerland, is a ballet dancer, but doesn’t want to just do ballet, trying to bring some of his own style into it. He hopes the judges see his will to dance is strong and he wants to do more and go bigger. That’s why he wants to do the show. Chehon does some beautiful classical ballet, and it’s clear he is bringing more of his style into it, just like he wanted to do.
Nigel jokes “I suppose if you like that sort of thing …. that was okay.” Tyce calls it fabulous, ridiculous, sick, and amazing. With this type of talent, some could disagree, but he feels he just needs to go to Vegas. Mary shouts it at him that he’s going to Vegas. He joins thirty-seven other contestants in total who are headed from New York City to Vegas.
The auditions move on to Dallas, Texas, and this time Nigel and Mary are joined by Lil’ C. Bree Hafen, 29, of McKinney, TX, is the first to audition, and explains her life is busy with 5-year-old Luke and 2-year-old Stella, who also loves to dance. When you become a mom, you want to give your whole life to your kids and don’t do much for yourself. That made getting back into dance a struggle for her.
Bree introduces the judges to her kids, and tells them Stella, wearing a pink tutu, is a phenomenal dancer. Nigel asks Luke if he krumps, and he answers that he shuffles. Nigel brings the kids down to sit at the judges’ table with him while their mommy dances … beautifully, I”ll add. Thank God she decided to do something for herself again. Her little boy shouts out, “Go, go, go” to her. Just a little PSA, but I think when you do something for yourself, it shows your kids that they need to do the same. She is following her dream, and I think it will encourage her kids to do the same someday.
Little Luke brings a ticket to Vegas up to his mommy, and it has me sobbing for the second time tonight. Nigel gives little Stella one as well to bring up to Bree. Nigel tells her she is a very good dancer. He asks why she never auditioned before, and Bree explains she never had confidence before, but being a wife and mommy has given her the confidence. Nigel notices little Stella pointing her toes already and saying “my turn,” and knows she’s going to be a dancer. Nigel gives her a turn, and she is just precious, doing many of the same moves she saw her mommy do. C says this is the best show ever, and that’s why. That’s why they do this. The crowd goes nuts for this little girl. If Bree ends up not making it as a finalist, I’ll be crushed.
It goes from precious to scary with Stepheon “The Zombie” Stewart, 21, of Katy, TX, who dances what he calls the Exorcist Style. He even throws his eyes back and tells Nigel he’s coming for him with a maniacal laugh. Horror movies have influenced his style, and his dancing comes from his imagination. He takes people’s souls from different places, and it comes through his soul. He does a really interesting breaking and popping style. I’d like to see what he could do with choreography. C loves it, saying he loves his job.
Nigel doesn’t even know where to begin with something like that and doesn’t know how many hours he put into that with the story, but when he rolled his eyes back in his head, it scared the hell out of him. He’s not sure he’s even all there, but he doesn’t care, as it was just one of the most entertaining routines he’s seen. Mary agrees, saying following the kids was a hard act to follow, but he’s been extraordinary and a scary and wild creature up there.
C says again he loves his job, and this is the reason for the hours he’s put in, the noes he’s heard, and the countless amount of intense focus he’s devoted to the art of dance and movement. Seeing dancers like him is why C continues to do what he does. This scary guy then says, “All glory to God.” Nigel asks if he gambles, and gives him a ticket to Vegas. I’m surprised he skipped the choreography, but I’m glad they rewarded him that way.
Now here’s something interesting. Hampton Williams, 21, of Richardson, TX, approaches the judges and tells them he created his own style. Guess what it’s called? That’s right. Exorcist style. The judges are shocked. He is even explaining it the same way, saying he can take others’ fears and pain and interpret it. He promises to then give them their soul back to where they will look at life in a different aspect. Nigel is starting to get scared and looks forward to seeing it. He’s different from Stepheon, but nonetheless captivating. His style seems to follow more popping and locking than breaking.
This gets a judges’ standing O and has some in the audience in tears. Nigel encourages Hampton to take it all in, who is in tears as well. Nigel tells him he’s just gotten a standing O from everyone in the house and made Mary Murphy cry. He is an artist, and he thinks he could be a genius. He really has created something unusual there. How Hampton gets on in a competition show like this, he doesn’t really give a [bleep]. Whether the others say yes or no, Hampton is going to go to Vegas if Nigel has to pay for it himself.
Mary says she hasn’t been affected this way in nine seasons by that style. When Hampton came down in front and spelled it out she realized she’d been exorcised. C tells him not to take it the wrong way, but he wants to kick him in the face. That [bleep] was buck. When it comes to freestyle from the heart and soul, that’s what he’s about. For him to not have a problem putting himself on this platform to be judged, “hats off to you.” C enjoyed every millisecond of the performance.