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

So You Think You Can Dance, May 30 – Second Chances

David Matz, 27, L.A., is a circus performer. He lives in an amazing artist loft with some of his closest friends. They perform together and train in silks, stilts, unicycling, juggling, etc. He doesn’t think people take the circus seriously, thinking it has negative stereotypes, as he mimics the circus music. Has he heard the commercial for Madagascar 3? He’s a fire starter, and his specialty is the cyr wheel, a giant metal hoop that he spins and does crazy acrobatics in. He knows a lot of people are doing it, but doesn’t think a lot of people are doing it well. His biggest fear is having a slick spot on stage and the wheel falling out from underneath him.

Jesse jokes that this giant metal hoop is just David’s lucky charm. I was worried he would only be moving within his hoop, but he shows some dance moves outside of his hoop as well. It really is a beautiful routine. They’ll obviously need to see him in choreography, though. Mary mentions during the performance she’s never seen some of his moves before.

Jesse makes a joke again, this time saying it’s amazing what David can do with one of Cat’s old earrings. More seriously, he doesn’t even know how he would judge that, as he has no point of reference. He would love to see what he could do without the ring. He’s using muscles that Jesse doesn’t even realize he has. Mary found it mesmerizing, and so so wonderful, beautiful, and flowing. He’s an artist. She wasn’t sure if he could do other styles, but she doesn’t care right now. It was the first time she’s ever seen it, and she thanks him for bringing something new. Nigel agrees he doesn’t know what he can do dance-wise and sends Jesse to choreography.

Stephen Jacobsen, 22, of Cincinnati, OH, is going to be doing ballet, but not what we think of as classical ballet. He hopes it goes over well, because he kind of threw it together at the last minute. He comes out onstage and Nigel asks the open-shirted dancer if he lost the buttons on his shirt. He puffs out his chest and offers to button up. Mary calls it fine the way as is, but jokes he should work out a little more. He tells Nigel he’s been doing ballet for seventeen years. Yet, in his dance, he’s not doing anything but walking around the stage. He finally gets in a gorgeous leap, then some weird jumps.

Nigel asks Stephen what ballet he’s with, and is told the Cincinnati Ballet. Nigel’s next question is who choreographed that piece, and of course Stephen did. Nigel tells him he should be shot. He’s a trained ballet dancer, and he can see that from a few brilliant moves he did, yet they have a corny routine that a 10-year-old might do in a competition. He wants to see him dance, not miming around the stage. Jesse tells him he’s so good, he doesn’t need the extra bells and whistles. Nigel didn’t think he needed the shirt flying around the stage either, but Jesse thought it was fine. Mary asks to see him do something else to another song, and Stephen agrees to just make it up. It’s like night and day, and it makes me start to wonder if we were just all hustled. Nigel starts yelling shut up, kicks him, and gives him a ticket.

After a showing of contestants who have made it to Vegas in earlier years, Jonathan Anzalone, 25, of Milan, Italy, is back too, but has waited four years since the last time he auditioned. He realizes he used to be too cocky. Now he’s bald, saying he thinks everyone has had some rough times. He wants to go out there and show him the real him. Nigel realizes he looks familiar, the Italian Stallion, who is now calling himself the Italian Cat. He’ll be doing B-boying today. He does some great moves, but at a certain point they’re more moves than dancing, including when he shows the judges his chest.

Jesse jokes that whether or not they send Jonathan to Vegas, he’s going to end up there at some point. He’s very talented, but he didn’t see a lot of substance. What he can do with his leg is crazy,. Nigel calls it a little more of a contortionist act than dancing. There was just something for him that was a bit strange. He asks if he has done any more training, and Jonathan tells him he indeed has, in funk, hip hop, and contemporary. He didn’t do any ballroom, but promises he knows how to dance with girls.

Nigel wonders if any girls in the audience want to dance with him, and a woman from the audience volunteers. He wraps his leg around her and plants a kiss on her as well. Latin music starts, and I wouldn’t call it Latin ballroom, or even salsa, but Jesse picks up a ticket and runs up onstage with it, tucking it in Jonathan’s shorts as the young lady runs away. Nigel wants to get serious now, pointing out they always have fun with him. Mary tells him people have always asked about him, so she’s pleased he came back. He’s better, and she thinks he deserves to go to Vegas, but Nigel wants him to go to choreography. Jesse agrees with Nigel.

For the last three seasons, Jasmine Mason, 18, of Placentia, CA, has been watching her brother Marshea Kidd, 22, audition. Six weeks ago, the two of them were in the car with Marshea driving, and a car pulled out in front of them. Right before they hit, Mashea reached over and said, “You’re gonna be okay.” He maneuvered the car so that Jasmine wouldn’t get hit. When their mom heard about it she was in absolute shock. He was pronounced dead on arrival. However, here he is. He was in a coma for two days, and woke up with a fractured neck, among other injuries. Brother and sister know they are fortunate to be able to dance again. He feels like he’s been given another chance and thinks you should do whatever you want to in life, as you never know when your last day will be.

They’re both auditioning today. Jasmine is up first and is doing jazz. Nigel can’t get over how gorgeous she is. She dances to I’d Rather Go Blind, and somehow it makes her even more gorgeous. Mary takes note that it’s not a little girly dance number. She moves with such fluidity. It’s just … gorgeous, for lack of a better term.

Nigel calls it a fantastic piece of music to dance to and says she danced it fantastically. Someone get the guy a thesaurus. She was really good and poured her heart and soul into it. He’s not sure if he’s being manipulated from behind by her mom screaming, but he really enjoyed watching her. Mary agrees she’s gorgeous, but points out she’s only 18, yet dances so maturely and womanly. Jesse feels like Mary is taking the words out of his mouth. Jasmine has such maturity and just standing there, she’s like a gorgeous grecian statue. And to have the talent to back it up is like a match made in heaven. Yep, Vegas.

Marshea warms up and says dance just makes him want to do the best he can. To get a ticket to Vegas will be another miracle for him, but he already knows he’s extremely lucky. He dances with the abandon of someone who knows they got a second chance at life. Mary mentions to Jesse that it’s crazy that Marshea broke his neck just six weeks ago. She stops him and just holds up a ticket without saying anything. For the second week in a row this show has made me cry. Nigel mentions afterwards that while Marshea didn’t tell them this, he was actually pronounced dead on arrival after the accident.

It’s finally time for the choreography round for all those questionable dancers. David can’t keep up with the choreography and leaves after just twenty minutes. Jonathan also doesn’t make it. Caley and Johnny Wax are told their dancing isn’t strong enough yet, but Sam makes it through. I am hoping her mom sees this and apologizes to her for not believing in her. Even just to make it this far, whether or not she makes the top 20, means she is obviously very talented.

Sam deserves a second chance with her mom. Even if she did the most terrible thing in the world, she deserves a second chance. Marshea and Jasmine got second chances. He committed the ultimate selfless act and saved his sister, leaving himself to die. He nearly did, but someone decided he needed a second chance. He got a second chance at life, and now he has a fourth shot at making it on So You Think You Can Dance. He just might be the epitome of “dance like nobody’s watching.”

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