Asher Walker, 19, of Glad Hill, VA, admits there is about zero hip hop community in Franklin County. They just have a few people and some stores. They get to fish, hunt, ride dirt bikes and four-wheelers, and torch Christmas trees in the backyard. Cat isn’t very shocked at the lack of hip hop in Franklin County. The area is more known for being filled with rednecks. Asher took an interest in dance after watching some videos, and took off with it, practicing in his garage. He wants to show the judges the best personality. He tells Nigel he wants to be a backup dancer for Justin Bieber. He has no backup plan, but watching him perform, it looks like he won’t be needing one.
Debbie adores what she just saw She adores Asher and thinks he’s fresh. He’s taken the language of hip hop and translated it into another form. She saw him do a hip hop coupe on pointe, then twirled around on his head and passed out. He took them on a journey, and she thanks him. Mary loves that he’s not afraid to take a pause for a comedic cause. A lot of people feel they have to put in so much they miss those moments, but he captures all the moments he can. He might not have some of the skills of some of the hip hop kids they’ve seen in Atlanta, but he exudes personality and pure joy, and is entertaining. She doesn’t think there is anyone who wouldn’t pick up the phone for him.
Nigel agrees with the others that the entertainment factor is fabulous, but the musicality is fabulous as well. He thoroughly enjoyed it and looks forward to seeing Asher in Vegas. He tells him to work hard on those other things.
When it comes to athletic ability, Cat assures us no one can touch George Lawrence II, 18, from Atlanta. His dad wanted a sports son, and George ran track, and played basketball, football and soccer. H was the best at track and was eleventh in the nation. HIs dad was supportive of him in track and was crushed when he quit. He wishes his dad was more on his side with his dance, but there’s nothing he can do other than to continue to dance. He feels free when he dances, like there’s nothing holding him back. He is himself. He thinks his dad would be on his side if he got a ticket to Vegas. To deny this guy his dance would be a crime. You can feel his passion for it.
Nigel tells George it is very powerful and asks him how his dad feels about it. George explains he supports him, but not as much as he would like. Nigel hopes he can be proud of him, as he has achieved a great deal, and he would be proud of him if he were his son. Mary tells him they have seen some amazing dancers there in Atlanta, and his audition was the best for her so far. Debbie explains there are a few people who were born to dance, and he’s one of them. She’s happy to be part of his journey. Nigel wonders where that journey starts. Debbie explains it will be short, as he has to get to Vegas.
Abigail Ruz, 19, of Goose Creek, SC, dances sexy for the judges and Debbie calls it hot and sassy. She makes it to Vegas. Calvin Turner, Jr., 21, of Las Vegas, dances beautifully. Debbie tells him he’s talented and stunning to watch. He also goes to Vegas. Aubrey Klinger, 25, of Chicago, leaps likes a gazelle. Nigel confirms she’s a dancer, and she’s headed to Vegas as well.
Brittany Ortner, 20, of Oviedo, FL, has a hard time talking in front of the camera. She’s from an itty-bitty city that is known for its chickens. They roam around, and if a chicken decides to cross that proverbial road, you have to stop and let them. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of opportunity for dance here, and she wants to take her dance to a different level. She explains the chicken story to Nigel, then begins her dance. She’s unusual, but is very skilled.
Mary tells Brittany they definitely have to get her out of Chicken Town. While she’s not at Melanie Moore’s level, she definitely has potential and room to grow. Debbie agrees with everything Mary said. She has lovely legs and a beautiful personality. Nigel agrees she’s photogenic and has a good physique for dance with the ability to grow. They’re going to give her a start out of Chicken Town by sending her to choreography.
While Brittany waits, she gets cornered by Damon Bellmon, 20, and Deon Lewis, 19, of Atlanta. Last year Damon was talking about his admiration for Cat and how beautiful he thought she was and somehow got her phone number. It’s awkward now, as he hasn’t called her, but only because he’s been busy.
Cat wonders if it’s because he was too busy taking calls from lawyers for Les Twins. Last year they did a tribute to Les Twins, but people thought they were trying to steal their material. They promise to tell Cat the truth, saying they were trying to show good technique and that they could follow choreography. Cat points out they never said it was anyone else’s work. They rewind the tape and show that they did say that, but the show never aired that part. They apologize now on television.
Nigel brings up the controversy, and DAmon and Deon explain it was a misunderstanding. This year they are promising to show their own work. I don’t remember the routine from last year but this one seems solid on its own and has a little comedy thrown in.
The two guys get a standing O from the crowd, and Nigel is glad it’s all them this year. He’s still not sure how good they are with other styles or what they are like with girl partners rather than each other. The show a little impromptu of this, and Nigel jokes that’s what worries him. Mary think they’re a lot of fun and loves them as much as last year. Debbie thinks they need to be pushed and pulled and and torn apart and put back together by a couple of masters. They’re on to Vegas.
Deon gets paired up with Brittany in choreography, while Damon gets another partner. Deon doesn’t make it, but promises he’ll be with Damon in spirit and heart onstage if he makes it. Mary tells Damon if anyone gave him royal effort it was him, and he indeed gets through. Deon supports him the way he said he would. Brittany makes it too, and so do fourteen others.
These were some terrific auditions tonight. While they weren’t quite as heartwarming as they were the first few weeks into the season, they were still enough to excite me for the season. And there’s still more to come.