With the beginning of Las Vegas week tonight on So You Think You Can Dance, I’m hoping to see more of the inspirational stories. So many of the auditioners had such gripping stories, that now it seems that’s what the whole season is going to be built around. I want to be inspired, and I want to see some great dancing.
The judges for Vegas week are Lil’ C, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe. The first thing they’re going to ask the dancers to do is a solo, and if the judges aren’t impressed, the dancers will go home quickly. Nigel promises massive cuts.
First up is Hampton “The Exorcist” Williams, 21, of Richardson, as. His audition received the longest standing O of the whole tour and made Mary cry. This time he’s making Adam and Tyce seem like they’re going to break down crying. There is just something so moving about his performances. He’ll be a tough act to follow. The first ten performers are called back upstage, and two girls are let go, while the rest, including Hampton, stay.
Janelle Issis, 23, of Birmingham, AL, announces she is going to rock it out and is excited to be the only belly dancer there. Tyce loves it after just the first few seconds, and Adam and Nigel celebrate at the end as Nigel quips, “If only she were sexy.”
As more auditioners show their wares, the judges seem to love every moment of it. They all look great. However, by the end of the solos, forty-two auditioners, including martial arts dancer Tim Conkle, are sent home. Tim says he loved every second of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
At 5:00 P.M. on day one, the remaining dancers are asked to learn a hip hop routine from Twitch and Comfort. He says for this season, they’re bringing something totally different for the hip hop game. She explains the whole dance is about the groove and the funk, is from ATL, and is funky. He expects to see energy, character, and people breathing really, really hard. If you’re not sweating, you’re not doing it right.
Hampton and the Dragon House Crew – Andre, Boris, and Cyrus – went straight to Vegas, so it’s the first time for them learning someone else’s choreography. After they’ve barely started, Hampton takes the stage and tells the judges the choreography is a little too fast for him. They let him bow out, and remind him how great he was to have three of the judges crying. Andre from Dragon House isn’t having an easy time of it either. He admits it’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do; it feels foreign to him. Cat asks if he’s going to talk to the judges, but he says he’s just going to leave. The other guys tell him he has to at least try. He does in fact just leave.
Once it comes down to performing, it’s Boris in the first group. It’s hard, but he promises to try his best. The judges discuss the dancers afterwards, and overheard is “He does it, but it’s just not right.” Do they mean Boris? Boris is asked to step forward. Nigel tells him it’s hip hop, so he should have been better, but he’s a popper. He didn’t even have a feel for it, though, and it’s the area they expect him to be good in. They let him go, as Nigel apologizes saying, he’s such a supporter of Dragon House. Boris is disappointed, but vows to not let it stop him.
Also leaving in this round is Gene Lenardo, who danced like a praying mantis in his audition, He claims, “I got buck, and now I’m going home.” Bree Hafen, mother of two, is also leaving. She has two beautiful kids to go home to, though, and truthfully, they’re what matters to her most. There are ninety-seven still left.
Cyrus is the only one left of Dragon House, and his group is the last one up. He’s partnered with a female dancer as they explain he’s a popper animated robot, and she doesn’t do hip hop, so they’re both struggling. Cyrus looks to be doing better than his buddies. Maybe he’ll be the first Dragon to go through. The judges are overheard talking about “Let’s just do this; there’s no other alternative.” Are all the Dragons going to end up leaving in this round? I’m thinking not, because they made such a big deal about them from the auditions on. Nigel puts them all through. Cyrus is shocked.
It’s onto the Broadway choreography round on day two. Tyce is there teaching them the steps. He explains the scenario of 2 AM in a club, and the dancers take a break to drink water, and suddenly they all start lusting after each other. It’s a routine even he calls hard and a bitch.
Ballroom dancers Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold are roommates in Vegas, and it turns out they have known each other since they were 9 years old and really good friends. They’re both in the first Broadway group in front of the judges. They both move on, along with the rest of their group. Many of the other groups do just as well.
Alexa Anderson is ready to go onstage with her group. Last season, she was the final person cut before the final twenty. She believes she’s improved since then by learning to relax and breathe. She thinks this is her year. Tyce just sits with his mouth hanging open staring at her. Tyce says to the others, “She’s so unbelievable, yet nothing’s happening,” meaning in her face. They told her last time she could be everything, Adam says he’s sick of saving her. Wow.
Adam comes right out with out then and asks Alexa to step forward. He’s honest with her, repeating what he just said to the other judges. She is so frustrating, because she has so much going on and could be the star winner of the show, but they’re debating putting her through, because she’s dead and giving them no light. She’s asked if it’s just nerves, but says no, as she was actually kind of excited. He tells her to dance like she wants it and connect with her partner, because she can. Stepping back in line, Her partner, Joseph, and another Tre, are let go while the rest of the groups makes it. Alexa is scared, because she sees last year happening all over again.
Teddy Tedhol, who’s been here before, is told he needs to have more growth and is let go by Tyce. He is disappointed. He’s not alone, though, leaving with twenty-one other dancers. Teddy can’t please the judges and doesn’t know how to fix it. He wonders why he should even bother to come back. He just “loves to be reprimanded in public.” Well, isn’t that the whole point of an audition, putting yourself out there like that? He promises to never come back to this.