“So You Think You Can Dance” returns for a tenth season, and aren’t you glad? Apparently producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe is still stumping for a separate results episode each week, but for now I’m just happy to see some really great dancing back on television. Yes, thanks to Zendaya and Kellie Pickler we’ve definitely gotten some of that on “Dancing with the Stars,” but “So You Think You Can Dance” raises the bar to a completely different level. Even better, that bar seems to be extraordinarily high this year. Judging from these Hollywood auditions, this might be a season in which anyone could be deserving of the win — yes, that makes it harder for us to decide for whom to vote, but it should be a lot of fun to watch.
Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall
Out first audition doesn’t start off seeming all that auspicious. Nigel raises his eyebrows when Du-Shaunt admits he had no idea that those chosen in the round go on to Las Vegas. He’s smiley and adorable and says he’s a street performer, so we have no idea what’s next. Could be good, could be not so good. But what’s next is very, very good. Standing O from the judges and most of the audience, and a ticket to Vegas (his hometown, so not exactly an exciting trip from that perspective) is his.
Malece has a tearful backstory, so we get to see lots of pictures. Her parents broke up, they lost their house, her mom cleaned houses, yada yada yada. Malece’s mom used to be a tap dancer. Then Malece tells Nigel she’s a little deaf, which I think makes her audition a triple hitter. But wait, she was joking! She has a very dry wit, apparently. The good news is that she can dance. Wow, this is going to be a solid year. Mary thinks she has a fresh, innocent look, but her work is serious. She loves her! Jesse also saw good stuff and he thinks she looks like a little doll. Nigel thinks she’s striking to look at. So, ticket to Vegas for Malece.
Other dancers also made it through, by the way. Montage of success! Montage of praise! This means the next dancer segment will be someone sucktastic, I guess.
He won Armenian “So You Think You Can Dance.” So, not sucktastic. As you might expect, he’s very good. Nigel was even reminded of Benji. Mary thinks he has it all. Jesse wonders if Melanie is auditioning in Armenia. Nigel cuts him off and tells Paul he’s going to Vegas.
Thanks for quitting, Slingbox.
When my computer unfreezes, I discover that a guy named Elijah is auditioning. Elijah is dancing with a tutu on his head. Nigel says he found it artistic and beautiful. Elijah is so excited. He was going for androgyny! And that’s what exactly what Nigel said! Ticket to Vegas!
I’m beginning to think there will not be a sucktastic audition on this show. That’s okay, really.
Another montage of greatness! Does anyone not go to Vegas from Hollywood?
Okay, this guy may not. He’s doing a tribal Maori dance. Mary wants him to go to choreography. Nigel wants him to go home. Jesse caves in and sends him to choreography.
She played softball and got a sports scholarship, then chose dance and left all the scholarships behind. And her grandpa died. And she’s sad. Ad then she decides to practice in the holding room and breaks something. Thanks for the crunching noise, “SYTYCD”! She sounds like a taco chip.
But Taylor will have to wait, because it’s time for another montage of fabulous dancers. And some not great dancers. Oh, wait, great dancer, they were just playing with some chick’s head. Seriously, I don’t know if Vegas has room for all these people.
Ah, back to Taylor Ward. She dislocated her knee. She has naturally loose joints. Oh, she’s good. Not great, but good. Jesse was worried about her knee, but he thinks she’s a beautiful dancer. Mary thinks she’s a warrior. Loved it. Nigel wants to see her do some hip-hop and partner work, so a yes to choreography.
He’s one of the more well-known B-boys in the world. He was rated #1 in 2010 and 2011. Yeah, he’s going through, isn’t he? He defies gravity. Mary deems him exciting. Jesse thinks he’s a Cyrus. Nigel wants him to go to choreography. Really? I think he can do anything, really.
Another montage of greatness! Whoot!
I’m not inclined to love Armen. He raps. He’s done videos with hot bikini babes. Even “as a white boy, he’d like to be recognized by the American audience.” I think American audiences are pretty open to white boys, really. He’s a ballroom dancer. Because when I think of rap, I think ballroom. But he’s good. Jeez, I’m not sure there’s a need to take auditions to another city at this point. Mary gives him a ticket without screwing around with commentary.
Eric & Lorenzo Chapman
These guys are part of the Great-One-Eighters. Their dad was a big deal, but he died unexpectedly and the brothers stopped dancing and going to school and started going in the wrong direction. They started something to prevent other kids from going through what they went through. It’s about bringing hip hop to communities. Nigel thinks they’re inspirational, even if they’re not built like dancers. This is his way of saying they’re kinda chubby. And he wants to help them get their message out to schools. This is fine with the Chapmans, because that was the only reason they auditioned. Heartwarming moment, y’all!
Time for the choreography round. They won’t be taking Morris! No! He’s going to try harder next year. Taylor is going to Vegas. And 10 other dancers get through.