‘So You Think You Can Dance’ recap: It’s off to Memphis

Man, these auditions just keep going and going, don’t they? This week, “So You Think You Can Dance” heads to Memphis, where there are many good dancers, a few great ones, and a lot of crazy people. The good news is that we don’t spend much time with the nuts, but see them in a montage of suckitude. Thus, we get to indulge briefly in their delusions, but don’t get so fully doused in them we feel the lingering side effects of depression and possible mental illness. Yay?

Our judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and, yes, Wayne Brady. I have high hopes for Wayne, don’t you? This isn’t “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” but hey, it’s another show with a long title, so he should feel right at home.  

Dorian BluPrint Hector

Not only is he an animator, he and Cyrus are in the same crew, Dragon House. Huh. Cyrus made it to the final round last season, but as we know, he stuck around a lot longer than maybe he should have. Dragon House is in an actual house, by the way. BluPrint explains he is a malfunctioning robot. Wayne gives him a standing O. Nigel thinks he’s superb. He’s brilliant! But to Vegas or choreography? Stop yapping Mary! She even curses as she puts him on the hot tamale train. Wayne thinks he’s an absolute artist. The problem is, according to Nigel, the lack of training. But Nigel is sending him to Vegas because he doesn’t give a bleep. So much profanity, judges! Calm down! Leave the bad language to the kids! 

Curtis Holland

He’s a tapper, and he wants to be the fastest tapper alive. I think he should aim to be best, really. He’s been tapping since he was four, and he has no one with him to support him. Poor Curtis! Wayne wants to take him home. He’s good, but not great. We’ve already seen better tappers this season.

Wayne runs up to hug him. Okay, that was cute. How much do I love Wayne Brady? But… Wayne points out that Curtis was having so much fun, he forgot about the audience. Mary thinks he’s very good, but he has to work on his audience connection. Nigel thinks he’s personality plus, but the routine wasn’t great. He needs to extend himself. He gets sent to choreography. So, Wayne better watch out. This kid might wait for him in the parking lot.

Tucker Knox

He auditioned for Julliard and made it into the program — except he was run off the road by a bad driver shortly thereafter. His spine was broken, but he was determined to dance again. Man, he dances better than most people, even those who haven’t broken their backs. Mary is just grinning she likes him so much. And man, he’s so, so good. It’s impossible not to root for him. Wayne is jealous of him and thinks he’s a perfect dancer. Is he frightened of being in a car? He was. What about flying? He’s going to Vegas! Nigel thinks it’s cute to prolong this process every time someone gets a ticket to Vegas, but it’s really not cute anymore. 

Courtney Thurston

She’s auditioning with her devoted single dad in the wings. Dance saved her from everything, according to Courtney. She has to put her lucky pig on the stage. A lucky pig! That’s sorta charming. Weird, but charming. She has the explosiveness of a gymnast, and she’s very good technically. Mary thinks she’s a little force to be reckoned with. Oh, and Dad married her dance teacher. Now, Dad has to dance. And he has to put HIS little pig on the stage. I’m sure the story behind the pigs is less interesting than I’d like it to be. Mostly Dad walks back and forth and first pumps. Anyway, she’s going to Vegas, so it all works out. Dad, well, he can say he was on television.  

Bad audition montage! One dancer says he’s going to make Mary scream. He doesn’t. Then, a bad animal animator. And there are the large people. There are always large people.  

Shan-shan Quiao-Rothlisberger

She’s doing a traditional Mongolian bowl dance. Gorgeous dress, by the way. Her husband is not Chinese, as everyone surmised from the hyphenated last name. Nigel asks if she’ll be performing ding dong woo! What? Nigel knows the dance and wanted to show off. And then it becomes a talk about whore’s milk and horses’ milk. Whatever.

It’s a very pretty dance and it’s exceptionally well done. Big standing O from the judges and the audience. Nigel thinks she has a beautiful, tranquil quality. Mary thinks her arm movements were beautiful and she’s stunning. Wayne thinks it’s amazing. Nigel isn’t sure it’s right for the competition, but… she can go to choreography. Lots of booing from the peanut gallery. Wayne says, “Listen Jerry Springer audience, this isn’t ‘So You Think You Can Yell.'” Can Wayne just stay on the judges’ table? 

Nico Greetham

He has a hot mom and good extension. His mom is very excited and screams, “Yes, Papi!” after he finishes. Mary would have liked to see more. Nigel was surprised Mary didn’t scream. “Papi on the train!” she screams. Nigel thinks he’s getting a nosebleed. Nico’s got a ticket to Vegas. 

Elyse Frelinger

She likes hanging upside down, preferably from a trapeze. Why, you ask? She is an trapeze instructor at the Santa Monica Pier! Even better, she’s a beautiful dancer. Nigel loves the flow of movement. Mary was captivated. Wayne says, yes, butter. Vegas! 

Choreography! Bowl dancing chick is out. No, she’s not! She’s off to Vegas. Then, it’s Curtis. He’s out. No, he’s not! He’s off to Vegas. Stop it, judges. 

Jenna Johnson

She’s wearing fringe, not tassels. She’ll be doing a cha cha because it’s the sexiest dance, because she wants everyone to realize that being from Utah does not mean she isn’t sexy, I guess. Nigel will love this. She and her partner have won four national titles, but he’s too young to audition. Not that they’re dating, by the way. Of course, she’s great. We don’t see Nigel reacting because it might be too creepy. There’s nothing to say — just a ticket to Vegas. Whoot! 

Novien Yarber

He has technique and he’s masculine. And he has silly pants. Nigel loves him, even though Novien screwed up his finish. Mary thought he gave it everything. His legs were slicing like samurai swords. Novien wants a Mary scream, and she gives it to him. Nigel is getting a nosebleed. Hey, Nigel, you made that joke already. Wayne thinks he’s a man. He’s going to Vegas, c’mon. Nigel tells him to come down and get his ticket. 

Isabel Freiberger

Another ballroom dancer. The tricks are great, but I saw sloppiness. Mary thought it was fantastic. She’s curious to see her do another style. Wayne was impressed. It’s yes to choreography.

Caleb Brauner

He’s a dork with a bowtie, and he’s camping it up a bit. He’s one step removed from Don Knotts. He’s a hip hop dancer who’s taken contemporary, jazz and other stuff. He did a showcase for his high school, and everyone discovered he’s awesome at everything. I am worried, because he’s laying it on thick with the schtick. But it’s a cute dance with a story and shows off what he can do, which is quite a lot. “That’s my nerd!” his dad screams from the audience. Oh, and it’s #thatsmynerd for everyone at home, apparently. Mary wants to adopt him and thought it was spectacular. Wayne thought he was an amazingly comedic Normal Rockwell set to music. Nigel wants to know if his dad dances. Not really. Nigel wants to see his hip hop — with his dad. This is a thing now? If someone’s dad comes to the audition, they dance, too? Dad is writhing around on the floor like he’s having a stroke. Caleb is going to Vegas. 

Montage of good dancing! Wayne impersonates Lil’ C, and does quite a good job of it. Really, Wayne for the table. Let’s hashtag that. 

Larry Booze 

He’s got a very nice purple shirt and a matching tie. He’s got a signature move — the Swinging Door. He moon walks extremely well, but he may be a one trick pony. Nigel was entertained. Mary thinks his feet are crazy. Wayne thinks he’s a born showman. Nigel wants to see him go to choreography.

Jasmine Harper

She’s auditioning because she knows some dancers from the past. Who? Well, she dated Cyrus. What-what? She taught him contemporary, and he tried to teach her hip hop. She misses him, but she’s proud of him. Poor bunny! She’s tearing up. Cat’s going to have a word with Cyrus. So, of course the judges squeeze her for information. Nigel doesn’t want to get too personal, but he wants to know more. This guy gets away with a lot thanks to that accent, really. Jasmine explains that the show got to Cyrus, so they broke up. And now she’s upset. So, Nigel wants her to put it into her audition. Why not throw things at the dancers and ask them to channel the pain? 

But wow, she has beautiful form. She’s definitely going to Vegas. Great extension, great emotion, just great. Nigel thought she was a very beautiful dancer. Mary could feel her passion. Wayne was blown away, too. Give her a ticket! No, no they do that dumb “it’s a no to choreography” schtick, then give her a ticket. Stop being mean, judges! Hashtag that!

Paige Pellicano

Her dad’s an Elvis impersonator. Plus, she’s from Memphis, which almost no one else is. Wait, she’s not from Memphis. She’s from Michigan. So, there’s a montage of people NOT being from Memphis, then we’re introduced to Paige, also NOT from Memphis, but she counts because her dad’s an Elvis impersonator? Feeble, “SYTYCD”! Anyway, she’s trained in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, lots of stuff. Nigel makes Dad sing to boot. But that doesn’t help Paige, as no one loves her audition. Nigel felt it wasn’t honest, Mary wasn’t thrilled, and Wayne wasn’t touched. She’s a yes to choreography, and that may just be because Nigel made her dad sing.  

On to choreography, then! Larry has trouble, but Paige is feeling confident. In fact, Larry decides to withdraw so he doesn’t hurt the chances of the girl he’s dancing with. Aw, I like Larry. Maybe someone will give him a Web series or something.

Isabel is in the first group. She gets sent home. As does everyone else in her group. Paige was close, but also a no-go.  

This was the end of the auditions, but 200 people have made it through. On to Vegas! That took long enough! Only twenty will survive Vegas week. People will cry. There will be lecturing. And Mary’s hair is taking a terrible turn in Vegas. Really, old lady hair. But we can worry about that next week.

Is there anyone you’re rooting for? What did you think of Jasmine’s story? And what did you think of the bowl dance and the lucky pigs?