So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The 5 Best Auditions From Los Angeles and Austin

So-You-Think-You-Can-Dance-Austin-Auditions-RecapThis week’s So You Think You Can Dance — which focused on auditions from Los Angeles and Austin, TX — spanned from the adorable (boogying toddlers!) to the grotesque (the sudden emergence of “bone-breaking” as popular style).

Since I was on Voice-recapping duty last night — and had to make SYTYCD my second priority — let me cut straight to the chase and count down the night’s five best auditions. When I’m done, hit the poll and vote for your own faves — then expand on your thoughts in the comments! (p.s. I know, I know…I left out the lovely Shane Garcia — with his lyrical bone-breaking and inspiring story of learning to communicate via dance to overcome his stuttering pronlem — but the episode was just PACKED with talent.)

5) Sebastian Serra | Jesse Tyler Ferguson was right: Girls (and plenty of guys) are gonna fall for the Orlando Ballet troupe member — as long as he doesn’t retrieve those hideous board shorts from the trash. Dude’s got quiet charisma, his pirouettes were extraordinary and his leap from a standing position was downright impala-esque. It’s bad fortune he’s following the season where Chehon Wespi-Tschopp pulled off the win, but dude could still be another ballet contender.

4) Hampton ‘Exorcist’ Williams and Dorlesha Goggans (and their daughter Kira) | Yeah, the Exorcist’s moves — and music (“My Immortal” again?) — were the same as last year, but I can’t lie: The addition of his 4-year-old daughter to the mix, and her work as a mini Hermione Granger who moved mom and dad across the stage with the flicks of her arms or the twist of her neck — left me mesmerized. I don’t see the duo going far in Vegas, but they damn well earned their tickets.

3) Misha Smagin and Mariia Lebedeva | Mariia’s slinky black dress with yellow belt and slit up to the north coast of Maine certainly added va-va-voom to the pair’s Latin ballroom routine, but their moves were so crisp, so swift and so passionate, I practically injured my neck trying to keep up at home.

2) Makenzie Dustman | I once again agreed with Jesse that this 18-year-old daughter of a jazz singing duo danced with astonishing maturity in her contemporary classical routine. Makenzie seems to be the very definition of “lithe,” and yet that “crab-walk” with backwards hanging head proved she’s not afraid to get freaky contorted, either.

1) Nick Muckleroy | One of the few dancers presented without backstory — what was the deal with those teeeeeeny blue shorts, though? I kid! I kid! — Nick showcased the power and flexibility of a gymnast, without sacrificing an ounce of artistry or emotionalism. (And yowza, that “bouncing split” move was cray-cray!) When guest judge Minnie Driver pegged him as an automatic Top 20 contender, I couldn’t disagree.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of last night’s SYTYCD? Who was your favorite auditioner? Take our poll, sound off in the comments, and for all my reality TV news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Thea says:

    Was it just me, or was the “dirty/pretty” girl who got montaged a returnee from last year? She looked very familiar. My personal favorite auditions were Donovan, Shane and Makenzie. And I did find myself applauding in my lonely living room for Hampton and his famil, despite the redundancies. His daughter was just precious.

  2. I kind of liked that Dannon guy. He was so sweetly weird, and his pre-performance package made it look like he might be a disaster, but he was actually really good!

  3. Britter says:

    I did not get the impression that Hampton’s wife was a competitor. I presumed the three tickets to Vegas were simply a gesture. I presume, though I may be wrong, that the show typically only pays for the contestant to travel to call-backs, not family, and because of their “spontaneous” family routine, offered up a couple of extras because they’ll want to revisit this kind of awesome family dynamic during Vegas week.

    • Alyssa says:

      She was wearing a number so it seemed like she was also going to audition.

      • Peggy D. says:

        Whatever the reason the judges gave the three family members tickets to Vegas – as an old woman watching this family “workin'” it on that stage I can say that I have enjoyed very few acts on television any better than I enjoyed watching this family unit perform. I look forward to seeing their next performance – my husband of 54 years enjoyed this family as much a I did. Adults were good – baby girl will no doubt go on to be one of the “future stars of tomorrow”. She truly is precious!

  4. Eli says:

    Some quick thoughts:
    – Makenzie Dustman is the first girl I’ve seen so far this season to actually impress me. So far it’s really a season of the guys (as opposed to AI).
    – Was a little underwhelmed with Millie, I’ve seen him before and he’s better than that audition, a lot better.
    – Krumpgirl is back! Loved her last year and was seriously bummed she didn’t make it, here’s hoping second time is the charm.
    – Donovan Gibbs and Nick Mackleroy are the two to watch out for from this episode. Donovan is clearly very well versed in a large number of different dance styles, which makes him an instant threat, while Nick is just really really good at what he does and after Chehon last year it’s not that hard to imagine him doing the same.

  5. Kathryn says:

    Honroable mention goes to Donovan Gibbs’ dad – he was really good!

  6. Lauren says:

    Slezak, you’re such a tease! Still no Idology!!

  7. Bobbi says:

    Could someone tell me when dislocating your bones became a dance style? I couldn’t even watch! Nothing entertaining about that at all.

    • Mel says:

      Totally agree. I spent most of my time NOT watching. Too many people doing that in my opinion. That’s not dance – it’s just gross.

  8. Kate'shomesick says:

    I actually didn’t like Nick that much. To me it was more gymnastics than dancing. He never pointed his feet properly and it all felt a little bit wodden…the quality of the movement wasn’t what I’d expect of a really good dancer.
    Happy that Mariah- the krump girl- ist back. Loved her attitude last year. Dannon really felt like an artist rather than someone just performing steps….

  9. Leela says:

    Am I alone in not loving Sebastian Serra? Don’t get me wrong, he’s got amazing technique and style but heart throb? No. That “flexing” thing or whatever they’re calling the contortionism is repellent. It was bad enough seeing the female contestant from last week spontaneously dislocate/relocate her knee. Just ewwwh.

  10. Tom hass says:

    Millie should have gotten more love. His audition was unreal. I feel like the “pac-man is my friend” edit combined with judges that were a little under-excited set him back. He is literally a master of every single hip hop style. Maybe a less obnoxious shirt and some memorable music would have gotten them going.

  11. daisyj says:

    I have a terrible track record with predictions, but I think Donovan Gibbs is going to be one to watch– hip-hop with a broader dance grounding seems like the ideal combination for this show, not to mention the TV-ready parents and backstory. And he was good, too.

  12. MLO says:

    When you said “spanned from the adorable (boogying toddlers!) to the grotesque”… I thought sure you were talking about Mary’s hair! O.M.G.