So You Think You Can Dance‘s Boston audition stop was a cause for celebration — and not just because it featured a gal with a lampshade on her head, a hunk willing to flash his torso upon request and Mary Murphy hollerating like a Red Sox fan with the score tied at the bottom of the ninth.
No sirree, the two-hour episode turned into party central thanks to a deep and ridiculously diverse pool of talent — with ballroom, hip-hop, ballet and contemporary all on brilliant display. And while it was a near impossible task to narrow it down to the five best auditions, please bear with my humble attempts below…
Honorable Mention: John Tesoriero, whose “water plink” moves synchronized to a live beat boxer filled me with joy; Alexis Juliano, who somehow made “Mr. Bojangles” feel like cinematic; Jennifer James, who’s just too beautiful to be believed (Mary Murphy: “I JUST LOVE HER FACE!”); and Shannon ‘Shizzy Shake’ Tarantino, whose punkish looks juxtaposed intriguingly with her ethereral, almost angelic movements. (I really wanted to make Shannon No. 5, but how could I deny Anthony?)
5) Anthony Savoy | No one from his dance company knew he was auditioning, but there’s no way they could be too bitter after he brought his avian-like elegance to the program through leaps and spins that will be sure to inspire folks like Sonya and Mia in the weeks and months to come.
4) Toshi Nakazawa | I worried SYTYCD was setting him up as some kind of unfunny ESL joke, but nope: Dude’s animated moves were wickedly creative and entertaining. When he went prone on the stage and waves of music “pulsed” through his body, I found myself clapping like a ridiculous seal.
3) Jennie Begley | Who else felt the sweet rush of tears after Jennie’s brother — who paid to fly the struggling ballerina from Colorado — leapt to his feet to celebrate her dark and theatrical audition? Mary was right: This chick’s lines are mesmerizing!
2) Kate Kapshandy | Nigel was right: This whirling, highly sexualized ballroom dervish could start as a DWTS pro tomorrow — and give the ABC ballroom competish’s sagging ratings, maybe she should! I let out a chuckle of delight the moment Kate strutted out from the wings with the kind of confidence that’s rare during a reality competition audition, and seeing Season 5′s Max Kapitannikov as her partner was a nice bonus. Hard to imagine she won’t go far into Season 10 — provided she’s got versatility, too.
1) Tommy Tibball | It’s funny Nigel mentioned past SYTYCD standouts Jakob and Billy, since Tommy’s incredible expression and extension immediately called those fellas to mind. And oh man, that piroutte just went on and on and on — without ever losing its form. Tommy doesn’t have the loudest of personalities, but I felt like the world fell silent when he extended his leg back and over his head (pictured). Being supercute won’t hurt him, either.
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!