This 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!