They’ve made it past the judges once. But can they do it again? That’s what we’re about to find out in the So You Think You Can Dance season 9 Las Vegas auditions.
Each of the remaining performers will have to make it through several rounds of competition in front of a judges’ panel consisting of Lil’ C, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.
Who will make it? Keep reading to find out!
The First Solos
For some of the dancers, the first solos will be the last. The performances need to impress the judges yet again if they want to stay in Las Vegas for more than about 10 minutes. Not everyone can do it.
The first audition we get to see is from our old Dallas friend, Hampton “The Exorcist” Williams. Although the Exorcist’s facial hair has gotten silly, the dancing is still weird and compelling. It’s even more compelling for the judges. Adam Shankman dissolves into tears after roughly two seconds. Tyce Diorio follows suit by the 10-second mark. Lil’ C stays strong.
Obviously, this is a good solo.
The first 10 dancers follow with leaps and spins all over the stage. But not all impress. Two girls named Jennifer and Brianna get cut.
We next move on to Janelle Issis, who is — not surprisingly — the only belly dancer in the competition. She brought big, shiny gold wings for her Las Vegas dancing. It’s cool. Also cool is the fact that her Vegas performance is very obviously not the same as the initial audition. All of the shimmying and shaking is enough to get the judges dancing. She’s fine.
Alas, the same cannot be said for 51 dancers. The 181 dancers drop to only 130 with these solos. Even America’s Favorite Person, Tim Conkle, gets sent packing.
This may count as the meanest of rounds, what with TWitch and Comfort choreographing the dance. They promise sweat and craziness. And we get it.
But not from everyone. The Exorcist quickly realizes that he doesn’t actually know anything about anyone else’s choreography. He chooses to go up on the stage to tell the judges, and they send him off with a standing ovation. Andre from the Dragon House Crew doesn’t even bother with that — he just leaves when the choreography is too much.
As for the other two Dragon House guys, not even Boris’ incredible hair can save him, while Cyrus makes it through with little commentary.
Lots of dancers do make it through hip hop, but not everyone. Gene the Praying Mantis and Bree the Mommy both get cut in this round.
Tyce Diorio gets to choreograph this “bitch” (his word) and chooses to tell the story of insanity-producing water at 2am in a nightclub.
We get to meet up again with Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold, the super-blonde ballroom dancers from Salt Lake City. They’ve been friends roughly since birth and therefore feel happy reenacting every man’s fantasy of a girls’ slumber party in their hotel room.
At least they can dance well — both girls give a grand performance and get through. But my God they are blonde!
Alexa Anderson comes up next, sharing her many declarations about needing to get through this time. Broadway doesn’t help with that goal. Thanks to a complete lack of expression, Alexa only slips by when Adam Shankman decides to save her. But it’s a pity pass.
Altogether, another 26 or so get cut. They’re all sad and stuff.
Jazz with Sonya Tayeh is up next for the 82 dancers left in the competition. It’s a weird dance. Of course. That’s what you get when you put Sonya Tayeh in charge.
The dance proves too weird for Shafeek Westbrook, the hip hop dancer from New York. Partnered with Danielle the Bacon Girl, Shafeek quickly gets frustrated. He calls it “stupid.” That’s never a good idea.
Despite Danielle’s best efforts, Shafeek really can’t do the dance and is quickly sent off. Danielle does well — this time. The foolish girl volunteers to partner-up again with a contemporary dancer. Who promptly kicks her in the head. Off to the hospital with Danielle!
More trouble dogs the featured dancers as the round continues. Sex-kitten Rachel Appelhans and silent-movie star Amelia Lowe both end up dancing for their lives at the end of the round. Cyrus Spencer is back for more criticism. This time, they tell him to take a lot of classes in a sad voice… Before passing him through so abruptly that Cyrus takes about two minutes to realize they did it.
When dancing for her life, Rachel — who had to argue to even get the chance — goes full burlesque and strips for the judges. Even with the scariest tie in history, the judges deem it too much sex and not enough dancing. Rachel is done. Amelia does better with a fluttery dance that wins over everyone who is not Nigel Lythgoe. But she has enough support without him and Amelia gets through.
But 16 dancers don’t.
For this year’s Group Round, the dancers get to pick their own groups. Which is a great idea unless we end up in one of those fat-kid-getting-picked-last-in-gym-class situations.
Dancers get to avoid that. Because they’re all in perfect shape and all.
The groups start off well, but of course exhaustion brings out the mutual hatred. In one group, the challenge is even greater because Bacon Danielle returns from the hospital to join them. That group goes first and has major synchronicity issues (despite the Gotye help for the music). Nigel complains about everyone, but only Danielle and one other group member go home.
The other groups vary in terms of quality. Aubrey Klinger and the Highschoolers get raves for a prom-themed performance. Cyrus’ group has problems, and he cries (but gets to stay). Alexa comes back in a group full of veterans. After their kind of messy performance, Tyce Diorio gets very bitchy to Alexa (“The lights are on but nobody’s home!”).
But they let the whole group through anyway.
It’s the cha-cha for this year’s ballroom audition, choreographed by Jason Gilkison. The dance proves to be difficult Amber Williams (last year’s screaming girl), Asher Walker (the redneck hip-hopper), Dee Tomasetta (she of the many Italian brothers) and Aubrey Klinger all get cut.
Cyrus Spencer has trouble with his steps again, but the judges still let him dance for his life. This is a good thing. Not only is Cyrus a fascinating dancer, but he is also close to the same height as Cat Deeley. This rare occurrence requires recognition.
Of course Cyrus kills it in his solo. This time, the robot is sad and anguished. The judges again let Cyrus dance way longer than usual. And then they let him through with enthusiasm.
few other featured dancers get good news too. Alexa is back (again), but this time she shows emotion and the judges like her. Stepheon “The Zombie” Stewart is, unbelievably, still in this thing as well. Who knew?
Only 52 dancers are left standing as Travis Wall shows up to choreograph the contemporary round. With decisions held off until the end of the day, we mostly get a montage of awesomeness. The round ends with more than 30 dancers called to the stage. Even though you can tell they expect to be cut, the news is good — they’re all through to the final solos.
The remaining 18 dancers have to dance again, with most of them (including Mariah Spears the little blonde krumper) getting cut. One of the only survivors turns out to be Joshua Alexander (he of the funny voice).
Just not for long — it turns out that Joshua is the flip-and-die kid they’ve been showing in all of the promos. Off to the hospital with another one! (Don’t worry. They showed him in the promos for next week.)
Finally, it’s time for those last solos. Time being an issue, we only get to see the details of two dances. Alexa Anderson gets one final spotlight (seriously, the producers love her). Her dance is pretty and emotional (of the sad variety). The judges seem to like it.
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp gets the final featured solo. A bunch of leaps that must reach at least 10 feet into the air, combined with excellent moves, lead to shouts and applause from the judges’ table.
As for the others…
- Cyrus wants to make people happy.
- Lindsay thinks she deserves this.
- Adrian doesn’t want to stop.
- Witney wants to touch people.
- Amelia has things inside of her.
But not everyone gets what they want. When the guys line up on stage, it’s time to say goodbye to Adrian and four others. Things are happier for the girls — every last one of them makes it through.
And that’s it for Vegas week. The 35 dancers still in contention head to their balloon-filled hotel room to celebrate while we predict who might make it into the actual competition when the Top 20 are announced next week!
Which performances did you like the most? Could Cyrus have cried anymore? How much Alexa is too much Alexa? Leave your comments below!
(Images courtesy of FOX)
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include Chuck, Modern Family, Supernatural, Mad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.