So You Think You Can Dance started off with some promising hopefuls from New Orleans and Chicago. Will the next group of dancers shine as brightly? I am excited to find out!

Our esteemed judges, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, will be joined by choreographer and model Fabrice Calmels for the Chicago round of auditions. Actress Christina Applegate will take a place at the judge’s table for the Los Angeles try-outs.

So who will snag a ticket to the Los Angeles callbacks?  Will anyone catch a ride on Mary’s hot tamale train?  Chicago is up first, and I give credit to Mary for braving the frigid temperatures at the Polar Plunge. That is insane, people!

Which Women from Chicago Are Going to L.A.?

Emily James: This contemporary dancer auditioned in seasons eight and nine before giving up on dance to focus on her business education. James finally gets her ticket to Los Angeles, and her adorable younger cousin dances to earn her own ticket. Talent must run in the family!

Franchesca Bass
: This inspiring hopeful suffers from alopecia areata, and has lost all of her hair. She has a quirky contemporary style based upon being an alien. Her dancing is beautiful, and she impresses all the judges. She wins her ticket to the next round. Franchesca is one of my favorite dancers of the night.

Jenna Scaccia: She is an 18 year-old ballet dancer from Chicago who is in training at the Joffrey Ballet. She is, shall we say, a fan of Fabrice. Or maybe a bit of a stalker as she watches him in rehearsal sometimes.  When Nigel asks Fabrice if he has seen Jenna, he doesn’t remember her. Ouch! Fabrice’s face lights up when he watches her dance, and I think he will remember her now. Her technique wins her a ticket courtesy of Fabrice.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Premiere Recap: The Big Easy Has Big Talent >>>

Which Men from Chicago Are Going to L.A.?

Paul “The Puppet” Brushaber:  This 18 year-old’s unusual performance style of animation makes him look like a puppet on a string. It is amazing, and a bit creepy. He gets raves all around, but Nigel is reluctant to put him through because he has no partnering experience. Mary wins and Paul is the first man from Chicago to get his ticket to L.A.

Which Men from Chicago Are NOT Going to L.A.?

James Thomas: He is a contortionist and “bopper,” which is a local Chicago style of dance. My own queasiness is mirrored by the judge’s reactions. Yikes! His dance experience wins him a place in the choreography round. He later drops out.

Dance Crews:

Justin Bieber and choreographer Nick Demoura present two more dance crews for your Twitter consideration. The fan favorite will perform on the So You Think You Can Dance finale.

Breaksk8: This Mid-west group combines breakdancing and gymnastics with performing while wearing skates. You can vote for them at #SYTYCDsk8.

Academy of Villains: This group from California utilizes theatrics within their performance. You can vote for them at #SYTYCDvillains.

The L.A. Auditions

Next up the auditions hit Los Angeles, and Christina Applegate is along for the ride. We are even treated to visits from some familiar faces, including So You Think You Can Dance season 10 winner Fik-Shun.

Justin Bieber to Present Dance Crew Competition on SYTYCD >>>

Which Women from Los Angeles Are Going to Callbacks?

Jessica Richens: This hopeful is performing a jazz routine to impress the judges. She feels she is sexy onstage, and Nigel is impressed with her performance. Mary and Christina give Jessica a standing ovation. Nigel demonstrates his approval by sticking the ticket to his forehead. All three judges feel that they may have seen the So You Think You Can Dance winner for this season. That is quite an accolade.

Valerie Rockey: She is a 20 year-old tapper from Indiana. Her entertaining and energetic performance wins her a place in choreography, where she punches her ticket to the next round.

Jana “JaJa” Vankova: This dancer hales from the Czech Republic, and was brought to America by Phillip “Pacman” Chbeeb. Her crump/animation performance is fantastic; she can move her body perfectly to match every pulse in the music. She receives a standing ovation from all the judges, and obtains her ticket to the callbacks.

Justine Lutz: This contemporary dancer from Minneapolis, Minnesota showcases an athletic style that earns her a standing ovation, and her ticket to Los Angeles.

Deise Mendonca: She met her dance partner, Mauricio Vera, at the Santiago Ballet Company. They fell in love when they first met. I think it is amazing that they are lovers and dance partners. After another standing ovation, and some tearful words from Christina and Mary, she and her partner punch their ticket to the L.A. round.

Hailee Paine: This 19 year-old performs a jazz/ funk routine that is big on personality. Her quirky performance earns her a ticket to the callback round.

Dani Platz: She is a California girl who actually gave up dance for two years while she was in treatment to recover from an eating disorder.  Her emotional dance, which combines both beautiful and ugly elements, earns her a ticket to the next round. Christina really understands Dani’s motivation, and she wants to give her a ticket, but Nigel and Mary want to see what else Dani can do. She kills it in choreography and is on to the next round.

Marie “Marie Poppins” Bonnevay: This French dancer performs her popping with a French flair. Her style is a bit unusual, and she pops on down to the judge’s area where Fik-Shun joins in and then follows her back on stage. These two are quite the duo. Nigel and Mary are thrilled with the performance, and Marie is on her way to the L.A. callbacks.

Which Men from Los Angeles Are Going to Callbacks?

Mauricio Vera: Deise’s ballet partner, and romantic partner, soars into the next round with his lady love.

Sebastian Serra: Sebastian auditioned last year, and was cut just before the Green Mile. This dancer from Florida gives my favorite male performance of the evening. His routine is powerful and he really works the stage. His dancing chops earn him a ticket to the L.A. callbacks.

Which Men from Los Angeles Are NOT Going to Callbacks?

Kyle Taylor: This 28 year-old Kansas native is a popper, and has never performed in front of an audience. He certainly has charisma. Nigel asks the So You Think You Can Dance alumni if anyone would like to battle with him. Fik-Shun, Cyrus, and Legacy step up to the challenge, and an epic battle ensues! He goes off to choreography, but bows out so his partner doesn’t suffer.

So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesdays at 8pm on FOX

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Kim Stempel

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Kim has been covering television entertainment since 2013. She is addicted to Real Housewives, Pump Rules, Dancing with the Stars, and many more shows.