It is time for the most stressful part of the So You Think You Can Dance competition, in my opinion: Vegas callbacks. A total of 114 dancers join Travis on Team Stage while 105 dancers join tWitch on Team Street when they hit the stage in Las Vegas.
I must admit that I wasn’t sure about the Stage versus Street twist, but I like it because it really does level the playing field. Team Stage will work with their captain, Travis Wall, and choreographers Josh Bergasse and the formidable Sonya Tayeh. Team Street will work with their captain, tWitch, and Jamal Sims, Dave Scott, and Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo. Travis and tWitch will also help the judges whittle down the contestants to reveal the top 10 dancers on each team.
So who will soar during the callbacks to advance in the competition and who will fall short? Let’s find out!
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Vegas Callbacks: Day 1
On day one of the Vegas callbacks, we’ll see solos from both teams, then Jamal will focus on hip-hop with Team Street and Travis will deal with contemporary dance for Team Stage.
Solos: Team Stage
Contemporary dancer Marissa Milele has one minute to show the judging panel, along with Travis, why she deserves to continue in the competition. With no critique from the judges, the dancers must wait to find out if they are continuing to the next round. That’s not stressful at all, right?
Marissa and six other hopefuls make it through. Other standouts include 19-year-old tap dancer Gaby Diaz and ballet dancer Darion Flores, from Hartford, CT. Derek Piquette, a contemporary dancer, also wows the judges.
Kelly MacCoy, who is a contemporary dancer, tried out with her fiance, street dancer Tyrell Noll, in Detroit. Thanks to an Elvis impersonator in a rhinestone-studded jumpsuit, the couple are now officially man and wife. Kelly makes it through, but a total of 41 members of Team Stage are sent packing.
Travis gives his remaining team some words of encouragement before revealing that he is choreographing the next round, which is contemporary.
Solos: Team Street
Tyrell Noll is the first street dancer to show the judges and team captain tWitch his solo. He seems to take a long time to start dancing. Tyrell is cut, and must break the news to his new wife. Other notable street dancers who are sent home include Michael “Dat Be Dancin” Manson, Kareem Ali, Roydell (Bam Bam’s Dad) and Courtney Barnes.
Yorelis Apolinario, who was cut in Vegas last season, makes it to the next round, along with street tapper Justin Ballasy and Boris, a member of Dragon House.
Kenya “Standing O” Sutton, more affectionately known as the “Queen of Detroit,” suffered from a panic attack the night before and is doubting if she belongs in the competition. She brings it on stage and tWitch is super impressed by her chest rolls. Kenya makes it to the choreography round. At this point, tWitch tells Nigel that “Team Street might be all female. I’m not gonna lie.” A total of 62 street dancers move on to the choreography round.
Hip-Hop with Jamal Sims
Choreographer Jamal Sims, who choreographed the Step Up movies, will be putting Team Street through their paces. Since many of the Team Street members are used to dancing freestyle, their inability to perform the choreography is apparent. Asaf Goren, 25-year-old Montrell Britton and Samantha Reyes all struggle to learn the steps.
Eliazer Chapman, a street performer from New York, performs with the first group, which also includes Virgil Gadson and krumper B-Dash from Los Angeles. Virgil and B-Dash make it to the next round, but Eliazer fails to advance.
Montrell Britton and Lil B, a locker, have a ton of trouble learning the choreography. Britton gives up all together and just freestyles. Lil B is dismissed but begs for a chance to perform alone on the stage. The judges agree, but tWitch tells Nigel that he is still not doing the correct steps. They are both sent home, while Baby Tight Eyez and Dizzy move on.
The next group features Megz, Lily Frias and Jessica “JJ” Rabone. Will the ladies have better luck than some of their male team members? Yes, and wow! All the ladies make it through. Other stand-out female performances includes jooker Ladia Yates, popper Marie Poppins and Kenya “Standing O” Sutton.
Other Team Street members who don’t make the cut include Andre Rucker of Dragon House, and Korey Cleveland, a recovering drug addict.
Samantha Reyes, from the New York auditions, suffered a crisis of confidence and tWitch gave her a pep talk. Reyes hits the stage along with Yorelis Apolinario and animator Jaja Vankova. Yorelis and Jaja make it through, along with Frankie. Sadly, Samantha still is unable to retain the choreography and is sent home.
After a terrible day of performances, the judges sit down with the remaining street dancers for a chat. They inform the dancers that they have been very generous up to this point, and the judges are stopping that practice.
Contemporary with Travis Wall
Antonina Skobina, who auditioned with her ballroom partner in the solo round, is nervous about dancing by herself. She impresses the judges and moves on. Mary Kate Levoir, who is a jazz dancer, sails into the next round, along with Denys, Antonina’s Latin ballroom partner. Gaby Diaz also makes a good impression on the judges, as do Marissa Milele and Kelly MacCoy Noll.
Jacy Jordan, who survived a terrible car crash, doesn’t make the cut and is sent home, along with tapper Kelsey Rose Young.
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Vegas Callbacks: Day 2
Jason welcomes his friend from the Los Angeles auditions, Cody Carlson, as his guest for Vegas week.
Broadway with Josh Bergasse
Team Stage gears up for their next challenge, which is a Broadway routine choreographed by Josh Bergasse. Bergasse tells the dancers to let their own personality show. Allen Genkin, a ballroom dancer, was finding the routine difficult, but faced an even bigger problem. A foot injury caused him to head to the hospital since the medic wouldn’t clear him to dance. He suffered a small tear in his foot and must withdraw from the competition.
The first group to take the stage includes Alyssa Guerrieri, ballroom dancer Ryan Raffloer and Kelly MacCoy Noll. Kelly is sent home, while the rest of the group make it through.
Edson Juarez, who auditioned in Dallas, was overwhelmed by the Broadway style. Denys, Antonina’s ballroom partner, hits the stage in the same group. At the end of the dance, Edson collapses to the stage in pain. Denys makes it through. Edson tells the judges that his leg kept cramping and locking. On the strength of his earlier performances, the judges put him through.
Contemporary dancers Moises Parra and Guillermo Morales hit the stage in the next group, along with Latin ballroom dancer Brandon Armstrong and contemporary dancer Kate Harpootlian. Kate, Brandon and Megan’s quest will continue in the next round. Guillermo is sent home.
Moises Parra is given the opportunity to dance for his life. Parra must perform his solo and receives yes votes from two of the three judges to remain in the competition. He leaves it all on the stage, and Jason and Paula both vote him through.
A total of 36 stage dancers remain in the competition.
Hip-Hop with Dave Scott
tWitch even jumps in to help Team Street with this round. The first group to perform features B-Dash, Jessica “JJ” Rabone and locker Alain “Hurrikane” Lauture. The whole group makes it through, much to their relief.
Yorelis Apolinario, Boris from Dragon House and Kenya “Standing O” Sutton all advance to the next round.
In the next group, Burim “B1” Jusufi performs. B-1 is asked to dance for his life after his lackluster performance.
B-1’s brother, Illiaz Jusufi, takes the stage with animator Steven Ban. Ban’s family has never seen him dance, which is sad. Steven is also asked to dance for his life, while Illiaz is cut.
Burim “B-1” Jusufi performs an amazing solo and gets the nod from Jason, Paula and Nigel. Steven Ban isn’t as fortunate and is sent home.
So that brings the number to 36 stage dancers and 38 street dancers left in the So You Think You Can Dance competition. Next time, we will learn who has claimed a spot in the coveted top 20!
So You Think You Can Dance airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)