For Day 2 of the Los Angeles auditions, Christina Applegate returns as the guest judge, along with regular judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.
Serge Onik, 25, and Alla Kocherga, 24, are ballroom partners, and Alla is a twerker. She can even twerk upside down in a handstand with her feet against the wall. Serge made it all the way to the last cut when he auditioned with Brittany Cherry, who made the Top 20.
Cat asks Serge if they're dating and he says he'd like to be. When she asks Alla, Cat has Serge cover his ears and pulls down the boom mic to get Alla's answer. Cute, Cat.
Alla shows some sharp footwork at one point and then does a great move to show off her flexibility and balance -- she puts her foot on Serge's shoulder and holds her spot on the floor while Serge moves backward, lowering her in her split. Mary loves Alla's beautiful legs and ankles and their movement. They both get tickets to callbacks.
TImothy Joseph, 24, from Sacramento, Calif., is a b-boy who does insane flips, going over rows of people and also clearing the hood of a car. His b-boy moves don't seem too fresh, but his leaps and flips are impressive. And then he does this thing where he keeps hurling himself at the floor, going around in a circle like when ballet dancers do the circle of leaps.
Mary felt like he wasn't paying attention to the music and lacked artistry. Christina felt bad that she never got to see his face. Nigel isn't sure what Timothy does will translate to what goes on on "So You Think You Can Dance."
He gets through to choreograph, but injures himself during that audition. The medic tends to him, but it's up to Timothy whether he continues or not.
Casey Askew, 19, from Seattle, is a contemporary dancer with very tall hair and a good tan. He's not my cup of tea, but his spins are beautiful. With no commentary, he's through immediately to callbacks.
After a montage of successful dancers, a very small dancer going by "J-4" comes to the stage. They ask him how old he is and he says, "18 and a half" before cutting his eyes left and right in the "Are you buying this?" face. He then admits to being 9.
Nigel calls up Cyrus, Season 9, and Fik-shun, Season 10, to be his backup dancers. I don't care that this is a total waste of audition time, because it's great TV, seeing the talented cutie and Cyrus and Fik-shun freestyling. Later, in the hallway, he gets to meet Twitch, Season 4, and it's like he's meeting Superman.
Jourdan Epstein, 24, from Plymouth, Minn., will be auditioning en pointe to tell the story of her brother's addiction and recovery. Stylistically, it's a mix of contemporary dance and classical ballet. Christina calls it "captivating and beautiful" and compliments her "extraordinary technique." Mary screams, so she likes it. She's getting a callbacks ticket.
Johnny "Waacks" Gibson, 24, auditioned in Season 9, and was Nigel's introduction to "waacking." Christina can't stop giggling at "waacking." When Johnny says "waacking battle," Mary starts to lose it. Then she and Christina are setting each other off.
Johnny is in short shorts and a sheer floor-length skirt. Nigel calls him an artist and talks about the performance in his face. Mary says he commanded attention. They send him through to choreography.
Malene Ostergaard, 25, is a ballroom dancer who didn't like her partnership. She starts crying about her past experience and talks about her new partner, Armen Way, 28, and how much better it is dancing with him.
They certainly have some scorching chemistry. Technically, though, I don't think she's as strong as Alla, whom we saw at the beginning of the show. Nigel tells Armen that, in addition to being a good dancer, he's a very lucky man to be paired up with Malene. Mary calls them a dynamic couple. They're both through to callbacks.
We get a quick montage of three ballroom couples; I'm happy to see more ballroom dancers. Cat calls it their best ballroom day ever. Timothy, the injured b-boy, decides not to participate in the choreography round.
Auditions now move to Philadelphia, where there are lots of monuments and snow. Cat also mentions that Philadelphia was the home of the "first dance show, 'American Bandstand.'" Joining Nigel and Mary is prima ballerina Misty Copeland.
Bridget Whitman, 19, from Tempe, Ariz., lost her dad when she was 12 years old. Though her two older brothers were also in the wreck, they were OK. She talked to her dad before his death about her desire to be on the show and he encouraged her to work hard to follow her dreams.
Her dancing is pretty and graceful and, combined with the poignancy of her story, it's got Mary in tears. Misty talks about her emotion coming through her body into her face. She gets a ticket.
Amir Sanders, 21, from Baltimore, likes to challenge the idea of looking like a stereotypical ballerina. This seems to involve big hair and a septum piercing. She calls what she plans to dance a "funky pointe."
Misty thinks her technique and lines were beautiful and liked the way she mixed it with her funkiness. She gives her some very specific notes about her feet. Mary calls her unique and compares her to a young Diana Ross. They send her through to choreography.
Since it's Philadelphia, it didn't take long for Mummers to show up. Eep.
Jenna Johnson is back with the partner, Landon Anderson, 18, from Springville, Utah, who she auditioned with last year. He couldn't officially audition last year because he was too young to compete. Jenna promised him she'd come back to audition with him this year.
Misty thinks Landon dances more maturely than he looks when he's just standing there talking to them. He gets a ticket to callbacks.
Nigel then invites Jenna, on the spot, to come on Season 11 as an All-Star.
BIEBER TIME. Last week's winner was Academy of Villains. Sorry, skaters. This week's dance crews are Wanted Ashqiz, a Philadelphia crew with a Bollywood influence. They're wearing sequined sleeveless vests, so I'm sold. SHINY THINGS MAKE ME HAPPY. Mixed Elements is a Los Angeles crew that describes themselves as "hip-hop street style." They throw in krumping, b-boy, popping and martial arts tricks. I like the Bollywood guys, so prepare for them to lose.
Shafeek Westbrook, 24, from Upper Darby, Pa., auditioned in Season 9, made it to Las Vegas and threw a giant hissyfit after he was rejected for having a bad attitude. He admits now it was unprofessional. They also show the footage of him saying he wasn't ever coming back. Point for snarky editing.
Mary liked some of the early footwork but wanted more "wow" moments. Misty compliments his strength and control, but wanted to see more performance in his face. They're sending him through to choreography.
Shafeek's attitude seems immeasurably improved during rehearsals for the choreography round. The two dancers we've seen before, Shafeek and Amir, both make it to callbacks.
For the second day of Philadelphia auditions, the guest judge is Billy Porter, Tony-award winning star of "Kinky Boots" on Broadway. (I saw the show earlier this year, with him in it, and he was so, so, so good.)
Stanley Glover, 19, from Chicago, lost his mother when he was 4. The family members that were supposed to assume guardianship didn't show up for the court date, so his mom's friend took him in and mothered him.
He describes his dance style as animalistic. It's creepy, but that's the point, and his technique is gorgeous. I would love to see someone like Sonia get to work with him. The audience in the auditorium loves it. Nigel says he was riveted to every move and his technique is fantastic. Nigel isn't sure if Stanley knows how good he really is. Mary calls it unusual and exciting. Billy says his potential is extraordinary.
Krumper James "Banks" Davis, 24, from Brooklyn, N.Y., was given a second chance after getting shot twice in the knee by a jealous boyfriend. They almost amputated his leg in the emergency room, but the pulse returned and the leg survived.
His style is like krumping in the softest, most graceful way. I find it mesmerizing. Billy Porter calls him a "storyteller." You can tell all the singing has taken its toll on Billy's voice. Mary calls his "slow krump" beautiful. They send him through to the choreography round, but he's cut at that point.
Next week, we see Atlanta auditions. What's the over/under on how many times it's called "Hotlanta"?Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun