Now it's a montage of ballroom dancers trying out. What is it with Utah and the ballroom?
Nigel says he liked her "stank face." Adam teases her about her background a little bit and then tells her she's fantastic. Mary makes a lot of noises that add up to "really good." Nigel wants to send her to choreography, and the other judges agree.
Murphy Yang's parents never supported his dancing and six months ago the family moved to California without him and disowned him. His girlfriend Kylie gave him a place to stay and has been his constant during the tough times.
He starts up and I said aloud to my friend who watches with me, "Is this the real dancing?" Ah, he moves from his own version of "old-fashioned" dancing into hip-hop, which is clearly the real dancing. And then he lifts up his shirt to reveal "Vegas?" written on his stomach.
Nigel liked the humor, but needed there to be more moves. Mary says he needs more vocabulary in his dancing. Adam says Murphy's love of what he's doing transcends his technique. So, those lukewarm reviews send him through to choreography.
Choreography: Murphy is clearly out of his depth, but Mariah's doing just fine. Murphy gets sent home. He meets his girlfriend in the hallway and there are tears. Mariah's through to Las Vegas.
I have a theory about Mariah -- I bet she's had lots of dance training in other styles, but came in as a "krumper" to get attention and stand out.
Day 2 auditions
A very fit young man chooses to not wear a shirt while talking to Cat. I do not object, although it makes it awkward to hear his story of growing up in abject poverty.
Dareian Kujawa is of Hawaiian descent and is dancing to Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" which my parents describe as a "Why Dance" as in, "When you're standing that close to one another, why dance?" During the routine, Adam looks like you just gave him a birthday cake with diamonds inside.
Nigel calls him tremendous, but asks if his teacher yells at him about his feet, and in replay, we see that they are terrible. Mary acknowledges the foot problem, but points out that he's got tremendous heart. Adam stands up and yells he's so happy and likes Dareian's stamina, strength, and connection to the music. He gets a ticket to Las Vegas.
Our next auditioner has read a lot of books, watched a lot of DVDs and gone on hundreds of dates to get better at picking up women. It's that horrible "pick up artist" shtick. Cat shuts him down quick, because she's awesome. But then she lets him loose on unsuspecting females in the vicinity. His partner is auditioning as well.
Before the dancing, there's far too much attention spent on this dating technique nonsense. Johnny Ahn, 29, and Whitney Hallam, 19, do what I think of as fairly standard ballroom. I predict she makes it farther than he does.
Mary points out that Johnny never looked at Whitney and that they had no chemistry, but they were fun to watch. Nigel found Whitney "striking" and compares her to Lady Gaga, while admonishing Johnny for all his "Oooh" faces. Adam suggest choreography ("with other people") and the other judges agree.
And now we have a montage of dancers who've tried out before, some getting farther than others, and they're all sent through to Las Vegas again.
Adrian was near top 20 in Season 7. And when Cat talks to him about it, she swears in the most charmingly bleepable way. He took last year off from auditioning for the show, but is back to try again this year.
More Otis Redding, this time "Try a Little Tenderness" in which the young girls do get woolly. This guy's a great dancer, but no one can ever top Duckie's dance to this in "Pretty in Pink."
Adam didn't love the choreography, but loved the lines. Mary wasn't knocked out by the choreography, especially all the "self-worship" bits. Nigel also disliked the choreography but liked his sharpness. He's through to Las Vegas.
Rachel was painfully shy growing up, and her mom thought dancing would help break her out of her shell. Given that she's dancing in a long line bra and hot pants, I guess it worked. This is barely more than a stripper routine and it's embarrassing for all of us. Nigel's the only judge this has a chance of working on, sweetheart.
Mary and Adam can't stop giggling. Adam says she's fun and fantastic and confident, but didn't see much technique. Mary says she did exactly what she described herself as being: "burlesque jazz." Nigel said it was "too much burlesque, not enough jazz." They send her to choreography.
Montage of bad auditions, including one so awful Adam falls out of his chair.
Our last contestant is a heavyset guy in a bedazzled baseball cap. Leroy is from Sacramento, where he runs a dance-based outreach program for at-risk kids.
Adam is "in love with this guy." And he's certainly energetic and engaging. Although forgive me for saying that he's definitely tapping into a little of the "It's fun to see a big guy be nimble."
Adam finds Leroy inspiring and calls him [bleeping] awesome. Mary is proud of what he's doing in the community, but is honest enough to doubt his ability to be competitive on "So You Think You Can Dance."
Nigel blathers on about the importance of dance. I'm sure I'd feel edified if I paid attention. Nigel is blunt that Leroy will not be competitive on the show. They send him through to choreography, even though Nigel is doubtful he'll do well there.
Choreography: They paired Leroy up with the scantily clad "jazz burlesque" dancer from earlier. Leroy's doing his damnedest to keep up, which Mary gives a "bless his heart," so we know he's toast.
Ballroom dancers Johnny and Whitney are both told no. Rachel was sloppy in parts and fabulous in other parts, per Mary, so she's through to Las Vegas. Leroy gets a standing O which rhymes with NO, so he's going home.
See you next week, when we'll watch close to 200 dancers in Las Vegas. There's going to be screaming and tears and an ambulance, oh my.