What a jam-packed episode this was. Not only did we have two more audition cities, but Vegas Week started too! I kind of don't know where to begin. I guess I'll begin first by saying that they only spent maybe 15 minutes on the Nashville auditions, which were apparently disastrous, so this sentence here is the only time I'm going to spend on it. Oh wait, I've lied. Because they did feature the return of Brian Gaynor, the robot dancing guy with scoliosis who performed during season 3. They're going to let him and his new crew perform on the show this season. Good for you, dude! You made Joey Dowling cry, which is probably no mean feat.
Before that was Dallas, where we first met new choreographer Toni Redpath, who does ballroom and seems like a lot of fun. We also met a few dancers that the judges flipped over - Ida Saki, Nicole Knudson, and Jordan Johnson, and brief clips of a couple others that made it through. The other dancer that got particular focus was Marcella Raneri, a mobster's daughter who made it through after doing the choreography.
But people, that's all the time I'm going to spend on that because it's time for....
The judging panel for Vegas week includes Lil C, Mary Murphy (wearing something truly god awful, what in the world!), Tyce Diorio, Adam Shankman, Toni Redpath, and, as ever, Nigel. Straight off the bat we were wowed with the return of two guys who had done brilliantly in the past but didn't get to actually be in the show in the end. First up was Alex Wong, who would've been in the top 20 in season 5, but couldn't compete because of a contract. His solo was awesome! And also back is Billy Bell, who made it into the top 20 last season, performed on one show, then got some mystery illness and had to drop out. They still aren't elaborating on his mystery illness, who knows. But his solo was good as well. I think these two will go far! I hope. One other guy was given some screentime before the actual workshops started, and that was Anthony Burrell, who apparently tried out in New York City, but I don't remember him. He hurt his hamstring and was worried he wouldn't do well, but he did great. And great again later, so he's probably around for a while.
The first workshop was for hip hop, with choreographer Tabitha (sans Napoleon!). Some of the previous featured players faltered during this round, including Rachel Girma, that rhythmic gymnast. She really could not do the hip hop at all. Teddy Tedholm also got the boot, and so did Sarah Brinson, who officially started this season's waterworks festival. Vegas week produces probably more tears than any other part of this competition, but man it gets tiring to watch after a while. The peeps who really stood out during this section were breaker Jose Ruiz and the aforementioned Anthony Burrell. Jose has a good chance of making the show if he keeps doing well, particularly since we've seen very little hip hop/breakers being featured this season so far. Plus he's got a great smile.
The second round of the day was ballroom with Toni Redpath, or as Billy Bell named her, the Nazi Barbie. Yeah, she's intense! You wouldn't necessarily expect her to be so badass, but damn you better listen when she's speaking, because what she's saying just might help you! During this round, Jordan Johnson, who we had only just met in the first hour, got kicked off. He was really terrible at the ballroom so it's no surprise, and honestly he's kind of creepster looking. No offense, dude. The other two dancers who got particular attention here were Nicole Knudson and Adechike Torbert. Nicole because of her beehive hairdo causing a ruckus, and Adechike because he decided to tap his way through his solo instead of doing contemporary, which is his actual style. They let Nicole have a second chance doing the ballroom routine with her hair down, and she makes it through. Adechike is the first dancer to dance for his life, and wows them with his contemporary style, so he makes it through too.
It sounds like next up will be broadway - but that's not until next week, when everything Vegas continues, and we find out who has made the top 10. This year the judges are traveling to the final contestants homes to give them the news. Interesting? I guess they're making them wait longer to find out or something? Seems kind of cruel.
Who am I rooting for? Alex Wong, Billy Belly, Alexie Agdeppa, Jose Ruiz, Melinda Sullivan, Kent Boyd... there were some others that I liked in auditions but I don't remember even seeing a little bit of a peep of them so who knows!
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