Date of Episode: Tuesday / 05/21/2013
Auditions: Los Angeles, Pt. 2/Austin
Launching tonight's festivities, we see Nicholas “Slick” Stewart, who moved 3,000 miles from Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York, to pursue his dreams. He tells about his style, Flex Style, a bone-breaking contortion move that works best when you can dislocate your shoulders. “Slick” has the judges entertained and Mary a bit squeamish while performing to the Glitch Mob's “Animus Vox.” Mary says he's one of the best that she's seen at what he does, while Jesse remarks how Slick seemed to glide across the stage. Nigel wraps it up by inviting Stewart back for the choreography round.
Alex Kessinger from Riverside, California, is waiting in line and we hear how, when she was four, she and her two-year-old brother were put into a foster home. Alex has been dancing since she was a little girl and was coached by her foster mother, who is also her rock. Kessinger treats us to some jazz, set to the funky-sounding “Devil in Me” by Gin Wigmore. Her performance earns a simple scream of “Vegas!” from the Queen of Scream herself, Mary Murphy.
Next up is a ballet dancer: San Juan, Puerto Rico's own Sebastian Serra, dancing to “Fitzpleasure” by Alt-J. Serra has been living in Florida and is part of the Orlando Ballet, now celebrating its 40th season. Nigel quips that he has never seen anyone dance ballet in the multicolored surfer shorts that Serra is wearing. Mary says she didn't care for the music choice but loved his moves, while Jesse gushes over how much Serra bounced and how handsome he is. Nigel guarantees Serra a ticket to Vegas if he promises to never wear those shorts again.
Following a montage of several more dancers earning tickets to Vegas, we meet 23-year-old Misha Smagin and his dance partner, Mariia Lebedeva. Misha jokes about how they keep things professional even though Mariia acts like a mother figure. The couple leave it all on the dance floor to Jennifer Lopez's “Let's Get Loud.” Nigel remarks how good Misha is — and even better thanks to Mariia's performance. Mary delivers her scream of acceptance and tells the pair they're a couple of hot tamales, while Jesse's unable to take his eyes off Mariia. Nigel says he has no clue why the couple is still standing on the stage and asks the pair to come get their tickets.
It's 3 p.m. in Hollywood, and Cat has to inform us that, sadly, Tinseltown has lost its shine. We are “treated” to some poor performances from a man with Olympic-colored hula hoops, as well as a woman dressed as a chick who declares “this chick can dance.” The performances don't get the dancers to Vegas, but the montage is filled with plenty of poultry puns.
Emilio “Millie” Dosal is next up and tells us he was taught by, rooms with and now is best friends with So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 alum Phillip Chbeeb. With Phillip cheering him on, “Millie” gets down to Paloma Faith's “Upside Down.” Mary loves the performance, even the ending, in which “Millie” clucks his jaw to beat of the song. Nigel says he enjoyed the performance and, as the case with many breakdancers, invites “Millie” to stay for the choreography round.
Temecula, California's Makenzie Dustman plans to head straight to Vegas. The contemporary dancer twirls around the stage and wows the judges to the Mozart piece “Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.” Nigel thanks her for dancing to a classical selection and says he couldn't find a fault in her. Mary agrees and lets her know that she is so “So You Think You Can Dance.” Jesse also agrees that she is marinated in dance and says he can't believe she's only 18. The judges tell her it's a “no” for choreography — because she's going straight to Las Vegas.
Next it's time for Los Angeles's second-day choreography round. Season 8's Sasha and Marko ready the dancers. Despite “Slick” being able to “keep up,” the judges deny him passage to Las Vegas. Emilio is more fortunate and nabs a spot at Vegas callbacks, along with six other dancers.
The second hour of the show features auditions in Austin, Texas. The show's first visit to the state's capital finds many dance hopefuls descending upon the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. In the Lone Star State, the judges are joined by actress Minnie Driver, leaving Mary outnumbered by three Brits (including Cat) to one Yank.
After making some jokes about Mary's perm, Nigel introduces us to little Anthony Neville, who may be the show's youngest dancer ever at four years old. Anthony's parents declare him the winner of Season 24, and Nigel has fun with him and lets him know that you need to be 18 to compete on the show. Anthony tells him he is 18 and studies “everything” in high school, but he gives a resounding “no” when asked if he's married. Anthony says he was inspired by last season's Cyrus and gets the crowd in a great mood with his performance. Nigel opines that Vegas might be a bit too mature for little Anthony but sends him to Disney World instead.
Eighteen-year-old Hayley Erbert hopes to wow Nigel and head straight to Vegas. Hayley and her family made the ten-hour drive from Topeka, Kansas, so she could audition to Jessie J's “Who You Are.” Nigel likes Haley's extensions and says her technique is lovely, while Mary describes her footwork as beautiful. When Nigel tries to send Hayley to choreography, Minnie steps in to tell Nigel he should stop being ridiculous and just send Hayley to Vegas.
Donovan Gibbs is hoping to take the bull by the Texas longhorns by auditioning to help out his parents' dance studio. When the recession hit, Donovan's family had to decide whether to keep their house or the studio. They chose to keep the studio. Gibbs dances to Nathan Lanier's “Torn.” The performance earns a standing ovation from members of the audience, and Mary tells him he was the first one to bring “fire” to the stage today. Minnie loves the performance, and Donovan responds by telling the Oscar-nominated actress how beautiful she is. Nigel wants to see father and son do battle, so Mr. Gibbs comes up and burns the floor up with Donovan, leaving the crowd chanting, “Vegas.” Minnie says yes to Vegas, while Nigel suggests choreography, leaving Mary in a tough spot. But it doesn't take much for her to send Donovan through to Vegas.
After day one's choreography round, four more dancers are heading to Vegas, and day two starts with contemporary dancer Dannon O'Brien, whose family owns the local haunted house where Dannon is the makeup artist. Following Dannon's performance to “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left” by Andrew Bird, Nigel compliments the routine for being strong and original, and Mary says he soared across the stage and made a fan out of her. Minnie calls him a triple threat, leaving the trio of judges no choice but to send him to Vegas.
While more subdued, Shane Garcia is just as ready as the lively Dannon. Shane stutters when he speaks, but he uses his dancing to express himself. The bone-breaker wows the judges and brings the girls to tears dancing to Olafur Arnalds' “Near Light.” Minnie calls him “magic,” saying she loved watching him speak through his performance, which makes the dancer tear up himself. Mary feels like they had an amazing conversation with Shane. While Shane is phenomenal at what he does, Nigel still wants to see more and invites him back for choreography.
When she was young, dancer Daniela Bustillos experienced the dangers of her homeland of Caracas, Venezuela, when four men locked her and an aunt in a bathroom for two days as the victims of a home invasion. Her mother decided it was time to leave the country for the U.S., where Daniela discovered the freedom of dance. Nigel brings Daniela's mom up to be a guest judge while she performs to John Waddell's “Drowned in Sound,” and Mrs. Bustillos says she has goosebumps and proclaims, “She's a yes.” Mary says she's gorgeous but still needs work, although she had a great start. Minnie agrees, and Nigel's vote sends Daniela to choreography.
With Minnie talking about her hotel being haunted, Nick Murkleroy dances to the haunting “We Insist” by Zoe Keating. Nigel says it was lovely and claims that hair he didn't know he had was standing on end. His performance is what people will pick up the telephone for, and Minnie says she'd vote for him at least ten times. Mary declares the performance a religious experience and says he's going to soar after this, and the judges send him to Vegas for his effort.
Returning to the show is last year's Hampton “Xcercist” Williams, who'd earned a ticket to Vegas but ended up going home early. We also get to meet his girlfriend Darlesha Goggins and baby girl Keara. Nigel asks the four-year-old to perform with her dad. Like last year, Hampton dances to Evanescence's “My Immortal.” Unlike last year, he's joined by the whole family as Darlesha auditions too. Nigel thinks the experience is moving, and, in a déjà vu moment, Hampton is sent straight to Vegas, but this time Darlesha and Keara are joining him.
Day two's choreography round concludes with Daniela Bustillos and Shane Garcia earning themselves passes to Vegas along with seven other dancers. And next week's So You Think You Can Dance will be shipping up to Boston, where Adam Shankman will be joining as a guest judge at the Opera House.
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