Join me here tonight for more So You Think You Can Dance!
Tonight, Nigel, Paula, and Jason are finding new talent in Los Angeles. Who will join Travis on Team Stage? Who will join Twitch on Team Street?
Asaf Goren- 23- Burbank, CA- Team Street
He gets asked if he has a camel a lot. He’s good looking. I wonder how the ladies feel about him. He’s a little silly. He’s gonna do some Hebrew Breaking. That sounds awful. lol. He said that regular B-Boying bores him, so he’s adding his culture into it. This kid is an incredible B-Boy. Seriously. One of the best we’ve ever seen on the show. He’s super fast. He dumps water on the stage for his final set of spins. He gets a standing O from the judges, from Cyrus and Fik-Shun who are in the audience, and the whole damn crowd. This kid… blew everyone away. Nigel says it was “bloody great B-Boying.” Paula is a bit speechless at first, but says she likes his personality. Nigel says they ask for signature moves all the time, and his first dive was incredible. Jason says he’s a star and is going to create something special. I think he’ll do well in contemporary too, for some reason. I think this kid is a contender. Nigel compares him to Rock Hudson, Jason compares him to Aladdin. LOL. Aasf joins Team Street (duh).
Avo Karapetyan- 29- Boston, MA- Team Stage
He’s classically trained in Ballet. He’s dancing to Stay With Me. His leaps, his jette’s, his pirouettes, everything is on point. And he’s masculine throughout it all. Another strong contender right out of the gate. Incredible. Another standing O from the judges, and most of the audience. Los Angeles BROUGHT TALENT this year. Paula says she can’t critique perfection, and calls him gifted. Nigel calls him a joy to watch, and commends his lightness and technique. Jason doesn’t over anything except another standing O. He’s joining team Stage.
Time for a familiar face!
Jaja Vankova- 22- CA- Team Street
I was so upset when she was cut last year. Nigel looks genuinely happy that she came back. She’s incredible again. Possibly even better than last year. She combines animation with some krump, which nmakes her a little different. ANOTHER STANDING OVATION. So many familiar faces showed up today to see Jaja audition. Jason calls her unbelievable, and says he’d pay money to see her. Paula says she’s a perfectly wrapped gift. Nigel says it’s an honor to watch her. Nigel gives her a ticket.
Allen Genkin- 24- Philadelphia, PA-Team Stage
He got into dance for the pretty girls. His mom died when he was 15, and dance was his dream. He’s also survived testicular cancer. I think he’s solid, but he mouths words sometimes, which annoys me. His partner, who isn’t auditioning, is great too. It’s tough to get too excited about him, because the three acts he followed were so stellar. He’s the first non-standing ovation from the judges. Paula starts joking about him not being sexy, but ends up telling him how amazing he is. Jason says he knew he was great from the very beginning, and needed only 3 seconds to know he would go to vegas. Nigel says he was reminded of Benji (really?) and says he has personality and technique, and he should come get a ticket.
Next up, a montage of team street dancers getting tickets to Vegas. Some interesting moves, but I prefer the two we already saw tonight. Two brothers are hoping to join Team Street. They’re new to America.
Illijaz and Burin “B1” Joseph- 29, 30- Hollywood, CA- Team Street
Again, two extremely strong B-Boys. They get some really good air, and they do all the standard B-Boy moves. They get a standing ovation from the judges. Team Street might slay this year. Nigel says they were incredible, and loved their musicality. Nigel talks about Paula being at a loss for words. Jason says they had a great connection. They’re through to Vegas.
Mary Kate Levoir- 21- Minneapolis, MN- Team Stage
Hot blonde alert. Her dad bedazzles her stuff for her. Isn’t it weird to dance like this with your dad in the audience? Just wondering. She’s average. It’s a lot of posing and pulling face at the audience. Not a lot of continuous dancing. She’s got personality, but her solo is crap. I’m sure they see enough technique here to let her try again in Vegas, but I’m on the fence. She talks about how supportive her dad is. She says her dad thinks he can dance. Nigel tries to get the dad on stage. For some reason, the dad actually goes on stage. Her dad says “I know I can’t dance.” His style is “sit in the audience and clap”. Nigel keeps prodding, knowing this will make good TV. He says he’s an 80’s guy, and Nigel asks Paula when she started singing. Nigel says something about going back too many decades, and Paula gets up like she’s going to beat Nigel, but just makes a joke about not being able to find music from Nigel’s era. The dad is a good sport, he dances a bit. It’s of course, awful, but we all knew it would be. One day, someone will bring their dad who used to be a Russian ballet dancer or something, and Nigel will crap his pants. They fake critique her dad, which is odd, considering Mary still hasn’t gotten feedback. They half-heartedly critique her, and then give her a ticket to Vegas.
LA is the birthplace of Krump. So we get a look at the history of Krump from the originators for Krump. It started in South Central. It derived from Clowning, which we also learn about.
James “B-Dash” Derrick- 26- California- Team Street
He turned his life around after seeing Rise, a movie about being a street dancer. This audition means a new life for him. His shirt reads Stay Dope, for anyone who thinks that turning his shirt inside out means we can’t read it. He’s gonna krump and a little animation today. He also has tape on his hat. He’s a pretty fantastic dancer in some perfect combination of krump and animation. He’s almost a 50/50 split of the styles. He’s entertaining to watch, possibly even moreso than Bluprint and a few others who have made the Top 20 before. Hopefully he does well in Vegas. Jason says he brought intricacies from animation that made a world of difference. Paula says “when you’re phenomenal, that’s you.” He’s got a ticket to Vegas.
A montage of dancers who are getting a No. Not really awful, just not good enough.
Jim Nowakowski- 25- Rochester, NY- Team Stage
He was born with a cleft palate, but he felt beautiful when he was a dancer. He’s a ballet dancer. His parents couldn’t be there today to support him. Awww. He’s got really strong legs, but his arms tend to dip a bit in his spins. He’s really strong though, and incredibly masculine. Great control. Fantastic dancer. Standing ovation. Ballet is making a comeback this year. Nigel says he reminds him of Alex Wong. He says it was an absolute joy to watch him. Nigel says Jim is one of the best dancers ever on the show. Paula says his balance is unlike anything she’s ever seen. Jason wonders how many hours a day it takes to be a dancer like him. He dances 8 hours a day. Damn. Jason drops a technical term, and Nigel sends him through to Vegas.
A montage of stage dancers getting through to Team Stage. 15 dancers had made Team Street, 18 had made Team Stage.
Cody Carlson- 19- Sacremento, CA- Team Street
Cody has been dancing since he was 8. He’s a freestyle hip hopper, and he has down syndrome. He says Jason Derulo inspired him, but Jason hasn’t been around long enough for that. His mom brought him. Mom says he doesn’t let a little down syndrome slow him down. You know what… it’s a lot better than I expected. He obviously isn’t on the level of other dancers, but he’s had some training, clearly. He gets a standing O from everyone. Jason says Cody is a born entertainer. Nigel says they’re introducing dance into the special olympics, and says that THIS is a tough competition. Nigel is worried this isn’t the right competition for him to be in. Nigel says No, Paula says he’s magnificent, and Jason says he’s an inspiration. Jason gives him a ticket to Vegas anyway, and says it’s on his dime, he’ll make sure he gets to go.
Jacy Jordan- 18- Texas- Team Stage
She was in a car accident, and almost lost her leg. She was thrown from a vehicle, and barely made it through the night. Her mom begged for them to not remove her leg. She missed two years of school and was told she’d never walk again. Not only does she walk, but she dances. She’s had 20 surgeries on her leg. She’s a beautiful dancer too. Not quite as good as some of the other girls in past seasons, but definitely worth a second look in Vegas (even without the backstory). Jason says he feels attached to her because of his near death experience. Jason said he held back his tears, and thanks her. Paula says dance is the one art form that keeps people going in hard times. Paula saw no disability, but incredible ability. Nigel says she’s a miracle. Nigel thinks there are stronger dancers, but Paula and Jason say Yes. Nigel is also set to play The Grinch in the upcoming revival of The Grinch… no I’m kidding. But, really Nigel? It’s just a ticket to Vegas. No one is asking for her to make the Top 10. Get your shit together.
Jessica Rabone- 29- North Hollywood, CA- Team Street
Her big sister is a TV host in another country. She was told she couldn’t be in the same industry as her sister, but now she’s in America auditioning for stuff here. She’s a wacker. She’s battled with Comfort before in a competition. She might be the first Wacker to make the voting rounds. She’s got some solid hip hop moves in there as well. She’s mostly hip hop. She’s not as good as Jaja, but she’s still entertaining. How many female hip hop dancers can make the Top 10, because we’ve seen several really strong ones. The year of female hip hop? Jason says she gave him his fair share of caffeine for the day. Nigel says she lit up the stage. Nigel thinks she needs more vocabulary. She’s a yes for Vegas.
A montage of female street dancers, including Marie Poppins from last year. Sucks that she got montaged this year. Marie actually got a standing O apparently. I don’t know why she’s in the montage. The few seconds we see is incredible.
Kareem “Anointed” Ali- 22 Newark, NJ- Team Street
He’s going to be doing a spiritual dance. It’s a little bit of a mix. Definitely a lot of B-Boy, but there’s some animation in there, some acrobatic tricks, pop n lock. He covers almost all of the bases of Team Street. We’ve seen stronger B-Boy’s today, but maybe his versatility will get him past them. Nigel says he had a great personality that came across. Nigel says he had ridiculous strength. Paula says she understands why he’s called “Anointed”, and says he’s clever. Jason says that people don’t know how to bring their street energy onto the stage, but he did. He’s through to Vegas.
Brandon Armstrong- 20- Lehi, UT- Team Stage
Brandon auditioned with Lindsay Arnold. He’s now auditioning with Lindsay’s little sister. Nigel gave him a ticket to Vegas for when he was 18 in 2013, but he went and did a mission instead. He couldn’t dance or anything on his mission. But he’s back, and ready to earn his ticket again. He’s the better of the two ballroom males we’ve seen today. Mary would love him. He’s got a lot more showmanship in him. And Lindsay’s sister is gonna kill it next year if SYTYCD gets another season (which doesn’t look likely). Brandon’s got swag. Nigel gives Lindsay’s sister a ticket to Vegas for next year. Paula says he’s very well trained. Jason says Brandon knows how to handle his woman. Jason says he dominated. Nigel hits Brandon for his faces, but he’s got a ticket to Vegas. Lindsay Arnold was also there to support them.
84 people total are on Team Stage, 84 dancers also are on Team Street. Next week is New York auditions. Join me next Monday!
In the meantime, comment below. Who was your favorite dancer? Are you as excited as I am to see Jaja return? Do you think Nigel was being a Grinch tonight?