Last night "So You Think You Can Dance" season six auditions rolled down to Atlanta, where we saw a mixed bag, talent-wise. A surprisingly subdued Lil' C joins us as guest judge. And speaking of subdued, Atlanta is apparently a city of dancers with lifeless faces. It's basically Nigel's equivalent of Tyra's dreaded "dead eyes" label on "America's Next Top Model."
Billy Bell/19/Contemporary - He initially wanted to be a hip hop dancer, but moved on to other genres when it became apparent that he sucked at hip hop. Fair enough...although now I want to see him do hip hop so I can judge for myself. Kind of like when a waiter tells you a plate is really hot, but you touch it anyway just to confirm. Billy is adorable, and very strong on technique aside from a couple nitpicks from Nigel.
Amber Jackson/18/Contemporary - She has very sinuous movement, until an odd point in her solo when she almost stops completely before transitioning to the next section. And after Nigel asks why she was staring into space, she says she wasn't performing for anyone. Nigel calls her performance "s**t" but her dancing great, so she moves through to choreography and Vegas.
Jamal Jackson/19/Contemporary - I love the African music, I love the dynamic movement, and I wish we'd seen more of him.
Anthony and Antwain Hart/22/Hip Hop - These twin brothers auditioned in season 4, and are back for more. And thank goodness, because they're awesome. They show amazing synchronization to the point where it looks like you're watching one dancer and a mirror at times. They hit it really hard, throw in some impressive tricks, and show more sophisticated choreography than is usual for an audition solo. The judges appreciate how they've grown since season 4, and send them on to choreography so that they get a chance to practice learning it (but with the understanding that they'll almost certainly make it to Vegas). Unfortunately, Antwain (the stronger of the two in the solo) struggles while Anthony shines, and Anthony is the only twin moving on to Vegas. Sad!
Thomas Hamilton/20/Contemporary - He's one of two sob stories tonight, with a tough childhood (including a drug addict mother) and a strong desire to get out of his dysfunctional town. And that desire absolutely shows itself in his powerful and emotional dancing. At first I love his choice of choir music, though Nigel fears that "praise dance" is too inwardly (and upwardly) focused. And I can see that. Apparently Thomas hated contemporary dance until taking a class with Mia Michaels. I wonder if she'd have to recuse herself if he made it to the Top 20? At any rate, he's on to choreography and Vegas!
Travis Denison/30/Goofy hip hop? - Um...there's a lot of thrusting of the pelvis and punching of the air. And shaking of the booty. I'm really not sure what to say. Nigel, however, asks if he's related to Adam Shankman (there IS a resemblance) and votes him down. Hilariously, Travis isn't even sure who Adam is!
Matthew "Boogie Links" Pollard/24/Popper - He's "single and ready to mingle." And he's good at what he does, though a weird shoulder dislocatey move grosses everyone out. Nigel points out that he wasn't really dancing, just moving his arms and torso in an interesting way, so they send him to choreography where he crashes and burns. He did say, "if I don't pick up a ticket to Vegas, please believe I'm picking up a girl," so hopefully he reached his goal in that respect, at least.
Jessica Jensen/25/Contemporary - She had cancer in her left hand, and wound up having to amputate a year and a half ago. Okay, I know this is our other sob story of the week, but this chick is pretty awesome - especially in the sense of humor department. It's interesting watching her dance without one hand - it throws off the symmetry in a way that almost works for her. And she's a very good dancer, so the bump to choreography isn't just for pity, despite the fact that Nigel is the only judge to talk about her dancing rather than her "courage" and "passion." Unfortunately, she struggles with the moves and doesn't make it through. Awww, nuts. I hope she's back next year!
Jonathan Bryant/20/Spazzy - Okay, seriously, why are we watching this hyperactive garbage instead of someone good? He fights with the judges about their criticism, calling himself "dope," and really pisses Nigel off. Aaand then he starts crying on stage. It's a damn mess. Nigel: "This is going to be cut out of the television show. No one's interested in this part of it! ...I'd be bored stiff watching this at home." Truer words have never been spoken, Nigel.
Cheers and Jeers:
Cheers to this show for distracting me from the fact that I just got beat out on a condo I made an offer on. Who pays all cash these days?! ...But I digress. Jeers to showing Jonathan's stupid audition even though Nigel explicitly pointed out that it was boring to the viewing audience. Jeers to Lil' C for his lack of stupendous pontifications. Cheers to Cat for talking about someone's stanky sweat in her fancy-sounding accent.