The Emmy-winning “So You Think You Can Dance” continued auditions for its 14th season Monday night with dancers taking the stage in New York in front of series judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Vanessa Hudgens. In the audition phase of the show, dancers perform in front of the panel for a chance to move on to the next round at the Academy. Otherwise they’re sent home or given a second chance to learn pre-determined choreo and prove their skills later in the day. Also on hand is host Cat Deeley who provides brief introductions of the spotlight auditions throughout the episode.
Below, read our “So You Think You Can Dance” recap of the auditions in the order in which they were showcased on Monday night in Season 14, Episode 3. Who stood out? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts down in the comments section.
Kaylee “Impavido” Millis: Going by the moniker Impavido — Italian for “to fear less” which she says she stands for as a performer — Kaylee kicked off the New York auditions with an athletic contemporary routine that earned a standing ovation from the panel of judges. Nigel said Impavido brings to the competition an individuality that most other dancers don’t. That was echoed by Mary who was impressed by her confidence, and by Vanessa who was stunned by her beauty. Needless to say, we’ll be seeing Impavido in the Academy round.
Ana Sanchez: Ana came to the stage with a Colombian salsa number, described as faster and containing more passion than its counterpart styles. She danced with a non-competing partner, Julian Castro, and resident ballroom expert Mary gave the performance her trademark scream and applauded Ana for her stamina and control over the many tricks in the routine. Ana hoped to board Mary’s “hot tamale train” with her performance, and in that regard she succeeded, as well as advancing to the next stage of the competition.
Koine Iwasaki: As a youngster in America uncomfortable with her cultural roots, Koine says she found dance as a second language to speak in her childhood. The language she spoke with her contemporary audition was fierce, passionate and incredibly powerful. Vanessa pointed out her control and precision and noted that the last few moments of the performance gave her chills, while Mary was impressed with the many layers and textures in her routine, making it easy for the judges to agree on sending her on to the Academy.
Joseph “Klassic” Carella and Huwer “Havoc” Marche Jr.: This hip-hop duo specializes in “flexing,” a form of dance that originated in Brooklyn and embodies seven parts including pausing, connecting, punchlines, hat tricks, grooving, gliding and bone-breaking. But Klassic and Havoc pride themselves on flexing in new and unexpected ways, something they proved in their lyrical and emotionally-tinted performance. Nigel went as far as to refer to Havoc as a genius, and Mary complimented Klassic on his popping skills. Considering they gave the pair a standing ovation, it wasn’t tough to call that both men earned their own spots in the Academy.
Chaz Wolcott: Few tap dancers have made the final cut on “SYTYCD,” but that hasn’t stopped Chaz from bringing his own routine to the auditions. Chaz came to the stage with high energy and enough skill to impress all three judges, getting Mary close to tearing up. Nigel holds tap close to his heart so he had some constructive criticism for Chaz, but in the end his abilities were too good to pass up, and he was offered a spot in the Academy.
Darius “The Bigger Cheese” Reed: Claiming to be “very stylish, very sassy and very devious” in a way that no act on “SYTYCD” has ever been, Darius donned red heels, a leopard print coat and bright eye makeup for a fervent and frenzied performance that ended in his wig, heels and coat being ripped off. Though the judges thought his energy was really fun and they adored his passion, Nigel pointed out that it was more of a lip sync performance than one showcasing his skills at dance, so unfortunately Darius was sent home without a ticket to the next round.
Ryan Bailey: For the evening’s final performance, Ryan provided a distinctly unconventional contemporary performance, which he prefaced by explaining that it involves a lot of shaking and often confuses people. But as a teacher, Ryan is familiar with the more conventional aspects of dance while maintaining his desire to provide something new to the culture of dance. At first it appeared as if the judges weren’t understanding where Ryan’s choreography was coming from, but Nigel admitted that the reason he liked it so much is because he was thinking about how much hated it. It took some displays of technical skill to reel Mary and Vanessa in from the point of confusion that they had for most of the performance. In the end, Ryan succeeded in providing them with a fresh perspective and earned a spot straight to the Academy.
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