‘So You Think You Can Dance’ 16, episode 4: Which audition sparked the most joy for you? [POLL]

The  current edition of Fox’s popular dance reality contest “So You Think You Can Dance” has somewhat of a different vibe for its 16th season. For one, the show doesn’t have to send the four judges around the country to watch auditions anymore. They can be far more relaxed now the contestants try out for the Academy on a snazzy new SYTYCD stage based in Hollywood. There also have been more pairs vying to get a golden ticket  to the Academy  and not just the ballroom dancers.

That was definitely true of episode 4, when some of the more memorable performers did so with a partner even after doing a solo initially. Here is my list of the best of the night.  Pick your favorite from this list in the poll down below.

SEE Exclusive video interview with ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ host Cat Deeley

*Identical 18-year-old twins Trent and Colton Edwards, contemporary dancers with flair to spare who are based in Pittsburgh, only took up dancing three years ago. But they had musical theater experience, which they said provided the equivalent of TSA PreCheck when it came to taking on dance. Cheeky Colton confessed that he was the evil twin of the two. They have previously been on “America’s Got Talent”  as an act known as “Mirror Image” in 2017, but Simon Cowell was not impressed. I don’t know what he was looking at, but their SYTYCD performance (see clip)  is quite a showstopper and even caused judge Mary Murphy to let loose with one of her sonic shrieks of glee. They are Academy-bound.

*Closing the show was an actual couple, who initially audition as contemporary soloists. Jarrod Tyler Paulson, 26, from St. Paul, Minn.,  is a contractor and a Mr. Fixit type. He performs to “Stand by Me” and new judge Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval gives high praise for his routine while  Laurieann Gibson flirts with the handyman a bit. But she has some competition from the next hopeful, Madison Jordan, 21. Her back story has details of how she lost all her hair at age 7 after contracting the disease alopecia. It never grew back. But her grace and flexibility are dancing dynamite while Mary appreciates her combo of softness and strength. The judges make a request that the twosome dance together (see clip) and the result below is magic, earning them both a trip to the Academy and a standing ovation. Sniff, sniff.

*Alas, there is no clip for lonely salsa dancer Antonio Frias, 22,  from Florida who did not bring a partner. What he performed didn’t quite work without holding someone in his arms. Judge Nigel Lythgoe decided to play match maker and asked if anyone in the audience knew how to do the salsa. Stepping up was a young woman named, no joke, Destiny and she helped to give Antonio, who was sweating bullets by the end of the routine, a better shot. He still didn’t get a ticket, but probably got Destiny’s digits.

*There was a semi-frustrating ballroom montage featuring SYTYCD alums matched with newcomers for their auditions. It was great to see former top 10 dancer Kiki Nyenchek with Sofia Ghavami  from Miami who promised a spicy Cha Cha that we barely got to savor, season 15’s Magda Fialek with Vlad Kvartin of New Jersey ( who annoyed her by saying she was his “dance mom”)  and Annie Lyn Sheketoff with Ryan Di Lello from season 6.

*The most interesting solo dancer was Sydney Burtis, 18, of Kissimmee, Fla., who donned bright green tap shoes for her routine. She was mildly autistic as a child but taking tap lessons helped get out of her shell.  She is currently studying dance at Case University in New York. Sydney shuffle-ball-changed her heart out but veteran tapper Nigel, who gets giddy at the sound of metal on the dance floor, felt her music didn’t quite do her brilliant dancing justice while Laurieann declared her an angel. And Dominic was delighted to hear she has a poster from his season on her bedroom wall. She, of course, is going to the Academy.

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