Mia thought it was really good, and so did Mary, and Sasha starts to break down a little bit, like she needs to buck up just a LITTLE bit. "Don't like compliments, huh?" jokes Nigel, and Sasha "explains" that she's crying because her family is here, and Nigel jokingly ejects them and then says he hopes her family is proud, which really starts Sasha wailing, and she gets to go straight through to Vegas, when I really think a better choice for Sasha is Niagara Falls.
And Sasha kicks off a round of female talent that "sizzles," including Katie Muth, 18, of St. Charles, Ill. Nigel congratulates her for putting together performance and technique. Ellie Solo, 21, of Mesa, Ariz., is called "very strong" by Mary, and both of the contemporary dancers are straight through to Vegas.
And then we get our first "overcoming the odds" story, featuring Allison Becker, 21, of Keller, Texas, who was diagnosed with spinal meningitis when she was 16 months old, and the doctors told her she was going to be deaf, blind or die, and she feels lucky to just be deaf. She speaks very well, which is why it's too bad that this show condescendingly throws some subtitles on the screen while she talks.
She sits down with Cat, who asks her how she's able to dance, and Allison explains that the vibration keeps her on beat and on rhythm. She wants to be a role model for hearing-impaired people everywhere.
She gets an extra-long contemporary/ballet audition, but there's not much reason to complain, since she's pretty good -- performance-wise. Some of her movements seem not quite finished, and I maintain that if someone as (still, after a few seasons) as dance-dumb as I am can tell that you're not quite getting it right, then that's the case.
After confirming that Allison can lip-read, Nigel talks about how her movement and face were beautiful, and she really conveys that she loves what she does, but she wasn't quite there technique-wise for him. He's impressed, though, with her degree of difficulty and says that if it weren't written on his paper that she's hearing-impaired, he never would have known. Then he blows her a kiss and says, "Much love," I swear to god. Mary also liked her, and then starts talking about how her cousin is "in the same position" and then she starts crying, and just when you're thinking, "Oh, GOD, Mary," she says that her cousin "gave up" at her age, and "is no longer with us." Suicide? My god. So Mia takes over and talks about music being a powerful force, and Allison says she hears it differently, and Mia thanks her for sharing herself with them. Nigel asks how she'll be if they put her through to choreography. "I'll be great," says Allison, right away. Heh. The judges all laugh, although I'm not sure we're supposed to believe that the judges could even understand her, since they didn't have subtitles to read.