Seriously, the saving grace of these audition episodes -- my least favorite part of a show I love -- is getting to see Pasha again. In choreography, Anthony is paired with Amber, and they both get through. Not sure if Antwain's partner was crappy or if it was more his fault, but he did not look good. He doesn't get a ticket. It is sad.
Day 2 in Atlanta! Backstage, Matthew "BoogieLinks" Pollard, 24, flirts with any woman with a pulse backstage. The less discerning appear to be into him, but my girl Cat gives him some serious cold shoulder. On stage, BoogieLinks shows some wild pop-n-lock stuff, which seems all the more impressive given that he looks about 6'7". He freaks Nigel and Mary out by dislocating all the joints in his arms. C makes sure to note that it's not just schoolyard double-jointedness, he's doing it on beat. Now Nigel wants to find out if he can actually dance, so it's on to choreography.
After the break, Cat's talking with Jessica Jensen, 25, who tells her about the rare form of cancer that led to the amputation of her hand at what looks like just below the wrist. Everybody stares, she says, but she's "perfectly happy being alive and being the one-handed lady." She jokes with Cat about some other auditioner saying he was so nervous he's gnawing his fingers off, so she said "Me too!" Heh. Jessica auditions to Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" (Mia bait!). She's quite skilled, but seeing as dance (particularly contemporary) trains you to look for the full extension of limbs, I can't say the arm isn't a bit distracting. After she's done, she talks to the judges, saying she was back in the studio two weeks after the amputation. Damn. Nigel commends her dancing and specifically notes how she kept her arm close to her body in a lot of the movements so as to preserve her lines, which was smart. Mary gives her usual talk about inspiration and strength, but the fact that she never once blubbers over is I think a credit to Jessica's refusal to beg for sympathy. C breaks out the C-thaurus and commends her "passion, strength, and acceptance." They all pass her on to choreography, with Nigel more than a bit concerned that her partner won't get the short end of the stick. As it were. (I am sorry!)
Jonathan Bryant, 20, does not put his best foot forward with me, kicking off his segment with a wretched Cat Deeley impersonation. "My personality is... a lot," he says, which does a little to win me back. He's honest, at least, and his enthusiasm is probably equal parts infectious and exhausting. Which is a better mix than most of his exuberant ilk. His stage name is "Extra" and his solo is "dope." I could go either way on this guy. His audition gets to just as poor a start, with a whole lot of non-dancing clogging up what look like fairly competent moves. Lot of sound and fury here, signifying not much more than the fact that his cardigan is getting in his way. Lil' C nails it, saying "You have a lot of emotion, but when you throw it across the room, it doesn't really have any destination ... it becomes an argument instead of a conversation." I love you, C, because: exactly. Mary says he needs structure, at which point Jonathan flips a switch and starts talking about his "great structure" and how he's totally dope and has a great personality. He keeps shouting down the judges, and Nigel calls him out for being rude. So Jonathan flips the next switch, this one apparently labeled "blubbering melodrama," because here come the tears. Nigel, kind of hilariously, says they give him feedback because they honestly care -- "None of this is gonna be on the TV show anyway, because nobody cares." Sell that show, Nigel! Jonathan holds it together long enough for all three judges to say no.