Which means it's up to Elias Holloway, 18, of Santa Fe, N.M., who's dancing with his little brother, Enoch, 16 and too young to audition. They're the youngest of 14 (!) children, all of whom were dancers, as well as swimmers. Synchronized popping. Not bad! Nicely performed. Stomach rippling! The judges enjoy it. Nigel found it extremely entertaining, and Mary calls it the cutest thing she's seen in five years, and Sonya says Elias is very marketable, and he gets sent through to choreography.
Into the home stretch now, with a couple of dancers who auditioned last year, including Natalie Reid, 23, from Seattle, who y'all will definitely remember as the roommate of Katee, whose big mouth almost cost her a spot when she said she wasn't sure if she'd come back if she didn't make it that time. Natalie's taking another crack at it. I don't remember her specific audition from last year, but she's really good. Sonya can barely contain herself as Natalie ranges all over the stage in a contemporary routine. "So lovely to see you again this season," says Nigel, adding that he was put off by Sonya's melodramatic reactions during the routine. Sonya annoyingly is moved to the point of incoherence by Natalie's routine. Let's just say she liked it. "I'm dying. I'm your biggest fan," says Sonya, adding that she gets chills watching her dance. Mary says she's very proud of Natalie, and praises the "organic and the realness of it." She thinks Natalie will go the distance this time. Nigel calls it superb, and wants to make sure she doesn't have any flatmates this time around. Natalie says last year really pushed her to work hard. The judges send her right through, and Natalie happily calls Katee, who's excited for her too.
Then there's Brandon Bryant, 19, of Miami, who lost in a faceoff with Gev last year. Brandon is one solid muscle and he attacks his routine like a tornado attacks a trailer park. He makes the other dancers look like Grade 7 students at a school dance doing the side-to-side shuffle during a slow song.
Mary is actually moved to tears. "I have the greatest job in the whole world, to be able to sit there some days and witness something like that," she says, crying. As annoying as Mary can be, at least there's no artifice with her. Her tears are about actually being moved by the dance (as opposed to Sonya, who comes across like her tears are about showing how moved she can be by the dance, if you understand my distinction). Sonya loved it too, and so does Nigel, and they send Brandon straight through to Vegas. He and Natalie seem to have hit it off, and they celebrate together.