So You Think You Can Dance
Dallas and New York Auditions

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Joe R: B+ | Grade It Now!
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The Return of the Dancing Baby

Dallas

For our second city, Nigel and Mary are joined by the delightfully eloquent Lil' C. Much and as with New York, the lion's share of the focus is on boys dancers. Not sure if this portends a season-wide trend (it's been two straight seasons with female winners -- take THAT, American Idol) or what, but the girls are basically relegated to a montage in Dallas. With one very notable exception ...

THE BEST

Maybe it's because it's early in the season, but I am majorly in the bag for all the human-interest stories this week. Particularly Bree Hafen, 29, a Texas girl and mom of two who is struggling with mom-guilt as she's getting back into dance. Nigel invites the children -- Luke and Stella, adorable -- to the judges' table (not her hot husband, though -- pity), and when it becomes clear that Bree is a shoo-in for Vegas, he has Luke walk up to the stage with her ticket to Vegas. It's infuriatingly sweet, and I am not made of stone. Eventually, little Stella -- who is like TWO years old, so it's mostly cute but also kind of strange in a toddlers-with-pierced-ears kind of way -- gets up on stage too and is invited to dance a bit. Only this show would make such a stunt feel genuine.

Hampton "The Exorcist" Williams says he can take people's souls and, like, filter them through his dance? Or something? The setup is like he's full of shit, particularly when he starts dancing to "My Immortal" -- which had been used earlier in the show with the little girl, which is unsettling. But once he starts dancing -- really tight locking movements, strung together along contemporary emotional/angsty lines -- it becomes rather beautiful to watch. Mary starts crying pretty early. He's really controlled yet equally graceful. It's really something new. He gets a well-deserved standing ovation. Mary's crying, Hampton's crying, the audience is crying. It's all very moving. Nigel thinks he might be a genius and says he doesn't give a shit how he'd handle the competition, to be honest. C, meanwhile, wants to kick him in his face, he's so good. Oh, and in case you were curious, C proclaims it good and Buck. So Hampton's going to Vegas. Nigel hugs him and calls him brilliant.

THE PRETTY GOOD

Stefan "The Zombie" Stewart, 21, was part of the "scary dancers" segment with Hampton, and he looks slightly less impressive compared to the guy. Coming across like a demented Andre 3000, at times, Stefan's all about zombie movies, contorting himself, walking backwards on his hands down the stairs, etc. Mary loves it and C hoots and hollers about it. For his part, Nigel seems ever so slightly exhausted about the whole prospect of another season of trying to find yet another diamond in the rough, but he says he was entertained. Vegas.

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So You Think You Can Dance

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