Teeny blonde krumper Mariah Spears, 18, gets all the moves right and impresses the hell out of the judges with the incongruity of it all. I have to be honest, there's so much about krump that's attitude, and I can't entirely buy Mariah as anything beyond a pose. But good for her for getting the absolute most out of learning the moves. Nigel sends her to choreography, where she manages to do enough to make it to Vegas.
The saddest personal story of the week belonged to Murphy Yang, 22, a cuuuuute, blue-haired Utah boy whose parents never supported his dancing and later disowned him when they moved away to California. His only support is his silent, smiley girlfriend (though, seriously, this girl is the CLASSIC "first girlfriend," sorry honey). Murphy's hip-hop style seems very translatable to Broadway style, and his musicality is for real. Nigel calls him an "entertainer" but he doesn't have enough "moves" to his liking. Mary and Adam are impressed by his raw materials, so they send him to choreography. Sadly, Murphy can't quite hack it there, and we're left to watch the tearful scene where he tells his gf he couldn't do it. Guys!
After a montage of Familiar Faces who came back this year to audition again -- including Nearly Naked Guy from last year, but WHERE is my Arielle Coker, though?? -- we come back to Adrian Lee, 22, who made it to the home-visits stage of Season 7 (remember that weird home-visits stage of Season 7?) before Mary Murphy had to deliver the bad news to his face. You know who absolutely remembers this? Mary Murphy, who could not look more uncomfortable. She repeatedly assures Adrian that the moment was as awful for her as it was for him, and while I doubt it, I don't question how much Mary hated that particular relic of the show's past. She even smacks at Nigel for making her do it. For Adrian's part, he was so crushed by the rejection that he didn't even audition last season. (Also? His parents instituted a strict No SYTYCD Professionals in the House rule.) Anyway, Adrian's contemporary choreography manages to put off all three judges as being too self-regarding, but they all know he's got the tools to dance. Any contemporary dancer with a sturdy frame like his is going to get attention. And like with Ryan Ramirez last season, I think he's basically assured a spot in this year's Top 20 if only as an apology. Indeed, he's sent through to Vegas.
Rachel Applehans, 20, was painfully shy as a child so instead she decided to become Courtney Stodden. It's all painfully applied sexuality, from the gross, sheer bustier top to the Nigel-baiting strategy of come-hither looks from the dancefloor. It's a "jazz burlesque" routine that includes, among other silly things, that all-fours crawl last seen in the amazing "Cradle of Love" video. Oh, and obviously, splits. In other words, it's a total strip routine, and not a very graceful one that that. Adam's like: fun, fantastic, but not dancing, while Mary is slightly more amenable to the idea of jazz burlesque. Nigel, contrary to his reputation, says there was too much burlesque and not enough jazz. They send her to choreography first, and she manages to hold it together enough to earn a trip to Vegas. Now be gone with you.