The auditions roll into Detroit tonight, with judges Nigel Lythgoe, a WILDLY feathered-haired Mary Murphy, and Season 4 runner-up and multiple Step Up film performer Twitch. Twitch is the best. Not kidding about Mary's feathered hair, either. She's rocking it.
Jade Zuberi (21, Dearborn Heights, MI) is -- to the best of my observation -- an animator like Cyrus was last year. He says he wants to take the Alices in the audience and put them in Wonderland. I like that he's so audience-focused. Not that most dancers aren't, but I think a lot of them end up looking inward first. The dancing is, yes, very much in the stop-motion arena. Jade has a brilliant sense of musicality, as well as control over the most miniscule aspects of his body. The judges are so into it; Nigel didn't want it to stop. He calls out Jade's waving as well as his locking. Twitch thinks it's one of the best auditions he's ever seen and that Jade should be very proud. He's through to Vegas.
THE PRETTY GOOD
Amy Yakima (18, Northville, MI) mentions that her father would take "Dad Jazz" classes while she was in her regular classes, so of course Nigel coaxes the dad up to the stage. Amy joins the judges as Dad does a very bare-bones exhibition that is quite endearing. What a good sport. They even have him dance to "Cantaloop," like a gift only to me. Then it's Amy's turn, and she's lovely, if a bit academic at first. Though I wonder if I only think that because she brought up classes. She eventually breaks things open as the song (French Celine?) crescendos, but this feels like someone who will get cut pretty early in Vegas, despite the judges' ovation. She's very personable, though, so that could compensate. Vegas for sure, though. Mary: "The hair went up on my arms. It doesn't happen very often, I'll be honest with you." I believe it. I especially believe that she doesn't have feeling in enough of her extremities for that to happen.
Morgan "Mo" Williams (22, Chicago) starts off on something of an arrogant note, good-naturedly (but still) bragging about how his abdominals are better than Twitch's. "I got 6, you only got 4," he says. Twitch barely humors him, to his credit. Morgan dedicates his routine to his dead grandma, then proceeds to give me SUCH pause by dancing to James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover." For his GRANDMA. No one mentions it! All that aside, Morgan is a lovely contemporary dancer. He reminds me of George from last season. Long-limbed and crazy elevation on his leaps. Nigel wants to send to choreo, but Mary overrules him to Vegas. Good call.