THE PRETTY GOOD
It looks for a second like Elijah Laurant (20, Los Angeles, CA) will be the season's first nightmare weirdo, what with his tutu prop and all. But as he takes the stage and glides around to his dramatic music, he casts a spell over the judges. Afterwards, Nigel says he liked the androgyny of it, and wonderful Elijah yelps and leaps and squeaks, "That's exactly what I was going for -- androgyny!" I love this guy. Vegas.
Taylor Ward, a 20-year-old contemporary dancer from Claremont, CA, gets the biggest chunk of audition real estate this week, and it's hard to say she didn't earn it. After a clip package that focused on her Grandpa's-girl tendencies (he's dead now), we get a look at her practicing backstage just in time for her knee to TOTALLY buckle and, if the show is to be believed, breaks. And then we're off for a commercial. Now, we're not idiots, we So You Think You Can Dance Fans. We know that the loud as hell crrrACK sound is show-engineered (which: classy, by the way). We also know that, once the show returns and tells us that Taylor merely dislocated her knee, the breaking SFX doesn't even make sense. Beyond all that, the mere visual of Taylor's knee popping out of joint AND THEN POPPING BACK IN, all before our eyes, would have been more than sufficient. It still is. Yikes. ANYway, Taylor pushes through to her audition, "loose joints" and all. Okay, seriously, "LOOSE JOINTS." She's gonna stress me out if she makes it through to the finals and I have to worry about her every bone jumping out of its socket at a moment's notice. She's got beautiful movement, though, and she's a yes to choreography. Because clearly you want to make her dance as much as possible today. No matter, though. Taylor kills it and moves on to Vegas.
Morris Isby (28, Sacramento, CA) is an energetic, old-school b-boy. He does one particularly cool move -- a pirouette on his elbow -- that draws Nigel's positive attention. The bad news is that Morris gets sent to choreography and he totally biffs it. Better luck next year.
THE INSPIRATIONALLY BESIDE-THE-POINT
Brother act Eric & Lorenzo Chapman (21 and 22, Pacolma, CA) dance with their third bro, not for advancement so much as a chance to get their story out on TV. Their dad was a b-boy back in the day, and he performed with his kids as Papa Wiz and the Wiz Kids. Dad died suddenly when they were young, and after some flirtation with turning down the wrong path, they got back on track, and so they started an after-school program; get kids to dance hip-hop. This is like that awesome day-care guy from last season, and much like that guy, the Chapman bros are a TON of fun to watch but don't show all that much promise for the long haul. The big guy up front, for example, execute a huge, flashy flip at the very beginning (awesome), but then uses the choreography to basically take a breather for the rest of the routine. The judges heap praise upon the brothers for their fantastic service to the community ("If we put you on the show, we'd be taking you away from the world!" says Jesse). Everybody gets to walk away feeling good.