We have a "beating the odds" montage next: one kid who grew up poor in Chicago but joined a dance troupe, one girl who grew up with Tourette's but who has worked to where her tics are not as severe as they once were, and one guy who lost his mother at a young age but found his life's rhythm again in dance. All three are great, and all three go to Vegas.
Cat tells us that the audition process is long -- the dancers have to be registered, interviewed, filmed and seated. One guy, Tim Conkel, is featured laughing and mugging his way through the process but Cat tells us he is also a karate instructor with a lot of championships and induction into a hall of fame the name of which I could never quite catch. He admits he got into dance to meet girls and thinks he could be not only America's favorite dancer, but also person. Here's a tip, Tim: never again call yourself a badass and that will be a good first step because when you do that it gives the opposite impression. He runs up with a Selena Gomez backpack and says he will be performing hip hop and breaking with martial arts thrown in while the backpack watches over him. He's trying too hard to be quirky and he's already grating on me but he seems sweet enough that I feel guilty about it, at least. He's one of those dancers who performs a string of moves without much in between but his martial arts moves are incredible; that cannot be denied. He tells the judges that in addition to hip hop he's done seven whole days of ballet, and so Nigel wants to see his ballet skillz before making a decision. Tim just does karate jumps with a sort of ballet feel to them, and apparently I am cold and dead inside for being lukewarm on this kid because the audience, Mary and Debbie all adore him, and he gets a ticket straight to Vegas.
Jackson Alvarez is another hip hop dancer with a ton of amazing power moves, as Cat tells us, and he appears to be quadruple jointed or something. When the judges talk to him after he has performed, he says that in his club they do a lot of line dances including one called the "Wobble." It turns out to be a dance to the song of the same name by V.I.C. and Nigel invites the whole audience up on stage to do it; I'm a sucker for this song and I'm even more of a sucker for Debbie Allen when she jumps up and dances, including some wobbling of her hips in Nigel's face. For that, Jackson gets a pass to the choreography round.
Janelle Issis, a Palestinian belly dancer from Birmingham, Alabama, is up next. Dude, I tried just a belly dancing workout video once and I have no idea how to move my body like that at all so I'm already impressed. Nigel tells her that her eyes sparkle but as she's wearing a sparkly bra, I think his own eyes might actually be elsewhere. She's trained in a lot of other styles but belly dancing is her passion so that is what she's doing today. Nigel leers at her and is generally gross, and of course he adores her dance. I love it too, but in a different, less creepy way from Nigel. The judges all find her to be an all-out performer and star, but hedge their bets and send her to choreography.