‘SYTYCD’ Los Angeles Recap: Ninja Twins, Activate!
"So You Think You Can Dance" moved on to Los Angeles this week, and the season's second episode offered all the awesomeness and absurdity that I would expect (nay, demand) from my hometown, the city of dreams. Jesse Tyler Ferguson as a guest judge! Pole dancers! Hoop dancers! Wackers! Tap-dancing surfers! Martial arts masters! Teddy Tedholm, the Pip of "SYTYCD"! And, let's not forget, the Ninja Twins, who really deserve their own recap, their own key to the city, and, frankly, their own reality show.
Nick, the guy who puts the "Ni" in "ninja," and his identical partner in crime, "James" (he's the "ja"), came to the "SYTYCD" auditions flaunting their "A-list lifestyle on a B-list budget" and basically acting like the Jedward of "SYTYCD." Jesse understandably declared that watching these two was like "watching the greatest TV show of all time"--which might have been an insult to producer Nigel Lythgoe, or maybe it just gave Nigel the brilliant idea to pitch a "Ninjas With Attitude" pilot to Fox's Mike Darnell. (Nigel's recent tweet indicates the latter! Yay!) Surprisingly, the Ninjas weren't bad dancers...but at age 32, they were two years over the "SYTYCD" age limit (Nigel hadn't believed them when they claimed to be 728-year-old vampires), so they were disqualified. ("We're old, but we ain't dead, dang!" they protested.) Nigel didn't change the rules, sadly, but he did tell them, "You have made this show for me right now." Now he just has to make a whole new show, all about the Ninja Twins. Do it, Nigel!
Oh well. There were a few other interesting contestants this week who showed promise and originality, some of whom didn't make it to Vegas, but wherever they placed, they too lit up the screen during the short amount of time that they appeared. And they did my home city proud.
West Coast, represent! Here are my favorite L.A. auditions from this week:
Johnny Waacks - Picking up where last season's Princess Locakroo left off, this dyn-o-mite throwback came out dressed like Jimmie Walker (he freely admitted he'd been born in the wrong decade), cranked up "Shaft II," and started busting loose. "I'm new to America and I missed 'Soul Train'--thank you for bringing it back!" said the British-born Nigel, who was impressed by Johnny's innate musicality. But the judges were unsure about Johnny's ability to adapt to other dancing styles, so they only advanced him to the purgatory-like choreography round, where he soon lost some of that musicality and unfortunately floundered. So we won't be seeing Johnny's wack-y '70s antics this season on "SYTYCD." But Jesse said this kid looked like "if Lenny Kravitz was a Russian nesting doll"--and if you ask me, that sounds like the perfect pitch for another reality show. Make it happen, Nigel! "So You Think You Can Wack." Come on!
Eliana Girard - A trained aerialist, Eliana is a "pole dancer," but in the most legit and respectable way: You won't see her at Hollywood's Jumbo's Clown Room, as she actually performs in Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis" show. But even without her pole, Nigel seemed all riled up by Eliana's hot performance. "Wow! Hello! Those legs!" he exclaimed. Eliana danced with a great deal of joy and grace, and Jesse compared her to last year's winner, Melanie Moore, while judge Mary Murphy called her "definitely top 20 material." And Nigel said, "I just hope the people watching realize why we say we need a performance from the face and from the heart...I felt as though you felt your music, and it was just beautiful to watch. It didn't feel fake." Nope, you certainly can't fake talent like this.