‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Premiere, Pt. 2: Detroit Rock Jitty
After an underwhelming and ballad-heavy top two "American Idol" showdown Wednesday night, Fox aired a new episode of Nigel Lythgoe's other talent show, "So You Think You Can Dance" — and this is when the network thankfully picked up the pace.
The show, now in its 10th season, held auditions for the first time in Detroit, and Wednesday's Motor City movers really revved up the sex appeal. There was a troupe of actual exotic male dancers, an abs challenge, a "jittin" dancer who practically gave judge Mary Murphy a lap-dance, and a smooth tap-dancing showman who could be this year's breakout heartthrob.
Cue [sexy] music! These were Detroit's standout dancers:
Jade Zuberi – The episode got off to an AWESOME start with this phenomenal pop/locker, whose animated style (think last season's Cyrus Spencer) almost didn't seem real. It was like he was a three-dimensional human flipbook. What a brilliant solo: so weird, so raw, and yet so graceful. "I don't want him to stop!" Nigel exclaimed, before all three judges gave him a deserved standing ovation. Guest judge Twitch Boss (Season 4's runner-up, and one of "SYTYCD's" most successful allstars) called this "easily one of the best auditions I've ever seen." Said Mary: "You had me every single second…the music is just through you." I wondered if the judges would question Jade's ability to handle other dance styles, but thankfully, they were so wowed by his audition that they handed him a ticket straight to Vegas. I can't wait to see more of him.
Amy Yakima – This instantly likable 19-year-old brought her father to her audition, and after she mentioned that he attended a beginners' "Dad Jazz" class with her, of course the judges forced poor Papa Yakima to bust a few of his amateur moves onstage. He was a good sport, however, before surrendering the floor to his more skilled daughter. And man, was she ever skilled! Her father was soon crying tears of pride watching her gorgeous, emotional routine. Amy danced with so much heart, yet her technical skill was admirable as well. Nigel praised her "extension that goes on forever…I'm not sure I spotted anything bad in your work, which annoys me!" Mary said, "Absolutely spectacular…the hair went up on my arms, and that doesn't happen often." Amy got a ticket to Vegas, of course — and I have a feeling she'll be getting one of Mary's Hot Tamale Train tickets in the near future.
Morgan "Mo" Williams – This audition was kind of odd. Mo immediately challenged Twitch to an ab-off, claiming he had the more defined six-pack (untrue), then he dedicated James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover" to his dead grandma. Awkward. Mo's audition was not perfect, but there was some raw potential there, and he elicited a few "woos" from Mary. Nigel — less wooed, so to speak — wanted to put Mo through to the choreography round, but somehow Mary vetoed that decision, and Mo got a ticket straight to Vegas.