SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: Contestants show off their moves at the Los Angeles, CA auditions. Credit: FOX/Adam Rose
Wednesday marked day two of the West Coast auditions and once again hundreds of hopefuls lined up to impress the judges, Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Christina Applegate.
Serge Onik, 25, from Upper Saddle River, NJ returned after not making it into last season’s top twenty, but this time with a new dance partner, Alla Kocherga, 24, from Los Angeles, CA. The two did a hot little ballroom number and moved on to the next round. Mary said Alla was a much better partner for Serge and Serge agreed as he asked Alla to be his girlfriend following the performance.
Casey Askew, 19, Seattle, WA gave a very powerful contemporary performance. The judges stopped the music early to hand Askew a ticket to the next round.
After ten seasons, the judges are looking for something to take them by surprise and that’s exactly what they got just when nine-year-old hip-hop dancer J-4 took the stage. J-4 said he knew the age requirement was eighteen but he was there “for the experience.” Fik-Shun Stegall, winner of season 10, and Cyrus Spencer, season 9, joined J-4 on stage and gave one of the most entertaining hip-hop performances in auditions.
Jourdan Epstein, 24, from Plymouth, MN wanted to be able to express, through ballet point dance, the journey of watching her brother fall into addiction and then overcome it. Christina said Epstein’s captivating performance gave her chills.
Johnny “Waacks” Gibson, 22, from New York, NY returned from season 9 after the judges laughed at his “Waacking” dance technique. Gibson said he was returning with a much more serious approach and then showed up wearing a skirt. His performance definitely got the crowd cheering and Mary on her feet. This time around Nigel called it “stunning.” Gibson moved on to choreography and was able to prove he could do more than just waack.
After having dropped his ballroom partner during the Vegas round last season, Armen Way, 28, from Glendale, CA was back with a new partner, Malene Ostergaaro, 25, from Studio City, CA who found Way to be the best partner she’d ever had. There was definitely a connection on the dance floor from start to finish. Mary called the two a “dynamic couple” and together they moved on to the next round.
After wrapping up auditions in Los Angeles, So You Think You Can Dance hit the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. Legendary ballerina, Misty Copeland, and Broadway star, Billy Porter, joined Mary and Nigel on the judging panel.
Bridget Whitman, 19, from Tempe, AZ lost her father, and biggest supporter, in a car accident when she was twelve. Just before her father passed, she told him she wanted to be on So You Think You Can Dance and now was her shot. Whitman took a step in that direction when the judges sent her straight through to the next round.
Amir Sanders, 21, the beautiful ballerina from Baltimore, MA is breaking stereotypes with her afro and two nose piercings. Her unique and funky routine got her a spot in choreography and then a ticket to the next round.
Last season, Landon Anderson auditioned with Jenna Johnson who made it to the top ten of season 10 but because he was underage, Anderson wasn’t able to move on. This year Anderson, 18, from Springville, UT was back to prove he had what it takes to move on in the competition and it was Johnson’s turn to support Anderson during auditions and watch him get his ticket. But to everyones surprise, for the first time ever, Jenna Johnson, a first-year SYTYCD alum, was invited back this season as an All-Star.
After leaving the season 9 auditions in anger, Shafeek Westbrook, 24, from Upper Darby, PA returned to show America he’s back and with a more positive attitude. Westbrook went through choreography and showed the judges he could do more than just tricks.
Standley Grover, 19, from Chicago, IL had quite the journey after loosing his mother to a heart attack at a young age. After being abandoned by his family, he was taken in and raised by his mother’s good friend. Grover’s animalistic contemporary dance took the judges by surprise and landed him a spot in the next round.
And again Justin Beiber was back to present two more dance crews for America to vote on. The dance crews will battle it out to perform on the So You Think You Can Dance stage in the finale. First up was “Wanted Ashiqz,” a bollywood hip-hop dance crew from Philly. The next crew was “Mix’d Elements” from Los Angeles who mix hip-hop street styles with acrobatics. Viewers can vote at fox.com.