The Auditions Reach Atlanta

The judges meet a wide variety as Season 9 rolls on.

The Auditions Reach Atlanta

The So You Think You Can Dance express rolled into Atlanta on Wednesday’s show, and while that’s the part of the country that gifted us with contemporary dancer Melanie Moore, the SYTYCD winner a year ago, auditions in the Peachtree City usually bring us plenty of hip-hop. Such was the case again. Here’s a quick look at the ones to remember coming out of Atlanta:


The Dragon House Crew: Three men – Boris Penton, Andre Rucker, and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer – who took turns amazing the judging trio (Nigel and Mary joined this week by Debbie Allen). I sometimes feel as if the middle-aged judges are overly impressed by b-boy stuff that hasn’t been revolutionary for decades, but these three really were something to watch. While they were clearly related, everyone had enough of a different take – Boris even performed to classical music – to make it not come across as monotonous. Of course, there’s not going to be room for all three in the finals, so seeing how they differentiate themselves going forward should be interesting.


Tim Conkel: Looking a little bit like the Risky Business-era Tom Cruise, and acting even more smug, Tim has no chance of getting past Vegas, but might entertain a little more along the way.  The alleged possessor of a bunch of karate championships (after what’s been happening on America’s Got Talent, I can’t take his word for it), Tim is undeniably an athletic marvel, but his musicality appeared almost nonexistent. Still, he didn’t even have to prove himself in choreography. He came onstage with a Selena Gomez backpack, and said things like “I think I have what it takes not only to be America’s favorite dancer, but be America’s favorite person,” so he’s in on the joke. Let’s just not let the joke last past Vegas.


Janelle Issis: As Debbie Allen pointed out, she’s a great example of the wonders of the melting pot – a Palestinian-American from Alabama who learned how to belly dance in church. She has star quality, but as belly dancing is never going to be heavily featured on SYTYCD, she did have to pass the choreography test before getting sent to Vegas.


George Lawrence II: A teenager who gave up a promising future in track to pursue his dance dreams, something that his father apparently had mixed feelings about at best. He was lyrical and intense, and the judges fell over themselves praising him, but he seemed awfully low-key, which could wind up as a problem on a show where people advance on public votes.


Asher Walker: A kid from rural Virginia who managed to teach himself hip-hop dance with an eye towards becoming a backup dancer for Justin Bieber. He’s really good, if not Dragon House good, and the judges kind of implied that the most interesting thing about him is that he’s a white Southern country boy … but we’ll have the chance to examine his journey further in Vegas.


Danielle Dominguez: A contemporary dancer with an eccentric sensibility that could help her stand out going forward. The most memorable part of this segment was Danielle discussing her love for bacon, and Nigel Lythgoe pointing out that eating plenty of bacon has clearly done her some good, so his (older and heavier) judging colleagues might want to try it too. Clearly being executive producer gives one the leeway to be a giant ass at least once every episode.


Did we forget anyone you liked?


  • gmanthebrave

    Sometimes a good athlete just needs a good choreographer, and Tim Conkel could still give a “Dancing with the Stars” performance with some help. I’m looking forward to getting these auditions over with and I would like to get to Vegas sooner than later. Still, my family loves to watch and fit the two-hour episode into one evening with the help of the Auto Hop feature on our Hopper that automatically skips commercials on most PrimeTime Anytime recordings. I still manage to get to work at Dish on time because we save 40 minutes, so it isn’t much longer than an hour in the end.

  • casycasum

    Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC exec want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV

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