Last night marked the fourth and final round of auditions for “SYTYCD” Season 11, and Atlanta was hearin’ it for the boys. So far, this season has been a little girl-heavy—not that I’m complaining. (Let’s go, ladies!) But I was starting to get a bit nervous that all the Top 20 partnerships would be lopsided without some manpower to back them up. Let’s just say, we’ve got the power.
Another major highlight of this episode? More dance pros at the judges table. Night one of the Atlanta auditions featured the prolific Lil Buck. (I mean, seriously, this guy is everywhere!) I’m wondering whether the show’s producers anticipated the level of hip-hop talent that would be flooding the Atlanta auditions. It is the home of “SYT” fave Dragon House Crew, after all. Night two featured the lovely Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who’s certainly had her experience in the world of commercial dance. (Anyone else wish she’d brought Channing along?)
Sure, the evening had its not-so-hot moments (temper tantrums onstage are not cute, OK, Sideshow?). But all in all, the trend of celebrating incredibly—and sometimes surprisingly—amazing dancers continued. Here are my Top 5 moments from last night’s show.
1. Tapper-turned-hip-hopper Erik “Silky” Williams did his homework. OK, this guy was a total surprise. He’s auditioned for the show twice before as a tapper, and a couple years later, he decides to come back as a hip-hop dancer? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. But man, was I wrong! Silky really showed his versatility in his audition. His hip hop was on point, but he also demonstrated some technical potential. Sure, his pirouette, rond de jambe to the floor wasn’t perfect, but he had the right idea! I don’t know guys, I think Silky may have the potential to follow in Russell and Fik-Shun’s footsteps.
2. Christopher Griffin, a.k.a. Mr. Strange, a.k.a. Freak Show, represented for Dragon House Crew. First of all, I’m loving this guy’s style: Cosby sweaters and hipster glasses are kind of my weaknesses. There was something so calm about the way he animated. It was like he didn’t have to hide behind quick movement, because his isolations were that clear and precise. Oh, and did I mention he was a founding member of the crew? You couldn’t help but feel warm inside when Nigel thanked him for that. I’m so glad his dancing lived up to the Dragon House rep, and that we’ll be seeing him at California callbacks.
3. Contemporary Dancer Ricky Ubeda went from Future Star to future Top 4. I’m calling it right now, guys: I want Ricky in the finale. We’ve been following this young dancer on the comp circuit since 2013—and he’s been following “SYTYCD” since Season 1. Now that he’s 18, it’s his turn. Not only is his technique #flawless, but he danced with a great deal of maturity. I was never nervous when watching him; I just enjoyed the whole thing. That maturity coupled with his mamma’s-boy personality makes him 100 percent lovable. Plus, he “dabbles” in ballroom! (Right, Mary?)
4. Contemporary dancer Christina Moya-Palacios REPRESENTED for the ladies. OK, so it may have been wrong to say this show was all about the boys, especially when you’ve got a dancer like this in the mix. Christina began by pulling our heart strings with the sweet story of her brother, who was in and out of the hospital for 10 years. Dance was her escape from that heartache. Gah, this girl got to me. Yes, she has legs for days. But it was her port de bras that really carried the performance. She swam through the movement so fluidly—it was absolutely breathtaking.
5. Colby brought the cute factor. The final contestant of the night may not have won over the judges, but his adorable 4-year old son sure did. Nigel woke him up from his nap to perform on the stage, and kid’s got some moves. See you on Season 25, Colby!
Who were your favorites of the night? Discuss in the comments, and check back here next week for a rundown of all the dramz that go down at California callbacks.