"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: Vanessa Says "YAS"
It's the second episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 14, and tbh, so far we're yawning more than we're yay-ing. We want to see more performances and hear less talking—and we're dying for more Cat Deeley.
During Los Angeles Auditions Part II, there were some highs (ballroom babe Jensen's outfit), some lows (uh, triple-jointing), and plenty of shrieks and screams from one Mary Murphy. (Noticeably absent, however, were Hot Tamale Train tickets, of which Mary distributed zero throughout the hour-long episode.)
Let us get you caught up on the names you need to know...
Tristen and Jensen
We say: These ballroom partners from Provo, UT, seem destined to do well on this show. First, because dancers from Utah always do well on this show (see, for example, Allison Holker, Mollee Gray, Witney Carson, Alexia Meyer, Hailee Payne, Jenna Johnson—shall we continue?), and second because being on "SYT" is in Jensen's blood. If she looks familiar, it's because she pretty much is: Jensen is Lindsay Arnold's little sis! Tristen and Jensen (no, they're not dating, they assured Nigel) perform a Samba, and Jensen's neon fringe outfit is amazing.
The judges say: Nigel said it "woke him up." Mary said "YASSSS" a lot.
Vanessa Hudgens says: "GURL U R A STAR!"
The verdict: They're through to The Academy.
Sade Keinu Austin
We say: This Brooklyn-native started at 2, and credits her parents—a Nappytabs-esque duo who choreographed for the likes of Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson—as her inspiration. Her whacking-style routine wasn't our favorite of the night, but it was good and full-out.
The judges say: Nigel called her "a little ball of dynamite" and said she was "tremendous." Mary said she was "on fire."
Vanessa says: "YASSSSSS!"
The verdict: Through to The Academy
We say: The 18-year-old from Louisiana has been dancing since he was 2, even though his #TBT-style video seemed to indicate that he seriously hated dancing. But, he explains, once he turned 12, he quite literally found his groove. He performs a lovely contemporary piece that's heavy on the tricks and flips. He's elegant and can jump ridiculously high, but his feet could use some work.
The judges say: Nigel called it "one of the most outstanding routines of the day," but said he "wants to feel something. "Mary called it "mind-blowing" and said Matthew makes dancing "seem easy." Meanwhile...
Vanessa says: "Amazing! Wow! Man, are you a good dancer!"
The verdict: Academy-bound
Inyoung "Dassey" Lee
We say: Dassey moved to the United States from South Korea because of "So You Think You Can Dance." No, seriously. (Even Cat Deeley was all "whaaaaa?" when she heard this.) Dassey popped and locked her heart out to a remix of the classic song "Big Spender," and she tore. it. up. As for how she'll fare when faced with, say, a Travis Wall contemporary routine? TBD. But we'd like to see her try, because she's good-looking and so refined.
The judges say: Mary said "wow!" and "holy moly!" and "You went bam on us! You just hit us!"
Vanessa says: "YASSSSSS! Loved it! It was amazing! It was feminine, but also masculine."
The verdict: "Academy, you go girl!" —Vanessa Hudgens
We say: Blessin wants to bring steppin to the masses. She's a member of a step squad, and she's got rhythm, she's got music. She also has a killer attitude, great stage presence, and a very dramatic death drop.
The judges say: "I thought stepping was just for guys," Nigel said, while Mary told Blessin she has "fire" and "passion" and "dominates," while acknowledging the show will be tough for her because it requires dancers to become proficient in so many technical styles.
Vanessa says: "I feel, like, empowered to be a lady right now!"
The verdict: Blessin is through to the choreography round, but is later cut when she can't quite keep up with Mandy Moore's choreography.
We say: We love him. Fave of the night. Dustin rolls up with a fancy hat, a bowtie, and confidence, and it's immediately clear that this street performer is smooth. He floated and glided across the stage like he was wearing ice skates (but really cool ones), and evoked a Lil' Buck-ish vibe with his jookin' moves.
The judges say: "I don't know how you don't have serious knee problems," Mary exclaimed before screaming so loudly it caught Nigel off-guard.
Vanessa says: "That finger thing was insane!"
The verdict: Academy
Next week, we're off to NYC for auditions in the Big Apple. Here's hoping for more of a wow factor in the city that never sleeps!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.
When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.