Nigel Lythgoe judges the competition on Season Nine of "So… (Fox )
And, tonight we're in Atlanta, where all the streets are named Peachtree and from where our last champion, Melanie Moore was launched. Along with Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, tonight's special guest judge is Debbie Allen.
Our first contestant is Audrey Case, from Oklahoma. Nigel mentions some of the things she said on her bio sheet for the producers, including that she can "fart with her neck and lick her elbow" and that she doesn't have a boyfriend. She goes on to demonstrate the farting with the neck, which should get her a date with SOMEone after this. She is remarkably limber and flexible, which might also help her appeal to the menfolk. Maybe. That's actually cheapening the very nice talent she has, which Nigel calls "magical" and "stunning." She's through to Las Vegas.
Now we meet three hip-hop guys who are in the "Dragon Crew." They live with eleventy billion other people in an apartment, where instead of a dining room they have a "dance floor." I really, really hope this is a ground floor apartment.
Boris Penton is the first of these guys to dance and he's doing the b-boy moves but to a classical piano piece, which I think is an intriguing choice. His face is so intense, though, and I feel like the music is perhaps lighter than the emotions he's letting us see.
Nigel says it was "mesmerizing" and calls it a privilege to have seen. Mary says it was "extraordinary" and that she needed years of training to be able to do what he did on stage for his audition. Debbie Allen calls him an artist and says that was "amazing." After Nigel asks him (kinda like a jerk, I thought) if he's "had enough compliments" a ticket to Las Vegas is proffered.
I don't know if it's my TV or their audio or what, but Joshua Alexander sounds like he's talking through a fan. I am not at all sure about his choice of mid-calf black socks with shorts. It's like watching your grampa with a really hot body and dance skills. He's got moves and he's got a ticket to Las Vegas.
And now we get kind of a weird montage of folks who are good dancers making it through to Las Vegas -- so, they're good dancers, but either not good enough to showcase their audition or they don't have interesting enough back stories. I'm happy to see more good dancing, but it's not as engaging as you'd hope.
And now we have a championship karate guy from right in Atlanta, GA, who will do a combo of hip hop, breaking, and martial arts. He started dancing because he wants to get girls. I'd suggest losing the admittedly ever-present Selena Gomez backpack. I don't think we knew before tonight that Nigel says "karate" in a funny sketch comedy kind of way.
So, this Tim Conkel starts up and his dancing isn't great, but the kicks that are clearly from his martial arts background are impressive. And he's kind of fearless, flinging himself around and onto the stage, going into splits with no hesitation.
Nigel wanted to have seen the crane move from "Karate Kid" and agreed with me that he would have liked to have seen more dancing. Mary calls it explosive and Debbie says that he's "the boy next door" but that she can see some "naughty." Oh, Debbie, don't encourage the kid. They start grilling him about his dance training and he says he had "seven days of ballet." Nigel tells him to do some ballet and they'll decide his fate.
The kid's game for it, and gives his all to some plies and pirouettes and leaps and is generally charming enough that I imagine he gets a Las Vegas ticket. And I'm right.
Back from commercial and we're just after lunch for Jackson Alvarez to show off his "power moves" according to Cat. I can't believe he's really dancing to C + C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)." If I'm doing my math correctly, he was 2 when this song came out.
Apparently, Justin is a DJ at a club and they do a lot of line dances, including "the wobble" Nigel invites everyone who knows the Wobble to come up on stage while the song plays. I am officially old because I know nothing of this Wobble, which Justin then tries to teach to Cat backstage. Oh, and we'll see Justin later in choreography.
And now we have a belly-dancer auditioning. She does her belly dance routine in nursing homes and I hope all these old men are on heart monitors when she does so. Mercy. She tells the judges she's had training in several other styles of dance beside belly dancing.
So, Janelle Isis starts her routine and it's kind of the "stripper" version of belly dancing, not that it's not good, but that I've seen more traditional belly dance and this is not it. The technique is there, but the presentation is what makes it seem flashier.
Janelle says she's "full-blooded Palestinian." Mary and Debbie are both full of praise, but that only gets Janelle through to choreography.