So You Think You Can Dance? Review: “Atlanta Auditions” (Season 9, Episode 3)

This week, So You Think You Can Dance? brought us the Atlanta auditions and while last week may have had it all, this week delivered some very strong contestants who gave brilliant auditions. Considering that Atlanta is home to season eight’s winner Melanie Moore, I really shouldn’t have expected anything else.

Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe were joined by Debbie Allen on the show this week and she was definitely a welcome presence. Her sense of humor and passion for dance was great to see and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her on the show.

Without a doubt, the strongest performances (I truly cannot decided on a single winner) were the three dancers from the Dragon House Crew (Boris Penton, Andre Rucker and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer).

First to perform was Boris Penton. I was simply astounded as he danced hip-hip to classical piano music that showed off his excellent musicality and I was not surprised when when Allen and Murphy gave him a standing ovation along with rest of the audience. According to Lythgoe, he was “mesmerizing, absolutely mesmerizing” and I couldn’t agree more.

We were forced to wait for the other two Dragon House members to perform but when their auditions took place, we were not let down. Andre Rucker performed first, with crazy isolation moves that left my jaw on the floor. The control he had of his shoulders was especially astounding. Rucker was followed by Cyrus “Glitch”  Spencer who mixed humor with his hip-hop style. According to Nigel, Spencer out-danced Rucker, though in my opinion, all three of them were phenomenal.

Another interesting audition was Danielle Dominquez. Her “weird” style as she described it was extraordinary and immediately reminded me of past contestant and All-Star Mark Kanemura, who currently dances with Lady Gaga. I was overjoyed to discover that I was not the only one who thought this about Dominquez as Nigel complimented her with a similar statement.

Several other dancers also stood out on this week’s episode. Audrey Case showed great personality with her performance that was described by Lythgoe as “magical, like a little Tinkerbell…a magical charisma”. The audition was made all the better with Debbie Allen singing along during the performance.

Tim Conkel, a karate instructor who was also a ten time national and three time international karate champion, showed impressive power tricks as he danced to Moves Like Jagger. As good as his performance was, he was nowhere near as impressive as the Dragon House Crew and I can’t see him making it too far.

I should probably also mention Courtney Kirby, who showed amazing follow through with her powerful and smooth performance. While her audition was strong, it was annoying to see her mother constantly kissing Nigel. I seriously do not know what it is with kissing the judging panel of So You Think You Can Dance? It seems to happen more and more every episode.

Another strong performer was Asher Walker, a hip-hop dancer from deep in the country whose dream is to be a back-up dancer for Justin Bieber. Walker’s audition was very entertaining and reminded me a little of Ivan from season 2 and Kent Boyde from season 7, both of whom did well in the competition.

Overall, this week provided a surprisingly small number of bad performances. It predominantly delivered contestants that showed promise and I was very pleased with what I saw. Next week we’ll be going to Salt Lake City and I seriously cannot wait to see what kind of talent the city has to offer.