So You Think You Can Dance? Review: “Los Angeles Auditions” (Season 9, Episode 2)

Cat Deeley set the tone perfectly for the So You Think You Can Dance? Los Angeles auditions as she stated in her opening lines that “Here…you can have it all.” From passionate dancing from the heart to moments of absolute hilarity, the second episode of season nine truly had it all.

This week, judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe were joined by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, known for starring as Mitchell Pritchett on ABC’s Modern Family. Ferguson had made his entrance onto the show as a judge in season 8 and I can definitely see why the producers chose to have him back. Not only did his comments show off his knowledge of dance, but he was also in a word, hilarious.

Last week we had zombies and exorcism on stage and this week we were given ninjas. Twin brothers Nick and James introduced themselves as the Ninja Twins (combine there names and you get ninja). Before the brothers had even begun dancing they had gained the audience’s love and had the judges rolling on the ground with their flamboyant attitudes. They then went on to deliver a truly entertaining performance set to Michael Jackson‘s Man in the Mirror where they showed off that they could actually dance. I only wish that the brothers had not been over the age limit so that we could see more of them in Vegas.

The Los Angeles auditions introduced several contestants that have a strong chance into making it into the top twenty. Out of all them, Eliana Girard appeared to make the strongest impact and is no doubt going to become a season favorite. Before the episode had even aired her video had been leaked and news about Ferguson’s comparison of Girard to past winner Melanie Moore had already been generating buzz.

Personally, I felt a bit underwhelmed by Girard, but then again, I felt the same about Melanie last year and I grew to love her through her performances in the top twenty and her quirky personality.

Another strong performance was David Matz whose stunning use of his circus cyr wheel (a large metal wheel) was very impressive. While I do agree that his act was far more of a circus act that actual dancing, I really wish that he had gone through choreography for a chance to go onto Vegas.

Caleb Car shared Matz’s story in delivering an amazing performance while failing to make it through choreography (though at least he didn’t quit half way). I truly think that this “weird mashup of a person” (Ferguson’s description) with his mustache and love for surfing should have gone straight to Vegas. His smooth and emotionally powerful performance is one that I want to watch over and over again.

It is common for reality shows to be criticized for their delivery of contestants back-stories, but this week’s So You Think You Can Dance? managed to give us two contestants whose stories were not only inspiring, but complimented their performance. Sam Lenarze, whose mother kicked her out of the home, delivered a beautiful performance that really stuck with me. While I do admit her interview was a little too bland, her break down on stage was genuine and gained the audience’s love. I hope that we get to see more of her because I definitely think that she is top twenty material.

The second story that I didn’t want to pick up the remote and fast forward was that of Marshea Kidd. Six months prior to the audition he had been in a car accident in which he had been pronounced dead. I can clearly see why the producers saved his video as the last to show as it was stunning to see him perform. His routine was one of the most entertaining and heartfelt of the night and left the judges speechless.

We’ll have to wait another week until the next episode but until then, I guess we’ll have to entertain ourselves with watching YouTube clips of this week’s amazing dances.