"So You Think You Can Dance" is back and the first set of auditions are happening in Atlanta. Mary Murphy and Lil C join Nigel Lythgoe on the judges' panel in the Peach State, where we get started with Bianca Hinklerian, who says she dances Colombian salsa. She does some fast dancing with a young partner, Giovanni, and Nigel is impressed. He says they were dancing do fast, "It's like you've got ants in your pants.: Mary thinks it was fantastic and adds it's the fastest salsa she's ever seen. Lil C says that when the tempo is that fast he couldn't tell what was going on. Bianca goes on to choreography.
Melanie Moore stuns the judges with her dancing and pulls the heartstrings with her sad story. But its her moves on stage that really wins everyone over, including Nigel, who says that if she gets to Vegas and it doesn't all work out, he will hunt her down. Mary simply says that in eight seasons, she "can't recall having so much fun." Lil C says that "Zeus himself would invites you to come dance on Olympus." She's on to Vegas.
A couple of hip-hop dancers named Deon Lewsa Jr. and Damon Bellmon are mostly looking forward to hitting on some ladies. The crowd likes them, but for more comedic reasons, it seems. Nigel says there isn't anyone who wouldn't be entertained by their performance. Mary praises them for coming with a plan that included comedy. Lil C likes it, too, saying they brought authenticity. Nigel tells Deon he's going straight through to Vegas. They leave Damon hanging a bit before also giving him a ticket.
That kicks off a string of dancers who move on straight Vegas. Nigel says it's "getting obnoxious" just how many people are making it. In all, 10 dancers in a row made it straight through.
Marko Germar talks about how he was shot in the shoulder during a robbery and still has the bullet inside him. He says dance is his passion and that he wanted to come back from the experience "being a beast." Nigel says it was remarkable. Mary was amazed by his "lightning fast" moves. Lil C calls it a great performance, and they agree to send him to choreography, joining Bianca.
In choreography, Bianca gets a green light, along with several others. Eleven more dancers were on their way, including Marko and his choreography partner (who was not named).
The second day in Atlanta has a lot to live up to -- a historic number of Vegas tickets were handed out on Day 1.
Kimalee Piedad performs with a partner on some modern technique, but he isn't competing. There are a lot of contortions and tricks to it, but the pair seems to leave the judges mesmerized. Mary says it was "absolutely spectacular."
We get a montage of Lil C's wild prose, including the term, "oxymoronical" and telling someone he was "hard to ingest, but even harder to digest."
John Palermo calls himself "White Chocolate," which usually means trouble. John tries his hand -- or feet -- at hip hop and Lil C doesn't look too pleased. Nigel calls it "very juvenile," and Mary asks him if he's ever seen the show. Lil C keeps the prose simple this time, saying, "No. no." John asks for a round of hugs, which he does get.
Kyre Batiste brought his whole family, including his grandma, "Miss Mandy," who says she's a good dancer and a good judge of dancing. Nigel invites her to sit at the judges' table. Grandma tells Kyre he didn't use his eyes in the right way to win over the audience. She says, "You gotta bring it on!" Lil C disagrees with grandma and she takes off the belt to spank Lil C a bit. Mary says she didn't think it was great. Nigel says he was disappointed, but grandma gives a yes vote to choreography, so Kyre gets another shot.
In choreography, Kyre is really the only one we're watching, and he doesn't make it Vegas.
On to San Francisco (actually the Paramount Theater in Oakland), where Toni Redpath and Tyce DiOrio join Nigel. Modern dancer Amber Williams is a little nuts, but she shows off some impressive moves that get the crowd going and had Toni dropping her jaw. Tyce says Amber commands attention and her "body does some fantastic things." Toni is still pumped up and says Amber made her day. Nigel says Amber has "this little bit of magic."
Timothy Joseph, a B-boy, vows to bring some "stuntman, high-flying kind of stuff." He wasn't kidding. His routine is packed with flips and tricks. Nigel says it was "absolutely stunning," but says he doesn't know if Timothy can do choreography. Toni says he has a great sense of character is "interested to see if you can do a Viennese waltz." Tyce says Timothy's full of muscle and strength. Toni says, "it was just tricks and that's not enough for me." Tyce and Nigel agree to send him to choreography.
Isehia Moss says she used to be a stripper, "so that's where my booty popping comes from." She raced to the auditions after seeing a report on the news that they were happening. Nigel doesn't know what to say. Toni says she loves Ieshia, and Tyce agrees that he loves everything about her. She's going home, regardless.
Marcos Prieto wears a bright shirt, but his moves are pretty dim. Paul Keelan appears to suffer convulsions on stage and gets a round of no votes.
Danielle Ihle had her father abandon the family and left them homeless. Danielle's mom "had to do every single thing by herself." Her dramatic performance includes a good number of spins. Toni says she's a "great spinner" but "the dancing was nice." Tyce agrees that her strength is in her pirouettes, but he could get more from her. Nigel says "it's a shame, for me, that it was so angst-ridden," and it left him just wanting to enjoy the movement. Nigel says yes to choreography, but Tyce says no. Toni gives Danielle another chance.
Ashley Rich shows off some incredible strength and flexibility, leaving Tyce asking, "Where did she come from?" Nigel says she was "absolutely beautiful." Toni compares watching Ashley dance to being cozy by the fireplace on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Tyce says he's a fan. Nigel sends her straight to Vegas, and the judges start singing, "You Light Up My Life" as Ashley has given them strength to carry on. And this leads into a string of good dancers, including some good Latin dancers that make Toni's day.
D'on-que Addison gets emotional telling Cat "his story," which he says is in his performance. Nigel cuts the music, but D'on-que stays on his knees on stage for a while, pounding it with his fist and sobbing. Tyce wonders, "Where are we going with this?" Finally, Nigel tells D'on-que that being "that vulnerable" pushes the audience away. The judges say no and D'on-que says he accomplished what he went for, even though Toni says it "was a complete waste of time."
In choreography, Timothy, the B-boy drops out because of a hurt knee. He says he didn't want to make it unfair to the "female" he was partnered with. Danielle makes the most of her second chance and earns a trip to Vegas.
It's Day 2 in San Francisco, and another B-boy starts things off. Jeffrey McCann says he's been B-boying since he was 4 and was on his own at age 15. He wants to do something with his life rather than go back to a life of "hustling." The crowd roars its approval at his precise and technical moves. Tyce is blown away and just says, "Heck yeah, that was awesome!" Nigel says nothing and just sticks a ticket to Vegas on his forehead.
Ryan Ramirez, who had Lil C in her house last season to personally deliver the news that she came up just short of making the finals, questioned whether to come back but decided to go for it. She says she's "found herself more as a dancer." Nigel loves it, calling it a "beautiful performance." Toni says that, "If there's such a thing as controlled abandon, that was it." Tyce says he can tell she's "worked." Her legs are strong. Nigel lets Ryan hang for a while, thinking she's only made it to choreography, before finally handing her a ticket to Vegas.
Another run of dancers make it straight to Vegas.
Levi "I Dummy" Allen introduces us to "turfing," a form of street dancing from Oakland, that wows Tyce and the rest of the judges. Nigel says some of the contortions might give him nightmares. Toni says it's like wathcing a feather floating around on stage, but it lacked some performance. Tyce loves it. Nigel says yes, too, but adds that he's worried the choreography is going to be tough for him.
"I Dummy" joins 23 others in choreography. Nigel calls him "squiggly legs" after the performance and mentions that "I Dummy" just "didn't get it."