The "So You Think You Can Dance" auditions make their way to the west coast, where Jesse Tyler Ferguson joins regular judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.
After just missing the top 20 last season, Alexa Anderson is back for another shot. Nigel doesn't even want to say anything about the performance, and opts instead to simply hand Alexa her ticket to Vegas.
Jontell "Johnny Waacks" Gibson is looking to bring whacking to the show, and Nigel is embarrassed when he asks the 20-year-old, "How long have you been whacking?" Things get even more interesting when Jontell explains that he learned the form by practice by himself. Nigel is impressed by Jontell's musicality. He's on to choreography.
Eliana Girard says she's auditioning as a contemporary dancer, but she does a lot more. She went to Joffrey in New York and performed on an aerial pole in the Cirque du Soleil production of "Elvis." Nigel and Mary are stunned just watching the performance. She gets a standing ovation and it's pretty clear she'll be moving on. Nigel praises her "performance in the face and from the heart." He says "it was beautiful to watch and it didn't feel fake." He calls her one of the best girls this year. Mary says she was "like an instrument just playing that song with your body" and says Eliana is "definitely top 20 material." Jesse says she reminds him of Melanie. She's going to Vegas.
A trio of dancers whose names we don't see are packaged in a montage and they're all headed to Vegas.
Next is a montage of dynamic duos, and it leads us to Nick and James, "the ninja twins," who do everything together, including sharing the same room. They put on a very long shtick in the intro package and before their performance before auditioning together. They do their act to "Man in the Mirror" and the crowd loves it. But Nigel breaks the news that they are over the show's age limit. Still, he says he loved watching them and they've provided a bright spot on the show.
Cat talks to Sam Lenarz, 18, who cries after saying that her audition routine is about how "everything's going to be better in the end." She then shares the story of her mom kicking her out of the house. She's been living with her best friend. The crowd loves the performance, but Nigel says he needs more heart and passion from her. She needs to resist just showing off specific moves and bring them together more artistically. Mary says something's holding her back, and she asks Sam if she gets support from her family. The judges put her through to choreography.
Caley Carr, a 25-year-old surfer dude from Huntington Beach, says he's on the show to break out as a tap dancer. Jesse says he's a total cliche, the classic mustachioed surfer, tap dancer combination. He gets through to choreography.
Megan Branch, 18, talks about how grateful she is for her mother's support before impressing the judges with her contemporary routine. Mary loves the energy and Jesse talks about how beautiful Megan. She goes straight through to Vegas.
Cole Horibe puts together an impressive display of martial arts-style dance. It's intense and dramatic, and the judges love it. Nigel admires the body control Cole demonstrates and says he hasn't seen anything like it. He says he's also done a whole bunch of other styles of dance.
David Matz is looking to get some respect for circus performers and he does his audition with a wheel. Nigel wants to see what more can be expected from David in choreography.
Stephen Jacobsen says he's going to do ballet, but "not classical." Nigel and Mary agree it's terrible, but Nigel stops it short and tells Stephen he "should be shot" for choreographing so badly. Mary decides to give Stephen a chance to show some real ballet, and Nigel stops this performance short again -- but this time it's so he can give Stephen a ticket to Vegas.
More dancers who have auditioned in previous seasons are back for another shot, including one girl who's made it to Vegas five times. She's off to the desert again.
Jonathan Anzalone auditioned in Season 4, but admits he was a little cocky back then. He's now kind of embarrassed about it and says he's ready to show "the real me" and a "new person." He does some impressive and at times comical B-boying. it gets weird when Jonathan is asked to show some more moves and Nigel asks if any ladies in the crowd want to dance with Jonathan. The dancing gets a little wild and Jesse grabs a Vegas ticket and stuffs it into Jonathan's waistline. That wasn't the real deal, though, and Jonathan is asked to return for choreography.
For three seasons, Jasmine Mason has watched her brother Marshea audition for the show, but this all changed six weeks before the audition. He was driving and swerved to avoid hitting a car that jumped in front of them. The crash was serious and Marshea ended up in a coma for two days and had neck injuries. Jasmine puts on an impressive jazz performance and the judges hand her a ticket.
Remarkably, six weeks after his accident, Marshea takes the stage. Mary calls a stop to the performance and simply holds up a ticket to Vegas.
In choreography, circus dancer David drops out. Jonathan, Caley and Johnny Waacks are out, as well, but Sam Lenarz is through to Vegas.