Quick over-under on how many times the term "Hot-lanta" will be uttered tonight? The "So You Think You Can Dance" auditions head to Atlanta, and host Cat Deeley immediately reminds us that last year's winner Melanie came from Georgia. Will another follow in her footsteps?
Debbie Allen joins Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe on the judges' table. After a quick reminder on the rules, we're off and running.
The first dancer has provided information to the producers touting her ability to fart with her neck, which Nigel asks her to prove and she does. Audrey Case, 18, then shows off some serious contemporary moves that highlight a ton of leg strength and control. The judges and the other dancers all love it. Nigel tells her she's great, but warns her that she's got to be able to do other things. He thinks she can, and she'll get her chance in Vegas.
Three hip-hop dancers, the Dragon House Crew, who live together along with a good handful of other dancers. The first of the bunch to perform is Boris Penton, who wows the judges and the crowd with his intense body control. Nigel calls it "mesmerizing" and says it "was absolutely stunning to watch." Mary says she doesn't even "get" how he can do what he does without any training. Debbie calls it "pure artistry." Nigel asks him if he's gotten enough compliments yet, then hands him a ticket to Vegas.
Joshua Alexander, an 18-year-old singer, guitarist and dance teacher, is barely finished with his routine when all three judges say nothing and hold up tickets to Vegas. Debbie tells Joshua that when he dances, it's like he's "testifying."
Things are going incredibly well in Atlanta, and we get to see three dancers in a montage who talk about having overcome challenges -- a tough neighborhood, Terets syndrome, and losing one's mother at a young age -- and they're all headed to Vegas.
Tim Conkel, a 21-year-old karate instructor, says he started dancing his freshman year in college to get girls. He doesn't just want to be America's favorite dancer, he wants to be America's favorite person. He displays some powerful moves, but Nigel isn't sure "where the dancing was." Debbie wonders if he can transform himself for other challenges. He says he can, and claims to have taken seven days of ballet. Nigel asks him to show what he's learned in a week of ballet to determine whether he'll go on to choreography or straight to Vegas. Tim shows enough, with a wink and a smile, to go to Vegas.
Jackson Alvarez gives a powerful hip-hop routine before he mentions the fact that he leads line dancing at a local club, and Nigel asks a bunch of other dancers to come up and show the wobble. Jackson wobbles his way to choreography.
Janelle Issis, a 23-year-old belly dancer from Alabama, gets Nigel's blood pumping and he cuts it short because "one heart attack's enough in my life." He praises her smile when she dances, and Mary calls her a star. She'll get to show some more moves in choreography.
Danielle Dominguez immediately gets attention for her love of bacon. Sure enough, we see a whole highlight reel in which she eats a whole plate of bacon. Nigel then suggests to Mary and Debbie that they might want to try going on the all-bacon diet, which gets him into some trouble with the ladies. Nigel likes her performance, though he says he understand why people think she's "a weird dancer." Debbie thinks Danielle was "very sexy." Nigel and Mary both start talking about how she'd do great with Sonya Tayeh's choreography, and she gets sent to Vegas.
Back to the Dragon House Crew, we meet Andre Rucker who delivers a robot-inspired routine that send the crowd to its feet. Mary calls him "incredible," and she says every year she sees something so new and unusual and he's now among those. Debbie says it's "beyond magical, it's mystical almost."
The third and final Dragon House Crew member, Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer, says he's going to show the judges what a robot-popper looks like. He delivers an extended performance that has the crowd and the judges on their feet. Nigel calls it "absolutely remarkable." Nigel hands him a ticket to Vegas, meaning all three Dragon House dancers are headed to the desert heat.
In choreography, Jackson and Janelle both get sent to Vegas, along with 13 more dancers who get their tickets punched.
The second day of Atlanta's auditions brings us Courtney Kirby, whose grandmother is with her and is just the sweetest lady you could imagine. Grandma used to be a dancer and instructor, back when it was just ballet and tap, she says, "not all this flipping and everything." Grandma gets a seat next to Nigel so she can get an up-close look at her granddaughter. Grandma's critique is that it was "beautiful" and "couldn't have been better." Debbie ultimately votes to send Courtney to Vegas, but Nigel wants to see her in choreography, leaving the tie breaking vote to Mary. Courtney's going to Vegas.
Asher Walker, a hip-hop dancer from Glade Hill, Va., which "has about zero" hip-hop dancers, as he puts it. He tells Nigel that he'd like to be a backup dancer for Justin Bieber if he can. After an impressive performance, Asher is going to Vegas.
George Lawrence II talks about how his dad wanted him to be an athlete and he was a track star for some time. But his dad was "crushed" when his son gave up track for dancing. He thinks getting a ticket to Vegas would help get his dad on his "side" when it comes to dance. Mary says George's performance was probably the best she's seen in the auditions. Debbie says she's "so happy" to have been a part of George's journey.
Next we get a montage of dancers who head straight to Vegas, including Abigail Ruz, Calvin Turner Jr., and Aubrey Klinger.
Finally, there's a run of bad dancers and even some dancers who can't remember their names and ages when they;re asked to introduce themselves on camera. One of those is Brittany ortner, who is from Oviedo, Fla., which is apparently home to a lot of chickens that roam the streets and are protected by a local law. There's nothing fowl about Brittany's performance, though, and the judges agree she's gotta get out of chicken town. The judges agree to send Brittany to choreography.
Dancers Damon Bellmon and Deon Lewis are back and looking to get more girls' phone numbers. They're trying to play their whole cool-guys thing when Cat calls them out on the fact that they stole their choreography during last season's audition from a duo called Les Twins, who'd posted a video on YouTube. Damon and Dion claim it was "a tribute" and "a big misunderstanding." They go to the tape from last season and there is, in fact, a clip of them noting that their routine was "inspired by" a duo called Les Twins, but the footage wasn't used on the show. They get another chance, and are sent to choreography.
Deon doesn't make it, but Damon makes it. Brittany is headed west, as well, along with 13 more Georgia dancers.