Returning hopefuls from the great (popper Phillip Chbeeb) to the greatly odd (the Gold Inferno! David ‘Sex’ Soller!) took to the audition floor Thursday to make for an entertaining night of dance on the two-hour premiere of SYTYCD‘s fourth season.
In L.A., 30 contestants received tickets to Las Vegas for the next round. Here are some highlights:
• Laura Garcia, the 25-year-old visually impaired dancer from Tucson, Ariz., drove judge Mia Michaels to tears with her inspiring if ultimately unsuccessful audition.
• Stephen ‘Twitch’ Boss, who missed moving on from Vegas last year in a head to head elimination with Hok, made it back to Vegas by showing more versatility in his routine.
• Phillip Chbeeb, 19, who also got cut in Vegas last year, showed his growth in his audition and elicited praise from Nigel Lythgoe, who called him “absolutely incredible to watch.”
• Leonidas Proskurov and Aliona Vetrenko, a dating ballroom dancing couple, thrilled Mary Murphy with their performance and made it through.
• Robert Muraine, 20, a Santa Monica street performer, wowed the judges with contortionist moves that left them wanting more. (Watch video of his audition.)
And the lowlights:
• Jonathan Anzalone, the preening Italian pro who seemed to do more posing than dancing.
• David ‘Sex’ Soller, who in his third audition was called out by Nigel Lythgoe as only wanting to be seen on TV.
• Rijiy Ames, the Fremont, Calif., boy who stripped down to his undies to audition, vowed to come back by saying, “I’ll try something more clothed next year.”
Tell us: What was your favorite performance of the night? Is the Gold Inferno for real?