More aspiring dancers from cities in Utah as well as Texas gave it their all in an effort to wow the judges and win that coveted ticket to Las Vegas, as they hopped, skipped (and slipped) across the audition stage in the equally entertaining two-hour second episode in the fourth season of SYTYCD.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 more dancers got their seats on that plane to Sin City, while 40 Lone Star dancers made the cut. Here, the good, the bad and the spastic from last night:
• Gev Manoukian, a 21-year-old break-dancing figure skater from Kazakhstan (the land of Borat) didn’t make the cut in season 2, so this time around fused jazz, ballet and hip-hop, which was more than enough for the judges to put him through the choreography round, where he had no problem mastering the moves to make it through.
• Brett Banford, a 25-year-old martial artist with Down syndrome from Salt Lake City–and a messenger from the Special Olympics–may not have made it through to the next round, but proved his point to the judges and viewers that with disabilities can straight-up represent with his very own karate-inspired dance. • Joshua Allen, the 18-year-old popping sensation from Fort Worth, Texas, not only wowed each of the three judges with his dynamic moves, but further blew their minds with a gravity-defying vertical leap that got him into the choreography round where he successfully danced through to Vegas.
•Kelli Baker, 18, even though she had a small role in High School Musical, this dancer has had big dance shoes to fill as her mother, Bonnie Story, is one of the Emmy award-winning choreographers of the Disney hit–nevertheless, with her beautiful natural talent, the judges all agreed that she is one of the best so far this season.
•Kortney Pearson, 25, and Michelle “Shelly” Stringham, 25, best friends, aerobics instructors, and fellow blondes, both managed to show enough of their tight moves to make it through to the choreography round and eventually off to Vegas.
And the lowlights: •Chad Agnor, 29, a full-contact fight trainer and ballroom instructor, despite a painfully strained hamstring (against the advice of producer Nigel Lythgoe), gave it his Texas best, which sadly wasn’t good enough to make it through.
•Naomi Christensen, a 31-year-old indie film actress from Salt Lake City, angered the judges with her goofy ‘80s-style sock slide, as she received three magnanimous no’s in a row.
• Steven Arner, 19, with his Mickey Mouse hairdo and his “what was that?” chair dance, got into such a heated disagreement with the judges (especially Mary Murphy) that he was asked to leave the auditorium. — Jed Dreben
Tell us: Which contestant from last night’s auditions will go far this season?
Gary Gershoff/WireImage; Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage