I presume that the above comment is why we’re listening to Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation, which was the theme song for the TV show Las Vegas. As opposed to any other Elvis song, since we’re in Memphis. My favorite improver ever (sorry everyone I’ve worked with), Wayne Brady is the guest judge.

So the first guy up is a member of Cyrus’ crew, Dragon House, but evidently not one of the other two who auditioned with him last year. Except I think I recognize the hair from the flashback tape. His street name is Blueprint. And he’s good! Vegas, right? No, they’ll probably send him to choreo. Or maybe not, since he just caused Mary to drop the F bomb. Yep.

Now we’ve got a tapper whose name I didn’t catch but who wants to be the fastest tapper ever. This should be good, but I suspect they’ll send him to choreo. His theme is Flight of the Bumblebee aka the theme from The Lone Ranger. And he’s tapping to classical music, and he is freaking awesome! Wayne has to go up on stage and hug him. Uh-oh, Mary’s judgement doesn’t sound good. Ah, good; choreo.

Tonight’s perseverance-through-tragedy story is Tucker Marks. I wish they’d do without the re-enactments. Watching him now after hearing he’d broken his spine in two places makes me realize what an incredible recovery he’s made. Nigel, as usual, has to ask the weirdo questions, but in this case, it’s to lead up to tell him to come up and get his ticket to Vegas.

Montage of contemporary dancers who go to Vegas.

And judging from what’s coming up, I’m hoping it’s a montage of horror shows. Because now that they’re only on one night a week, they’ve managed to cut back on making us suffer through them. Speaking of Fox shows cutting back, maybe American Idol should try the whole “eliminate them on the same night” trick.

Next up is Dance Dad and Daughter. If Cat said her name, I didn’t catch it. Judging from what’s going on right now and what’s going to happen, I’m guessing they tell her she’s not good enough. Ah, the chyron tells me her name is Courtney Thurston. And I think she’s pretty good. That Russian split in mid-air was rather high. Evidently the judges all think she’s good, too. Aha, here’s the twist — Dad married her dance teacher!  Geez, these “lucky pigs” must be a theme from the school. Yeah, he’s not really dancing, just running back and forth and getting the crowd worked up. Oh, an extremely tiny bit of animation. And she’s through to Vegas.

Time for the horror show montage. Correction, deluded horror show montage.

Now it’s time for someone whose name I won’t be able to spell correctly without the chyron. OMG, Nigel knows the dance. Why am I not really surprised? Ah, Shanshan Qiao. She’s quite good. And the outfit she’s wearing is very reminiscent of the “proper” clothing belly dancers are supposed to wear. In fact, I think I have patterns for all of it. I wonder if they’ll send her to choreo? They will, but the crowd is ready to boo the Brit before he finishes, per uzh.

For the upcomings, it looks like either Shanshan or the tapper will be leaving, but since it looked like Mary told the heavy Latin dancer in the blue she couldn’t scream for that instead of who she actually said it to, I don’t believe it until I see it happen. (It’s called Frankenediting, evidently, and is especially prevalent on the type of reality show that has excessive talking heads).

Next up is contemporary dancer Nico. Whose mother has caught Nigel’s attention.  Nico’s only 18, according to the chyron, which is too bad, since he’s rather cute as well as being quite good. I predict Vegas, and lechery from Mary. Or at least on the hot tamale train. And Vegas it is. (Since that’s where the train goes).

Final competitor before choreo is Elyse, a trapeze instructor on the Santa Monica Pier. I hope she’s good, she sounds interesting. Her start shows she’s extremely flexible. Great body control, too. I’m calling Vegas. Yes, excellent!

Ah, the tapper’s name is Curtis. I’m not sure he’s going to make it. The camera spends more time on him, however, so I have no idea how Shanshan’s doing in comparison. What little I see seems fine, but fine isn’t going to cut it this season. And Nigel manages to psych us both out, but she gets through. And so does Curtis. So that’s good. And six more who didn’t get camera time will be through, too.

Interesting, I guess they’re still in Memphis next week. Oh, no, fooled again. Two hours, you silly wabbit!

First interview with Cat is Jenna Johnson, who’ll be doing cha cha. And yes, she’s wearing fringe. Tassels have knots at the top. The “spark” between her and her partner seems more brotherly than romantic. And I’m right. Oh, she’s good! No wonder she has four titles. Top 20. Calling it now. The judges called someone on an earlier show, and they probably know better than I do, but damn! The judges don’t even bother to comment, they just hold tickets up.

OK, I give up. I can’t catch the names, and I’m just going to have to put them up when the chyron comes up, if it does. The next guy shows us he can mix technique into his hip hop, and knows Nigel prefers male dancers to be masculine, so I’m hoping for a good hip hop dancer who goes straight through to Vegas. Novien Yarber. Ah, contemporary, not hip hop. Almost an African Jazz quality to it. I’m thinking Vegas. Oh, he loses it at the end, but the rest was fantastic. Which is what I’m typing even as Nigel says it. Wayne encourages Mary to scream. He then tells Novien he looks like he’d kick somebody’s ass while he was dancing. Nigel gives him a ticket.

Next will be a pair of salsa dancers. He looks older, and yes, she’s the only one with a number. Isabel. OMG those turns. Assisted handstand. Whoa! Loving the lifts. Vegas! Hmm, sounds like Mary wants her to go to choreo. And so does Nigel. And then the montage set us up for losers.

Well, maybe not; the tape shows us Caleb’s pretty good at hip hop. But he’s doing contemporary. He’s still good, though, and he makes it a comical one, which shows the personality the judges are looking for. Vegas, he listed his experience. Yes, amazing is a good word. His dad is pretending to threaten Nigel. Which means they’re going to call him up to dance. Ah, a father-son hip hop dance off. Hey, dad’s not bad. Not as good as the father who owned a dance studio, but good. And Caleb kills it some more. The judges wave tickets at him.

OK, the “Wayne channels Li’l C” is going to be good.

Montage of excellent male dancers.

Next up is a Larry Booze. The looking at the city bit throws Nigel, as he incorporates it into his dance, which is beyond belief. What he can do with his feet! Vegas? Or choreo? Choreo. Hope his “crazy feet” get him through.

Hmm, dramatic previews, judging from the off-screen producer’s reaction. Back from the break, Cat tells us this girl’s name is Jasmine. Ah, she and Cyrus used to be a thing. She claims she taught him how she dances (contemporary), but he couldn’t teach her animation. Sounds like after he became someone, he dumped her. Ah, no, it was the pressure of the show, and what’s worse is he was her best friend as well as boyfriend. Yes, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a relationship when you’ve got that much stress going on. She is a beautiful dancer; I hope she makes it on. Yep, Vegas.

Coming up, one of the dancer’s dads is an Elvis impersonator. Of course. Or maybe not, because we get a montage of out-of-towners set to Elvis’ Burning Love. Which leads us to Paige, and her father. She claims it was the only town he’d let her audition in. She runs the list of training for them, and when they ask about her parents, of course they have to get Dad up there to sing. He gives a couple of lines a capella, and isn’t too bad. Nigel makes a bad attempt at his own Elvis impersonation, and then Paige takes the floor. With the training she rattled off, they won’t be sending her to choreo. But they will be sending her to Vegas. And I’m wrong. They’re sending her to choreo, with a note to connect with the audience. I remember last year it took forever for one girl to get that.

We watch the choreo practicing, and Larry Booze just isn’t getting it. Rather than let his partner down, he decides to withdraw so she can hopefully get a faster learner to dance with. Isabel’s in the first group, and she seems to be missing some steps. She’s done. So is Paige. But seven others make it through, and maybe we’ll find out who some of them are next week.

Two hundred dancers will be descending on Vegas next week. Some are fabulous, some are horrible, some are told to lose the attitude. I can’t wait. See you then.

Nina Lisa

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