It's always nice to have the gang together, and tonight's Vegas Week episode provided the perfect opportunity for that. Mary and Uncle Nigel were joined by Lil'C, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, and TyceKeith Diorio at the judges' table and everything just felt right. TyceKeith was back to barking out insults and compliments alike, Adam was crying, Debbie was referring to people as "child," and the new, demure version of Lil'C that doesn't speak very much -- using made up words or real words -- was also there.
There's a certain excitement to the Vegas episode in that the city to city auditions are finally over, the pool of dancers is being narrowed down to the most talented few, and we're right on the cusp of the juiciest part of the season. But this episode also tends to be something of a non-event in that we see frustratingly little dancing, and certainly very few routines from start to finish. I'm not sure exactly where the two hours went, but somehow it covered eight rounds of dancing over four days and compressed it all into a meaty little package for us viewers.
Here are some of highlights from tonight -- and a few details about the fate of some of our new season 9 friends.
We started out with a round of solos, and Hampton "The Exorcist" Williams was up first. Was there any question that Adam would do his hand-biting cry thing? TyceKeith was so blown away he did this face/gesture that seemed to say seriously I can't take it, make him stop. Next Janelle Issis performed a solo that was even more captivating than her first one, and it wasn't just because of those majestic golden wings. She just oozes with personality when she dances, and, as the judges had mentioned at the top of the episode, personality was the main thing they were looking for in this callback.
Ultimately, about 1/4 of the dancers were cut based on their solos alone. The remaining contestants moved on to the next round: a hip hop routine with Twitch and Comfort. No surprise that some of the untrained dancers struggled with the choreography. The Exorcist took to the stage to apologize to the judges for not being able to keep up, and the judges responded by showering him with kind words and applause. It was classy. The guys of the Dragon House crew were out of their element, too, and Andre Rucker took off without a word. Boris Penton gave the choreography a go but didn't pass muster with the judges and was cut. The other member of the trio, Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer, fared better than his buds and got the green light to move to the next round.
By day's end we'd said goodbye to the praying mantis Gene Lonardo, Mother of Two Bree Hafen, and the somewhat charming yet somewhat disturbing Selena Gomez lover Tim Conkel.
NEXT: Broadway Babies