Like sands through the fingers of our chosen score, so are the dances of our lives....
Tonight the judges narrowed the field from 33 nervous balls of yarn in the waiting room to 20 deserving Sonya-sanctioned warriors out on the official L.A. stage. And even though I've missed a few audition episodes here and there... I currently love them all! Here they are -- your Top 10 Guys and Top 10 "Gulls" (Cat-speak).
Hip-Hop: Du-Shaunt 'Fik-Shun' Stegall and Mariah Spears
We all knew personality juggernaut Fik-Shun would become a finalist, but Mariah Spears (that name!) was such a welcome surprise. I remember her just missing the cut last season. She's a krumper but the versatility just leaps off of her. I don't know how that's so apparent already, but it is. And I love her facial expressions -- they're a lot, but they're also just enough. The judges actually preferred Mariah to Fik-Shun in this Luther Brown routine, which appropriately (for those of us attempting and failing to switch back and forth between this on DVR and the live NBA finals) featured the two "shooting basketballs" with some very graceful follow-through during a sequence on the floor.
Mariah JUST DOMINATED in this routine, according to Mary, and was KILLING IT, said Mr. Adam Shankman Waterworks. They warned Fik-shun to work on "the stuff where you're not in the middle of a bunch of steps." Mary pointed out that a few times it looked like he was concentrating. I'm not sure he realized right at the moment that this wasn't a compliment. Anyway, a huge yes to Mariah, and Fik-shun can rest assured I'll be using the acronym LOS (lover on stage) for the rest of the week. Now I just need to become a good dancer to make it seem more legit. Or not!
Contemporary: Mackenzie Dustman, Jasmine Harper, Nico Greetham, Tucker Knox
Well helloooooo, Nico and Tucker. Both are fiery on the floor and gentle presences in person -- just how I like 'em. I was gasping throughout their contemporary routine at the wonder of it all. It's so good to see the harsh audition spotlights lowered and the sexy mood lighting sweep over the stage for the Real Stuff of the season. Adam had the most constructive criticism -- Tucker should let himself go, Jasmine needs to find more emotional beats, and Nico should dance a little more "from your back and breathe into it" (just IMAGINING being physically able to take this suggestion and make it happen is like a version of porn for me. Ah, dancers!). He thought Mackenzie killed it. Meanwhile, I liked all four so much that I'm having a hard time naming a winner, so I'm just going to go with "Stacey Tookey's green and silver Art Deco-y earrings."
Aggggghh, these routines are way too short! So many stunning in-sync poses tonight.
NEXT: Three tappers + two animators (to the power of three mannequins)