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'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Let's hear it for L.A.

June 3, 2011 |  7:26 am

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It was homecoming auditions on this week's "So You Think You Can Dance," and the final roundup before Las Vegas did Angelenos proud. It's not shocking that Los Angeles would have more than its fair share of qualified contestants, but the range of dance styles we saw was pretty impressive. (Except, as the befuddled Nigel reminded us, no ballroom contestants this round). Tyce Diorio joined Mary and Nigel for some of that extra facial movement/snark that the panel needs. 

We began with a hot streak, kicking things off with the hip-swiveling, high-kicking Jorden Casanova. She had enough hair-tossing action to make Nigel need to clarify that he's not a "dirty old man" after securing a seat on that "SYTYCD" plane to Vegas. The next dancer, the young father-to-be Derion "D.C." Chapman had an enormous grab bag of treats -- everything from the Harlem shake to "the wheelchair," which he demonstrated to Nigel. "You grab your hands on the side of the wheelchair, then you skkrrrrrt." I liked his performance, particularly with the unconventional choice of Frank Sinatra to hip-hop moves, but I wonder how well he'll be able to do without the joke-party moves. It seems like D.C. might have more potential as a great slapstick comedian. Nigel and Twitch were clearly blown away, though, so we might be seeing a lot more of Derion in the coming weeks. 

One of the night's best stories was the ever-persistent Arielle Coker, who had apparently auditioned for seasons 4, 5 and 7. Her look was a little bit deranged -- Cirque du Soleil meets Britney Spears' Circus -- but her gymnastics and background story make me suspect that she's got a ticket straight into the top 20. Locker Hero McRae, who came from Japan, was almost irritatingly cute with her Kodachrome hair, but her performance was refreshingly controlled and not the least bit twee. She looked a little bit like she was being operated by a joystick, prompting Tyce to gush, "Everything about you is magnificent!"

Day 2 was a little less promising. We had joke contestant Big C, the Santa Claus krumper, whose goal seemed to terrify children everywhere and show off his, um, "six-pack" to Mary Murphy. "It looks more like a keg," she laughed. Season 5 winner Jeanne Mason had her little sister in tow, but I wasn't as impressed with her as the judges seemed to be. A little bit too much "goldfish mouth," too little range. I'm definitely rooting for Patty Anne Miller, the adorable hip-hop Annie Hall, with her frenetic energy and quirky style.

The final Los Angeles contestants were sisters Sasha and Natalia Mallory, whose cutesy sibling story trumped even the grimace Mary Murphy gave them during the choreography round.

We've got a good batch this season. Next week: Las Vegas! 

-- Margaret Eby

Full Show Tracker coverage of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Photo credit: Jeff Neira / Fox

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