‘So You Think You Can Dance’ review: ‘Exorcist’ Hampton Williams returns

So You Think You Can DanceFor Tuesday night’s “So You Think You Can Dance” episode, we had almost exactly what we would have wanted: Two hours of phenomenal dancing. Were there some bumps in the road in Los Angeles and Austin? Sure, since we had to endure a desperate woman in a chicken costume. However, we loved that the focus was almost on all good dancing, including a returning favorite and a small child.

If you did not get emotional at least once during this episode, we question your soul … whether it was the stories, or the powerful routines themselves. Granted, you may have also rolled your eyes at Mary Murphy, who we still find grating much for the same reasons that others find her endearing.

Los Angeles

Straight to Vegas

Alex Kessinger – You knew that this was going to be one of those people that the judges love: Comes out all innocent, and then starts dancing to a song about the devil. She received virtually no critique at all, but we’re betting that she is still someone that sticks around until at least near the end of the audition rounds.

Sebastian Serra – He’s a ballet dancer, but with the almost-tribal music he performed to, it almost didn’t feel like ballet at all. This is the way to revitalize this field for modern audiences, and prove that ballet can be slick, cool, and exciting.

Mariia and Misha – You knew these two were going to be good from the moment that they came out on stage. There really is no better place for young ballroom dancers to shine than on this show, especially since this is almost now a farm for “Dancing with the Stars” professionals. (Just as Lindsay Arnold, Chelsie Hightower, or Lacey Schwimmer.)

Makenzie Dustman – Sometimes, the whole “I want to be a star” thing is a tad annoying, mostly because you see a number of people who have big ambitions, but fail to really put in the work that they need to.

Advanced through choreography

Emilio “Millie” Dosal – Silly nickname, but pretty serious dancer. The only challenge for him was that there are a few good dancers of his style this year, and it could be a time for something like this after contemporary and ballet has dominated as of late. He still has to prove himself.

Eliminated through choreography

Nicholas “Slick” Stewart – This guy reminds us a ton of Turf from “America’s Got Talent” when it comes to his style, his moves, and even his look. This is a crazy style: It’s dance, but so much of it is based on doing disgusting, crazy things with your joints. We can’t imagine that someone is able to do this sort of thing deep into their forties. We knew that somebody like this would not go straight through to Las Vegas, mostly because they’re not going to be doing any of this on the live shows.


Straight to Vegas

Hayley Erbert – What was interesting is that she had this whole montage about how she was going to come out and be some sort of “sexy” dancer for whatever reason, but we really didn’t get that so much as someone who was just a strong contemporary dancer. There are some issues here to be worked on, but the fundamentals are really there.

Donovan Gibbs – It’s not often that you see a dancer from El Paso, especially one with this sort of crazy talent and ambition. It felt at times like hip-hop, but there was also a few contemporary moves early on. This is the sort of guy that is going to be able to do everything in this competition, and that makes him a serious threat.

Dannon O’Brien – Definitely the strangest person in the group to advance, almost like the dancing version of Papa Peachez from “American Idol.” It was super-cool still, and given that we only saw this one routine, it’s still a toss-up as to whether or not Dannon ends up advancing to the live shows.

Nick Muckleroy – Don’t care for the guys dark blue shorts, but he can Dance with that capital D. This is one of those potential finalists who does not have a huge story that will get airtime early on, but his dancing seriously speaks for itself. What’s it saying? “I am incredible.”

Hampton Williams – When we first saw Hampton last year, we were literally moved to tears … and this time around, it was a family affair. We were genuinely surprised by how good his little girl was with some of the moves. Simply outstanding, even better than the kid from earlier this episode.

As for Hampton, we were worried that the producers just got him to come on for a big moment, only to give him no real shot at moving forward. Luckily, Nigel Lythgoe sent both he and his girlfriend to Vegas … we’re pretty sure that the other ticket was just symbolic for the daughter. Hopefully, he’s had a chance to pick up some other moves.

Advanced through choreography

Daniela Bustillos – We don’t know how else we can say this, but this entire gun-related dramatization was awful and there was no need for it. It’s a powerful story of survival, but seeing a visual representation was a little too disarming for this show. Now, the dance: She’s a lovely performer who is raw, but she can move forward and work hard?

Shane Garcia – This is going to sound awful (you’ve been warned), but after Tim Poe faked his stutter on “America’s Got Talent” and Lazaro Arbos came across as whiny on “American Idol,,” it’s put a cynical taste in our mouth about people with this ailment. Shane changed that. He was positive, funny, and genuinely put the work into his craft. One of the better breakers we’ve seen, and we’re glad to see him make it through choreography.

Who was your favorite from this audition show, and how stoked were you to see Hampton back? If you want to check out some more highlights from this season, just hit up the link here!

Photo: Fox

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