So You Think You Can Dance: Something Fierce

Last night, SYTYCD wrapped up preliminary auditions in Los Angeles, thank heavens: if I hear one more contestant use the word "fierce" to describe her (they so far have all been female) decidedly blah audition routine, I am going to push pencils into my ears.

Fortunately, last night also marked the return of Tyce Diorio to the judges' panel. Diorio has a penchant for coming as close as possible to telling it like it is (last week, he compared something a warm cup of vomit). Alongside him were Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.

Made it through:

Mary Murphy said Jordan Casanova's modern/Christina Aguilera music video combo was "one of the hottest perfromances I've ever seeeeeeeeeen!" Tyce's comment: "You naughty, naughty, naughty girl!" The judges manage to, once again, talk about a contestant's "star quality" rather than technique, which was good, but not outstanding.

D.C. Chapman went through to Vegas after teaching Nigel how to Dougie, after talking for a long time about his girlfriend and the baby she's expecting, oh yeah, and dancing, too. The judges all agree D.C.'s hip hop moves are the most unique they've seen since Twitch on season 4.

Arielle Coker finally made it to Vegas callbacks after repeatedly auditioning for several years. Her strong contemporary performance wows the judges, who all agree she's improved. Tyce gives her an energetic "Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?"

You could make all kinds of Mr. Roboto jokes after watching Japan native Hero McRae's, well, robotic performance. Seriously? Not one "domo arigato" out of the judges? Tyce? Anyone? Mary praises Hero's "articulate" control, Nigel says "I don't know what's happening today," and Tyce tops it off with "What? What? What just happened? Where did you come from?"

Alexis Mason, sister of season 5 winner Jeanine Mason, proves to the judges that she is just as strong a dancer as her sister (except for this weird thing she does with her mouth) and heads to Vegas.

Freestyle hip hop tomboy Patty Anne Miller prompts Nigel to say "I love her" about 5 seconds into her routine. Patty (or is it Patty Anne?) shows incredible control and flexibility; she's also got a secret or two. Nigel reveals she has a degree from Berklee College of Music (she's also a talented drummer) and that she got it on a full ride. Shes also, as Tyce says, "friggin' cute."This girl has tricks up her sleeve, and I wouldn't be surprised if she went far in this competition.

Sasha and Natalia Mallory wrap up the day with their modern/African sister act. Before the audition, the sisters remarked that dancing together is like having an extra teacher because they push and challenge each other, and their chemistry is evident in performance. Nigel points out that, though the slimmer Sasha has much more the physique of a dancer, the plus-sized Natalia also shows a lot of heart and technique. They both get tickets to Vegas after the choreography round and we finally have a normal-looking (but still extremely talented) dancer on this show.

Honorable mentions: Hold up. So, you mean an overweight, out-of-shape mall Santa named Big C (to compare with his krumpin' counterpart Lil C) can't actually make it on this show? Oh, if only he had known sooner. Then he wouldn't have ended up on TV. Making a fool out of himself. On TV. Hey, did you guys know he was on TV? Nigel says something about kids blocking up their chimneys, and Mary says "more like setting a fire." Zing!

Next week: The Vegas callbacks begin

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