Nathan Bolster/FOX.

So You Think You Can Dance is back!” Cat Deeley announced with open arms and a glittering gold outfit last night. Season 18 is the show’s return after two years off the air and features an all-new format. 100 invited dancers will compete for 10 spots on the show during the audition and choreography rounds. Here’s everything that happened this week from the performances to the dancers that seem slated for stardom.

The Auditions

The audition round opened, bringing fresh contestants to a new panel of judges, Allison Holker, Max Chmerkovskiy, and Comfort Fedoke, each with their own style and expectations for professional dancers.

Like previous seasons of SYTYCD, the judges will watch each contestant perform their audition solo before giving feedback and a “yes” or “no.” At least two yeses are needed to move onto the choreography round to show not only control of their style but the versatility required of an industry dancer.


Nathan Bolster/FOX.

The dancers who get positive feedback from the judges, and more importantly a “yes,” (the show’s golden ticket) are the ones to remember as we move through the auditions and choreography rounds. The premiere introduced six dancers to watch.

Roman Nevinchanyi is the first dancer this season. A Brooklyn-based Ukrainian ballroom dancer with his own style, Roman brought out the hips, kicks, and turns to show the judges is moves. Max wasn’t impressed by a cha cha solo and jumped up to dance with him before running out to grab another contestant, so Roman could really show off. Three yeses for this dancer!

Trying for SYTYCD: Next Generation at 9 years old, Easton Magliarditi found it hard to keep up with the competition. This week, he returned with 10 more years of training to secure his spot on the show. Grace and strength earned this returning contestant three easy yeses.

Olivia Alboher started dance at 2 years old and quickly found her way to Broadway and later social media fame. Finding her on the SYTYCD stage this season is hardly a surprise. Despite her TikTok skills, Olivia did not disappoint the judges. Her dreamy contemporary solo earned her more than one “wow” and three yeses.

Breakin‘ (1984) was the inspiration for Oshae “King Wavy” Young who has turned dance battles and performing into his passion and life’s work even after heart issues that led him to need a pacemaker. His footwork and energy are exactly the hip hop energy that Comfort was looking for. Max was a no for this dancer, but Allison and Comfort sent him forward to choreography to show he could keep up in other styles.

Dakayla Wilson calls dance her “first love” and “first everything.” Originally a gymnast, following in the footsteps of her Olympic mother, Dakayla found dance and didn’t look back. It’s a good thing she didn’t. Comfort called her a “breath of fresh air,” and the judges were excited to see a definite yes in front of them.

The first dancer to combine bone-breaking, Chinese folk, and waving on SYTYCD, Jin Lee brought a slowed-down and chilling performance to the judges that brought Allison to tears. Comfort called her “liquid.” After a heart-to-heart with Allison, Jin got three yeses.

“It’s Going to Be a No From Me.”

It isn’t any dancer’s dream to get a “no” from any of the judges on the show, let alone enough to send them home before the competition has really gotten started. Unfortunately, some dancers, even the good ones must go home. While there weren’t any flops, we did see some Season 18 stories end this week.

Justice Little was the first to bring street and hip hop styles to the floor this season. The judges were concerned about how little space he took up in the room. It was a no for Justice, and the judges shared their worries about TikTok dance trends creating choreography that teaches dancers not to project or really perform.

Maximus Osorio Simonenko left college to pursue a career in dance with hip hop. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm wasn’t matched by a clear style and choreography. Comfort recommended more training and battles, learning to express his passion. It was a no for this dancer, but he was determined to come back.

Kyler Durrence is the kind of contemporary dancer that comes to mind when you think SYTYCD, but Allison wasn’t sure he could bring the emotion to match his moves. She and Comfort sent him home with matching nos. Kenzie Robertson faced a similar dilemma, leaving the show after feedback that she needed to learn to connect.

Next week, SYTYCD will return for more auditions as the judges search for the Top 10 at 9pm ET on FOX.

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.