Thiago Pacheco’s chilling audition opened the show this week, and we’ve never seen such a combination of incredible contemporary and breaking moves. That’s right, if you thought this last round of auditions was going to be chill, you thought wrong.
Essence Wilmington is a dance teacher and hip hop dancer who definitely came to SYTYCD to teach us what amazing hip hop looks like. “You have no problem controlling a crowd!” tWitch told her before asking her to freestyle (which she also rocked by the way). We will see this dancer in the next round, and we can’t imagine it without her.
Camila Schwarz was part of the next generation in Season 13, and now she’s back in neon fringe to show off everything she has learned since. JoJo challenged tWitch to do Camilas expert ballroom strut, but we think we’ll leave it to Camila. She received some technical feedback from the judges, but she’s definitely going to be strong competition in the next round.
Armando “Decoy” Muñoz came to audition with a hip hop routine, but this isn’t the edgy hip hop we often see. Decoy brought a lot of funky to his performance that made his isolations and popping absolutely magical. “I felt like I was at a Vegas show,” JoJo told Decoy, and Matthew called his dancing “rad.” Three yeses, and he is off to the next round. We can’t wait to see his moves in the choreography round.
Ralyn Johnson is a track star and a dancer. The first thing the judges noticed about this contemporary dancer was her strength. JoJo wanted to see even more strength and power from her, but tWitch thought it was the control she exhibited that showed how powerful she really is. Yes, yes, yes to choreography.
Among the quick clips of performance we saw, contemporary dancers Virginia Crouse, Mia Mellican, and Flora Dickens all received yeses and moved on to the choreography round.
Malia Baker loves comedy as much as she loves dance. After an ugly face-off with Cat, Malia auditioned in “jazz with a strong dose of character.” All of the judges were left smiling when Malia danced, but despite the audience’s playful booing they gave her three nos and sent her home with a lot of encouragement to take her fantastic jazz skills to the screen.
The final audition of Season 17 brought Waverly Fredericks to the stage. Growing up with a mom who has danced from some of hip hop’s biggest icons, it’s no surprise Waverly is so dedicated to dance. “He’s about to go off,” tWitch said before Waverly began his contemporary performance, and he wasn’t wrong. “Do you know how talented you are?” JoJo asked him. The judges were impressed by his grace and the amount of emotion in his routine. The final audition of the season is also the last yes!
After weeks of auditions, 42 dancers are moving on to the choreography round. Over the course of one day, those dancers will have to convince the judges they belong in the Top 12 dancers this season.