Season 10 kicks off in the City of Angels, complete with street dancing, ballroom champions, and one dislocated knee

By Samantha Highfill
Updated May 15, 2013 at 06:00 AM EDT
Mathieu Young/FOX

So You Think You Can Dance is back for season 10, and it’s full of montages, inspirational stories, one foreign rapper, and more montages. But we should probably get right into things. Cat Deeley waits for no one!

After the hour’s first montage, which involves former contestants reliving the stress of first auditions, Mary and Nigel take the stage with our favorite quirky ginger of a guest judge, Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Cat quickly reminds everyone how things work: Each dancer gets one audition. If the judges don’t like them, they go home. If the judges want to see more of them, they advance to the choreography round. And if the judges love them bunches and bunches, they get a ticket straight through to the next round in none other than Las Vegas. First up, a street performer…

DO-SHAUNT “FIK-SHUN” STEGALL, 18

A young street performer from Las Vegas, Fik-Shun is just looking for the opportunity to go home. And after popping his way through a mind-boggling performance, a ticket to Las Vegas isn’t the only thing he gets. Technically, the judges offer him three tickets to Vegas, along with a well-deserved standing ovation (which the rest of the crowd also jumps in on). We’ll see you back home, Fik-Shun! In the meantime, can you please come up with an easier way to spell your name?

Next stop: Vegas!

Next up, we keep going with the youngins!

MALECE MILLER, 19

With a heartbreaking story, a (very loud) supportive mother, and a face like a doll, Malece takes the stage for a contemporary routine. The judges love everything about her. Mary and Nigel agree that she is a cutie pa-tootie, and agree that though there is work to be done, there is so much “right” in Malece. And Jesse? Well, he just loves looking at her. “Is that weird?” he asks. Maybe just a little.

Next stop: Vegas!

Time for another montage of all the great dancers we don’t get to see. But at least we do get to see what happens next, when the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Armenia (it’s a real thing!) takes the stage.

PAUL KARMIRYAN, 21

The Armenian champ takes on a Latin ballroom routine that is more fun than anything. His feet are faster than his hips, and his hips are pretty darn fast. I love him. The judges love him. Nigel even says that he reminds him of Benji! It’s not surprising that the judges want to see more of this former champ.

Next stop: Vegas!

NEXT: A neck tutu and a slow-motion injury

ELIJAH LAURANT, 20

At first glance, Elijah looks to me like the out-of-this-world, hard-to-watch audition of the night. However, he turns out to be a very talented man who just so happens to wear a tutu around his neck to help his body move in ways human bodies wouldn’t be able to move. How could I have ever second-guessed him, right? I know. I’m ashamed. But in the end, all that matters is that Nigel is picking up what Elijah is putting down, and that is an androgynous performance. Mary won’t forget his audition, and Jesse comments on his ability to make viewers feel something.

Next stop: Vegas!

In our next montage, we get a screaming contest — have you guys missed Mary Murphy? — a Japanese horror movie reference — have you guys missed Nigel Lythgoe? — and a war dance — have you guys missed this show?

TAYLOR WARD, 20

The tomboy from California who played softball her whole life up until just a bit ago, Taylor tells us an emotional story about her grandfather passing recently. Then, just before she goes out on stage, she dislocates her knee rehearsing. And we have to watch it … multiple times … IN SLOW MOTION. Never again, So You Think You Can Dance. Never. Again.

Luckily, Taylor’s knee pops itself back in (she has loose joints; it’s NBD), which we also get to watch multiple times, and she takes the stage in what the judges call a beautiful and effortless performance.

Next stop: Choreography

MORRIS ISBY, 28

No SYTYCD episode is complete without a good b-boy, and Morris claims to be one of the best in LA. It quickly becomes clear that he has the skills to back up that claim, and the judges are impressed with his audition, as is Cyrus, who is in the crowd cheering him on! Did anybody else really want Cyrus to get up onstage and show everyone how it’s done?! Maybe a little something like this?!

Back to Morris, the judges think he’s excellent at what he does and love how exciting he is.

Next stop: Choreography

NEXT: A rapper does ballroom

Insert street-dancing montage here.

ARMEN “ARMEN WAY” AVETISOV, 27

The Russian(?) — what is that accent — rapper gives us a glimpse at some of his music videos, which predictably involve cars and women in bikinis, before taking the stage to perform a little ballroom. Not-so-predictably, he’s actually really good. Those toes could not be more pointed, and those hips do not lie. Simply put, Mary loves him.

Next stop: Vegas!

Time for another SYTYCD staple: Tonight’s inspirational story features three brothers. After the loss of their dad, two brothers started heading down a dark path when the older brother returned (are they actually related?) to help get them back on track. Now, the brothers run The Great Relaters (spelled with 8’s and things to be cool), which teaches the positive influence of hip-hop to kids. And when all three take the stage (though only two are technically auditioning), the brothers look to spread their message to children everywhere.

ERIC AND LORENZO CHAPMAN, 21 & 22

These guys are cool. Not only are their moves a lot better than I expected, but it’s always fun to watch someone who genuinely loves what they’re doing. And the judges agree that they want more. That being said, they’re not quite the right fit for the show, but Nigel pledges that if the “program” can do anything to help, they’re happy to. Is he a man of his word? I guess we’ll see.

Next stop: Back home to inspire children

In the choreography round, Taylor and her dislocated knee make their way to Vegas. But sadly, b-boy Morris Isby won’t be joining her.

At the end of the day, 10 more dancers are through to the Vegas rounds. I will see you all tonight when our favorite golden boy (with equally golden abs) hits the judging panel for the first time! In the meantime, who were your favorites of the premiere?

Samantha on Twitter: @samhighfill

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