The Academy starts on Monday and I’m ready to list the last five of my Top 10 Favorite Auditions. If you missed the first five auditions I highlighted you can catch them here. I realize we’ve got a Top 20 this year but I’m taking a leap and saying these are also my Top 10 predictions. Yes, that could be foolish but I’m willing to take a chance. Once again, in no particular order, and paying no attention to the number of boys and girls (oops), I present five more contestants I believe have a good shot of making the Top 10.
Alexis almost made the live shows last year. She was the runner-up on Team Jenna after losing out to Kiki. This 23-year-old from Riverside, California, received a lot of social media love following her departure last year. Now she’s back, hoping to make it this time around. As I mentioned in part one, I’m already dreaming about an Alexis and Jay Jay partnership in the Top 10. Fingers crossed!
Bridget is dark and twisty in all the best ways. In a season jam-packed with contemporary girls, Bridget sets herself apart by showing us a side to dance we don’t often see. She’s not joyful and beaming but her emotions and movement cut through and grab your attention. Bridget hails from Oregon and is new to the SYTYCD stage, but I think she’s got a good chance of making it to the Top 10 if she can hold her own in other styles.
Kyle Bennett Jr.:
Kyle is back after not getting the final rose from Fikshun last year and I find myself being mad that Fikshun chose Dassy instead. She was great and all but I am now crushed that we were denied a Fikshun/Kyle partnership because they would have been so great together. Kyle’s animation is clean and entertaining and his personality (and smile) shine on stage. He’s magnetic and I think viewers will love him the way we love Fikshun. Twitch was impressed (again) and so am I. The question at the end of the day is how many animators can we have in the Top 10? I’m not ready to choose between Ryan Green and Kyle so you better make room Mr. Lythgoe. Also of note, I haven’t seen any female hip-hop dancers this season. Am I right?
We have a few tappers this year that could break into the Top 10 but I feel like Evan has a leg up on the others because he made it all the way to Gaby’s top two last year, only to lose out to Lex Ishimoto, who eventually won the whole season. Nigel loves tappers and there is a lot to love about Evan. He’s a young, cool tapper with a laid-back vibe who looks like he can slip into other styles with little trouble. I think he’ll make the Top 20, along with fellow tappers Eddie Hoyt and (Honorable Mention) Brianna Penrose, but if we only have room for one in the Top 10 Evan is my guy.
Magda Fialek and Allen Genkin:
Okay, this is kind of a cheat because I realized my Top 10 didn’t have any ballroom dancers. Magda and Allen have both tried out before – Allen in season 12 and Magda last year with Kiki Nyemchek, who went on to place in the top 4 with Jenna. Their third wheel, Marcus Nyemchek, is Kiki’s brother, but I don’t think we need another Nyemchek this season so I’m leaving him out. Both Magda and Allen have that smoldering, sexy style that Nigel can’t get enough of and–who am I kidding?–neither can I. Check out this threesome and see if you agree.
My honorable mentions go to Nicole Clonch, who auditioned with Benji Schwimmer, and Brianna Penrose, a female tapper from Seattle. If you missed them, be sure to check them out. See you all tomorrow for our first look at the Academy contestants and hopefully some of our favorite choreographers and all-stars. Any else notice they’ve been unusually absent?