So You Think You Can Dance season 9 got down to business on July 11 with its first live show. The ten newly minted couples danced for viewer votes and the SYTYCD judges’ praise, and almost all of them got plenty of the latter. But hopefuls Audrey Case and Matt Kazmierczak drew the best reaction of the evening thanks to a Travis Wall routine that one panelist called “breathtaking”.
Audrey and Matt’s nine-second interviews opened their segment and revealed a few of the funnier details of their lives. Audrey, 18, professed a love of “Twilight” star Taylor Lautner, while Matt, 21, said he liked hiking and cats, but not sharks.
During rehearsals, show alum turned awesome choreographer Travis explained that the contemporary routine he’d prepared for them was set in the 1900s and represented his take on romance aboard the Titanic. With the basic skills already in play –Audrey specializes in jazz while Matt is a contemporary dancer — the two worked to perfect the emotion needed to master the piece.
At showtime, the two worked a chaise lounge placed center stage beautifully, rising and falling and lifting and releasing to the sounds of The Righteous Brothers’ classic “Unchained Melody”. The overall effect was provocative, emotionally evocative, and bordering on get-a-roomworthy.
For their performance –which was second-to-last in order– they earned the night’s first standing ovation from the judges. Guest Kenny Ortega called it “exquisitely choreographed” and “gorgeously danced”. Nigel Lythgoe called it his favorite dance of the evening because of the interplay between the choreography, the music and the performance. He called their technique “superb”. Mary Murphy thought it was “absolutely breathtaking” and praised Matt’s “emotional vulnerability” before gushing over Audrey’s skills.
Will America agree and keep Audrey Case and Matt Kazmiercak out of the bottom three guys and girls? Watch next week’s episode of SYTYCD on July 18 to find out.