For the final stop on the Season 9 audition tour of So You Think You Can Dance, judges Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe, and Adam Shankman visited Salt Lake City, Utah.
The contestants packed a lot of punch and pirouettes, but did they have what it takes to be named America's Favorite Dancers? Here are the contestants who'll have a shot to prove their worth next week in Vegas:
-Eighteen-year-old Witney Carson from American Fork, Utah sizzled with a super sexy cha cha Tango. Nigel complimented her feet, back, and "smoking hot face," while Adam said this is what the show is all about. "It doesn't get any better than that," ballroom expert Mary Murphy chimed in as Witney claimed the first ticket of the night.
-Millbury, Mass. native Deanna "Dee" Tomasetta has something special — and we're not just talking about her Jersey Shore-style family. All three judges were captivated by the 19-year-old's contemporary routine, complimenting her technique and natural stage presence. Nigel, aka the "voice of reason," interjected to award her a ticket to Las Vegas.
-Gene Lonardo's "praying mantis" routine was so wacky and weird, the judges were forced to send him straight home — to Las Vegas, that is! Shockingly, the 22-year-old Nevada native was intriguing, entertaining, and had fabulous technique. Don't you just love glitter-covered surprises?
-Blonde beauty Lindsay Arnold had judge Adam Shankman from the moment she entered the stage. The 18-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Provo, Utah wowed with a technically perfect routine. But as Nigel pointed out, she's not just a technician — she has the performance quality to back it up. Mary even compared her to Rock of Ages star Julianne Hough. Needless to say, it was smooth sailing to Vegas.
-Itty bitty Phoenix native Mariah Spears shocked the judges when she stepped out with a hard-hitting krumping routine. Adam called her the best female krumper in the history of the show, and Mary and Nigel were taken by surprised. After sending her to the choreography round, the judges awarded her a ticket to Vegas. Will she be the first female krumper to win the show?
-Life hasn't always been easy for 19-year-old Dareian Kujawa. Once homeless, the Boulder City, Nevada native pulled himself up by the bootstraps and poured all of his energy into dance. Although Nigel critiqued his feet, Mary and Adam couldn't stop gushing about his passion and connection to the music. Dareian's stunning performance earned him a ticket to his new home — the Entertainment Capital of the World!
-Los Angeles native Adrian Lee, 22, returned to audition for a second time after being cut before the live shows back in Season 7. While none of the judges cared much for his choreography, they loved his passion, technique, and newfound confidence. Adrian called his mom immediately afterwards to share the good news. But will he make it all the way this time?
"Burlesque jazz" dancer Rachel Applehans, 20, got through by the skin of her teeth after a provocative audition and somewhat sloppy choreography round. Nonetheless, the judges sent the Denver, Colorado native through to Vegas, where she'll really have to up her technical game if she wants a place in the live shows.
Unfortunately, the choreography round was the end of the road for doggie daycare worker Leroy Martinez and dance partners Whitney and Johnny.
Who was your favorite contestant of the night? Do you have any early predictions before we head to Vegas next week? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Lindsay Dreyer is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @LindsayNYC.