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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • 'So You Think You Can Dance' introduces 'hick-hop' auteur Malinda Jacobson

    Wednesday’s auditions episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” was worth the price of admission if only to meet one contestant: the creator of “hick-hop,” Malinda Jacobson.

    First of all, Malinda reassured us that we’re not the only ones suffering from a major frizz control problem. Secondly, her hybrid of hip-hop, break dancing, line dancing, and square dancing was truly “unique,” as Nigel put it. While the audition was clearly a spoof, the judges were still kind to Malinda, telling her that her “heart was in the right place.” Maybe we’re cynical, but we still can’t get over how NICE these judges are.

    VIDEO: See the dancers who showed up for the Los Angeles auditions.

    Joining Malinda in the “unique” category was Hella Hung, a man introduced as “legendary” though we’re not sure what for. Hella claimed to have “passion that flows through his veins” … but that passion flowed a little too passionately for host Cat Deeley, who asked him not to kiss her below the neck.

    “Dancing Erkel” Christopher Gilbert came dressed up as Your Grandpa — complete with ugly sweater, huge glasses, and a cane. While the judges admired how he “embraced being a dork to the fullest,” it wasn’t enough for Vegas.

    Another odd character was “freestyle hip-hop” dancer Kellen, who reminded us of that guy you don’t expect to get down at a party, but when he does, everyone gathers around and cheers. Alas, his style was more “drunk in a bar at 3 a.m.” than national TV.

    SLIDESHOW: See the Season 7 All-Stars, then and now.

    Then there were the requisite sexy chicks. Lauren, an 18-year-old former cheerleader, did a virtual stripper dance to “Let’s Get It On” … and scored her ticket to Vegas. We thought it might be a little TOO provocative, but “sexy and seductive” worked for Adam (who seemed oddly interested in the ladies on Wednesday night).Good looks also helped Rachel, the rhythmic gymnast who made it to Vegas even though the judges wanted to see her on ice skates.

    Melinda, the gorgeous 22-year-old tap dancer who “plays the drums with her feet,” gave a truly original performance — but also happens to look like Jennifer Connelly. She got an “absolute yes,” even though Nigel accused her of being “slightly rude to Stevie Wonder.”

    Lastly, there were the inspirational contestants. Small-town boy Kent from Wapakoneta, Ohio (the hometown of Neil Armstrong: who knew?), was a pretty sophisticated dancer for someone who’s never made it past Columbus. His next trip? Vegas.

    But the “So You Think You Can Dance” two-hankie moment of the night belonged to Andrew, who dances for his wheelchair-bound fraternal twin brother with Spina Bifida. In our experience, 18-year-guys are pretty self-absorbed… so the devotion Andrew showed to his twin was more than a little impressive. Despite some “technical” issues and perhaps laying it on a little too thick, he made it to choreography and then to Vegas.

    You also couldn’t help but root for Jarrell, the 25-year-old contestant who is hard of hearing. He wasn’t quite ready for Vegas, but as guest judge Stacey put it, when he couldn’t hear the music, he decided to be the music.

    But you need more than a sad story to make it to Vegas. Taylor, 18, said her “manic” dancing was inspired by the murder of her birth mother. Adam was nearly moved to tears, but Nigel decided the choreography round “wasn’t strong enough.”

    We were kind of surprised they let her go. These judges are so nice, even the hick-hopper had a shot at Vegas.

    —Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman, Amos Content Group
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