“SYTYCD” Auditions: A Contestant Brought Allison Holker to Tears with tWitch’s Memory

March 5, 2024

It’s baaack! After almost two years off the air, our favorite dance show (we love you, too, “DWTS”) made its revamped return to FOX for its 18th season. Host Cat Deeley described the new season as a “refresh,” and it is, considering the beloved dancers and choreographers sitting at the judges table—Allison Holker, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, JoJo Siwa, and Comfort Fedoke who’s stepping in to evaluate the talent at auditions.

From left to right: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Comfort Fedoke, and Allison Holker in the first round of auditions in the season premiere episode of “SYTYCD.” Photo by Tom Griscom/FOX, courtesy 2024 Fox Media LLC.

In case you missed last night’s premiere, here are all the dancers who made it through, along with the touching tribute that even brought us to tears.

Roman Nevinchanyi

Watching 26-year-old Latin ballroom dancer Roman Nevinchanyi’s electrifying audition to “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” seemed like the best way to kick off round one of auditions.

Roman, who left his hometown Kyiv and hasn’t seen his family (who are now safe in Germany) since the war began, was voted to continue in the competition after he proved his partnering skills with Maksim and a female ballroom dancer.

Easton Magliarditi

Next up, 19-year-old Easton Magliarditi, who previously auditioned for the “SYTYCD: The Next Generation,” blew us away with his remarkable control and aerodynamic quality. But we weren’t the only ones astounded. Allison said he was “powerful and graceful,” Maksim thought it was an “incredible” performance, and Comfort said it was “picturesque.” Which meant yeses all around—plus a standing ovation!

Olivia Alboher

A self-confessed “dancefluencer” with 2.2 million followers on TikTok and counting (we can see Maksim still shaking his head), 22-year-old Olivia’s proved that she isn’t just a social media dancer. Allison thought it was “beautiful” how she floated and used the stage. And Comfort was impressed by her split into grand plié and back. Seriously, so were we! No wonder Olivia received a “yes, yes, yes” from the judges.

Oshae “King Wavy” Young

A breaker who was first inspired to dance by the movie You Got Served, Oshae proved his passion for dance was strong enough for him to be willing to risk his health. He has arrhythmia, and even though he had to get a pacemaker put in his heart, that hasn’t stopped him from dancing. The judges felt like he could have brought more heat to the performance and weren’t sure how versatile he’d be taking on other dance styles, but he moved on in the competition with two yeses from Allison and Comfort.

Cat Deeley with Oshae “King Wavy” Young in the season premiere episode of “SYTYCD.” Photo by Nathan Bolster, courtesy 2024 Fox Media LLC.

Dakayla Wilson

After some eliminations and routines that weren’t quite ready for prime time, we met Dakayla Wilson. A trained gymnast who, according to Allison, could literally “step on any set right now” (we couldn’t agree more), Dakayla also hyped up the other judges with her routine. Maksim loved her facial expressions and Comfort called her performance “a breath of fresh air.” It’s clear she has the “it” factor needed to sustain a career in the dance industry—a resounding yes.

Host Cat Deeley with Dakayla Wilson in the season premiere episode of “SYTYCD.” Photo by Nathan Bolster, courtesy 2024 Fox Media LLC.

Jin Lee

So far, the season premiere showcased mostly contemporary and hip-hop performances—some great, others not so great, so we were intrigued when Jin told us what her performance style would be: bone breaking, Chinese folk, and waving. Her performance brought Comfort and Allison to tears, and it came as no surprise that her audition was a “yes” for all the judges.

Post-performance, Jin honored her father, who recently passed, and thanked Allison for carrying on TWitch‘s dance legacy. “Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss was and will forever be an icon and a legend because he was truly the best at what he did,” Holker tearfully said, “but also because he brought out the best in everyone around him.”

Honoring “tWitch” and his enduring legacy in the dance community was the perfect way to end the first episode.