SALT LAKE CITY — Ezra and Stephanie Sosa put on an electric performance on Monday night’s “So You Think You Can Dance” audition episode. With an enthusiastic audience and a standing ovation from the judges, the Provo siblings are headed straight to “the Academy” for this summer’s competition for America’s favorite dancer, skipping a round of televised callback auditions.
Ezra and Stephanie Sosa came on stage in style. Stephanie Sosa wore a pair of pink, sparkly fringe pants and a black crop top. Ezra Sosa’s outfit was a little more toned down — simple black pants and white shirt for him — but he matched his sister’s bling with black rhinestones on the waist of his pants.
In a clip before their performance, the Sosas shared a heart-wrenching story. After being cut from the show last year, Stephanie Sosa got a call while still in L.A. Her mom had a stroke and was in the hospital. Nobody was sure if she would make it.
The whole family choked up as they shared the story. While in the hospital, their mom told the Sosa siblings, “Keep on dancing, keep on doing what you love.” Stephanie Sosa told the judges that this year, she’s dancing for her mom, who has recovered and was in the audience.
The Sosas’ audition routine was to Tina and Ike Turner's version of John Fogerty's “Proud Mary,” starting slow. However, as the music sped up, Ezra Sosa leapt over Stephanie Sosa’s head in a perfect straddle, causing the audience to go wild. The two gave a fantastic performance that was an extraordinary show of energy, athleticism and stage presence.
When they finished, Ezra and Stephanie Sosa shared an emotional hug and waved to the audience, where their mom, dad and older brother were watching. The judges gave them a standing ovation.
Nigel Lythgoe, creator of the show and a famously hard-to-please judge, was first to comment. Visibly impressed, he told Stephanie Sosa, “Always dance for your mum."
And to her brother, Ezra Sosa, he had high praise.
“Your legs are fantastic. … They really are some of the sharpest movements I’ve ever seen,” he told the Utah native.
Laurieann Gibson, a guest judge this season who has choreographed for Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, called the pair's performance “absolutely spectacular.”
“I loved everything from beginning to end,” he said. Acknowledging Stephanie Sosa’s previous run on the show, he said, “Thank you so much for coming back.”
Mary Murphy has been a staple on “So You Think You Can Dance” since the beginning. Her loud voice and enthusiastic personality make her one of the most fun judges, and her expertise in ballroom gives her praise of Ezra and Stephanie Sosa’s routine extra importance. Using her signature phrase and volume (Sandoval, who was next to her, plugged his ears), she told the Sosas, “You’re on that hot tamale train!”
Emotional and elated, Stephanie and Ezra Sosa collected their tickets to the next round from the judges’ table. As the ballroom judge, Murphy was especially invested in Stephanie Sosa last season, and the two hugged as the Sosas left the stage.
The rest of the Sosa family was waiting for Stephanie and Ezra when they got offstage, and everyone was emotional as they basked in the siblings’ success. Sandoval met them offstage as well and complimented the talent that clearly runs in the Sosa family.
“I think they’re going to go really far in the competition,” Sandoval said.
"So You Think You Can Dance" airs on Fox on Mondays at 8 p.m. MDT