If you audition for anything, there is a chance that you might not get the part. Although rejection is always a major part of reality TV, I was still surprised that during the So You Think You Can Dance Chicago auditions, judges Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul, and Jason Derulo did not give Ainslee a ticket to the Academy. They seemed to be loving the 8-year-old dancer during the June 6 episode of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation, which is why I was so shocked when they passed on this little ball of fire. While she certainly has room to improve (she's only 8!), Ainslee shouldn't be too upset by the judges passing on her this time around since she has got the goods to dance for many years to come.
As this is the first time that So You Think You Can Dance has focused on young contestants from ages 8 to 13, I've been curious how they would handle dancers the judges didn't deem ready to go to the next level of the competition. In the premiere episode of The Next Generation, dancers were shown not being sent to the Academy, but none of them were featured in interviews before their audition. That was not the case for Ainslee, who became the first Next Generation contestant to have her entire audition highlighted before being sent home by the judges.
Paula stated she loved the cheeky Ainslee while she performed a jazz routine for the judges, her mom, and her "stage mom," but Ainslee's sassy energy wasn't enough for the judges. All three passed on the tiny dancer (my apologies — I felt required to make that joke) with Nigel saying she wasn't ready to move on in the show just yet. Rejection is tough on everyone, including children, but Ainslee handled it really well for being so young. The judges even managed to politely deny Ainslee without crushing her dreams — something they haven't always done for the adult dancers who audition.
Ainslee is clearly a star in the making — just consider how much the show highlighted her audition when she didn't even get past the first round! — so there's no need to worry about her. This girl will be bringing smiles to the faces of everyone who watches her perform, even if her performances don't take place on So You Think You Can Dance.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX