So You Think You Can Dance: NYC and Denver Auditions
by Michael Pascua, posted May 22nd 2009 12:25AM
"Your metal rod is showing" – Sonya Tayeh
(S05E01) Screams and potential contestants wailing to the cameras start off our show. What did I get myself into? Cat Deeley preps us that we have thousands of dancers, six cities, lots of tears, and one obsessively screaming judge. I guess we don't get an explanation as to what happened to Joshua, other than making it to the opening credits. Whatever did happen to Step Up 3D? Let's hope it doesn't go straight to DVD.
We started the night with New York City's auditions, specifically in Brooklyn. Cat does the Brooklyn Dance while more people dance for the camera. Our judges today are Nigel, Mary, and Tabitha & Napoleon, our favorite lyrical hip-hop choreographers. The dancers still have the same process for auditions: win (straight to Vegas), lose (rejection) or draw (choreography round where the judges will make their decisions).
New York – Day One
Gabi Rojas' family was part of the circus. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. In the long run, she shouldn't dance, but her mother influenced her to keep going. I'm happy that we start the season with a strong lyrical/contemporary girl. She prances around like a mysterious bird in the forest. She gets a standing ovation, positive reviews, and screams from the judges. She's off to Vegas.
Cat gets painted by Storyboard-P and Hobgoblin, the two creators of mutation, similar to the Ringmasters from America's Best Dance Crew, except that these two are zombies. If I didn't see ABDC, I would have thought this performance was creative, but it impresses/scares the judges. Nigel thinks that it's Dawn of the Dead: the Musical. Mary is unsure that they can pick up choreography. The judges agree to bring them to choreography.
We get our first bad dancer. Crazy Kate looks like a cougar on the prowl. She's a little crazy in the head, but admits to not being the strongest.
Peter Sabasino is from Pennsylvania and comes from a loud Italian family. His tap seems strong, but what is up with male dancers and oversized basketball shorts? Mary agrees with me. Nigel thinks of him as a tap-dancing boxer. Peter admits to knowing several dance genres; without even seeing the other genres, the four judges decide to get him to go straight to Vegas.
Tiffany Geigel has three vertebrae and doctors didn't think she'd live past one. She wants to prove everyone wrong. Her dancing is exotic because it looks like limbs floating like a weeping willow. Nigel doesn't know what to think about it and starts with complaints: her legs don't extend because she suffers from bad knees and her arms need help. Nigel is supportive of her bravery, and the judges give her a standing ovation. Clearly, she couldn't do partner work, but she made a mark.
Maksim has Faina from Season 3 to perform a cha-cha routine. He shows that a male partner can stand out. Nigel likes his facial expression sans winks. Mary knows that it's hard not to look at Faina, but he has presence. Napoleon and Tabitha agree. The four bring him to choreography.
Nobuya Nagahama knows how to vogue. After saying that, I don't care about all of the other genres he mentioned. He does some sped up pop and lock. He vogues for a few seconds, but it looks like a seizure. Nigel doesn't think he locks well, but it was the speed. He fears that he's a one trick pony. The other three also enjoyed it. He's off to choreography, as well.
There are 45 dancers in choreography, who have to learn a dance from Lauren from season three. After 30 minutes, the mutants quit, but the rest try their best to impress the judges. Maksim struggled with the choreography, but Mary lets him through. Nobuya had a lot of promise, as well, and made it through.
New York – Day Two
Arielle Taylor made it to Vegas in Season 3, but didn't make it. Nigel immediately remembers her watching the performance. After the dance, Nigel wanted to know what happened to her. She was overwhelmed and felt contained. The judges hoped that she matured and give her a ticket to Vegas.
Thomas Martin and Amanda Clark want to showcase Bolero. To make it funnier Thomas was once a baton twirling champ. In the dance, Thomas bites Amanda's love-handle. The whole performance seems lackluster, and the judges giggle throughout the performance. Nigel is confused, Mary didn't get the sensuality and it was too basic. They get rejected.
More bad dancers: they aren't horrible, just amusing to watch. One guy dances like a chipmunk.
Igor and Nina specialize in Latin dance. They have a special Cha-Cha trick which turns out to be a special spin (known as a pot stir). They are mesmerizing to watch, like a hypnotist with his watch. Nigel is impressed. Mary likes the pot stir because of how long it went. Tabitha knows that they are a solid couple, but the individual dancing is questionable. They are sent to choreography.
Our next contestant Kellen dances with an umbrella. At first I thought it was going to be some gag performance, but the umbrella was used beautifully. He's flexible and has great lines. Kellen explains that the umbrella represented his aunt that he lost; she was his protection. The judges felt the connection, and all agree to send him to Vegas.
Our last contestant of the night is Chimizie. Chimizie pulls off a very strong pop and lock routine. Nigel liked several aspects, but thinks that he needs to go through choreography. Mary was entertained. Napoleon didn't think there was a lot of meat in the performance. They send him to choreography.
In the choreography, Igor and Nina are split. Igor makes it, but Nina doesn't. Chimizie makes it to Vegas. Day two has 14 dancers. Cat hugs a sweaty contestant and screams, "It's okay! Dry Cleaning! Dry Cleaning!" Take that Ryan Seacrest.
Denver – Day 1
The Denver auditioners want to rock and there is basically a lot of flips and high kicks. Nigel and Mary are joined by Sonya. She's a great choreographer.
Kaylen lived in a single parent family with her grandparents. She has very strong extensions and is very flexible. Nigel loved her angles and can't think of any minuses. Mary and Sonya agree and she gets a ticket to Vegas.
There are several lovely contemporary and lyrical dancers and Sonya loves them all. She snaps and claps in happiness. She looks like she's having orgasms after watching all the dancers.
Misha and Mitch are same-sex ballroom dancers. Mitch had a female partner, but it didn't work out. Mitch is straight and Misha is gay. It's like the odd couple, except with sequence. It's funny because the two have strong lines and good legwork. Nigel just had this look on his face (we know how he feels about gays). In one move they messed up a lift and land on the floor. Nigel has no clue what to say and compares it to Blades of Glory. He thinks that they alienate audiences. He thought that they were strong. Mary was confused because they were both male and female in dances. The lead/follow was strong, but the technique needed help. Sonya sees a lot of female qualities but is confused with classical form. The two are sent off to choreography.
Twenty-Two dancers are in choreography, including Misha and Mitch. Mitch gets cut, quickly followed by Misha. Eleven dancers made it to Vegas.
Denver – Day 2
We start day two with Allison Moist. I hope that's a pseudonym. She uses light sabers to dance around and looks like she's directing airplane traffic. She dresses up as a lion to stand out. Nigel doesn't get it. Mary didn't think it was dancing. She cries off the stage.
There are several interesting contestants, including weird belly dancers, shiny shirts, weaves that fall off, and stripper performances. There were several "stupid" performances.
Elias brought his 16-year-old brother to dance with him. They act a little too close. They are the youngest of fourteen kids. Fourteen. It's all too creepy and a smidgen gay. Nonetheless, their pop and lock is fun to watch and they play well off of each other. Nigel loved the entertainment. Mary agrees and thinks he's camera friendly. Sonya thinks he's marketable. He's sent to choreography.
Brandon & Natalie both auditioned last year. Brandon just missed out losing to Gev. Similarly, Natalie's roommate Katee was chosen over her. Natalie is even better this time around, and Katee's technique has rubbed off on her. Sonya was in tears; she felt the sincerity. Mary is proud of her; the performance was organic and real. Nigel thought it was superb. After getting cut, Natalie was pushed to work harder. She's off to Vegas. They use the worst picture of Katee for a split-screen phone call.
Brandon, like Natalie, is even better this time around. He shows passion and strength. Mary is in tears watching the technique, artistry and commitment. Sonya thought it was wonderful. Nigel agrees, and he's off to Vegas.
Elias and 16 dancers have the choreography to deal with, and he struggled. He needed more training and is rejected. His brother hugs him in consolation. Eight others did succeed, meaning 19 made it through from Denver.
Next week, Miami and Memphis.