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So You Think You Can Dance: NYC and Denver Auditions

by Michael Pascua, posted May 22nd 2009 12:25AM
One excited auditioner on So You Think You Can Dance?
"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.

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Thank god I thought I was the only one who got the weirdly too touchy vibe with Elias and his brother.

May 30 2009 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Take a look at Brando Bryant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRsaazQMFpw

May 22 2009 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The two men ballroom dancing was distracting and I don't see it becoming popular. Not because of the gay issue. Ballroom dancing is beautiful, the man dressed elegantly and the woman always beautiful wearing something stunning. The turns, the lifts, the passion radiating from their toes to their eyes. While marriage between gay men and women is well, it shouldn't be an issue, love is love - professional ballroom dancing, that should be one man, one woman partnering.

May 22 2009 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Step Up 3D comes out in 2010. The first two were hits, so there's no reason that the third would even be considered straight-to-DVD.

May 22 2009 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

laura - Somebody like Tiffany.. well yeah, it's a way to let her shine for a moment. People like Tiffany obviously *do* show up to audition, and they're trying to let us observe the audition process.

Honestly, I get more annoyed with these type of performance shows when they spend too much time highlighting the people that got cut, and don't really *show us* the people that make it to the final competition stages, until then. I mean, by the time they are showing us THIS part of the show, they know who will be on the live competitions, so I'd kind of like to see more of those people foreshadowed or something, so I'm familiar with them already. It always amazes me on shows like this and Idol how they get down to the top 20 and I don't remember seeing half of those people!

May 22 2009 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Denise's comment

that's kind of cool, but you do get to see more of them as they stay on the show longer. i do like seeing the ones that get cut, because seeing someone dancing really well, but just not well enough for the show, really illustrates the level of the dancing that's needed! also, i love the little things some of the less successful dancers do, there can be the odd really magic thing, even though the dancers aren't going to make it all the way.

July 12 2009 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I understand the confusion and hypocracy between Misha and Mitch. I don't really agree with one side or the other and I don't have an issue with two men dancing together. However, I did find it distracting.

May 22 2009 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Erin's comment

i wonder if you would have found it less distracting if it had been two women dancing a romantic dance. yes it was unusual, but it's time that the public finally get used to all the combinations!

maybe it was confusing because the fact that one of the men was not gay, showed that it was a mixture of a love dance, and a practise dance to show both partners' equal skills. they should have picked one.

July 12 2009 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was pretty offended by last night's show and the treatment of Mitch & Misha. I've watched the show religiously since season 2 and went to a tour show once, but I've never watching it again.

May 22 2009 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Matt's comment

Love this show.

1) I dont like when they show dancers who cannot make it through like Tiffany, I dont understand the point of it? TO show us her courage? are we supposed to think that the producers didnt see gold when they saw her in line and knew they could exploit her. I know some might see it as her being brave, to show that kids with special needs should be encouraged? I dont know, I just didnt like it.

2) Mitch NO straight man on earth, not even a straight ballroom dancer would partner with a gay man and pull those moves. When they busted ass it was the best part of the evening!

May 22 2009 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to laura's comment

That was my initial instinct about Tiffany as well, but I was left feeling very inspired by her. I'm glad they included her audition in the show.

May 22 2009 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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