So You Think You Can Dance: Atlanta and Salt Lake City Auditions
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Wednesday, 27 June 2012 22:42|
So You Think You Can Dance: Atlanta and Salt Lake City Auditions
This week, we head to Atlanta, Georgia, for the third round of auditions. Last year's winner, Melanie, came from this city, so expectations are very high. They show a few quick clips of Melanie, and it makes me want to watch her dances again. So great. Regular judges Mary and Nigel are joined by Debbie Allen. Our first featured contestant is Audrey Case, who has some dumb squeaking neck trick which wastes our time. When she finally starts dancing, the judges love her, and I have to admit she is quite good. She gets a ticket straight through to Las Vegas. Next up are three hip hop dancers who are roommates along with a bunch of other people. Their clip package is a waste of time, as if we care how these unemployed dancers live! The first guy up of these three (Boris something) has some crazy controlled popping, and the judges give him a standing ovation. They give him a ticket straight to Vegas. We will get to his two roommates later. The next guy up is a fun contemporary guy named Joshua Alexander. I don't know that he will stand out from the pack in Vegas, but the producers definitely want us to like him. He gets his ticket to Vegas. We get a brief overview of another slough of dancers who get to go to Vegas. Tim Conkel (hehe) is up next, and he is apparently a big-time karate champion. He hams it up for the cameras, and the producers are salivating. He definitely has a unique style, and his karate-influenced movements and flips are pretty cool. The judges are not sure he has the dance skills needed to go forward, so they give him a chance to show some ballet that he learned in 7 days. It isn't good, but the judges find him very funny and charming. They send him on to Vegas, which is somewhat surprising.
After the break, Jackson Alvarez shows off some creepy hip hop moves, and wins his trip to choreography. Janelle Issis is a belly dancer who warrants a camera crew trip to her house and the senior centre where she performs. Nigel gets his creep on, and ogles her the whole time. They send her through to choreography. Danielle Dominguez is up next, and we get a dumb extended clip package about her love of bacon. Stop wasting the time, show! Her dancing was described as "weird" before the bacon nonsense, and she certainly is that. There are some sort of zombie movements, but overall it is good. They give her some really high praise and send her to Vegas. It is time for the other two roommates of Boris, and Andre Rucker is up first. Where Boris was very slow and controlled, Andre brings more fluidity and smoothness to his dancing. Mary gets freaked out by what he does, so you know its good. He gets to go to Vegas as well. Given the constant previews, I am quite sure the third guy will go too. Cyrus Spencer is the third roommate, and he just had to watch his friend get through, and then dance immediately after. Cyrus does not disappoint; his moves are just crazy. The judges love him too, of course, and he does get that ticket to Vegas. Choreography round is up next, and Janelle the Belly Dancer gets a ticket through to Vegas, along with someone else who we saw, but who won't make it far in Vegas.
Day 2 starts in Atlanta, and after yesterday's huge number of Vegas-bound youth, I think they will be a little stricter with who gets in. Courtney Kirby is up first, and brought her grandmother with her, who used to be a dance instructor. Nigel brings her up to the stage so she can see better, and she gets fresh with him. It is ridiculous, of course. She is a very good contemporary dancer, but I don't think she will shine without grandma nearby. Of course they send her on to Vegas…they weren't going to say no with Gran sitting right beside Nigel. Next up is Asher Walker, who is from a hick town in Georgia that doesn't have much hip hop dancing. His dancing is fun and different, if not the most technically impressive. The judges like him, and send him on to Vegas. George Lawrence II is up next, and we already know from the previews that the judges love him. He has a track background, and is very athletic. His contemporary dancing is excellent, and he might have enough to stand out in Vegas, too. The judges send him there without much hesitation. Next we have a montage of Vegas-bound dancers, and there isn't any who particularly stand out. Brittany is up next, and she is from a weird small town and she has trouble speaking when asked a question. I think she may just be super nervous. Her dancing is unremarkable, but they send her to choreography anyways. They say she has a lot of potential. Meh. The next two folks apparently auditioned last year, and they were caught stealing choreography from someone on YouTube. Their hip hop this time around is ok, but we have seen so much better just in Atlanta, I don't think they will get far. They go to choreography. One of them makes it through, and the show thinks it is very dramatic, when it is actually not very interesting. Brittany also gets through, and so ends our trip to Atlanta, Georgia.
Salt Lake City
In an effort to include some of the middle of the country, this week, the auditions head to Salt Lake City, Utah. Let's see what kind of good clean fun these Mormons can get up to. Nigel and Mary are joined by Adam Shankman, or Shankers as Cat likes to call him. As usual, auditions can go right through to Vegas, or be asked to stay to try the choreography round. Whitney Carson is up first, and she is doing Latin Ballroom, which you know Mary will be all over. I always find it odd when there are young people who do ballroom dancing at high levels. I guess there is an interest in it, but it seems like such an old person thing to be an enthusiast of. The judges go freaking nuts for this girl, and give her a standing ovation. Nigel calls her "sense-u-al", which is just gross. Mary goes so far as to stick her on the Hot Tamale train, which she did not employ through the whole of last season (I cannot speak to the audition rounds, but not in the main part of the show for sure). My viewing partner, The Peanut Gallery had never seen it before! The next person up is being presented as a nutjob, and she claims to get her inspiration from a planet or something. I am not going to describe it further. Cat asks her if she was on drugs when she found her spirit guides, and she does not say no. The girl also used to be a aerospace engineer. When she finally gets to the dancing, it is unremarkable and technically pretty weak. The judges say she is a sweetheart and looks happy dancing, as they show her the door. What a dumb waste of time.
After more eternal clip packages (perhaps I am getting cranky by this fourth round of auditions), we have a dancer (with a huge italian family, as if that is worth a clip package) named Dee Tomasetta. She does a contemporary routine, and it is quite good. She has a lightness and fluidity in her movement that is uncommon. The judges smartly send her straight on to Vegas. The next featured dancer has taken it upon himself to paint his body to go along with his praying mantis dance storyline. Gene Lonardo is the mantis' name. His dancing is contemporary in style, and quite acrobatic as well. He would fit right in at a Cirque du Soleil show. They send him home, to Vegas.
Lindsay Arnold is up next, and she does ballroom dancing as well. Hers is not as impressive as Whitney earlier, but the judges like her and send her to Vegas. Apparently Salt Lake City is a hotbed of ballroom dancing, as we get a whole montage of ballroomers who make it through. Mariah Spears is up next and is a small blonde white girl who is krumping. You read that correctly. I guess, as krumping goes, it is pretty average. I am sure we have seen more impressive krumpers in our time. The judges really like her, but I think they are being influenced by her whiteness and girliness. They send her to choreography.
Murphy Yang is up next, and he is our featured "my Dad doesn't support my dancing" story of the hour. I feel bad for people who's parents aren't supportive of them, but it gets a little boring and repetitive during these auditions. Murphy is a cool dancer, who combines some breaking with other fluid movements. Nigel calls him an entertainer, but thinks he doesn't have enough moves in the bank. They give him a chance in choreography. We go on to see the choreography results, and Murphy doesn't make it through. Mariah the white krumper does get to go to Vegas.
Day two starts off with Dareian Kujawa, a ballet/contemporary dancer who is really talented. Shankers loves him, you can tell by the way he keeps glancing at Mary. Nigel says his feet are terrible (I don't know what exactly that means), but the rest of him is great. Adam loves him, as does Mary, and they send him on to Vegas.
After a montage of people who are coming back for more pain, we get to see someone who very nearly made season 7, Adrian Lee. After taking a year off, he decided to come back, and his dancing is really, really good, as we would imagine. He also has really fun 50s man hair, which I adore. They send him to Vegas, as if there was any doubt. Rachel Applehans is profiled next, and she is dancing in a lacy corset, but one that isn't primarily for dance. She is playing to Nigel's well-documented horn-dog instincts, which is pretty sad for her. Shankers gets the giggles, Mary wants to see her in choreography, and Nigel also sends her there. The final soloist of the auditions is a hefty latino named Leroy Martinez. He runs after school programs for kids, and seems like a great guy. He has a sad story about his past, and the judges are on his side from the get-go. He dances with a lot of personality, and some very skilled popping and locking as well. His routine seems very, very short, but the audience loves him. Nigel tells him he embodies the spirit of dance, but he won't be competitive in the show. They send him to choreography, to give him a chance at it. Rachel the stripper gets her ticket to Vegas, but Leroy does not make it through.
And so ends the seemingly never-ending auditions rounds of season 9. I, for one, am jazzed for things to move on to Vegas so we can spend some time with people who might actually make the show. We have 181 people that we have to weed down to 20, so there are definitely going to be some leotard-clad tears on the way.
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|Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 09:15|