Welcome back, So You Think You Can Dance fans! If last week's premiere wasn't quite enough for you, you're in for a treat. This week, we got not one, not two, but three hours of auditions! I'll be bringing you the recap for Wednesday's two-hour special; waywyrd will bring you up to speed for Thursday's episode.
We begin in Los Angeles where, we're reminded, both of our previous winners came from. Occupying the third judge's seat this time, beside Nigel and Mary, will be Wade Robson. Some of the artist's he's worked with: Britney and Michael Jackson. He sure knows how to pick real good people, doesn't he?
The good start comes to an end
First up is Loren. We get a bit of a profile from her: she wanted to audition last year, and once taught Tobey Maguire. And, horror of horrors, she's a teacher too.
In all fairness, though, she delivers on stage. Wade is impressed, and Mary finds the choreography interesting. Nigel says she should go straight to Vegas, and they all agree. So, Cat, informs us, Los Angeles auditions are off to a good start.
We get told that the next girl, Jessi wants to hear the honest truth about her performances. Well, here's our verdict: not too bad. Wade gives her the “interesting” tag, Nigel makes a comment about baby oil that has us scratching our head, Mary calls her out on her sensual routine, but it doesn't matter: she gets the nod too.
Like all streaks, this streak of talent must come to an end. EJ doesn't look like a dancer; he probably weighs about as much as our two previous auditionees combined. Not good. The dance is not terrible, it's not any good either. It didn't fit him. Nigel unloads on the applause he got, calling it patronizing. Wade says he danced like a girl, and Mary is even horrified. Nigel, to be fair, tells him to keep dancing, as it'll be good for him. Of course, we get people commenting on Nigel's supposed anti-fat comments. Hey, it's a two hour episode. We need some filler, right?
The sick, and the really sick
Coming back from the break, we're reminded that some people who audition are pretty smart. Unfortunately, some come from the “mentally ill” part of the population. “Aspiring genticist” Colin, is, sadly, in the latter part. He briefs us on his insane theory of life/death/immortality/Anna Nicole Smith. Where's a straitjacket when you need one?
On stage, we see something no one wants to see: his underwear. Colin must have not worn his belt today. It's a fast song, but the whole number is practically in slow motion. None of the judges are impressed. Mary and Nigel both think he's out of this world, and not in a good way. Needless to say, Colin will not be inflicting himself on the citizens of Nevada.
Next up is Olivia, whose mom owns a dance studio. She danced when she was younger, but had to quit for a while for medical reasons. Mom wasn't too happy, but it's time for a sob story; Mom recently found a lump in her breast, and asked her daughter to audition.
At least if we get a sob story, it's attached to an okay dancer. Of course, it doesn't hurt that her music is from an American Idol contestant – cross-promotion never hurts! Nigel thinks she danced nicely, Mary likes her as well, and Wade makes it a unanimous verdict. She's not good enough for Las Vegas yet, but she's in the choreography group.
No Chance in Hell!
We're told that Los Angeles is a strange city, and someone who calls himself the Gold Inferno is walking proof. We'd like to know just what the “American jump style” competition is, because if this guy is their champion, they have officially lost their minds. His “mask” is a weird mix of something from masked wrestling ... and, perhaps, bank robbery. His “dancing” consists largely of jumping up and down, and moving his arms about. News of his “championship” elicits nothing but a laugh from all the judges, particularly Mary. The judges must need a laugh, because they sent him to choreography. Is Mary not enough in that department?
Amanda is next, who says she'll do a mix of ballet, hip hop, and R&B. Whatever that mix is... it's not good. Nigel isn't sure what she was doing, and neither are we. She's not going anywhere.
Strange comes to mind
Next up is our first pair of the episode, Dia and Kurt. He has a unique attribute: hiccups, which is something he's suffered for the past few year. On the stage, they're not such a bad team. Apparently, it's not only Kurt that does strange things: Dia winks when she dances. A few ill-timed hiccups have the whole panel laughing, and Mary can barely control herself. (But that's hardly unusual, is it?) In between the laughs, however, they manage to send them both to choreography.
Before the day ends, we have to deal with the choreography group. We actually see some of it this time; and almost everyone we met earlier seems to be doing reasonably well. Kurt, Dia, and Olivia all make it to Las Vegas. To the dismay of reality TV pundits everywhere, the Gold Inferno doesn't qualify. Hey, we need a disaster to point to, right? And so, day one comes to a close.
Old contestants return
First one up on day two is Jesus. We get the father-doesn't-support-me spiel, but hey, at least the dancing isn't bad. Like the first day, the first contestant to face the judges gets a ticket – and celebrates with a headstand. The day is off to a good start again.
Next up is Hok. He made it to Vegas last year, but he only had a student visa so he wasn't to go any further. It's another good, high-energy routine from him. He definitely knows how to play to an audience. He gets a standing ovation from the audience, Nigel, and Mary. Yep, she is in fine form this year. And yes, he's through to Vegas.
We get a montage of break dancers, who range from the good, to the average, to the dreadful. And yes, it's more filler. The next person that gets introduced is “D'Trix”. Well, for someone winging it, he did a good job. Like all break dancers, the question is, can he do anything else? He'll have the chance to answer that... in Las Vegas.
Hey, look! Nepotism!
Brianne is next, and we're told she once danced... on a cruise ship. Given the usual results from cruise ship singers, we're not optimistic. Fortunately, she's a pleasant surprise. It's a very ballet-ish routine, but that's not such a bad thing. She's not good enough for Las Vegas, but she makes it to choreography.
Our next auditionee is Joshua. Somewhere along the line, he learned that dancing is mainly walking with some arm movements. He seems like a nice enough person, but he's not cut out for this competition. He's sent home, but not without some praise from the judges.
Just like last week, we have someone from last year coming back with their sister. Of course, this time, that someone happens to be Benji, who won last year. Aside from he's dancing... he's pretty good at hamming it up for the camera. On stage, Lacie isn't too bad herself. Of course, having a previous winner as your partner doesn't hurt! Did anyone really think she wouldn't make it to Las Vegas?
Our auditions here in LA are coming to a close, and only the choreography has to be done. Brianne makes it through, and all in all 33 dancers make it over two days.
Windy City moves
We then move to Chicago for the rest of our episode. This time, Shane Sparks will be occupying the third judge's chair, as we're reminded just what he did last year.
First up is Morgan. She does the overly-excited-teenager routine during the interview, but on stage she's pretty good. Nigel calls her an interesting little thing, and just maybe he means it in more ways than one. She gets the nod for Vegas, and once again she's all excited afterwards. Yep, she is definitely 18.
Philip is next up, and we get the irony of Houston getting called a little town. But can he dance? Uh, no. It's amusing, yes, but is it dancing? Maybe Performance art might be a more accurate word. And yes, Mary is laughing throughout the whole thing. Remarkably enough, he's through to Las Vegas. Heck, who knows, he'll be a fun one to watch for sure.
The freakshows begin
You didn't think we could completely escape the total lunatics, could you? After all, this show is brought to you by the same guys behind American Idol.
We're treated to a series of mostly anonymous dancers, who all suck. First up is someone who has gasping for air as part of his act. Quite representative, wasn't it? We get two more completely forgettable girls, and Cat tells us that by late afternoon things were not looking good. Thank god for the fast forward button, eh?
We then get a brother-sister team, Isauro and Yesenia. The brother goes first, and it's not bad, but Nigel can't quite get what it is. He's got the personality, but the dancing isn't up to par. Little sister, however, does much better. It's a pretty good hip-hop dance. Shane thinks it's beautiful; Mary doesn't quite like it as much, however. Nigel wants to see more, so it's off to choreography for her.
We see no one else before we get the choreography part. A few girls we didn't meet make it, and Yesenia also makes it – but not before a little cruel tease from Nigel.
Sob stories, rejoice!
Day two soon begins. First up is a self-proclaimed “lindyhopping” pair, Michael and Evita. We haven't seen suspenders like he's wearing since... well, ever. Maybe he's been raiding Larry King's closet. The routine and music is pretty old-fashioned, and the judges seem a bit nonplussed about it. It turns out, though, that they actually liked it. The choreography is particularly praised by Mary and Shane, and they both make it to Vegas.
We get a sequence of good dancers who, we suppose, all went to Vegas. There's not enough to really judge, but they look all respectable. Before long, we're introduced to medical sales rep Janet. It's not a bad routine at all, with Nigel calling her a nice performer in mid-dance. We're then told something new: she had a prosthetic arm. We didn't notice either. There's universal praise, and she's through to choreography. Afterwards, we get the story of how she lost her arm – a car accident, as it turns out. She wants to prove herself as a good dancer, with people forgetting that she actually has an artificial arm. Well, that's easier said than done, but we have to see, won't we?
Last up is Quincy. He auditioned two years ago as a break dancer, but since then he lost his leg and got an artificial one. We get a fair amount of back story – he lost it in a motorcycle accident, and he has a sister that was willing to donate hers. Yes, it's a blatant sympathy play.
On stage... he's not that good. He shows off the artificial leg, and he says he's just happy to be walking. He appreciates just being there, and he gets through to choreography. Sadly though, he doesn't make it there, because his other leg is bothering him. Still, it's not a bad attitude to have, is it? Good luck, Quincy. You deserve it.
Finally, it's down to the choreography section. After a few anonymous dancers not getting the nod, we see Janet of the prosthetic arm makes it, along with 13 other people.
That's it for this episode. The show's off to Atlanta next; for the goings-on there check out waywyrd's fine recap. Next week, it's off to the Sin City; who will make it to face the American public?
Insert witty comment. Drop us a comment right here.