Tonight is the final night of auditions (take note, American Idol - you really don't have to subject us to more than a few night's worth of this stuff), and the hopeful dancers are lined up in front of the Fox Theater in Atlanta. It seems that Hotlanta isn't so hot today, though. It's rather cold, as the camera pans down lines of dancers bundled up in blankets. Host Cat Deeley seems shocked that it gets so cold in the "deep south." I hate to tell her, but we actually get *gasp* snow down here on occasion, too. Anyhow, let's see how the auditions went...
Now This Is How To Start The Show...
Starting us off tonight is youngin’ Caitlin Cucchiara, who just turned 18 a couple weeks ago. Everyone picks at her about being the baby of the group. She tells us that she’ll be missing her graduation if she makes it through, but she still wants her chance. Caitlin performs a beautiful lyrical number, with incredible spins. She’s been dancing since she was two, and it shows. Nigel thinks she was superb, Shane is impressed, and Mary thinks she should go straight to Vegas. So she does.
Next is teacher Christopher Crabb, dressed in teacher’s garb. Because a button down shirt and dress pants are so comfortable to dance in, I guess. But that’s not all: this guy admits to having a Justin Timberlake shrine in his bedroom. He's got an entire N'Sync bobblehead doll set. He cried when he saw JT in concert. And Chris is 28, folks. Yeah, that’s not freaky at all. Neither is his weird, freestyle lyrical performance, which Mary compares to a combination of Tai Chi and calisthenics. Nobody is impressed, and dorky Chris is sent packing.
Next up we have Tony Velez and his over-waxed eyebrows. But, he makes up for the freaky eyebrows with some good break dancing, or B-boying, as he puts it. B-boing? Eh, anyway. He’s good, and gets through to the choreography round. Shane really, really loves the guy. So much so that Nigel asks if they’re hooking up, and he and Mary laughingly leave the judge’s box to let Shane and Tony have some alone time. Shane shows a sense of humor, moving over to Mary’s seat and doing an impersonation of her (and her woo! scream), then he pretends to be Nigel, too. Funny stuff.
Another montage of random dancers, good and bad. These are the best times to run and get some snacks. Gotta love the audition rounds.
You've Been Clogged
Brandon Norris is next, and I’m all ready to make fun. He looks like a backwoods country version of Clay Aiken, except that he clogs. Yeah, that’s right. A clogger. Nigel tells him that a clogger has never made it through, but the kid puts on quite a show – hip-hop clogging, if you can envision that. Shane is so impressed that he comments on making a clogging movie with Brandon in it, and Nigel thinks they should call it “You’ve Been Clogged.” That Nigel is such a card. Clog-boy gets three enthusiastic yes votes to go on to the choreography round.
After the first troop of 41 Atlanta hopefuls go through some choreography training, they are whittled down to 30, headed for Vegas. Brandon and Tony are among them.
Day two, and our first contestant is computer science major Bryan Gaynor. Bryan has debilitating scoliosis, but that doesn’t stop him from performing some freakin’ awesome robot moves. Very, very entertaining. Mary gives her cackle of approval, Shane almost falls out of his chair from laughing, and everyone applauds. Nigel gives him props for using his limitations to his advantage, and he gets through to choreography.
Cutie Myles Johnson is next, and he’s an ex-football player who took up ballet as part of his therapy after breaking his leg. Except that he stuck with the dancing instead of returning to football, much to his father’s chagrin. Looks like dad wants to live vicariously through his son, and dancing wasn’t in the plan. Too bad. The kid’s pretty good, performing a lyrical number, but the judges feel that he’s not ready for serious competition. He has only been dancing for eight months! But they send him through just so he can get the experience.
Ashley Simpson (no, not that Simpson. This one actually has some talent.) is next, and performs a strong lyrical dance. She’s adorable, and a good dancer. And she’s used to getting teased about her name all the time. Mary think she’s the type of contestant that people would get up off the couch to vote for. Can I get a “woo!” A tearful Ashley gets to skip choreography and goes straight to Vegas, with three yes votes from the judges.
Another montage of dancers outside the Theater, ripping off the Twist and Shout dance sequence from Ferris Bueller. Yeah, this wasn't totally staged or anything. Time for a drink refill.
You've Got To Be Kidding
Yikes. You might need a strong drink to get through the next audition, brought to us by Kippery Rigsby. Kippery is, how shall I say this…..plump? Ah, hell. Big Momma has nothing on Kippery. Big, big girl. She performs (and I use that term loosely) some kind of dance she calls “skreet” dancing, and the judges are underwhelmed. I’ll let the comments from the judges speak for this performance. Mary: “She sucks the life force out of me.” Nigel: “I don’t know what you were doing, but you weren’t dancing.” Shane: “Don’t ever come to an audition like this again unless we’re looking for your type.” When she asks what type she is, Shane replies: “Overweight and can’t dance.” Yee-ouch.
Matthew Krabbe is next to perform, coming out in full Rhinestone Cowboy regalia. Sigh. He calls himself a good ol’ boy from South Carolina, who started out a shy line-dancing kid but learned to enjoy the spotlight. He performs (quickly!), everyone was entertained, but the judges all agree that he doesn’t have the technique needed to make it anywhere in this competition. "I think the show will kill you," says Shane. Back to the ranch he goes.
Delusional Jessica Diaz is next, slinking around the floor with some kind of stupid cat-ear headband on and a sequined bow-tie. Oh, and half her ass hanging out of lace hose. It’s embarrassing. It’s not dancing by any stretch of the imagination. Nigel thinks it wasn’t good in any way, shape or form, Mary thought she was possessed, and cat-girl gets sent back to the pound. Jessica whines for a chance, but it ain’t happening.
Hopefully Christopher Garmon is better. Chris is an ex-Marine who now tends to his 75-acre cattle farm, having been discharged from duty due to a dislocated shoulder. He decided that things happen for a reason, and wants to use his strength to be a dancer. He performs another country-hip hop blend, and it’s not half bad. He even gets a "yee-haw" from Mary. It's good dancing for the club, but not quite ready for prime time. Can he do choreography? The judges don’t think so. He’s got charisma, but doesn’t get the chance to move on.
Choreography round number two. After half an hour, the judges make their picks. Bryan doesn't make it, but Shane mentions giving him a part in a movie where he could do his robot moves and get his name out there. Myles the football guy does make it, and dad sounds supportive this time.
And there you have it. Next week we start the Vegas rounds, paring down the contestants until we get our top twenty. Get ready for the emotional breakdowns and all the drama. Do you have your favorites picked out yet? See you then...
Still waiting for an appearance by Artem....firstname.lastname@example.org