It's the final night of preliminary auditions on So You Think You Can Dance
, and the FOX promo guy promises that they've saved the best for last. Tonight better be good!
The judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy have thus far visited Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Charleston, SC, and Washington, DC. Tonight, they trek into America's heartland to find even more talented dancer to bring to Vegas. Stay with me tonight; I'll be providing you with live thoughts throughout the entire two-hour broadcast.
Because Milwaukee, Wisconsin is such a hotbed of dance talent, So You Think You Can Dance
pays a visit to this freezing cold city. Already, 175 dancers from the last five cities have been sent through to the Vegas callbacks.
We begin the first hour with a montage of gangsta Nigel. It's always funny when uptight British types try to get down, huh? I guess since we're only watching auditions from one city instead of two, we've got to fill up the two hours. For some reason, we are taken back to the Washington, DC auditions to watch a popper named Michael Kim do his thing. He auditioned in season 2, but got his ass handed to him in Vegas. He is back again this year, with more partner training under his belt, and this year, he gets a ticket to Vegas.
But back to Wisconsin. Oh, just kidding. Cat Deeley faked us out. Instead of going to tonight's dancers, we have a look at all the friends and family who accompanied the dancers to all the other auditions. Roommates and BFFs Katee Shean and Natalie Reid work out and practice together and they both auditioned in L.A. Katee immediately got a ticket to Vegas. Natalie had kind of weird choreography, but the judges really liked it, so they awarded Natalie a ticket as well.
Okay, really now. Back to Milwaukee. Oops, not yet. Janette Manrara and Romulo Villaverde performed a salsa routine together in Washington, DC. Out in the lobby, they looked like their nerves were getting the best of them, but on stage, they were phenomenal. Smoking hot. They were asked back for the choreography round, but only Janette was put through to Vegas.
Okay, for reals now. We're really back to tonight's audition in Milwaukee. Except now it's time for commercials.
World renowned husband and wife hip hop choreographers Napolean and Tabitha D'Umo are tonight's guest judges.
The first auditioner is a dance major from Chicago named Bianca Revels who tap dances. She looks very androgynous, wearing tuxedo pants, a wifebeater and suspenders, and her tapping is really great. She also has a really impressive list of mentors. She gets a ticket to Vegas.
James Davis is next. He's been training for this for the past year and a half, and he dances a rock and roll-themed routine. Um, he also kind of looks like Dawson Leery, which is definitely not an asset. It's not a great routine, without very many technical elements. The judges deem it a movie musical medley and send him home, despite his lisping attempts to wheedle into the choreography round.
Now, we have our mandatory montage of bad dancers. I refuse to recap about them, though. Okay, will mention that one of them is wearing an old timey villain mask and the other one does a cheerleady routine with a very tight white shirt on.
But thankfully, it's back to the good ones. Kourtni Lind, with mom in tow, arrives to dance an amazingly nuanced dance to a spoken word piece. The judges are amazed by her emotion and technique, and send her straight on through to Vegas.
Tom Kozal, from Michigan dances a hip hop routine that is entertaining in parts, but otherwise looks kind of painful. He also raises earless goats for a living. Aww, he's just a little innocent farm boy. The judges let him down easy.
Up next, Ashley Henry dances a really incomprehensible and frenetic hip hop routine that is about 97 percent booty shaking. I think Ashley is proof that even thin people shouldn't shake her booty like that. Tabitha very tactfully tells her that she has absolutely technique. She begs Miss Mary to please give her a chance. Nigel wants her to go to the choreography, just to give her the experience, but he doesn't think she'll do very well. The other judges agree.
The next contestant is Susie Garcia, who is a high school teacher in Miami. She's kind of hoish. I bet she could get cast in a modern-day remake of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" easily. She dances a Latin-flavored dance, in which she shakes her booty and her breasts and tosses her hair about, but little else. The judges nitpick her technique, but eventually decide to invite her back for choreography. What? Are they nuts?
They next dancer, Rebecca Hart, auditioned this year in Los Angeles, but was cut for being too much of a competition dancer and for being too sparkly. She's toned it down, except for the big cheesy smile on her face which was so jarring because her music selection was on the somber side. But lucky for her, she's going to Vegas.
The next contestant is a transplant from Cameroon, who came to the U.S. about two years ago. His name is Brice Casimir, and he's a hip hop dancer. Eh, I think he has some potential, but he's not good enough for me. Nigel criticizes him for not addressing the audience at all while he's dancing. The judges invite him back for choreography, but he briefly confuses that with going to Vegas.
Now, it's time for the first round of choreography. Twenty dancers learn Travis Walls' steps. Bryce is sent home, as is Ashley Henry. Ashley has already signed up for two ballet classes and promises to come back next year. Hot high school teacher Susie made a good enough impression on them to get herself a ticket to Vegas. Twelve dancers are sent through from the first day of auditions.
Day two begins in Milwaukee with Cooper Zamorano. He's wearing silly soccer shorts, but man, this kid can leap. He's particularly good at turns as well. Nigel thinks that it was like watching Travis Wall performing and warns him to watch his facial expressions. He's going to Vegas!
Yesenia Gomez, another second-timer, dances but hurts her knee in the middle of her performance. It seems to be an old injury that is coming back. She lost 50 pounds this last year just for this one day, and Nigel compliments her on her hard work. Yesenia bursts into tears and tells her story. Nigel tells her to get her knee checked out and orders her back to next year's So You Think You Can Dance
Yesie's friend Philip Courter takes the stage next and immediately entertains everyone with a huge back flip and some unique moves. He gets teary over what happened to his friend right before. Nigel said that he was too one-dimensional the first time he tried out, but tonight, he was three-dimensional. Philip cries during the entire critique, and even more once he hears that he's being sent straight to Vegas.
Raymond Love auditions next with a female partner, who is not competing. Nigel almost immediately stops them because Raymond's complete lack of expression. They start again, and I have to say that there isn't a whole lot of improvement. They are both pretty good dancers, but they have no chemistry at all. Nigel compliments Raymond on his choreography, and Raymond says that he was inspired by the Song of Solomon. He also explains that he can't dance more sexily because he is a minister. Everyone (except for Mary) wants to see him back for choreography.
Hao Hou, dressed in what looks to be a kitchen towel around and rope, wiggles about on stage. His costume is really distracting from his performance, but not enough that I didn't notice his poor technique. Tabitha makes a comment about his package, but he is sent home.
The final contestant of the day is Lizz Plott, who dances a tap routine a cappella. I have to admit that I am the least familiar with judging tap dancing, but I think she is just amazing. (She also has a rocking set of abs.) Lizz auditioned last year with contemporary and hip hop, but she wants to represent tap this year because that is what she does. She's going to Vegas!
Now for the second choreography round. Raymond the minister doesn't make the cut, but eleven other dancers make it through.
There's just one more performance of the evening. It's a mystery performer named "Danielle Chorizo" who does a lip sync to "It's Raining Men." It's a man dressed in drag, and the judges try to figure out who it is. It's Travis Wall, and Nigel jokes and asks if he's Ryan Seacrest. Ha!
Alrighty, folks! For those of you who hate audition episodes, you will be very happy to hear that tomorrow night's two-hour So You Think You Can Dance
is the Vegas callbacks! At the end of tomorrow's episode, we will find out which of these dancers will be in the top 20. Don't miss it!
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)