The So You Think You Can Dance season is beginning! Time for crazy dance hopefuls to strap on their tap shoes (or whatever shoes they might use) and start to boogie for Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.

But first they have to audition.

This week and next, we’ll be seeing all of the So You Think You Can Dance auditions — the good, the bad and the super-ugly. Do you think you’ll be able to spot the dancers destined for the Top 20? I doubt I will. Being wrong is part of the fun, right?

Based on the intro, I’m guessing this season will be about a lot of jumping. Jumping is good. Oh, it’s about spinning now. Lots and lots of spinning.

Atlanta Auditions
Seconds in, we’ve had the requisite “Hotlanta” mention. Maybe we’ve gotten it out of the way?

The judges for Atlanta will be Nigel Lythgoe (of course), Mary Murphy (yay!) and guest judge L’il C. As is the standard, bad dancers go home, mediocre dancers go to choreography, great dancers go to Las Vegas.

Bianca Hinklerian: Latin
This is apparently Colombian salsa, which is different from other salsas. I’ll take her word on it. It’s very fast. Kind of crazy.

Nigel: “The pair of you, it’s like you’ve got ants in your pants!”
Mary: “I thought that was fantastic!” “Your feet were on fire! That was the fastest salsa I’ve ever seen.”
L’il C: “When tempo is that fast, can’t really see what’s going on…”

Bianca is sent to choreography. Her too-young partner, Giovanni, has to come back next year.

Melanie Moore: Modern (??? They didn’t tell us)
She’s an artist and stuff. Some people have way too much talent for their own good. Just sayin’. And it’s our first sad story of the night. Sigh.

It scares me what these people can do with their bodies. She’s very flexible (probably soon to be topped in this). I don’t really get modern dance mostly, but this looks pretty and complicated.

Nigel: “Amaaazing. Amazing.” “If you get to Vegas and it doesn’t work out… I promise you I’ll hunt you down.”
Mary: “In 8 seasons, I can’t recall having so much fun.”
L’il C: “I think that Zeus himself would invite you to come dance on Olympus.”

And Melanie is off to Las Vegas!

Deon Lewsa Jr. and David Bellmon: Hip Hop or Street Dancing of Some Sort
Their shtick is hitting on girls. Like Kat. Fair enough. Awww, they lost their phones. Or not.

David and Deon start off with some fun stuff and immediately move into the kind of dancing that makes people stop on the street. Pretty impressive synchronicity. These guys are fun. Especially in their fake “ballroom” section.

Nigel: “I don’t know anybody that watched that that would not be entertained by it.”
Mary: “You really came and thought that out.”
L’il C: “You can’t even buy that kind of connection.”

Deon goes straight to Vegas, leaving David high and dry until Mary shrieks for him to come back for another Vegas ticket.

Time for the montage of people we won’t get to see audition! Several are going to Las Vegas. Mary is tired of loving everyone.
Nigel: “It’s getting obnoxiously incredible.”

Apparently ten dancers in a row got Las Vegas tickets. Which means it’s time for another
sad story.

Marko Germar: Break-dancing. Nope, Modern.
This guy was shot and has a bullet in his arm. Ouch.

His dancing seems to be a bit of a fusion, with incredible back flips. Not enough for Nigel though, who stops the music.

Nigel: “That was absolutely fabulous. Good job.”
Mary: “I’m so impressed about your athleticism, and also that speed.”
L’il C: “This is what we’re talking about.”

They like him enough for choreography.

25 dancers altogether are there. In choreography, Bianca and 10 others get tickets to Vegas. Plus Marko and the girl he was dancing with. That’s a lot of people dancing in Las Vegas.

And it’s time for the second day in Atlanta. Will it be as crazy-good as Day 1?

Kimalee Piedad: Ballet or Modern, probably Ballet
This is pretty, although I feel bad that the guy isn’t competing. He’s impressive. So is Kimalee for that matter. I honestly am not sure what’s happening on the stage, but it’s awesome. I’d want to see more of that.

Nigel: “It really was magnificent.”
Mary: “Absolutely spectacular.”
L’il C: “Really good, potential to be excellent.”

Kimalee gets her ticket!

More montages now, this time with funny judge comments. I like the word “oxymoronical.”

John “White Chocolate” Palermo: Hip Hop
I like it when they tell us the genre. Saves me the trouble of figuring it out.

He doesn’t start off doing very much. It seems like a lot of show without the crazy skills of many of the other dancers. A lot of it involves a hat.

Nigel: “It was very juvenile. It really wasn’t strong enough for this competition.”
Mary: “John, have you seen this show?”
L’il C: “No… No…”

Poor White Chocolate gets sent home, but not without a round of hugs.

It sounds like the second day in Atlanta might not be as good as the first. Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Time for the last dance of the auditions!

Kyre Batiste: Hip Hop-esque
Kyle brought his grandmother to cheer for him and to punish the judges. Miss Mandy, the grandma, even gets to guest-judge.

Kyle starts off asleep. This amuses everyone. Then he comes alive for some funky break-dancing stuff. Possible, Kyre is made out of rubber. That may be the only explanation for what’s happening there.

Nigel: “I was disappointed.”
Mary: “I thought you were very entertaining. I didn’t think it was great.”
L’il C: “I actually disagree with Grandma.”
Grandma: “What I think is, Kyre did well, but he didn’t use his eyes in the right place sometimes.” “You gotta bring it home!”

Grandma took off her belt to deal with L’il C. Then he agrees with her. Thanks to both of their “yes” votes, Kyre gets to go to choreography.

In that choreography, a much smaller group of dancers face the judges again. Kyre gets sent home, while seven dancers get Las Vegas tickets.

San Francisco Auditions
Can San Francisco top Atlanta? It seems unlikely after all that love, but I guess we’ll see.
The judges for these auditions are Nigel, Tyce Diorio and Toni Redpath. No Mary. Sad.

Amber Williams: Modern Dance, probably
Yup, she’s crazy. She’d give Mary Murphy a run for her money in the nutty shriek department.

She’s a very aggressive dancer. But certainly not a bad dancer. That energy is obvious in big jumps, fast moves and incredible stage presence. I think she’d drive me crazy after seconds of speaking, but the dancing I want to see over and over.

Nigel: “You’ve got it. You’ve got this little bit of magic. And sexy.”
Tyce: “You are the person who gets on the stage and you command attention.”
Toni: “I love this minx, I love it!” “Thank you, you’ve made my day.”

Not a shock, but Amber is going straight to Las Vegas. She can’t stop jumping and screaming and acting like a monkey with Nigel about this. She’s going to be fun. I really hope she makes the Top 20.

Timothy Joseph: Break-dancing
More jumping. Lots and lots of jumping. Gravity-defying jumping. I think he’s made of springs. Seriously, how do people do stuff like that?

Nigel: “Stunning. Absolutely stunning.”
Tyce: “You’re just like full of strength, muscle…”
Toni: “You have a really good sense of character.” “I’d really be interested in seeing you do a Viennese waltz.”

In a 2-1 decision, Timothy is off to choreography.

Time for the bad-dancer montage. There’s crying. Also, the local news covered the auditions.

Ieshia Moss: Stripping, Hip Hop, Freestyle
She just decided to come that morning. Interesting choice. And are you sure you want to be called a Black Barbie? It’s also probably not a great idea to tell the judges you forgot the dance.

Not that she needed to remember it, because the only thing missing is a pole. Visible bottom skin, on the other hand, is very present.

Nigel: “I don’t really know what to say to you about your dancing. I totally understand how that works in Gentlemen’s Clubs.”
Tyce: “I love you! I love everything about you!”
Toni: “You’ve got your own thing going on, and that’s spectacular.”

Love aside, she’s going home.

Marcos Prieto: Modern maybe?
How bright is that shirt. Unfortunately, he couldn’t dance.

Paul Keelan: Ballet probably, but maybe not so well-done. Also, yuck.

Danielle Ihle: Modern
Welcome to the first homeless story of the night. Wow, an abandoning father too. Ouch.

She does the jerky form of modern dance, it would appear. Not my favorite, but it seems good and the judges always like it. She’s also a pretty good performer, obviously playing a character while she dances.

Nigel: “It’s a shame for me that it was so angst-ridden.”
Tyce: “Your strength is definitely in your pirouettes.:
Toni: “You’re a great spinner… The dancing was nice…”

Danielle squeaks by into choreography.

Ashley Rich: Modern-Contemporary
She’s very flexible, inciting repeated “wows” from Tyce. Toni thinks she’s dessert. It’s very pretty dancing, which is always a nice change in modern dancing.

Nigel: “If anybody ever saw the worst in you, they’d be crazy.”
Tyce: “You move like this deer, through the forest.”
Toni: “You can give rainy-Sunday-afternoon cozy, but can you give me Saturday-night crazy.”

They love her. Obviously, she’s going to Las Vegas.

After Ashley, the good dancers return to the stage, which makes the judges happy. That’s nice. They were looking awfully disgusted earlier.

D’on-que Addison: Some Bizarre Form of Performance Art
He has a story. It involves tears. Also, he’s here for dance.

The story seems like some sort of pain-related performance art. It’s actually not bad, just very extreme. And then it ends with sobbing tears, rolling around on the stage. Or maybe it’s laughter. Nope, tears. In the words of Tyce, “Where are we going with this?”

Nigel: “I’m trying to understand what just happened.”
Tyce: “I’m not going to even try to comment.”
Toni: “It’s a no for me.”

22 dancers were in choreography, including Timothy and Danielle. Timothy, unfortunately, drops out due to a hurt knee. Danielle, on the other hand, quickly gets a Vegas ticket. There’s a lot of shrieking all around after this. In total, choreography sends 15 to Las Vegas.

Day 2. More of the same, or some improvement?

Jeffery “Machine” McCann: Break-dancing
Am I supposed to call it b-boying? Is it a verb? Oh, am I ignorant at times…

Ouch. He did one of those fall-into-sitting things that are crazy. This is incredibly good, actually. I can’t not picture this kind of dancing on the street. I’d stop. And give money.

Nigel: Nothing said, just a ticket displayed.
Tyce: “I mean, heck yeah!!!”
Toni: “I’m looking for the puppet master with the strings.”

They didn’t even bother criticizing. He’s going to Las Vegas.

Ryan Ramirez: Modern
She’s auditioned before, having made last season’s top 24. Wow, that’s frustrating. But has she found herself as a dancer? I don’t know, but she does seem good. Not that I can totally tell when it comes to modern dance.

Nigel: “Beautiful girl. Beautiful dance. Beautiful performance. Thank you.”
Tyce: “If there’s such a thing as controlled abandon, that was it.”
Toni: “There’s no denying that you’re a stunning dancer.”

After an unusually long fake-out, Ryan gets her ticket to Las Vegas.

A good-dancing montage follows, including a couple of Vegas tickets. This is followed by a preview of bug-people. Oh dear.

It would seem that Oakland has an individual style of dancing called turfing. It looks pretty cool. A lot like break-dancing for us non-dance people. There are four concepts involved.

Levi “I Dummy” Allen: Turfing
This is like some bizarre combination of break-dancing, spinning, moonwalking and strange tricks. It’s a pretty awesome dance that I can’t describe.

Nigel: “To be frank, I think I’m going to have nightmares tonight.”
Tyce: “Kinda spectacular. Kinda filthy and spectacular.”
Toni: “It was like watching a feather floating on water.”

I Dummy gets to go to choreography.

There are a whole bunch of dancers there. There, I Dummy doesn’t quite make it, although seven of the dancers get Las Vegas tickets.

And that would be that for the first So You Think You Can Dance auditions for season 8. Were you impressed by the dancers? Did anyone seem like a standout? Who do you want to see more of? Leave a comment to let us know!

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.