Thursday, May 29, 2008

Auditions: Salt Lake City and Dallas

Well, we've moved to chilly Salt Lake City. Where are David Archuleta, Lacey, and Benjy?

It's snowing--again (why have the weather gods been so cruel to the dancers this year?)--and Cat is high fiving the chilly dancers. (Somehow I don't see SYTYCDA's Nat doing that.) Nigel, Mary, and Mandy of the Table Dance are the judges.

First up: Chelsie Hightower (note: Why don't any of the contestants have names like Sue, Stephanie, or Melissa???). Another pretty blond (shock!). This must be the year of the blond girl. There are tears shed over her family's travails (where's Mia?! She'd be so into this). She borrows another partner for a hot ballroom dance. The judges are VERY impressed:She has used her face, her body, her eyebrows, her sexy legs, her toenails (kidding!). It was like a doctor's appointment. She is a "hot tamale" (Mary) who has balance and uses the floor. She goes straight to Vegas. There are more tears and hugs.

Next up: Bret Banford, who has Down's Syndrome. He is here to represent (in particular the Special Olympics). I give him props for coming out, but I get the sense this is the year of the disabled contestant, which I find distasteful. He moves well and has musicality. He is good for a club dancer (aka not a "real" dancer) and an inspiration. He says he came to show that "people having disabilities can have a regular life." The auditorim explodes, and I'm happy for him.

Next up>...

...Micheal Moore (not the filmmaker) from a family of Native American dancers. He is a member of "Transfer Hype." He is frenetic, and and says he was desperate, danced like crap." He thinks he is funny when he says "I teach dance." The judges don't think he is funny and he's gone.

Richard Castaneda: Didn't do much, but had on a colorful sweatshirt, and there was a lot of shaking. Nigel said there could be "more pops in my cereal." Stretching there, Nigel.

Gev Manoukian is next. I LOVE HIM. He didn't make it thru for S2 and is back after more training. He did breaking, popping, isolations, some contemporary, had great control. The judges sent him to choregraphy. I would have sent him to Vegas.

Lindsey Judkins: the judges LOVED her. I didn't. She wasn't subtle. She moved, did a step, stopped, strutted, continue. She's a "cutie patootie" according to Mary. Whatever. She goes straight to Vegas. I agreed with Mandy: She was one-dimensional. Her wide eyes reminded me of Lacey's facial expressions, which did tone down after a while.

Lots of marriages, lots of cute kids. Hm. Utah. Who'd a thunk it?

Next up is Nicole Downer, with four kids under the age of six. She has the cutest. baby. Ever. She cannot dance (she dances like me), and hasn't danced since she was 16. She could dance in a sitcom, say the judges, but she's fun. I found this condescending, and do not care that her husband's a financial analyst.

A great performer turns up, thankfully, Kelli Baker. Her mom won an Emmy for choreography for High School Musical. She is a beautiful contemporary dancer who gave Mandy goosebumps, and is the best of the season so far for Mary. She is straight thru to Vegas.


Gev goes to Vegas after Nigel teases him. Shut up, Nigel.

Day 2, Texas (yee ha!)

Naomie Christensen is the new freak of the show. She sort of skids across the floor as if she were on ice, and doesn't understand why the judges don't like her. She acts and is a financial advisor. Nigel says he would be concerned about the latter. She's gone, far too late.

We see more architects, marine biologists, etc. who don't make it. Yippie.

Ryann Race is next. He is a strip club djay with lots of tattoos (he must be related to Carly Smithson of Idol), piercings, and we see pole dancing. But he is flexible with a unique style, "cool and groovy," and despite his lack of dancing (lots of movement) he is off to Vegas. I like him. He's real.

Matt Dorame is a wonderful performer, with a mix of jazz, ballet, and contemporary, and uses the floor well. He needs to lose the soccer shorts, acc'd to Nigel (I agree, though I liked his colorful shirt, however), and Nigel sends him thru to Vegas.

Thayne Jasperson is next, with a beautiful contemporary dance, and is off to Vegas.

Then we get Kortney Pearson and Michelle (aka Shelley) Stringham. They are two best friends who are blonde (SHOCK!), got divorced at the same time, dance together, and so on. Kortney has on a scarf that keeps getting in her way, and Shelley has on socks, probably b/c she teaches a body jam workout class. But they both go to choreography, b/c who can split the two up? I think Shelley is stronger than Kortney.

Chad Agnor is next. I feel the worst for him, b/c he is a full contact fighting trainers who also teaches ballroom, country western dancing (of course, he's in Texas!), ballroom, hip hop, etc. His slogan: "Anything in life that is perfect is a series of mistakes." I love that. Sadly, he rips his hamstrip while warming up,and Nigel warns him not to dance, but he does anyway, and they say they can't critique him with his injury and to come back. He cries.

There's an ad for The Love Guru with Mike Myers. It was bad enough that he made David Cook and David Archuleta play along with him during Idol. Make him go away.

Paige Jones is next. A lot has been written about the "Pink Princess" beauty pageant, but I'll just say that she IS like a "Stepford Dancer" (Nigel) but he likes her (WHY?) and she goes to choreography.

Joshua Allen is next and he does insane popping and isolations and breaking, has great elevation, and STILL has to go to choreography. What is WRONG with the judges this year?!

Cassidy Cordner is next, who moved from choreography to dance. She mostly uses body rolls and booty shaking and "a backbend stand up," and cannot believe that Mary says this is one of the worst auditions of the season. She "regrets coming," makes lots of excuses, and leaves.

Brianna Gardner is "like a dancer in a gentleman's club" (Nigel; how would he know, eh?!), and is gone without understanding why. She ruins Ne-Yo's "Hey Yo" (Dom and Sabra's hip hop routine), which is unforgivable. Ba bye.

Kayleigh Darling does nothing (again, why are there no Dianes?) and goes home.

John Dix and Arielle Coker are next. I am sure that much has been written about them, but I'll just say that Arielle IS beautiful (I have never seen this kind of lyrical contemporary ballroom before) and John was there for her "every step of the way" (thanks, Mary; we will hear that many times during the season, I guarantee you). Arielle goes straight thru to Vegas, John goes to choreography, and I love how happy he is for her.

We see the best female hip hop dancer for exactly five seconds, and I scream, WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL, SYTYCD?!

Our last and least contestant is Steven Arner, who is a chair dancer and uses lots of the chair and not much of the dancing. He is the Sex of this year's season. He argues with Nigel, then with Mary, who kicks him out of the theatre. Mary even swears! I would rather see some good dancing. His hair does look like Mickey Mouse ears, which is scary.


Paige goes to Vegas (why?), John does not (sadness), and Joshua goes to Vegas (thankfully), and there are 38 others from Dallas. We end with more painful Happy Dancing from Snuggle. Strangle the bear!!!

Sorry for the length. I'll be back tomorrow, and I'll try to keep it more succinct. :)

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