Saturday, May 24, 2008

Natalie Gets her Jeannie On (Video) UPDATED

Natalie Fotopoulos, looking like Barbara Eden at her finest, dances with Greek pop star Persian singer from Sweden that sings in Farsi (thanks MoJo!) Arash on So You Think You Can Dance Greece.
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Season 2 Links

William B. Wingfield's Audition (Video)

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News Roundup

Our Idol blogging buddy Dave Chung got to hang with some SYTYCDers at the finale after-party Wednesday night. Check it out at his blog.

Cat Deeley, who has bravely prevailed despite SYTYCD's pervasive "racism" against tall people, says that Dancing With The Stars-type shows are:

...kind of different to our show. It's not about the celebrities, it's about the kids and seeing how far they can go on this journey. Normally, dancers aren't normally the people in the spotlight, they're normally the back-up guys.

"We're taking dancers, putting them in the spotlight, and challenging them - they have to learn different styles and that sort of thing. And that is exciting for me."

Dave Scott receives his Fred & Adele Astaire Award for film choreography on June 2nd.

Diane Macedo of Fox News especially appreciated Victor Kim's audition:
Still, none of these three managed to come anywhere near Victor Kim’s skill. This kid is funny, likeable, can walk downstairs with his hands and basically defies the laws of physics with everything else he can do with his body.

What he can’t do, however, is learn a contemporary routine, as he got the boot after the choreography round. I’m officially in mourning and think the judges are insane. If Cedric deserved a shot at the finals last year, Victor definitely should have at least made it to the Vegas round this year.

We've recruited another one. The Palm Beach Post's Leslie Gray Streeter:
Curse you and your perfect dancers, Nigel!

I have avoided watching "So You Think You Can Dance" for the past three seasons because it was just too much. I had given so much of my brain to the whole "Idol" machine, from the goofy auditions and the ratcheted-up drama, to the inane judges and the presumed producer trickery. I needed to give my summer energies to something more pure, like that hairdressing show on Bravo, or to training for a half-marathon in the middle of the South Florida heat, because "Idol" done took my brain and I make really stupid decisions.

Needless to say, she's hooked.

The LA Times blogs Monday's dance-off and recaps the first episode.

The New York Daily News' Cristina Kinon says "when it comes to some of that interpretive cr*p, I just don't get it."

Even the guys at betting site Bodog Beat were blown away by Robert Muraine's audition.

A dancer named Jennifer blogs her experience auditioning in Milwaukee at TVGrapevine.

Step It Up & Dance (new Wikipedia entry) eliminated poor Oscar for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. Is that a reality TV first? Congratulations to good guy Nick "Get back on stage!" Drago for winning his first challenge. Recaps at It Happened Last Night and While Not Making Other Plans.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Devin Oshiro's Audition (Video)

Uploaded by Andrew (ATCorporate)

Bonus: Devin soloing at Showstopper American Dance Championships.
Uploaded by ilovepaulfrank

Mid-day Update

I'm seeing almost nothing but love and joy at the return of So You Think You Can Dance. In addition to our own recap by Sue B, we have recaps from TVSquad and

Korbi Ghosh catches up with several season 3 favorites. Regular BSYTYCD readers won't find much new here, but it will bring others up to speed.

As if we need it, Kristin at E!Online gives us 5 reasons to watch So You Think You Can Dance.

Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew is doing another casting special leading up to season 2.

Only 10 of 14 Advance to Weekly Competition during Live Casting Special on Saturday, June 7 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. ET/PT

Also that day: 4:30 p.m. ET/PT, "America's Best Dance Crew" champions JabbaWockeeZ reunite with judge Shane Sparks in the special "Walk It Out with the JabbaWockeeZ and Shane Sparks." They will discuss the hottest dance moves on the streets and in the clubs, and Shane Sparks will give fans their own private dance lessons by breaking down some of the coolest moves from dance videos plus teach some of his newest steps.

Ivan To Video Blog Season 4

We've just learned that season 2 contestant Ivan Koumaev will be video blogging So You Think You Can Dance season 4 at movmnt magazine. Publisher David Benaym says the 14 episodes will present Ivan's "point of view, with backstage access, exclusive inputs from choreographers, judges, make up and costume people, former contestants and much more."

Congratulations to David and Ivan. We're looking forward to every episode.

If you haven't done so, be sure to check out movmnt's social network.

LA Auditions Recap

Hi, guys. This is my first recap, so be kind. :) If you find inaccuracies, please let me know.

Here we go!!!

It's Cat and lots of people in line! We get the whole "thrills, spills, and more talent than any other show." Okay, Cat, Let's get on with it.

Nigel is in a blue jean shirt. I don't get it. Mary looks like Mary. Mia has on some sort of head wrap. Hm.

The new opening has the table dance with Sabra and Neil (yay!, Dom, Danny (I think), Jaimie and Hok's Hummingbird, Sabra crying (I think), but it hasn't changed that much. Who is the female ballroom dancer, BTW? I've always wondered.

First we get Devin Oshiro. They put on Barracuda. She doesn't move. Nigel asks for more dancing, then realizes it's the wrong song. (Ha ha. HE picked the wrong song. sorry, American Idol reference. Did you know that David Cook won?!) Then they put on the right song and she does a beautiful contemporary dance. She gets the first ticket to Vegas. Let's all drink to Nigel saying "I bet the choreographers can't wait to get their hands on you." Okay, fine.

Next up is...

...scary Jonathan from Italy, who says Italians are hairy but he shaves and shows us his chest. I prefer Oscar from Step It Up and Dance, who was voted off last night. Again. Sob.) He is called arrogant and yet gets to go to the choreography round. I don't get it.

Then...SEX IS BACK. Why?! At least this time his mother, who is there, doesn't talk. Cat talks to him (this year she sits on stairs for her interviews. Her hair is in a ponytail. She looks very cute.) He is only online for about two minutes, while they make fun of him. Gah. Nigel refuses to call him Sex, and instead goes by his real name, David. I can't wait for this to end.

Laura Garcia is next. She is visually impaired and dances reasonably well. They say her technique is not good enough, so she doesn't go through, but not because of her sight. Mia cries. Laura cries. I sort of cry.

You've already read about Twitch, but I didn't know he was was cut in Vegas while Hok made it. He does amazing tricks and is on to Vegas. Nigel desperately wants him to win.

Hamilton is up. He is overweight, does a pretty bad dance, is reprimanded for his weight. Is this The Biggest Loser?! I like his hat, though, b/c I have one like it.

We get a 46 (!) year old (older than me) woman from Russia in a red dress dance, so they can talk about her fight to free. The age limit is 35, so this is a waste of time.

Phillip Chbeeb is back, doing awesome isolations and popping (Shane would love him) and he goes to choreography (I would have sent him to Vegas, but whatever).

William Wingfield dances to a dark contemporary piece about Katrina and other tough items. They think he hasn't done enough, but he's off to choreography, too.

Rijjy comes in on briefs and writhes on floor. Another total waste of time.

We are onto the choreography round with: Travis! Woohoo! Not enough Travis time, though. I hope we get more next week. Jonathan is a no, but Phillip and William go to Vegas with 16 others.

Onto day two. Erika Jee comes on for her third try and nails it this time as "herself." The judges no longer "scare the crap out of me." She cries. I think Mia cries. She goes back to Vegas.

We get a ballroom pair from Russia, Leonidas (I liked him better) and his partner Aliona. They say they are hot. I think they are pretty good, no Anya and Pasha. They go straight to Vegas. We get Mary's first Hallelujah.

Randy "So I think I can Dance" Lewis cannot.

Victor Kim, an awesome breaker and "goofball" goes to choreography.

We get to see Dominic in the balcony a number of times. No problem with that.

Gold Inferno is back! (Too bad.) He is even worse this year, mumbling about his fans. He goes home, angry at the judges as Cat talks him returning to his own planet, but Dom waves him on. Hysterical (not).

Ricky and Suka do a more contemporary ballroom. I love it. They've only been dancing together for three months, but no one can tell. Asuka is sick, but they still make it to Vegas.

Kherington Payne, a soccer player, does a great contemporary dance. She reminds me of Lauren (very excitable), though not as good, IMO. Dominic is fixated on her and she has the "It" factor. She goes straight to Vegas.

The highlight of the night for me is Robert Muraine. He has no formal training (Dominic, anyone?). I have never seen popping like that. He is insanely flexible. He goes straight to Vegas. I could have watched him all night. The judges could have, too. I hope he makes it to the top 20.

Finally we get the Snuggle Happy Dance from everyone, and we will every week (way to promote Snuggle, FOX).

So that's it. We'll see Utah and Texas next week.

tWitch's Stinky Audition (Video)

Sorry about the ridiculous logo. Fixed! Thanks to Plechazunga.

Bonus: tWitch at a workshop with a dancer identified only as Nick.
Uploaded by JAKebal

Thursday, May 22, 2008

LA Audition Show

It was great to see tWitch and PacMan again, and we'll be seeing them in Las Vegas. The 2 ballroom couples really stood out for me. I hope we see more of them.

Nate Levy on TV has a recap.

Robert Muraine - Mr. Fantastic UPDATED W/ Audition

Uploaded by llmrfantasticll

From 2007.
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Leonidas & Aliona Proskurov

They got their ticket to Vegas in the LA round.
Uploaded by LADanceProfessional

News Update

The TV Addict talks to Mary Murphy and Dan Karaty.

Beckylooo gets all post-cynical on Not for the language sensitive.

EW's Adam B. Vary interviews Uncle Nigel:

What is your criteria for putting together your top 20 dancers?

I don't always pick the best dancers. It is casting. It is saying, "Okay, this personality is going to jar against this personality." I want to keep it as interesting as possible. I'd like to diversify styles as much as possible. I want to have people that we can push and not have them break down the minute they can't do something. It's a long season for dancers. It isn't like American Idol. If you lose your voice, you lose your voice one week. If you twist an ankle or put your knee out, that's it, the season's over for you. So they've got to be sturdy, both physically and mentally. They can't fall foul of injuries too quickly. They've got to, at the end of the day, get on with people, or we believe that they're going to get on with people. And they're going to have to want to win it. That's really important. We're losing a little bit of that on Idol at the moment. You know, they know they're going to do well when they're in fourth or fifth place. That's not going to happen with dance. There's going to be one winner. They're not going to become multimillionaires, like the Idols. They're going to still have to work hard for every single thing they get, even if they win. That's just the way of a dancer: undervalued, underpaid, and overworked.

I predict we'll be seeing a lot of Travis Wall this season. Shimmy caught up with him recently.

BuddyTV has just unveiled a new quiz: Which So You Think You Can Dance Judge Are You? Unfortunately, they make you register to get your results, so I don't know which judge I am.

Season Premier Open Thread

Not long now...

Ballroomers And Breakers On Ellen (Video)

Uploaded by Yesenializ

Thanks to a kind reader for the tip!

News Update

Today's the day!

Daniel Fienberg at From Inside The Box has more from Cat Deeley's conference call. He quotes Cat as saying

"There will definitely be another amazing Mia Michaels routine that's going to give you chills. Wade Robson is also going to do something very special for us."

So we will see Wade at some point during the season, but I'm guessing it will be something that borrows from and promotes his current project with Criss Angel.

As we so often see with the mainstream media, the Toronto Star tries, but just misses the mark. Comparing So You Think You Can Dance to Dancing With The Stars:
The Dances: Stars is all ballroom, in its various forms. Think is ballroom too – and everything else under the sun. Jazz, jive, modern, Broadway, salsa, swing, hip hop: where else would you be able to see a classically trained ballerina master and flawlessly perform "krunk"? How else would most of us even know what "krunk" means?

Some of "us" still "don't".

The LA Times follows our Mandy Moore as she choreographs non-dancers for the Idol finale.

In what I'm told is a "last minute update", pop sensation Rhianna and famed choreographer Tina Landon make a special guest appearance on tonight's Step It Up & Dance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wade Robson On Criss Angel's Believe (Video)

More info at

Step It Up & Dance Preview (Video)

Courtesy of BravoTV

News Update

Jarett Wieselman with the New York Post TV blog has some So You Think You Can Dance goodies. Lacey Schwimmer has a part in an upcoming Adam Sandler movie, Bedtime Stories. Nigel Lythgoe mentions 2 hopefuls from season 3, Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Phillip Chbeeb, though the writer calls him Habib. There's more, and it's worth a read.

High Schooler Vaughn English presented a unique audition to SYTYCD judges. It sounds like he didn't make it to Vegas, but we may see him on the audition show from Milwaukee.

Lanteri New York Video Contest

Click to enlarge.

Sabra Johnson has done it. Jaimie Goodwin has done it. They've even done it together and now, you can do it too. Create a video dance commercial for Lanteri New York. More info here.

Wednesday Idol Finale Open Thread

SYTYCDers in the opening number!

UPDATE: An LJ blogger who saw the preview on Ellen Degeneres Show identified Dominic, Pasha, Anya, Lacey, Sara, Hok, and Dmitry. There are probably more.

Broadway From Greece (Video)

Season 2 favorite Natalie Fotopoulos choreographs So You Think You Can Dance Greece contestants Igor and Ania in a Broadway routine. Gotta love Alterna-Cat hosting.
Uploaded by katerinaz1

News Roundup

TWOP released an interview with Dan Karaty. Asked if there will be any changes for season 4:

You're going to be seeing obviously some new musical performances, how we have guest recording artists come out there. We got a couple surprises in the bag, and a couple other performers that'll be out there that'll surprise you. And we've mixed up the audition dates this year and we're doing new cities. Like Washington, D.C., which we've never done before. So we're going to scope out some new and different talent out there.

Dan also discusses the growing popularity of dance, Mia Michaels' creative process, and his take on Wade Robson's anti-war solos last season.

Last night was the Dance Times Square showcase. Tony & Melanie presented, Pasha & Anya performed, Sabra & Kameron were in the audience, and fortunately for us, Tonya Plank was there to report.

Commenter KJ found video of Sara Von Gillern dancing on the current Avril Lavigne tour. Check out the mohawk.
Uploaded by Corrismatic

Brett Love at TVSquad shows why he's the web's top TV dance journalist in this interview with Dancing With The Stars' Jonathan Roberts. He couldn't resist asking about So You Think You Can Dance:
Brett: One more question that I was wondering about. Now that Dancing With The Stars is ending, I'll turn my attentions to So You Think You Can Dance and I was wondering if that's something that you watch, or are you a fan?

Jonathan: Definitely. I've had several friends that have been on it, some of the ballroom dancers. We pretty much all know each other, so it's great for me to see the success that a lot of them have had on the show. What I like about So You Think You Can Dance is that there are no celebrities involved. It's basically whatever they do on screen is how people perceive them and vote for them and it really is these young kids showing off their amazing talent.

Brett: That's the biggest thing for me with that show. I'm always amazed at the level of talent they are able to bring in every year.

Jonathan: Absolutely.

ABDC's Kaba Modern performed at the APIA Vote Townhall Meeting. (Video)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Idol Finale Tuesday Open Thread

Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Taylor, Jordin, and David.

News Update

TVSquad's Kristin Sample was at yesterday's big Dance-off in Hollywood. She talked to Lauren, Hok & Dominic, and Lacey. Juicy tidbits:

Hok & Dominic's crew Quest will be on Season 2 of America's Best Dance Crew beginning June 19th.

Lacey confirms that it will be So You Think You Can Dance past season favorites appearing in the opening number of Wednesday night's Idol finale.

Wade Robson is quoted in this article about Criss Angel's new Las Vegas show Believe.

SYTYCD News Roundup

Great news! Leee at T!YBE will again be recapping So You Think You Can Dance every week. Well, most every week. And with Sara gone, he has only ONE pervy dictate.

TVGasm has pics from yesterday's record-setting So You Think You Can Dance-off.

Jesús Solorio always credits his hometown for supporting him on his way up. Now he has the opportunity to give back to Paso Robles.

For anyone new to SYTYCD, Reality TV Magazine has a good primer on the format and rules.

Season 4 Teaser (Video)

Uploaded by Andrew (ATCorporate)

Monday, May 19, 2008


Clearly, So You Think You Can Dance will be represented on Wednesday night's American Idol finale. What's not clear yet is whether it will be past season favorites or, as it was done in Australia, a random group from this season's hopefuls. Of course, Australia had no past seasons to call on. We'll know sometime Wednesday as the dancers will preview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

BuddyTV covers Cat Deeley's conference call from earlier today.

The Torontoist takes a stand:

So You Think You Can Dance is kind of like American Idol, except for the following things: the judges often offer good critical analysis and are not always grandstanding idiots, the contestants are all professional-level quality dancers in at least one subset of dance rather than simply being a bunch of interested amateurs imitating whatever they think is cool, the good performances are more interesting to watch than the trainwrecks, everybody involved acts in a reasonably classy manner, and the show does not suck.

UPDATE: Writing for MSNBC, Andy Denhart misses some of the finer points, but gets it mostly right, and his heart is in the right place.

John and Colin eventually get around to recapping last week's Step It Up & Dance after talking to another Broadway guest.

Raw Vegas has video of JabbaWockeeZ performing Apologize on a very small nightclub stage.

The Art4Life event in Hollywood tonight includes "performances by the cast of "Step It Up and Dance", Fysh'n'Chicks from "America's Best Dance Crew", and cast members of "So You Think You Can Dance" including Blake McGrath."

Loralyn and Sue B contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 18, 2008