We have reached the final week of preliminary auditions. A couple of weeks of watching the blood, sweat, and tears that is Vegas Week and we can finally get into the competition! Luckily the auditions have been pretty entertaining, including several of those in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After a lot of shots of people doing dance moves in the snow with the breathtaking Rocky Mountains in the background, we find out that this week’s guest judge is Adam Shankman. I personally liked the year Adam was a permanent judge. I thought he gave really useful critiques and I tend to agree with him a lot. Plus he choreographed for Buffy, so. Also, it seems that we haven’t seen any ballroom auditions yet because they were saving them all for Utah. I actually expected this since Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah has one of the best ballroom dance companies in the country. I myself danced ballroom at Southern Utah University at one point, and they also have a fabulous program. Not sure why, but Utah loves ballroom. Hopefully some of them make it into the top 20, although I didn’t really see anyone of Pasha/Anya caliber or Iveta from last season.
Whitney, ballroom: Whitney is a smoking hot ballroom dancer who put on a very passionate performance. I felt like she lost a bit of energy toward then end or maybe just wasn’t as precise in her movement as I wanted, but the judges unanimously loved her and sent her straight to Vegas. Mary dubbed her a Hot Tamale, making her the first person this season to earn the coveted title.
Lynn, space contemporary: She’s an ex-aerospace engineer who felt a pull to the creative arts and decided to quit her career. She has 3 spirit guides named Devil da Flame, Divine da Flame, and Rainbow Light Bright and her dance style is supposed to be some kind of ode to her alien space spirit? I don’t know, she was just freaking awesome. Her dancing was sub-par, however, so she did not make it to the next round.
Dee, contemporary: After a reel of big Utah families, we met Dee, the member of an extremely tight knit Italian family. She’s the only girl out of a bunch of boy cousins and a brother, so bringing home dates is pretty sketchy, but she doesn’t need to date anyway because her boyfriend is dance. She aspires to be a professional dancer. Her audition was lovely and emotional. She’s absolutely gorgeous and Adam described her audition as “captivating.” She made it directly to Vegas.
Gene, contemporary: So, they kind of tricked me with this audition by showing a montage of terrible and ridiculous auditions first. And then this dancer was decked out in some shiny green makeup and announced his dance was about the life cycle of the male praying mantis. But then he turned out to be good! His dancing was unique, sharp, and actually reminiscent of a praying mantis. I wish he’d left the over the top costuming at home, but he was rightfully sent to Vegas.
Lindsay, ballroom: They also featured Lindsay’s cute little family of 4 girls from Provo, Utah. She was a pretty strong dancer and lively performer, but nothing about her really stood out to me. She was pretty and I could see her being fairly versatile, and they sent her to Vegas.
Mariah, krump: So this really cute, blond girl from Utah gets up to audition and announces that she will be krumping. She blew the judges’ minds – and mine – and killed it. This was probably my favorite audition because it was just so unexpected and good. Adam jokingly asked about her rough times on the streets. “Oh, I see you like horses…make that your rough times in the stable.” Nigel joked that usually when people who look like her try hip-hop it’s “very Gleek.” In her background video she explains that she likes to feel powerful, dominant, and strong, since those are things she doesn’t always feel in day to day life. Well, she was definitely all of those things. The judges made her go through the choreography but I would have sent her straight to Vegas. There was a quality and precision to her movement that told me she could dance. She ultimately made it through choreography to Vegas Week.
Murphy, hip-hop: Murphy chose to pursue his passion for dance over pursuing a more traditional career and was disowned by his parents. His choreography was very charming and funny but didn’t display enough dance vocabulary, so they saw a lot of potential and sent him to choreography. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the skill level needed to move past that.
Dareian, contemporary: Dareian had an inspiring story about growing up poor, never having enough food, and doing poorly in school as a result. Devoting himself to dance was what gave him confidence and hope and helped him get through the rough times. You could really see that passion in him when he danced. He had great control and a lot of power behind his movement. Mary and Nigel commented that he has bad feet for dancing. They’re right, but I have to admit that I didn’t even notice it because I was so captivated by his performance. They sent him to Vegas.
Johnny and Whitney, ballroom: Another ballroom team! Johnny’s schtick was being one of those pickup artists who have watched these dating videos to learn how to subtly insult women into making them want you. He was mostly joking. I think. Anyway, he and his partner were ok but they didn’t have much chemistry. The judges sent them to choreography but they didn’t make it past that, which didn’t surprise me.
Adrien, contemporary: In season 7, Adrien was one of the last considered for the top 10. He has great technique, but his choreography was disjointed and awkward. He also came off as a little over-eager. He’s good, but I feel like I’ve seen male contemporary dancers I was a lot more impressed with. He made it to Vegas.
Rachel, burlesque jazz: Rachel got into dance because she was such a shy little kid and needed to come out of her shell more. I guess it worked, because she stepped on stage in lingerie and performed a burlesque routine. It was very good, and definitely burlesque. I was proud of Nigel for not making any awkward comments and actually critiquing that the routine was more burlesque and not enough jazz. She was good enough to go onto choreography and did well there, making it into the Vegas auditions.
Leroy, hip-hop: He comes from a rough background, the only member of his family not to go to jail or otherwise get himself into trouble. He runs a dance crew called Peacemakers that is working on starting after school dance programs to help keep kids out of trouble. When he’s not doing that, he works at a doggy daycare taking care of animals. Yep, pretty much the best person of all time. He’s a very good popper and made it through to choreography, but didn’t go on from there. Still, the judges couldn’t stress enough how great what he does is and how much he generally kicks ass. Go Leroy.
Up next, Vegas Week! Injuries, tears, more dancing, and then we get to find out who made the Top 20!
You might also like:
Tags: So You Think You Can Dance