Thankfully, Fox realizes with So You Think You Can Dance that we don’t want to sit through week upon week of auditons. It’s too bad they don’t see it the same way for American Idol. This is the second night of auditions, and there will only be one more, tomorrow. For tonight, well get two hours of auditions in Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois.
Starting off in Los Angeles, there’s a line that circles around the block, over a mile long, and it’s 7:00 A.M. While they wait, several dancers show host Cat Deeley some of their best mooves. Our judges in this audition city will be Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Wade Robeson. He was the one responsible for the mimey-looking Ramma Lamma group dance number last season.
First up is Lauren “Misha” Gottlieb, 18, of Sherman Oaks, California. She’s been waiting a long time for this. Last season she wasn’t old enough yet, so watched the entire season and still managed to be involved by assisting choreographer Tyce Dioro when he worked with the contestants, and this was followed with her giving dance lessons to Tobey McGuire who had just finished Spiderman 3 and had to go back and re-shoot some of it. He was a big fan of the show she points out. She does a contemporary dance and shows great flexibility. Wade thinks her lines are really nice and that she has a really interesting dynamic in her movement with great control of her body. Mary asks if Lauren choreographed the routine, and finding out she did says it was interesting and definitely commanded attention and made her watch. Nigel calls her a beautiful girl and beautiful dancer and knows she’ll easily be able to do the choreography later, so he suggests she go straight through to Las Vegas. He’s not alone, and Lauren is on her way. Did being connected with the show last year give her a leg up?
Jessi Peralta, 24, of Valley Village, California has been a dancer since she was a littler girl and is looking forward to someone giving her an honest opinion. She’d rather hear the brutal truth and pick herself up, than hear she did a good job and is going to make it. Well, that’s easier said than done in many ways. She does a contemporary dance and at one point spreads baby oil on herself, yet no on knows where that came from. Mia Michaels will love her. Nigel calls it a beautiful dance, and Wade thought it was really interesting and felt the piece had a historic theme. It brought him in. Nigel says when the baby oil came out, it worked for him. Mary calls it one sensual number and asks Jessi if she made it up. She replies she did it in the gym last night and suggests that maybe the guys pumping weight next to her were her inspiration. She’s going to Las Vegas, and someone suggests she bring her baby oil.
Ernie “E.J.” Sierra, 28, of San Jose, California has been a hairstylist for almost five years and loves it, as it allows him to balance out his passions for hair and dance. He’s a little bit nervous because so many talented people there have a shot. For a larger man, he’s actually very good, although slightly effeminate. He jumps into the American splits and gets applause. Nigel tells him the audience is patronizing him because he’s fat and doing it, saying it isn’t because of his dance, because lots of people have done that and not received the same applause. There are a lot better dancers on that stage and they didn’t have the applause. He’s sorry that all came up and says E.J. shouldn’t be in a dance competition alongside a lot of other people.
Wade says to begin with that E.J. is dancing like a girl, and E.J. explains he just loves lyrical. Wade says that’s fine, but a lot of wonderfully talented men dance lyrical like men. Mary asks if E.J. thinks he looks like any of the top 20 they had last year, as he was rolling around on the floor and touching himself. She’s horrified. D.J. explains he doesn’t have to touch himself. Nigel says he was delighted with some of the things E.J. did, but some of it was because he shouldn’t be able to at his size. He wants him to keep dancing because it’s good for his health, but he gets a no for the competition. The other dancers there are upset with the critique, and call it harsh, saying a more intelligent word than “fat” could have been used. It’s also said that Nigel was totally disrespectful to focus on E.J.’s body shape, because when they applauded, it wasn’t because of his size, but because of what he was doing. In his own defense, D.J. says he’s heavy, and it takes a lot to get him down. He’ll be back next year. Nigel promised not to be mean this year, and there’s no way to look at that comment other than calling it mean. Just reject him. Why take away from him the good feeling of having others applaud him. Just let him keep that memory.
After a brief introduction to the background of some of the dancers, such as one holding a Bachelor of Science in astro physics, a professional Spanish translator, a hustling attorney, and a rocket scientist, aspiring geneticist Colin Wheeler, 26, of Cinton, Utah, is apparently just on a different planet. He says he studied blood and traveled farther into the blood cell and a gift was unlocked, and in a way he unlocked the key to life and maybe even death. He claims that he knew Anna Nicole Smith, and she came to his birthday in 2005, making it the most happiest time of his life. He was breakdancing, and when he told her it was his birthday, she gives him a hug and says happy birthday. They held each other then and even in her death she still talks to him, giving him signs she’s there. She loves him auditioning. Wow.