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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

So You Think You Can Dance, May 31st – Of Cowboys and Cloggers


It’s the last night for auditions, and I still say American Idol could take a few lessons here. No need to show us weeks and weeks of bad auditions. Show us some of the worst or most otherwise interesting and the best of who you think we will want to see later on and be done with it. Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Shane Sparks are in Atlanta, Georgia tonight, and Cat Deeley is finding it quite ironic that it’s cold in the south. People in line are talking about being sick, rubbing their hands together, are bundled up, etc. I’ve been down south when it’s cold, and they do this when it gets down to like 60 degrees.

Starting off our evening is one of the youngest. She just turned 18 two weeks ago, and the others all say she’s just a baby. Caitlin Cucchiara of Rochester, New York, says if she does advance to Las Vegas, she’ll be missing a lot at home, including her graduation, yet she wants to go out there and show them all she can do it, yet it’s hard when you only get one minute. She does a lyrical dance and interprets the music very well with beautiful spins. When asked, she says she has been dancing since she was 2, and Nigel tells her it shows as she is absolutely superb. Shane loves her and believes she can do this all the way 100%. Mary thinks she’s terrific, prompting Nigel to say they’d be pretty stupid to now not give her a ticket to Las Vegas. Apparently one minute was all she needed, and will be in a leotard and dance shoes instead of cap and gown.

Christopher Crabb, 28, of Port Royal, South Carolina is dressed in a white oxford shirt and brown dress pants, but says it’s his usual outfit for a teacher. He admits to his dark secret, being obsessed with N’Sync. He just won the complete set of bobbleheads on eBay. He has a shrine to Justin Timberlake in his bedroom (I am not making this up), and when he saw him in concert he was so excited he actually cried. He does a lyrical dance to a Clay Aiken tune and it’s definitely not good enough, but what little he does, he does well and seriously.

Nigel asks if Christopher choreographed that for himself or whether he was just freestyling. Christopher admits to working on it somewhat, and Nigel then realizes it wasn’t meant to be funny. Mary calls it more like Dancing 101, and says it was amost like watching a Tai Chi exercise, then calisthenics. Shane doesn’t know what style it is, but says he has to feel it doing the moves and there was nothing there for him. Nigel asks where the passion was, and Christopher says he has an urge to just dance within himself, and he realizes he hasn’t quite reached the top. Nigel tells him he has a bit of a way to go and he hasn’t quite made it, and he doesn’t feel the choreography will help him either. Christopher thinks passion must be different for everyone.

Anthony “Tony” Velez, 20, of Cleveland, Ohio, sets out to explain he isn’t really a breakdancer, but a B boy, and explains the history, saying they are B-Boying, not breakdancing. He does a move where he falls completely flat in the middle of the dance and at the end. Shane pleads with him to tell him he knows how to do choreography. Tony tells him every day; it’s his job. Shane knows he’ll be his best friend on the show. Tony tells him he’s his best friend already and asks if Shane it taking him out afterwards. This all makes Nigel wonder if the two of them are hooking up or something. Shane tells Tony not to worry about them, as Nigel and Mary start a separate conversation and leave the judges’ table together. Shane says yes, moves to Mary’s chair and says, “Whoo! I say yes,” and moves to Nigel’s chair, saying, “Well, umm, I would say no, but I’m gonna say yes. Good job; you’re through.” Nigel catches wind of this, rushes back to his chair, and tells Tony to come back for the choreography.

Brandon Norris, 22, of Wifield, Alabama is a clogger and shows Cat his special shoes, prompting her to smell them. I don’t think that would be my first option. Brandon explains some people think she’s a tapper, but there’s a difference in rhythm, as a tapper’s rhythm confuses him. Brandon’s dance appears to be hip hop with clogging added in, and it’s totally unexpected how good it is. Nigel says Brandon looked so good when he was clogging that people that have told him before they are clogging must have been lying to him. He calls it fantastic. Mary says when he started out moving his hips, she thought, “Oh no,” but once he started clogging, he changed her mind. He just needs to stick to that and not do anything else. Shane tells him when he clogs, he’s cold, and he now wants to do a movie on clogging, making Brandon the next star. He thinks people would be clogging all over the place. Nigel suggests it be called “You’ve Been Clogged.” Brandon is sent on to choreography.

During the choreography round, Tony makes it through with Shane saying they are very excited they get to send a breaker/popper/hip hopper to Las Vegas, and Tony sits down and hugs his knees prompting Shane to call the look, “Hello, Mother. I’m sitting here on the beach.” Mary tells Brandon that by far they all agree he is the beset clogger they’ve seen. He admits the choreography was kind of new to him as he’s never done auditions before, but he picked it up so easily they are pleased to send him to Las Vegas with 30 others.

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