I liked that Fox got right on the ball last week, showing us the first night of auditions for So You Think You Can Dance the night after the American Idol finale; however, I really didn’t like having to wait almost a whole week for more. Yes, I realize it’s the same span of time between a normal results show and the next performance show, but it just seemed much longer. It didn’t help that I saw the show would be on on Monday, and waited around for it, only to find out it was just a repeat of what I’d already seen on Thursday.
Tonight, we’re holding auditions in Salt Lake City, Utah. It happens to be four degrees below after one of the worst snowstorms of the year, but three’s still a long line of dancers waiting to get in. To keep warm, Cat Deeley even gets in line and tries dancing around with everyone else. Tonight, the judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Mandy Moore, new to the judging panel, but the choreographer responsible for the table dance with Sabra and Neil last season.
Chelsea High-tower 18, Pleasant Grove, Utah, introduces us to her family, including her five brothers, the reason why she grew up a tough girl. Chelsea explains they didn’t have a lot of money and did lose their house at one point, and lost several cars. It was hard for them to maintain her dance lessons, but one of her brothers chipped in, making Chelsea know she owes a lot to people that believed in her, as it made her who she is today.
Borrowing someone else’s partner, Chelsea auditions and is absolutely stunning. Her partner isn’t so bad either, so I almost think he should just make this his audition as well. Nigel tells her it was so hot, as she used her body, face, and everything else, and it was almost like she was choreographing her face, odd for a young dancer. Mary, of course, calls her one hot tamale. She thinks Chelsea’s legs are of the sexiest she’s seen, and that’s because of the way she uses them. Mandy thinks Chelsea has incredible star quality and is amazing. Nigel agrees so wholeheartedly, he gives her a ticket to Las Vegas outright.
Brett Banford, 25, Salt Lake City, is a young man with Down’s Syndrome, and is auditioning because he wants everyone to know that people with disabilities are just the same as everyone else. He’s here to represent. He wants to tell everyone about his disability, and since he takes martial arts as well, if Nigel misjudges him, he’s going to go all tae kwon do on him. As a tae kwon do instructor, I have to say he’s pretty good. He also shares with Cat that he loves her.
Doing a hip hop routine with a lot of jumping and martial arts moves, Brett isn’t bad. Nigel tells him he’s going to be honest, not wanting to patronize him. Brett’s a really good mover, with musicality, and as a special messenger for the Special Olympics, he’s inspirational to everyone. In a club, he’d be brilliant, but for him to carry on in this competition, it isn’t right, as he’s not good enough for that. Mary tells Brett he’s a lot of fun, and it looks like he was enjoying himself, yet he’s not strong enough for the show. Mandy notes he had everyone in the room cheering for him, and that’s what it’s ultimately about.
Before he leaves, Brett tells everyone he was here to prove people with disabilities can have a normal life, and that’s why he’s here, to represent. It takes me awhile to compose myself after this, as I have a daughter with a learning disability, and his message is a very important one.
Michael Moore, 26, Orem, Utah (not the one that makes documentaries), is used to being part of the crowd, with one brother, five sisters, and almost twenty-five nieces and nephews. They are part of a Native American dance company and travel the world showing their traditions via dance. Michael isn’t involved, being more of a city boy, interested in more styles of dance, belonging to a dance company. He’s a B boy of sorts, and not the best I’ve seen, but isn’t bad. He seems too tall and lanky.
Nigel tells Michael it was frenetic, hectic, and desperate, and he needs to calm down (Michael, not Nigel). Michael issues a “Holy crap” and admits he was bad, as Nigel talks about contestants that dig a hole for themselves. Mary tells him it was almost as if someone pushed a button that said, “Yeah, crazy!” Mandy thinks the biggest problem is Michael did nearly the whole routine with his back facing to them. As he agrees, Nigel suggests he come down there and critique himself. Michael starts to say he teaches dance, then tells hem he’s just kidding, obviously making fun of many of the usual type of bad contestants.
Richard Castaneda, 29, Provo, Utah, is another hip hopper, and he’s like Brett, without the warmth. Mary tells Richard he has an interesting hairdo, but other than that it just isn’t interesting enough. Richard explains he had good choreography with pops and everything, but Nigel tells him there were more pops in his breakfast cereal. I wonder if the next dancers will claim they had snap and crackle in their choreography. Instead, we see a guy that takes one hell of a header, followed by Cat outside, doing the same.
Gev Manoukian, 21, Centerville, Utah, but originally frohm Kasakstan, has been around the figure skating scene a long time, doing breakdancing on ice. He tried out a few years ago for So You Think You Can Dance and didn’t make it, but it caused him to go back and do much more training in contemporary, tap, and ballet, leaving him now feeling more confident and versatile. He wants to stand out more.
Gev does a very nice mixed routine, that includes a lot of different emotions in it, as well as B boy tricks. It’s really nice. I predict he’ll go straight through. Nigel tells him he loved his musicality, and he loved his move the end, as it had great control. He wants him to try the choreography round though, first, at the end of the day. Mary agrees, and so does Mandy. He’ll be back later. Shows what I know.
Lindsey Judkins, 22, Ogden, Utah, does a beautiful routine with some interesting choreography. Her perky face bugs me a bit, though. Nigel tells her she’s terrific with great control, yet she needs to be careful not to open her eyes too much. She has a great face, but pulls it about too much, and should be more subtle. Mary calls her so cute with great lines and angles. She and Nigel agree she ‘s a cute patootie. Mandy agrees about her look, but she’s afraid she’s one-dimensional. Nigel disagrees it seems, and thinks she’d sail through the choreography, so they forego that, and she’s straight through. Shows what Mandy knows.