If you listen to some of the So You Think You Can Dance fans this past week, what they’re concerned about is the attitude of the judges, as it seems they were a little harsh on some of the auditioners. Don’t we have that question every season about American Idol as well? Don’t we talk every year about if Simon is more mean this year and if Paula and Randy are joining him? I began to wonder if maybe it’s just something that goes with the territory. With one night of auditions left, it will be interesting to see if the fans will continue to feel that way.
It’s more cold dancing auditions tonight as we watch the auditions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But before we start that, Cat sends us through the best of the rest auditions that we usually see recorded in one separate night on American Idol, but are only seeing tonight as a partial section of the show.
For some reason they want to make sure we see how oddly Nigel Lythgoe acts every time he sees hip hop dancers. He makes the strangest of facial contortions and also does gang signs in his seat. One of those auditioners is Michael Kim, 21, Boston, Massachuetts who auditioned in Washington D.C. Originally he auditioned in season two and went to Las Vegas, but he feels he got “creamed” in Vegas. He comes back now with more training, saying he didn’t want to do it again without bringing something different to the table.
Michael does some great popping and is just very smooth with some definitely different moves. Nigel tells him he’s his favorite in this style in Washington, D.C., and it’s beautiful to watch. Mary tells Michael the problem with him the last time was she was teaching him the samba and he was giving her salsa. She hopes his ballroom has improved, as what he did today was extraordinary. Dan Karaty tells him there is only a handful of poppers they have let through, and they’re dying for someone that can do this and also pull off the other. Nigel agrees and hands him a ticket to Las Vegas.
As we see the support systems the dancers have brought to the auditions with them from parents, cousins, siblings, friends, etc., we move back to Los Angeles where we meet roommates Katee Shean, 19, and Natalie Reid, 22, both of Orange, Califiornia. They dance together and feel it’s important to have a supportive friend to work out and dance with. They even have matching onsies to work out in, but they look more like footed jammies. They have moves they do together with weird names, and they just seem like they’re more into working out than dancing. They’ll be supportive if only one of them goes to Las Vegas, but they hope both get to go.
Katee is up first and does some expressive, beautiful moves in her contemporary routine, especially with her fingers and hands. I think Mia Michaels will love her. Nigel calls it delightful and loved her hand work especially, calling it flowing. Mary tells her she is two judges away from going straight to Vegas, with the first one being her. Mia calls Katee a joy to watch and wants to see more. As Katee does airplane dance moves, she is sent straight to Las Vegas.
Natalie’s moves aren’t quite as flowing, but are more jumpy, yet somehow still feeling the music just the same. It has a more tribal beat to it. Nigel tells her she showed everyone that watched it that you don’t have to have a grin and fake smile to dance. Calling it outstanding, he says he thoroughly enjoyed it, being engrossed by every tittle thing. Mary points out they look for unique and different, and she brought that and was absolutely captivating. Mia calls Natalie unique, great, and honest, saying sometimes it can become self-indulgent, yet this was honest and vulnerable. Nigel brings up that her friend Katee was sent alone to Vegas and should be hooked up with her friend. Natalie is on her way.
Back in Washington, D.C., a couple of salsa dancers struggle in the lobby waiting to go onstage. Janette Manrara and Romulo Villaverde do much better in front of the judges and are very exciting to watch. I don’t have their ages or hometowns as an incoming bad weather crawl is covering it up on the bottom of the screen. Nigel gives them a clap and tells them choreographer Alex deSilva would be applauding them, and the tricks they did were better than David Buckram with a soccer ball. The problem with this was when Romeo stopped doing the tricks, he wasn’t as strong. Mary agrees with this and adds in that he pulls his face a little too much, getting too excited. The only thing Dan Karaty has to say is that salsa is just sexy and that was pure entertainment.
Nigel asks them to come back for the choreography round later, and as we skip ahead to Janet after the choreography, Dan tells her they loved the partnering work and it only made her stronger. She’s going to Vegas! Dan tells Romulo his other half is through, but while they’d love to send him through, they just can’t. That has to be really hard to watch your partner go through.
As we finally start out in Milwaukee, our judges tonight are Nigel, Mary, and husband and wife hip hop choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha, who have worked with Missy Elliott and Christina Aguilera. I don’t recall seeing them on the show before, but maybe they have been. At any rate, they didn’t make a big impression.
First up is Bianca Revels, 19, Chicago, a full time Columbia College student and a dance major. Her mom encouraged her to dance after seeing her dance to the Anita Baker and Michael Jackson music that was playing. She comes out tonight doing a great tap routine, reminding me of Savion Glover, and she even works in a little Michael Jackson moonwalking as she dances to Boogie Wonderland. Nigel tells her it’s the first time someone has danced to a modern song and almost stay in rhythm throughout the whole thing. “100% excellent.” Mary asks who Bianca has worked with, and she names off Savion Glover and Gregory Hines among others. Napoleon and Tabitha think she is wonderful as the whole table agrees she is heading straight to the desert air of Vegas.
James Davis started preparing for this audition in season three, haven gotten together with several different choreographers. They have all told him he could be in the top twenty of this show. This has the possibility of greatness or train wreck. He comes out dancing to Robert Palmer and does some leaps and spins, and there’s the train wereck. Nigel asks Mary if James is simply irresistible, and she apologizes saying “no.” It was too much silliness. For Napoleon, he felt it was like the character in Footloose that couldn’t dance. Tabitha notes the different styles thrown in like Footloose, Chorus Line, John Travolta, etc., a “movie musical medley.” James asks to go to choreography but Nigel refuses, saying the dancing wasn’t strong enough.