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

So You Think You Can Dance 5, May 21 – Making Mary Love Her Job


Everyone works on Lauren’s routine at the end of the day. Igor makes it through, but his dance partner Nina doesn’t. Chimezie makes it through as well, and he fake dies again, just like he did at the end of his dance. Fourteen from day two in Brooklyn will be going to Las Vegas.

We move on to Denver where we exchange out Tabitha and Napoleon for Sonya Tayeh, who just started choreographing for the show last year, making this her first time judging the auditions.

The first one for her to judge is Kayla Radomski, 18, of Aurora, CO. Her dad left when she was little, prompting her and her mom to move in with her grandparents. Her grandfather remembers her first falling in love with dancing while watching Singing In the Rain. He worked nights, so spent a lot of time sleeping in the chairs at the dance studio during her classes. I think all that work on his part was worth it, as she’s quite good on her contemporary routine. The judges seem to agree.

Nigel tells her she brought it with some great angles with her arms and hands. He doesn’t think there was too much he didn’t like. Mary agrees, saying it was great. Really Good. Sonya calls it hot, smoking’ hot. Slick, slippery, with her wrists and arms, and using her back, instead of just her extremities. Her feet go on for days and days. Her face is beautiful as well. Nigel knows the worst part about Las Vegas is you lose your best dancers to choreography, but he doesn’t care. As he gives her a ticket, her grandma woohs in the audience, and Nigel tells ushers out a “Shut up up there.” Her grandpa cries for her.

Misha Belfer, 26, of Denver, is waiting for his partner, Mitchell Kibel, 26, also of Denver. It’s like Blades of Glory. They do same sex ballroom dancing. They’ve been dancing together for about eight months. Mitch had a female partner, but it didn’t work out too well. He’s straight, but Misha is gay, making it a little awkward at first. They do know the show is looking for masculine dancers, and they think it’ll be a strong point for them, to make it double the masculinity. I don’t know how they figure that. They fall during their audition, as it seems they’re a bit too heavy for each other to lift.

Nigel notes it’s the first time for two guys doing the samba. He says the same thing I did, that it was a bit like watching Blades of Glory, especially at the end when they fell on their asses. Their styles were good, if he just sticks with the dancing, but he also feels they’d alienate the audience,. He really prefers to see guys be guys and girls be girls, and he’s not sure he liked it. If they just stick to dancing and not necessarily together, they were both good. Mary mentions it also being her first time to see this. What confuses her is they bounce back and forth with the female role. Misha feels that makes it more difficult. The technique needs more work, though. When Sonya sees certain moves, she thinks female, and it makes it confusing for her as well. Nigel invites them both back to choreography to dance with a girl, saying they might just like that too.

In the choreography round at the end of the day, Mitch and Misha don’t make it. They agree to come back next year, working on their other styles of dance. The producers do great with the editing here, playing <b>It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World</b> in the background. Eleven dancers in all this day got a ticket to Vegas.

On day two, one of the dancers sits there doing a standup routine that doesn’t go anywhere. Another, Allison Moist, 19, of Grapevine, TX, dances to the Star Wars theme with two light sabers, whiskers, and animal ears on the top of her head. Nigel implores Mary to feel the force. All Allison does is a bunch of leaps.

Nigel asks Allison if she’s supposed to be a pussy cat, and she says a lion, yet also notes it doesn’t have anything to do with the dance. She wore it to be unique and stand out. He asks if she wants to be a professional dancer, as if she does, she has a long journey ahead of her, galaxies. Mary wants her to put it in overdrive, as there was no dancing going on, just prancing around with little attempt to even get in the air, making it comical. Sonya can’t even stop laughing long enough to give her critique, but finally says she can’t even believe she’s serious. Allison only wants to be different, and Mary asks if she ‘s seen the show, as she should know it’s not good. NIgel wants her to pursue being a makeup artist.

Nigel is in a bad mood, saying he’s shocked at the stupidity of it all. Elias Holloway, 18, of Sante Fe, NM, brings his brother to dance with him, yet his brother isn’t trying out, as he’s just 16. They’ve always done everything together, sharing food and even a bed. They’re the youngest of fourteen kids, and they did two things in the family, swimming and dancing, yet they were never put in dancing, as they were always swimming. But they started doing pop locking when then were 13 and 15. I have to say it’s more impressive as they do it together. They really are quite good, making me wonder if they do just as good at swimming.

Nigel tells Elias he found it extremely entertaining. What was clever about it was that it picked right up in the middle going into the rock side of it. Mary agrees, calling it the cutest thing she’s seen in about all five years. She thinks the camera will love him, as he’s got so much charisma. Sonya can really see him doing dance commercials, and he’s really marketable. They send him on to choreography, as he gets a big hug from his brother.

Brandon Bryant, 19, of Maimi, and Natalie Reid, 23, of Seattle, met on the show last year. He went to Vegas , and it was between him and Gev Manoukian moving on. She auditioned with Katee Shean, and while Katee made it on, Natalie didn’t. She was happy for her to go on and do it, though, and she may even be more nervous than last year. She does a beautiful contemporary routine that has both Mary and Sonya in awe.

Nigel tells Natalie it’s so lovely to see her again this season. During the dance he was put off, though, as someone was jumping up and down saying yes, yes. And he means Sonya. Sonya speaks up saying everything was right, and she’s Natalie’s biggest fan. She makes that movement look so real and so sincere, and she can’t even find the words. She gets chills and doesn’t want it to end, wanting to see more. She prays she makes it all the way through.

Mary tells her Natalie she’s so proud of her right now. Last season was phenomenal, but right now there’s and organic and realness of it all. So many people reach out the arms, but the intent as she moved her fingers, it’s so real. She’ll go the distance this time Mary thinks. Nigel wants to be sure she doesn’t have any flatmates that might take her place. He tells her it’s a great honor to see how she has progressed, and Natalie admits last year motivated her to push herself to the limit. She of course gets to go to Vegas, no fakeout. She calls Katee and tells her she got through, and she’s quite excited for her.

Brandon does equally well on another contemporary dance and is just awe-inspiring. I don’t have anything to critique, but wow. You just want to watch

Mary wipes her tears and says she has the greatest job in the whole world to sit here and witness something like that that she could never do in a million years, dance like him. It’s fabulous to see technique, artistry (Is Kara DioGuardi here?), use of stage, intent, commitment, it’s just fabulous. He’s the kind of dancer that touches millions of people in a few short moves. If he doesn’t make the top 20 this year, she’ll die.

Sonya tells Brandon he just dropped his whole life and love on the stage and it was just wonderful. Nigel tells him it was absolutely beautifully danced, and he hopes and hopes he brings the personality this year. He knows he left home and went training this year, and Nigel has seen the growth. Hoping Brandon will be in the top 20, Nigel encourages him to work on the other things he’s not good at. He gets the ticket, obviously.

In the choreography round with Lauren, Elias meets the judges. Mary tells him it wasn’t easy and they were rooting for him, but they want him to get more training and please come back. He promises he’ll be back. Maybe his brother can audition with him next year. Nineteen made it on day two from Denver.

American Idol? That seems like ages ago now. Seriously, I thought I’d have a hard time getting into this tonight, but it was like finding an old friend. American Idol is still there for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start getting excited about this season. The last two dancers alone have me wanting to skip ahead the next couple weeks, just to see who makes the final 20.

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