Wow folks, we’re in the final city of auditions for season nine of So You Think You Can Dance – Salt Lake City, Utah. We’re bound to find a few ballroom contestants from this state, which will be a first in this season of SYTYCD! It’s not surprising, but so far this season we’ve seen the fast majority of Vegas-bound dancers specializing in Contemporary, with a few Hip Hop and street dancers breaking their way into the mix.
This week we have Adam Shankman joining Skeletor and Screamin’ MM on the judging panel, which will thankfully add a healthy dose of homosexuality to the mix! I’ll admit, I’m a few drinks in at this point as it was the pre-season kick off to the Canadian Football League, and my hometown team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders were in town playing the BC Lions and I’d never miss a chance of seeing my boys play live. Sadly, the Saskie boys lost, which lead to a few more pints and my boyish grin as I make my way through this episode.
I’m really going to focus on the best dancers (aka my favourites), in an effort to avoid the producer’s nonsense and make this article as credible as possible. The first dancer of the night was Witney Carson, a Latin ballroom dancer (our first) dancing a Cha Cha tango! Skeletor’s pervert smile was out before the performance even began. The judges went crazy for this girl and even gave her a standing ovation, and I’ll be honest, it was good but wasn’t even comparable to the ballroom contestants we’ve seen in the past. Skeletor compared her to Anya and Pasha, which I felt was misguided, and Screamin’ MM gave her the first SCREAM OF THE SEASON. Wow. I definitely think this was over done due to the lack of ballroom we’ve seen thus far. Am I wrong?
Cue weird story, and my fast forward button. Lynn Gravatt with all her sparkles was just too much and then cut to Nigel making a ridiculous face that clearly was added in during post-production, combined with my eye roll and we’re done.
From that point on it was Contemporary Dancer girl #1 with her sweet family story, followed by the guy dressed as a preying mantis from Las Vegas who were both great and went straight through to Vegas. I don’t mean to purposely skip over the preying mantis guy, but really there is nothing more I can say about him and his cray outfit!
Up next was another ballroom contestant, yet another spicy blonde, finally adding a bit of flare to the competition. She honestly looked exactly like the girl earlier in the night, performing to a different song, after she had her eye browns reshaped and braces removed. No joke! This was followed up by an ongoing ballroom segment of several mediocre dancers with minimal clips to prevent the audience at home from seeing just how few dancers from this style actually showed up.
One of my favourite performances of the night was up next, Mariah Spears (EPIC NAME) exploded on the stage doing her Krump audition. It was as if the judges didn’t even know what was happening, and she was GOOD. She had an incredible performance to her art, and I loved it. Of course they sent her to choreography, as it wasn’t ballroom and Skeletor didn’t have an old man chub for her.
Cue another dramatic story of a boy who gave up everything to be a dancer. Enter Murphy Yang, a contemporary jazz slash hip hop slash Broadway dancer. I’ll be honest, there just wasn’t enough actual dancing in this number to make me think he could handle a week in this competition, regardless of his writing on his stomach urging the judges to send him to Vegas. He was sent to choreography first…and didn’t make it through to Vegas. Ten minutes spent on his story for nothing.
Mariah Spears on the other hand DID make it through. I’m rooting for her simply for her amazing name.
Day two in Salt Lake City opened with a ripped Contemporary dancer performing without his shirt, Dareian Kujawa. Skeletor made an inappropriate comment about his nipples and that’s when I tuned out. This routine was definitely stellar; however, my favourite part was the music. I will be adding this song to my iPod ASAP. Adam – find it for me! KThx. Oh, he made it to Vegas BTW.
Then the show fell off the rails as the producers decided to show a male ballroom dancer talk about his quest to find women. I skipped the whole segment. Honestly, nine minutes later we finally saw him dance and at that point I was so angry his facial expressions made me want to scream, and his lack of connection with his partner was enough for me to skip through the judge’s comments. Not sure what happened…
The next segment focused on three dancers who have tried out a few times (at least) each and made it quite far through the Vegas rounds. I was excited to see all three of them move through to Las Vegas once again. The fourth returning contestant, Adrian Lee, had a really cute intro video speaking to his year off to refocus and recharge. I really hope we see this cutie pie make it all the way through to the performance shows this time around! Step one was making it through to Vegas, so we’ll at least see him for another week.
We were nearing the end of the show and of course that meant we would see the segment of Contemporary dancers who made it straight through to Vegas, with a few more sob stories dabbled into the mix. That lead to Rachel Applehans performing her overly sexualized routine that had Skeletor making some of the MOST DISGUSTING faces of the season. Barf balls. And don’t even get me started on the zoomed in crotch shot as she slid down into the splits. This routine was included for Skeletor, and no one else. Naturally, she was put into choreography.
The last performer in the Salt Lake City auditions was Leroy Martinez, who, to no surprise, also had a really sad back-story that inspired the judges. I didn’t listen to it, so was un-phased when he started to dance. Because of the story, the judges loved him. I equated it to the type of dancing I’d notice at the club, but wouldn’t scream about for this competition. Sorry, I’m being a bit harsh tonight, but I feel like it’s time for a bit of reality for Skeletor. They put him through to choreography and actually paired him with the stripper-esque dancer from earlier in the night! She actually made it; however, Leroy did not.
Let’s face it folks, So You Think You Can Dance needs a reboot STAT. This year saw a slew of sob stories with a dash of good dancing, and the majority in that category being contemporary routines. For everyone making it through to Las Vegas that isn’t a contemporary dancer, you better start training now if you want to make it through to the live performance episodes.
Well that’s a wrap on the audition rounds, and we’re off to Las Vegas next week!
We’re one step closer folks….