So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Atlanta auditions

25 06 2014

Day 1

SoYouThinkYouCanDanceL’il Buck joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe for this day’s auditions in Atlanta.

Mariah Reives, an 18-year-old from Sanford, North Carolina. I liked her. She was fun and sassy. Mary said she was an actress up there. L’il Buck did not want to blink. Nigel said her good technique and performance makes her a star. She is through to the next round.

Erik “Silky” Moore, age 26, from Orlando, Florida. I LOVE THIS GUY! His quirky dance gave my goosebumps. It felt like someone in a straight jacket. He moves on.

Kelly MacCoy, an 18-year-old, from Cincinnati, Ohio. It was entertaining but not anything that made me feel anything and her jazz-dance facial movements of a ballroom dancer which was strange to me. Nigel says she has a sway back. Mary says she has a lot of power. She liked her humor but it was too much in the face. L’il Buck likes the confidence. She gets a ticket to the next round.

Dragon House is represented by Christopher “Mr. Strange” Griffin, age 25. He was actually the one who put Dragon House together. He was very entertaining and gets through to the next round.

Conrad Dechabert, age 26, from Louisville, Kentucky was accused last year of dancing too much like a girl. This year–no way. That was VERY MANLY. I loved it. He looked like he was about to go into battle. Mary felt he was really talented. L’il Buck thought he was a strong dancer.

Taveaus “Dynamic” Woods, age 18, Las Vegas NV is Fik-shun’s best friend. Fik-shun is his inspiration. He was wonderful! Some spots could be a bit sharper, but when he was great, he was great. L’il Buck loved it. He said he could use a little work on his glides. Mary liked his use of the whole stage. Yes to choreography. But he was a no after that. His partnering skills need work.

Branden “Sideshow” Feimster, age 22, Detroit, Michigan, is also part of Dragon House. He is a fantastic dancer, but his emotional breakdown worried me. Nigel called him out on the fact that his original pop-locking looked more like pantomime. Mary said he was fun but she needed more. And then he blows it when he starts talking badly to Nigel. His mom looks like she wants to disown him at least momentarily. The members of Dragon House walk down to apologize for his behavior.

Day 2

Today, Mary and Nigel are joined by Jenna Dewan-Tatum for the judges’ panel.

Ricky Ubeda, age 18, from Miami, danced his piece for his mom. I like his personality. He is a funny guy. And I have goosebumps love the height on his jumps. Just wow! Nigel said he was super. He sees him going all the way in this competition (he is really that good). Mary thought it was hot and puts him on the train. The movement, the quality, the passion–he has it all. Jenna said he was amazing. He gets a ticket to go through.

After another montage of strong male dancers, the next featured dancer is Marissa Milele, age 18, from Nashville, who made it to the green mile last year. I am worried that her acrobats are trying to compensate for lower skills in dance and people say wow to those like a singer doing runs. It looked like I was watching floor exercises at the Olympics. Nigel thinks she is this year’s beast. She gets a ticket.

Then there was a montage of women dancers coming through. Elaine Kimble said that mom had a stroke at 43 and it changed the dynamic of everything for her. Elaine is a 26-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri. It was okay. It seemed rush. Mary felt she could dig deeper. Jenna agrees with Mary. Yes to choreography and is through to the next round from there.

ATL cranking Brandon “Crazy Legz” Jacobs, age 23, from Atlanta. That is some fast dancing!! He gets a pass to choreography but choreography proves too difficult for him.

Angelina Grantiz, age 16, from West Palm Beach had a lot of emotional connection to the song. Mary thinks she is breath-taking. She is through to the next round.

Cristina Moya-Palacios, age 18, from Miami. She gave me the biggest goosebumps I have had yet. Her dance was so full of emotion and technique. I don’t think I have seen another contestant move in that manner yet through the shown auditions. She is fantastic. No critique from the judges–just a ticket.

Kobe Swain: This small pint got woken up from a sound sleep but I am glad he was. I don’t think SYTYCD will be around when he grows up, but I hope some show is.  His father, Jerrod Swain, age 25, from Atlanta was a fantastic animator/popper.  Nigel wanted more.  Mary found it entertaining but wanted more.  It was a yes to choreography but he did not make it any further.

Dance Crews

Jungle Boogie or Control Freakz.

You know I think I might like this segment more if Justin Bieber and Nick DeMoura had more life to their presentation. It’s like a teenager giving a presentation in class. Infuse some excitement in your reading of the cue cards boys! Yes, I know, I just said something negative about Justin Bieber.

The XFactor: L.A. Reid’s and Britney Spears’ Homes

14 10 2012


Group: Over 25’s.
Guest mentors: Justin Bieber and Justin’s manager, Scooter Braun.
Where: Beverly Hills, California

Contestants making it through in this category were: Jason Brock, Daryl Black (we haven’t seen much of anything on him), David Correy, Tara Simon (are you KIDDING ME?), Tate Stevens and Vino Alan. Those going home include Jessie Bryant (Houston boy), Freddie Combs, Jeffrey Adam Gutt, and apparently Panda Ross, but you would never know because they gave her no air time. Read Lindsey’s report on “Where is Panda?”

There is nothing like coming to California, anxiously awaiting to see who your mentor is going to be, when LA Reid and Justin Bieber pop out and the first thing you hear is (paraphrasing), “I don’t like you.” He “does not like them, but I have to figure out how to get one of you to win.” Talk a blow to the gut. Justin gave them a little more hope, “it doesn’t matter how old you are.” He adds that “When L.A. believes in something, he pours his whole heart and soul into it.” Hmmm. He just told the group he did not believe in them. Mixed messages.

Jason Brock
Song: “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie

It was a great start to the show. I think that Jason has a future career in music, but I almost wish that he would have tried out for “The Voice” where his appearance did not matter. I think the XFactor looks for more people who they can market in pop music or rap music areas. I would vote for him. I would like to see what he sounds like not singing a ballad. L.A. Reid thought it was a strong vocal. Justin felt that he did not hold anything back and gave it his all.

David Correy
Song: “Domino” by Jessie J

His hand-shaking was annoying and distracting to me as a viewer. L.A. said it gave him chills. Justin thought he was great, the voice was there, and he has a look to him.

Daryl Black
Song: “She’s Gone” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

This is the first time I have heard him sing. I enjoyed it a great deal. I think he should go through to the live shows. Scooter thought he had a special voice and a band behind him might work. L.A. thought his voice tone is not unique and that he was just singing. Justin thought it was powerful and strong. I see a pattern to Justin’s advice.

Tate Stevens
Song: “Back At One” by Brian McKnight

Tate confuses me as a viewer. He auditioned as a country artist. The songs we saw him sing at Boot Camp were from R&B artists. On this song, he was flat on his notes. Scooter said there was something about him that you want to root for. Justin thought he was charismatic, great voice, but when L.A. asked if Justin would write him a check for $5 million, Justin was not real sure about that.

Vino Alan
Song: “Sober” by P!nk

I got goosebumps. He was putting all his heart and soul into this performance. However, I do think he roomed with David Correy a bit too long because he has that weird hand-shaking movement, too. Scooter thought he was petrified but he stepped up. Justin emotionally felt it (versus unemotionally feeling it?–sometimes these sayings don’t make sense). L.A. Reid questioned if he was “the package.” He just did not know.

Tara Simon
Song: “The Reason” by Hoobastank

I do not know how this woman made it to the top 24. Her vocals are awful. That fact that she is making money as a vocal coach is a crime. She annoys me more than Cece Frey did (Cece has softened in my eyes after seeing her at Demi’s home). This song was horrible. She thinks that performing runs that are off-key makes you a good vocalist I suppose. For me, it is an easy vote to go home. Scooter thought she had a “big voice.”


Group: Teens
Guest Mentor:
Where: Malibu, California

Contestants that made it through were Beatrice Miller, James Tanner, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White, Reed Deming, and Arin Ray. People you thought did not make it included Dinah Jane Hansen, Ally Brooke, Camila Carbello, Normani Hamilton, but most of them were grouped together to form three new groups.

Diamond White
Song: “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne

It was a good song for her to choose given her age. She had a few off notes. thought it was amazing but felt she cares about her moves too much. Britney said she needed to work on her stage presence and gain a little more confidence.

Reed Deming
Song: “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s

He is very precocious when he speaks. I remember not liking his performance at boot camp, but this song and this performance gave me goosebumps. He has improved a great deal since his first audition. Britney thought he was nervous and that he can deliver better than he just did. said when he talks he is like this little emperor kid.

James Tanner
Song: “Party Like a Rock Star” by Shop Boyz

I did not care for it at all. Britney thought it was entertaining but she is not convinced it is strong enough.

Arin Ray
Song: “Starships” by Nicki Minaj

Before he sang, gave him some advice that he needs to spill it on stage. Britney told him to stay confident, be true to yourself, and bring the goods. I like him but it was a little boring and he was a little flat on some of the notes. said he has something, that he has potential XFactor in him. Britney said he needs to work on his vocals but she loves watching him.

Beatrice Miller
Song: “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia

I think she is adorable . Her vocals were rough on some of the notes. said it was the right tone for her and it was fresh. Britney thought she needed to control her voice a bit more.

Carly Rose Sonenclar
Song: “Brokenhearted” by Karmin

At Boot Camp, I was a little disappointed in her performance, but this one was a home run. I had goosebumps. felt she was possessed, that she was like this little caterpillar and you think she is going to turn into this butterfly but instead she turns into a dragon. Britney said she is very talented but she is not sure if she will be able to cope with the pressure.


In the Over-25’s, Tara Simon is the easiest pick for me. She does not deserve the spot. The only reason why she might stay is because she is the only female in the group. My next pick would be Tate Stevens. He needs time to figure out what kind of artist he wants to be–country or R&B. His voice is more suited for country songs. In the R&B songs, his vulnerabilities are revealed in pitch. However, the person who may be in jeopardy based on the mentors’ comments might be Daryl Black.

My picks get harder in the teen group. James Tanner is unique in that he raps, but there is too much talent in this group for him to take up a spot. SPOILER ALERT: In the promos for next week, it looks like Arin Ray definitely gets through. I don’t know if I could pick a second person, but Beatrice Miller might be the one in danger. Carly and Diamond had stronger performances. We know Arin gets through, so that leaves Beatrice and Reed and Reed is going to appeal to all those tween girls out there.

So You Think You Can Dance: Atlanta

10 06 2012

Season 9 – Atlanta auditions

Mother Nature decided to interfere with my television viewing of this episode, but most of it was aired. My satellite carrier apparently does not have on-demand services, so if I fail to mention someone, I apologize in advance.

After seeing how many contestants went through from this city, I think it might have been cheaper to buy out an entire plane (just an expression; I know they all are not going to be flying out of Atlanta). This is the city which gave us last year’s champion, Melanie Moore, and usually after a win like that, the hometown of the winner is an ideal site for next year’s auditions. People who were possibly holding back will look at her as an example that they, too, could win it.

Judges for this segment were Debbie Allen, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.

Who I Liked A LOT

Audrey Case; Edmond, Oklahoma; contemporary. The woman who can apparently fart with her neck and elbow (actually her neck thing was more like a squeak). She had a beautiful smile and beautiful lines. It was a great way to start off this segment’s audition.

Audrey Case

Dragon House Boys; Atlanta, Georgia. I adored Boris Penton’s blue hair and his colorful shoes. His popping was extraordinary but will he be able to do the different styles of dance that will be required? I did find my eyes were fixed on him and I was anticipatory of what he would do next in his dance. I assumed they would put him through to choreography, but it was a ticket to Vegas for him.

Boris Penton from Dragon House.

Andre Rucker of Dragon House was also fantastic, and I knew a ticket to Vegas was in the cards for him.

Andre Rucker from Dragon House

However, I was not prepared for Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer at all. I have never seen anything so amazing in popping before on the 8 previous seasons of this show. He wanted to be a robot-animated popper and every movement of every muscle of his body was involved in this audition. All my hopes are with them that they will be able to make it through SYTYCD’s version of Navy Seal Hell week.

Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer

Danielle Dominguez; Tampa, Florida; contemporary. Her dancing was different due to her double-jointed body. Her choice of song was terrific. Her mom was a former cheerleader and Nigel asked her to do a cheer in the audience. And she loves bacon. She could eat 10 slices a bacon every day. She went through to Vegas.

Danielle Dominguez

George Lawrence, II; Atlanta, Georgia; contemporary. One of the best male contemporary potentials for this season. He is a track star turned dancer. His father is not convinced yet of his talent. After seeing him dance, that made me incredibly sad. This young man has a future in dance ahead of him.

George Lawrence II

Who I Thought Was Average

Joshua Alexander; Columbia, South Carolina; contemporary. I thought he wasn’t as powerful as I have seen from past male contemporary contestants but he is through to Vegas. Debbie Allen felt like his dancing was “testifying.”

Joshua Alexander

Courtney Kirby; Lutz, Florida; contemporary. Her dancing is average and I’ll probably get hate mail for this. Her personality, her name, and her beauty are all what they are looking for in a contestant. The song choice was great (it sounded like music from The Hunger Games). I’ll need to see more of her dancing to decide. Nigel had a great time with her grandmother, dancer Eva Dean Booth. Sometimes I looked at Courtney and wondered if she was dying on the inside that her grandmother was embarrassing her and/or possibly messing up her audition because the attention was truly on the grandmother. You know how young people are. Her grandmother was delightful and judges certainly enjoyed her. Nigel, however, put Courtney through to choreography. Debbie Allen put her through to Vegas. Mary looked like a deer in the headlights and gave it a great deal of consideration before being handed a ticket to Vegas. Eva asked Nigel if perhaps he should reconsider his decision so as not to look foolish.

Courtney Kirby

The Odd-Ball Lot

Tim Conkel; Atlanta, Georgia; breakdancer. One thing that Tim does not lack is an ego. Initially borderline annoying, he grows on you. After showing the judges what he learned during his 7 full days of ballet training, he sails right through to Vegas versus choreography. Debbie Allen calls him a wolfman.

Tim Conkel

Janelle Issis; Birmingham, Alabama; a belly dancer, I did not get to see because my power was out, but I did catch her during choreography. It did pop in long enough for me to hear she learned this way of dancing at church. Interesting. She and 13 other dancers from day 1 who were not shown are headed to Vegas.

Asher Walker; Glade Hill, Virginia. He wants to be a backup dancer for Justin Bieber. His break dancing was fun and he told a story during the dance, interjecting moves with humor. His All-American look and what he brought to his dancing earned him a ticket to Vegas. He differs from Tim Conkel in that he is more humble, not cocky. While conceit can get you far, if you’ve noticed dancers like that in the past, it eventually got them voted off, so Asher’s humbleness might take him far. However, he is going to need to get through Hell Week in order to get on the show’s top 20. He does have a Kent Boyd of season 7 feel about him.

Asher Walker

Brittany Ornter; Ovideo, Florida; contemporary. Also known as “the chicken lady.” When I saw the chickens roaming free in town, I thought it would funny to have a Chick-Fil-A or a Kentucky Fried Chicken in the backdrop when showing them in a scene. Just proved to me that Florida has some wacky laws (because the chickens have laws to protect them). Brittany reminded me of Jordan Cassanova from Season 8. She is put through to choreography but then on to Vegas.

Brittany Ornter

Damon Bellmon and Deon Lewis: The whole world thought these two ripped off choreography directly from You Tube “Les Twins” because the dances were identical and the judges complimented them on their original choreography. They got hate mail and the ire of the dance world. Indeed this time around, the show ran the interview with Cat Deeley from season 8 auditions where they said they were doing the dance as a tribute to Les Twins. They danced an original choreographed piece. They were sent to choreography. It was a “no” to Deon for Vegas, but a “yes” for Damon.

Damon Bellmon and Deon Lewis

Don’t Know Enough About to Have an Opinion Yet

Jason Alvarez; Maiden, North Carolina: Just from what I saw–my power to my home glitched about here because of the storm–but his dancing was not on the same level as the Dragon House boys. He was sent to choreography and then to Vegas.

Abigail Ruiz, Goose Creek, South Carolina; Calvin Turner, Jr., Las Vegas, Nevada (auditioning in Atlanta, weird); Aubrey Klinger, Chicago, Illinois — All Vegas bound.

Vegas Bound

Audrey Case; Boris Penton; Joshua Alexander; contestant 2193 from Chicago, who had a rough life and had Debbie Allen in tears….

Contestant 2193 from Chicago, Illinois

Contestant 2255 who deals with Tourette syndrome, and who thinks it has improved because of dance…

Contestant 2255 who deals with Tourette syndrome

Contestant 2537 whose mother died when he was young

Contestant 2537 whose mother died when he was very young.

along with Tim Conkel; Jason Alvarez; Daniele Dominguez: Janelle Issis; Courtney Kirby; Asher Walker; George Lawrence, II; Abigail Ruiz; Calvin Turner; Aubrey Klinger; Brittany Ornter; Damon Bellmon.