So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Los Angeles Auditions

28 06 2015

Part of the programming was interrupted by the coverage of Tropical Storm Bill that was headed our way. However, it finished up by the time the first contestant’s audition started in Los Angeles. Asaf Goren does “Hebrew Breaking” as a style of dance. It was really interesting. It had an element of B-boy dancing that I don’t think I have ever seen before. Just when I thought he was done, he threw water on the ground and wowed me even more. All three judges were on their feet. Asaf was so emotional, he was getting all teary eyed. Nigel thought it was, in the British vernacular, bloody great B-boying. Paula thought he had a wonderful personality. Jason thought he is a star. He believes he is going to create something special that is going to change the world. He said sometimes people come in with that kind of confidence and it is off-putting, but after seeing him perform, he understands why, because it is the truth; it is not being cocky. Paula added that he danced from his heart and everyone could feel it. Nigel said he looked like a very young…and Jason chimed in Aladdin at the same time Nigel was saying Rock Hudson. He is through to Vegas.

Avo Karapetyan is formerly from Armenia but currently living in Boston. He came to try out for a spot on Team Stage with Travis Wall. He chose “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith. Instant goosebumps. His height was tremendous. His technique was terrific. The judges again were on their feet. Paula was crying. She said she would love to critique him but she cannot critique perfection. He is smashingly brilliant. Nigel thought he was a joy to watch. It was stunning. Jason said his hat went off to him. He was through.

Jana “Jaja” Vankova, an animator who made it to Pasadena last year but then got cut. Jason was already yelling at her. She is a tremendous animator. Right up there with Cyrus I think. I think she will give the Queen of Detroit a run for her money. Again the judges are standing on their feet for a standing ovation. Jason said that is bananas, that she became another being. He would pay money to see her. Paula thinks she is a perfectly wrapped gift that puts smiles on people’s faces. Nigel said it is a gift to watch her. She is through to Vegas.

Allen Genkin was trying out for Team Stage. He is a very young man who was diagnosed with testicular cancer and is now 3 years down the road from all of that. He chose “Land of 1000 Dances” by Will Pickett. I loved it. Paula said he lit up the stage with his high-energy routine. Paula was sarcastic about how terrible he was. It was so “off” in the right way, and that he was so fantastic, phenomenal, sexy, etc. Jason said before he started moving he knew he was going to be great. Nigel compared him to Benji Schwimmer. He is also through to Vegas.

A bunch of performers go through for Team Street. Brothers Illijaz and Burim “B1” Jusufi wished to join the team with their breaking moves. Some of their moves were typical moves we’ve seen before but some were unique. I think they deserve a ticket to Vegas, but I don’t think they’ll make the top 10. The judges liked it though. Nigel wasn’t sure why they had to take their t-shirts off to do their head spins. He thought they were incredible. Paula mirrors what Nigel is saying. Jason thought it was entertainment at its finest. They had a great connection between each of them and to the audience. They are through.

Mary Kate Lavoir called her dad out as a dance dad who bedazzles costumes. She danced a jazz routine to “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber. She is beautiful and definitely has star quality. She has great strength in her legs. There was a lot of self-glorification with the touching of herself that the judges have ridiculed them about in past seasons. Her routine was average. I think with a good choreographer, she could improve. I would say that most of her routine was about the self-touching and the rolling around on the floor. Nigel invites dad up to the stage to show his dad’s unique style. His name is Patrick (I like his name). He dances to “Opposites Attract” by Paula Abdul. Mary said she wasn’t feeling it; she has seen better at the kitchen table. Dad said it would be a long flight home. Paula thought it was the best walking she has seen. Jason thought he connected with Paula really well. Nigel thought he needed to be stronger. Nigel thought Mary, on the other hand, was tremendous. No for dad to Vegas but Mary will be going to Vegas.

Krump. I love krump. Krump started in 2001 in South Central Los Angeles. Krump was derived from clown dancing in 1992 (who knew?). I must have been asleep for that style of dance. The movie “Rize” inspired this next young man to get out of a gang and start dancing. James “B-Dash” Derrick hopes to take his game to the next level to make a career out of his moves. He dances to Glitch Mob’s “Animus Vox.” He threw some animation in there as well. He was on fire. I thought it was less krump though. Jason said he loved it because it is so different from what they are used to seeing. It didn’t feel angry but more like entertainment. Paula thought he was phenomenal. He is through to Vegas.

The next performer’s story was cut off due to more Tropical Storm Bill coverage. Shaolin from Mortal Kombat (?) was the song of choice for this ballet dancer. Jim Nowakowski owned that stage. It was like samurai ballet. Nigel compared him to Alex Wong. He felt they had the same strengths and technique. Alex was from the Miami Ballet; he is from the Houston Ballet (Woo-hoo Houston!). The performance was remarkable. Nigel thought it was one of the best dances he has ever seen on the show. Paula said he was exceptional. Jason asked him how many hours a day does it take to become a dancer like him. He replied “Forty hours?” They all giggled with that. Then he realized what he said and corrected himself saying eight hours. Jason felt it was amazing to have watched something like that. Jim obviously makes it through.

The last contestant on day one of the LA auditions was a young man with Down syndrome named Cody Carlson. He wanted to audition for Team Street with some freestyle hip-hop. Jason Derulo was his inspiration. Jason cheers him on. He is a terrific dancer. Jason said he is a born entertainer. Nigel shares that for the first time ever they are entering dance into the Special Olympics. Nigel is honest with him that this competition might not be the right one for him to be in because the dancers at this level are so technically trained, but he might be representing America in the Special Olympics. Paula said he is magnificent and not to forget that. Jason said he was an inspiration to him and a lot of people watching him. I don’t think Cody cared about a ticket to Vegas. He just wanted to hug Jason and it was a beautiful moment that made me cry. But Jason also hands him a ticket to Vegas.

Day two of the LA auditions commenced. Jacy Jordan was up first. When she was 7, she and her family were in a car accident. She was ejected out of the window despite her seat belt. She was bleeding to death and she might lose her leg. They told her she would never walk again but she refused to accept that. She is from Manvel, Texas? Wow! That is just south of Houston. (I looked up the story and it indeed happened). James Vincent McMorrow’s “Cavalier.” I really enjoyed her dance. It had a lot of emotion and wonderful technique. It was a great song choice, too. Jason said he felt attached to her because he had a near-death experience as well. He said he is not a crier, but he had to hold back his tears because that (her dancing) was such a moment for him. Paula said that dance, if you have experienced it, keeps you going through the hardest of times. She didn’t see any disability; she saw incredible ability. Nigel said the fact that she is dancing is, in fact, a miracle. Nigel said as far as Vegas, he was going to pass because he felt they had stronger dancers. Jason said yes and Paula said yes, so she is going through.

Jessica Rabone has a Japanese heritage and has been living in the shadow of her sister Becky who is a celebrity over there. Jessica decided to combine waacking and “house” for her audition. She had previously been in a battle with Comfort Fedoke, a contestant from season 4. She and Comfort were a team and they won the battle. Jessica has such a stage presence and has a face of a star. Her dancing was fierce! It was so fluid and–I’m not kidding–my dog while sound asleep was moving rhythmically to the song. When it was over, he stopped (he was sleeping). Nigel thought he saw a lot of Toni Basil in her. Jessica said Toni had trained her. Paula said she was like a mini superhero. She was representing quirky and fun with an amazing infectious smile and she knows how to work it and play her character well. She only suggested she incorporate more of a vocabulary with her movement but it was wonderful. It was very special. Jason said he loved it too. He was about to have some coffee but he had his fair share of caffeine right there–with a little cream, of course. Nigel said she lit up her stage. The smile lights up the entire theater. He thinks she needs more steps but this is not “so you think you can choreograph” so she is going to Vegas.

A group of female hip-hop dancers who were just hitting it hard on stage, and who I can’t wait to see in Vegas, all made it through.

Kareem “Anointed” Ali came with a unique dance style: All-style spiritual vibrational dance. I hope his dance style lives up to his hype. I’m not sure how this is different from the usual street dancing, but some of the moves were unique. The whole dance was indeed entertaining. Some of those moves made my biceps hurt. Nigel said what was great about him is that he was performing and his great personality came across. He did some really brilliant b-boy stuff. Paula said he has a gift. He dances in his own lane and that is what she is looking for. Jason said being a street performer you have to have a special something to stand out in a crowd. He brought that on stage. He lived up there. He is a gift. He gets a ticket to Vegas.

The last contestant is Brandon Armstrong. In 2012, he wasn’t old enough at that time and he was given a ticket to come back in 2013 but he went on a mission. During that mission he had to talk about Jesus from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No TV. He was not even allowed to dance. He chose “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson. The year off did not harm his dancing ability in any way. He needs to back off on the facial expressions a bit. I think he deserves a ticket to Vegas. Jensen, his partner who is underage for the show, gets her own ticket to come back next year. Paula thought he was stunning. He has a lot of flair and wonderful style and is very well trained. Jason said his father said, “you gotta know how to handle a woman” and Brandon knows how to handle his woman. In ballroom you have to know how to dominate and that is exactly what he did. Nigel cautioned him on the mouth “oo” expressions. He also cautioned him on overextending in some of his lines. He is going to Vegas.

After four cities now 84 stage dancers and 84 street dancers were going to Vegas.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Los Angeles Auditions

15 05 2013

So You Think You Can Dance — Season 10 — Los Angeles Auditions

Tonight’s judges are our resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy with guest judge, Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Contestant: Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall, Las Vegas Nevada, a street performer, age 18

He was so much fun. I loved the booty popping. He had a bright smile and a great attitude. What fabulous body control he had when he went down into that semi-backbend swirl-like move towards the end. The judges gave him a standing ovation. Straight to Vegas.

Contestant: Malece Miller, age 19, Salt Lake City, Utah, contemporary dancer

I like this girl. She is beautiful, radiates light, and has an awesome sense of humor. Her story growing up is one we have heard many times on this show. That backspring into a sit position took my breath away for a moment. And I am a big fan of her haircut. Straight through to Vegas.

Contestant: Paul Karmiryan from Glendale, CA, age 21, Latin ballroom. Won SYTYCD in Armenia. Hmmm. If you win in one country, should you be allowed to enter in another? I say no.

It was okay. It was crisp and sharp. He had nice foot work. If he had tried out for the first time without having won on another version of the show I would say okay. I have mixed feelings. Mary loved it. He is through to Vegas.

Contestant: Elijah Laurant, age 20, Los Angeles, CA

I was upset that they kept cutting away to the judges’ faces. Just as I was being drawn in by the craftsmanship of this extraordinary dancer, it would cut away. DRAT. Absolutely going to Vegas.

Contestant: Taylor Ward, Claremont, CA, age 20.

Oh my God. My heart just broke for her. She had given up her academic scholarships and sports scholarships to dance with the blessing of her grandfather who raised her, but passed away before he could see her try out. She was rehearsing during a break called by the judges and crack went the knee, a dislocation. And yet she still tried out. She has beautiful lines despite her injury and a beautiful heart. Yes to choreography and from there she was on to Vegas.

Contestant: Morris Isby, B-boy, age 28, Sacramento, CA

Impressive resume. I am reminded of Legacy a little bit. The kneel-crawl move was something I have not seen before. Yes to choreography, but he was close to getting a ticket to Vegas but still has some work to do.

Contestant: Armen “Armen Way” Avetisov, age 27, Glendale, CA

A Russian rapper who likes to make cheesy videos with women in bikinis washing cars. I don’t think I like this person. When he danced, it was truly all about him even though he was partnering with a beautiful woman. Self -worship I would call it. Sloppy foot work. I liked the woman dancing better but she was not a signed-up contestant. Mary loved him, however. Gave him an automatic ticket to Vegas.

Gr818Ers: The father was known as Papa Wiz a famous b-boy in the 1990’s. They stopped doing much of anything because he died unexpectedly when they were young boys. They founded the group to bring positivity back to the community. Trying out we’re Eric and Lorenzo Chapman, age 21 and 22 respectively, from Pacoima, CA. I thought it was wonderful. What tremendous role models they are. Nigel offered them help from Dizzyfeet Foundation.

The choreography round was with Marko and Sasha. It was so great to see them back again.

Tomorrow night: Detroit with guest judge Stephen tWitch Boss!

Update:  Day 2 of the LA auditions seen on Tuesday, May 21.

Brooklyn “Flex Dancer” (bone breaking, hat tricks and glides, animation) Nicholas “Slick” Stewart

This guy is not double-jointed–he’s multijointed.  I think he might be the modern-day reference of the song, “Rubberband Man.”  He is entertaining, but I would want him back for choreography to see if he could at least try to partner with another person.  Maybe Ringling Brothers is hiring.  The judges agree to send him to choreography.  But Slick was headed home.

Alex Kessinger, age 18, Riverside, CA.

Nigel is drooling over her.  I think there is too much rolling on the ground.  VEGAS

Sebastian Serra from Puerto Rico. It was good, not great.  He is going to Vegas.

Latin dancers Mariia Lebedeva and Misha Smagin are some of the few Latin dancers in the crowd and a heck of a lot better than Armen.  Mary does the WOOOOOO!

Emilio “Millie” Dosal. He is Phillip Cheeb’s friend.  Yes to choreography. He is going to Vegas.

Makenzie Dustman

It was a typical routine I thought.  There were lots of floor rolling.  I never connected to her emotionally.  She is going to Vegas