So You Think You Can Dance S11 Hell Week

2 07 2014

SoYouThinkYouCanDanceDuring the Pasadena, California callbacks, Adam Shankman, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Tara Lipinski, and Irina Dvorovenko joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.

 

CallbackJudges

Solos were first. One hundred and fifty-seven contestants danced in front of the judges. Tanisha Belnap‘s solo was okay, but now that I’ve seen other ballroom dancers, she is not quite at their level. I loved Steven Kador. Even “tWitch” went “oooooo.” After this round, 36 dancers were cut including puppet-dancer Paul Brushaber. One hundred twenty-one dancers remained.

The first choreography challenge was hip-hop. Christopher Scott and Jasmine Harper demonstrated the routine. The contestants had the night to rehearse. Steven Kador and Malene Ostergaard danced together and were through. Marie Poppins was through. Jessica Richens was asked to dance for her life. Marcquet Hill was fabulous and was put through. Trevor Bryce, Caleb Bruner, Megan Marcano, and Franchesca Bass were sent home. Jessica Richens danced for her life and made it through to the next round of choreography.

ScottAndHarper

Sonya Tayeh put them through the paces with a jazz routine. George Lawrence II and Amy Yakima demonstrated the dance. Alla Kocherga was a no, but Zach Everheart moved on. Serge Onik, Johnny “Waackd” Gibson, and Jourdan Epstein are all through. Steven Kador, Shafeek Westbrook, and Marie Poppins all were sent home. Jana “Jaja” Vankova had to dance for her life and she was sent through to the next round of choreography along with 64 other dancers.

SonyaTayeh

The dreaded ballroom was choreography round 3 with Dmitry Chaplin and Anya Garnis demonstrated. They were once again given the night to practice. Zach Everheart and Valerie Rockey were through.

DmitryAnya

Travis Wall led round 4 of choreography for contemporary dance with the lovely Makenzie Dustman. Bridget Whitman and Landon Anderson had to dance for their lives. After the contemporary rounds, 29 boys and 21 girls were left to compete.

Travis

Group night was next. Once again they were given overnight to choreograph and learn their steps.  They were broken up into groups of five and given a CD of music. They are required to choreograph and perform the routine. “One Love” consisting of Ryan Johnson, Ryan Redman, Carly Blaney, Novien Yarber, and Serena Pav did not do well at all. Tara thought it was “a mess” as did Irina. Mary told Serena that international rumba is not done on the show for a reason. Nigel said they need smart dancers and that was not smart. He makes the group go decide who will go home. When they could not reach a decision, and because they were willing to all go home versus give up a name, Nigel puts them all through.

The group containing Trenton Williams, Kamille Upshaw, Zach Everheart, Malene Ostergaard, and Johnny “Waackd” Gibson did a wonderful job dancing to “All of Me” by John Legend. I had goosebumps. Adam Shankman thought it was lovely. Tara said it showed they thought about each other but showcased their individual strengths as well. It was Nigel’s favorite routine of the morning.

At this point there were 44 dancers left. They were asked to dance their final solos. Ricky Ubeda may be my favorite dancer this year. I had seriously major goosebumps. In the background you could hear Adam Shankman say, “He’s the best dancer you have.” The four dance crews who will perform are “Academy of Villans“, “Wanted Ashiqz,” “Control Freakz” and “Syncopated Ladies.”

The dancers who walked the final mile were: Ricky Ubeda, Jessica Richens, Jacque LeWarne, Teddy Coffey, Stanley Glover, Carly Blaney, Emilio Dosal, Jana “Jaja” Vankova, Novien Yarber, Serena Pav, Armen Way, Johnny Wacckd Gibson, Bridget Whitman, Valerie Rockey, Zach Everheart, Jourdan Epstein, Casey Askew, Emily James, Landon Anderson, Haley Payne, Justine Lutz, Nick Garcia, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Serge Onik, Malene Ostergaard, Brooklyn Fullmer, Marcquet Hill, and Erik “Silky” Moore.





So You Think You Can Dance S11 New Orleans & Chicago Auditions

29 05 2014

NEW ORLEANS

SoYouThinkYouCanDanceWayne Brady joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe for this round of auditions.

Shelby Rase, age 18, from Covington, LA. I have been to Covington on my way to Atlanta. Nice little town. She had really beautiful stretches and lines but seems to only lift up her right leg which I thought was kind of odd. She did well. I didn’t get goosebumps or anything, but she was nice to watch. Her emotion seemed a little detached but I think it was more song choice than her dancing. The judges loved it. Nigel engaged her in discussion and I like her personality. Nigel called her father down to “bottle dance.” Her dad is a brave, brave man. I loved it. She is through to Los Angeles.

Shelby

Shelby Rase

Tanisha Belnap, a ballroom dancer, age 19, Payson, UT. This one I got goosebumps on. I am not one to get those on ballroom. Ask Aaron Turner and Jasmine Harper about my goosebumps and how they never lie. As far as the judges, Nigel wanted to see more. Mary said her technique is great and she looks great. She is through to LA.

Shelby Skipper, age 25 & Shane Skipper, age 21, both of New Orleans. I enjoyed it so much and was grooving along with them. Shane goes home but Shelby goes through to choreography. Later, he drops out of the choreography round.

Megan Marcano, age 22, from (YAY!) Houston! She has had a tough life. Now SHE caused the emotion I was expecting with Shelby Rase. I had major goosebumps! Nigel thought she was fabulous. Mary felt like she is a star. Wayne said she has the complete package.

Trevor Bryce, age 18, Orlando, Florida. He is unique indeed. What do you call that? Ballet fusion? Best of all he made me laugh and watch something I hadn’t seen before. Nigel said it was the greatest solo performance in SYTYCD history. Mary loved the whole world of Trevor. Wayne said it was like he said, “I trained for this bitches!”

Courtney Barnes, age 22, Jackson, MS. Interesting but it lacked a lot of technique. However the moves shown where enough to go to choreography. He does a wicked Wendy Williams impression. Nigel says no but Mary and Wayne give him a chance at choreography, but choreography proved too difficult and he bowed out.

Novien Yarber, age 22, Huntsville, AL. He auditioned last year in Memphis. I remember him. I had goosebumps! His strength, his flexibility, his emotion–the great trifecta. They all give him a ticket to continue.

Caleb Bruner, age 21, from Blue Springs, MO. I remember him from last year, too. I lived in Blue Springs from Sep-Dec of 1978 (before he was even born). I still have friends there. My heart was just breaking for him. Last year, his father was called up on stage with him to dance. Sadly, his father died this past year. The father he got to dance on stage with the previous season passed away. I was crying right along with Mary Murphy. Nigel said the dance made him smile and thanked him for working so hard this past year. Wayne said he had spark. They move him to choreography, but his partnering skills were not strong enough. He is not given a ticket to Los Angeles.

Jacoby Jimmerson, age 18, Mount Pleasant, TX. He should stick to Zumba. He has great energy. Wayne tells him to be healthy. Nigel invites him back to some future audition. He made me smile.

Jacoby Jimmerson

Wayne dances with Jacoby Jimmerson

Marcquet Hill, age 18, from South Jordan, UT, auditioned with Witney Carson in season 9 but was too young to audition at the time. Now he partnered with Brooklyn Fullmer, age 18, from Provo, UT who reminds me of the actress Summer Glau. His lines are a little sloppier as he got older and taller. I think she was better than he was. Nigel was blown away by it. Mary loved the together. Wayne loved them too. They are both through.

MarcquetBrooklyn

Marcquet and Brooklyn

SYTYCD Twist!

We will get to votes on different crews with the ultimate crew dancing in the finale. Up first is Poreotics from LA. I was going to vote for them because no one has done the song “What Do The Fox Say” in a long time and I enjoyed hearing it again. However, the second crew, Syncopated Ladies, a tap group, had a better presentation. I was watching this too late to vote, but I would have voted for them.

 

SyncopatedLadies

 

Poreotics

CHICAGO

Jenna Elfman joins Mary and Nigel for this audition. I really enjoyed her when she was guest judge last season.

Nick Garcia, age 18, ballroom dancer, Miami, FL. He needs to stop singing the song. It was distracting. Nigel loved it. Mary said he was completely awesome, Jenna said double thumbs up.

Rudy Abreu, age 18, Miami, FL. His style of dance is “emphasize my scar.” He’s got skills but they need to be refined. The judges love it and send him to LA.

Caleb Bruner is back! This was a much better audition because it came from a place of honesty. Jenna loved it. But he is through once again to the choreography round. However, he makes it through this time.

FAME dancers are back and brought Mary and Jenna to the stage to perform for them.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Memphis Auditions

7 06 2013

LogoJoining resident judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe was entertainer Wayne Brady for this trip to Memphis, the final city of the auditions. (Please note that I do my commentary as I am watching the show, so this is why everything is in the present tense). Of course everyone trying out appeared to be NOT from Memphis.

Dorian “BluPrint” Hector, age 19, Atlanta, GA

I wonder why he is called that aside from his two-tone blue hair, blue sweatshirt, blue jeans and blue sneakers. Wonder if he blue eyes? He is from Dragon House, home of Cyrus who stole his way into our hearts last season. Would Dorian leave a “BluPrint” on our hearts? I like how he called himself a malfunctioning robot because I immediately got the reference. I think he should go straight to Vegas. Mary puts him on the hot tamale train and he gets that ticket.

Curtis Holland, age 8, Miami, Florida

He is the third tap dancer we have seen in the edited auditions. I like his personality. His tap is like watching someone in double speed, or how they used to make those old silent movies. His choreography had equal measure of humor and skill. The judges send him to choreography and then onto Vegas.

Tucker Knox, age 22, Nashville, TN

Made it to Juilliard but was in a tragic car accident and broke his spine among other injuries. He has really beautiful lines and control. His gymnast abilities are impressive. It was not as good as Anthony Savoy, but I think he has a ticket to Vegas awaiting him (and he does).

Courtney Thurston, age 18, Clifton, VA

Contemporary dancer. Some moves surprised me but there was a lot of rolling around on stage. I thought she was average by the standards of the show now in its 10th season. Her father married her dance teacher. I like the father. He said he did krump dancing. The judges insisted that he come up on stage. Dad had a few moves, but he is no krump dancer. The daughter is going to Vegas.

Shanshan Qiao-Rothlisberger, age 25, Albuquerque, NM

Performing a Mongolian dance called Ding Wan Wu. It was quite beautiful and I think she should go through to choreography and that is where the judges send her. After the choreography round, the judges send her to Vegas.

Nico Greetham, age 18, Woodbridge, VA

He danced a very unique contemporary dance that incorporated these cool staccato, locking-type movements timed perfectly with the music. He is going to Vegas.

Elyse Frelinger, age 23, Los Angeles, CA

She performed a contemporary dance that resembled her day job as a trapeze instructor at the Santa Monica Pier. It was fluid and unique. She gets a ticket to Vegas.

Day 2

Jenna Johnson, Age 18, Provo, Utah

She looks like Megan Fox’s cousin. Her cha-cha partner is 17 years of age and cannot try out…this year. They hold 4 national titles so I am expecting great things. They were good. I know in some years they have had more contemporary dancers than ballroom so I was sure Mary Murphy was thrilled to see all them. Without further comment from the judges, Jenna gets a ticket to Vegas.

Novien Yarber, age 21, Huntsville, Alabama

He is NOT a hip hop dancer just because he is black (he wants us to be clear on that). This boy is full of technique, strength and creativity. Triple threat. Was it perfect? No. But I would love to see the choreographers get their hands on him in the top 20. He runs down for his ticket to Vegas.

Isabel Freiberger, age 26, Chapel Hill, NC

This woman can do the salsa! I wanted her partner to try out, too, but he was not. I liked this better than the cha-cha of the other contestant. The judges send her to choreography just to see if she can do other things. She does not get a ticket to Vegas.

Caleb Brauner, age 20, Blue Springs, MO

I lived in Blue Springs for 3 months. I went to the high school there, too, for those few months of my freshman year. He does a little of everything. He had a lot of comedy in his routine but the dance had a story that was not abstract or difficult to interpret. I loved it. Nigel asked his dad to come up on stage and do hip-hop with Caleb. His father is just as much fun as Caleb is. Of course he is going to Vegas?

Larry Booze, age 29, Macon, GA

My ankles hurt watching him move. The flexibility and fluidity of his movement was magic. The three judges send him on to choreography. My ankles hurt watching him move. At choreography he does the gentlemanly thing and withdraws to give his choreography partner a better shot of making it. M

Jasmine Harper, age 19, Lawrenceville, GA

Cyrus’ ex???? Girlfriend. For a minute I thought we were going to find out Cyrus had a secret ex-wife. She is among my favorite female contemporary dancers we have seen thus far in the auditions. After tormenting her for a moment, they give her a ticket to Vegas.  My sister used to live in Lawrenceville for many years.

Paige Pellicano, age 19, Detroit, Michigan

Her dad is an Elvis impersonator. She is rolling too much around the ground for me, but she is a beautiful young lady. They send her to choreography but not to Vegas.

Next week: So You Think You Can Dance Vegas Hell Week!