So You Think You Can Dance took its auditions to Salt Lake City and New York City last night, as Robin Antin joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe in Utah, while choreographer Jason Gilkinson was in Brooklyn. Robin's face actually looked less plastic then I remembered, but the commentary she provided was as fake as her face.
We always have a string of contemporary dancers do well during the auditions, so it was nice to see the show try to focus on several different genres, including krump and waackin'. The break dancers and ballroom dancers also delivered a good amount of talent.
Salt Lake City
Devon and Micha: The two steppers were good, but if you've ever been to a college campus, there are a high number of teams that are at the same caliber. Mary pointed out that they would probably struggle outside of their genre and it proved true. Micha couldn't hack the choreography, but Devon showed that he could get some air in his leaps.Chyna Smith: The self-proclaimed "superfan" and energy-filled fireball surprised me a bit. I was expecting her to be a lemon, but she has the right amount of sensuality and decent technique. She was so excited to go to Vegas that she forgot to hug her family.
Annie Gratton: After we were given a montage of blonde hopefuls, redhead Annie had a spark from the beginning and showed flexibility and great floor work. The show is definitely looking for atypical contemporary dancers. As an added bonus, we got to watch Papa Gratton dance amazingly in a pair of jeans.
Talented Girl Montage: Apparently Robin was casting for more Vegas Pussycat Dolls, or her only compliment she could give to women was "You could be a Pussycat Doll." Now that the pop band of the same name has disbanded, I wouldn't be shocked if Robin tried a second time to catch lightning in a bottle.
Tadd Gadduang: Tadd had some amazing arm strength and this great cheeky quality to his performance. Extra points for his music selection, choosing something more suited for a tango and making it work for him.
Montage of Fail: Ah, it's always great to watch a montage of people falling. But this was extra fun due to Cat's hysterical laughter at the phrase "Bruised Balls," especially when the contestant meant his feet and she continued to laugh.
Samantha Hiller: Samantha had mono and suffered from amnesia for three weeks. I find it a bit funny that all her friends and family pushed her to do something she doesn't remember that she loved; maybe they hope that dance would motivate her to gain memories. I thought her routine was physical, but she fell out of some of her lines. The choreography round proved that she needed more polishing and didn't make it through.
Chase Thomas: Chase wowed with his choice of outfit for his audition. It's a shame that he's married. The funny thing is that without the clothes, he actually looked better because it showed off how much his muscles were working in each of the steps. Chase's real challenge is if he could shine with clothes on.
Brittany Morgan Starr: Brittany tried to convince America that Ringo Starr was her father and she was a lesbian. I'm not sure if I believe the story, but it's funny that she believed her twin was Lady GaGa. Her dancing was interesting and her movements made me want chicken wings and soft shell crab. The camera crew arrived at the Starr residence and basically proved that the whole Starr family was crazy.
New York City
Princess Lockerooo: The princess of "Waackin" was amazing because she was brought a good character with good influences. She claimed that her influence came from spinning objects and martial arts. She's very good at what she does and her spins were on point. She also showed some decent vogue and popping motions which proves that she had some potential in learning other genres. She easily made it through to Vegas.
Brandon Jones: Brandon had a huge audience and it was justified by how easily he would go into moves and look effortless doing it. His technique was great and obviously went straight to Vegas after unleashing a sob story.
Brian Henry: Brian had the hard hitting spirit that I expect in a good krump performance. When he said he was bringing krump back to its roots, he wasn't joking. He lost me when he tried to equate krump with religion; which contradicted his tone of offending previous dancers. In the choreography round, he managed to squeak by. I would be shocked if he got past any Latin/Ballroom rounds in the Vegas section.
Mary Kate Sheehan: The Irish Step Dancer provided an interesting explanation of why Irish Dancing was very bottom heavy, though the asterisk that SYTYCD producers used made me question her validity. Her dancing was good and she covered a lot of ground. After the choreography, she made it to Vegas in a 2-1 vote.
Virgil Gadson: Virgil mixed a bit of krump with some good break movements. When you have to audition for a show like SYTYCD, you need to prove that you are versatile. It you're too one dimensional, you'll go to choreography. I think the pop and lock and the final spin was part of Lil O's attempts.
Jess LeProtto: The singer/actor/dancer had all the technique, though it really picked up in the middle with his spin sequence and his high leaps. Nigel and Mary both pointed out that Jess didn't look like he wasn't enjoying dancing. I'm surprised that he went to choreography, but he easily made it past. I think he just needs some more time to mature as a dancer.
Kristen Dobson: One of the only Ballroom/Latin dancers that was focused, Kristen was decent, but I wished that the Flamenco dancer or some of the other montage dancers would have been focused on. The only reason why Kristen was focused on was because she was paired with Jess in choreography. I liked her movement, her splits, and her personality came off really well. There was no connection with her partner Travis. When we learned that she had three years of experience, it explained the Pussycat Doll style split that didn't fit.
Robert "The Woo-man" Taylor Jr.: Although he could "woo" with the best of them, his dancing technique for me would work better in a dance crew than individually. He had the right physicality and comedic value to gain votes. Apparently having the audience screaming "Vegas" to Nigel was enough to give anyone tickets and the woo-man made it through without choreography.