Huzzah, it’s the last day of episode of open auditions. We travel to the South, where we meet five or six dance cultures I didn’t even know we had. Among them: “skreet,” clogging and line-dancing. I mean, I knew about line-dancing at one point in my life, but I’d kind of forgot it existed until this episode.
So here we are in the A-T-L, as Cat likes to call it. Welcome to SoYouThinkYouCanDance!
Yeah, but can ya rub your belly and pat your head at the same time?
Apparently it’s cold in Atlanta. Maybe you should have put on more than a hoodie. Plus, the trees are green, so boo-hoo babies.
Our first dancer is named Caitlin, and she just turned 18 two weeks ago. If she makes it to Vegas, she’ll miss out on her high school graduation, but she’s willing to make that sacrifice for DANCE. It’d be worth it, because, um? Caitlin is kind of awesome. My friend David picks her as winner already. Yeah, she was that good. The judges recognize and Caitlin is going to Vegas.
Yup. Kinda hating you right now.
“Also looking good,” Cat Deeley sarcastics is Chris Crabb, aged 28. First of all, awesome name. I just want to say it over and over again. Second, I think he’s the Missing Link. Some things Chris tells us:
1. He likes his pants because they’re comfortable.
2. He’s a teacher.
3. He’s “a little bit obsessed with *Nsync.
4. He won a complete *Nsync bobble-head collection on Ebay. (I imagines he spends lots of time on Ebay.)
5. HE HAS A SHRINE TO JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. IN HIS BEDROOM.
6. He just saw Justin Timberlake in concert.
7. Chris cried when Justin came out.
Somewhere out there, JT is smiling big.
And those are the facts people. I can’t even imagine what grade he teaches. Chris launches into his dance to some easy listening music. The judges later rightly call his dance moves calisthenics. After he finishes, Nigel looks like he’d really like to be mean, but it’s early enough that he can control himself. The judges all dismiss him pretty nicely.
Now that’s how you do a crunch, people.
Tony thinks he’s funny. Tony is not actually funny. He babbles about breakdancing and b-boying and I totally can’t follow it. His dancing is pretty awesome, though. He even slides around ON HIS HEAD.
Shane tells Tony that he’ll be his best friend on the show. That’s all the validation Tony needs and he comes off pretty cocky for the rest of his interview. Shut up, Tony. Nigel can’t get a word in edgewise, Shane is all over this guy. Mary and Nigel pretend to leave and Shane tries to pass him through to Vegas on his own while Mary cackles maniacally in the background. Turns out Tony’s only through to choreography though. Don’t even pretend you have more power than Nigel, Shane. He’ll show you who’s boss.
Brandon is just a clogging Clay Aiken. It’s the hair and the accent. I can’t really tell the difference between clogging and tapping, but Brandon explains the shoes are louder because there are two taps on the toe, and he finds more rhythm in clogging. Ooookay. Before he begins, Nigel imparts some words of encouragement: “I don’t think we’ve ever, ever put a clogger through.” Kind. Brandon starts with some weird gyrating movement, but when he actually clogs, it’s INSANELY cool. Now that he’s seen Brandon’s clogging, Nigel says that anyone who’s ever “clogged” for him before was lying. Pretty high praise. Mary tells him to lose the hip movements and just freaking CLOG. Shane wants to make You Got Clogged! Brandon’s through to choreography.
Tapping’s for pussies. Clogging’s where it’s at, bitches!
Forty-one people in all were kept for choreography. Tony is through to Vegas and he promptly sits in the middle of the stage because he is an attention whore. Brandon is also through to Vegas. Thirty dancers make it through to Vegas on the first day. On day two, we can apparently look forward to a cat, a large lady who’s “a joke,” and a very small man. Something tells me mean Nigel is coming back.
Up first on day two is Bryan. He’s small due to his scoliosis. Cat Deeley apparently cannot tell the difference between him and a child, because she speaks to him like he’s five years old through this whole exchange. Sensitive! He’s here to prove he can stand in front of judges with no fear. Well he shouldn’t fear because he does the most badass robot I have ever seen! I’m still getting goosebumps and this is about the 47th time I’ve watched his audition. Mary’s laughing so hard I think she’s going to suffocate.
Scoliosis is hilarious!
The judges acknowledge the sheer brilliance of Bryan’s routine. It’s a little patronizing, but that dance puts me in such a good mood I don’t care! Shane is crying! (Again!) Nigel calls him a magician and puts him through to the choreography.
Next in line is Miles. Now, I know I’m stereotyping, but people, Miles is GAY. His interview feels like a 1950′s movie, because they find 20 different ways to imply he’s gay without outright saying it. Basically, he was a football player and loved it, mostly because his father really pushed him to do sports. His father was happy because Miles was “an athlete, popular… everything you could want in a son.” Then Miles broke his leg and started ballet, at first to help his movement in football. His dad was behind it for football’s sake at first.
Uh-oh, but then Miles decided to give up football entirely for dance and his dad basically disowned him. Miles tears up while saying this, which is what leads me to believe this is more about his sexual preferences than his recreational inclinations. His dad says he “had the quarterback, all-American son, dating the cheerleader…” What an asshole.
Oh, Miles, I want you to be amazing, because fuck your dad, but you’re really not. He’s amazing considering he’s been dancing for eight months, but he’s not really So You Think You Can Dance-worthy. All the judges recognize his lack of technique, but encourage Miles to keep dancing and follow his passion.
Hey kid. Stick with the gay thing. You’re awesome at it.
Magnanimous Nigel is back and he sends Miles through to choreography so this show can be part of his learning process. I say it again, what a freaking giver. Can someone get this man a medal? Perhaps a parade in his honor?
Up next is Ashley Simpson, and not the one you think. She whines about getting teased a lot, but please, honey, I know a Whitney Spears who was assigned MARIAH PAREY as her freshman-year roommate. Yeah, LOL housing office. Ashley clearly got a little spray-tan before auditions because girl is ORANGE. Also a pretty good dancer, but I really don’t think an oompa-loompa will ever win SYTYCD. The judges loved her and Ashley is through to Vegas. She cries sweet chocolate tears.
Aiyee, here’s Kippery. She’s the large black woman we’ve been seeing in promos through the whole episode so you know this is going to be good. And by good I mean painful. She says she’s been dancing since she was three and she’s had three years of hip-hop and five years of ballet experience. What about the other twelve years? Or were those just spent “freestyling?” And by freestyling I mean dancing by yourself in your house. She explains she’s a “skreet” hip-hopper. The interviewer off-camera asks “I’m sorry, are you saying’street?’” and Kippery replies, yes, “skreet.”
Oh, Kippery is a horrible dancer. She has absolutely 0 moves. She’s walking and bopping. After about 10 seconds, Mary turns to Shane and sighs, “Ugh, she’s sucking the life force out of me.” Zing! Nigel cuts her off pretty quickly. Of course, the judges hated it. Kippery explains that she went to a dance workshop last year and actually got an agent out of it. Nigel smells a scam because they told her she was a good dancer. Oooh yeah, turns out she paid $1400. Yeah, she got conned. Nigel explains you should never pay to be seen by an agent and says he’ll tell her his honest opinion for FREE. “You suck.” Not really, he said, “Stay healthy.” I mean, he’s just concerned for her health!
In the lobby, Matthew, a rhinestone and suede-clad cowboy is ready for his turn. He’s been line-dancing since he was young and he really is a great line-dancing entertainer, but the judges agree, but he’s not really up to the level of SYTYCD. Not even a chance at choreography, Matthew is dismissed! “Rhinestone Cowboy” plays as he rides off into the sunset.
Jessica Diaz is in possibly the least flattering pair of fishnets I’ve ever seen. They turn into lace at the top and make her ass look lumpy and large. Not a good look. Plus, she’s wearing cat-ears and mimicking felines is a big part of her routine. After she throws the ears off, Nigel stops her, afraid (slash-hopeful?) she’s going to take more off. As she comes to the front for judging, Nigel tells her to put her ears back on and Mary cackles at the cruelty. Love Mary Murphy. Jessica is summarily rejected.
Doin’ the Lumpty Lump
Last up is Marine cowboy Chris, and he’s no Rhinestone Cowboy, he actually lives on a cattle farm. He’s pretty good-natured and seems to be getting along with everyone in line. Well turns out he has experience as a leader, since he was a squad leader in the Marines before a dislocated shoulder got him sent home. He was depressed for a while but picked himself up and got back to his usual cheery self. I mean, he’s sure God did it for a reason. The music starts and Chris moves pretty well, but it looks kind of like he’s a stripper. After asking if he’s a real cowboy, Nigel makes a Brokeback Mountain joke. I can’t believe a show about mother-fucking-DANCE is having its second homophobic moment of the night.
I think they should put him through just to make him deal with the gays. The judges like his personality and think he’s fun, but don’t think he has the technique or skill for SYTYCD. Chris goes on talking about leadership until Nigel salutes him, and then sends Chris home. I think it’s been a long day.
Woah, Nigel. Wrong salute.
A tiny choreography round is going on onstage. Bryan is not going to Vegas, but Shane is 90% sure he can get Bryan highlighted in his next movie. Take him up on that! And Miles does make it through. When he calls his dad, he actually sounds moved, so maybe things aren’t as bad at home as they seem.
Dad? I just got gayer!
Next week: VEGAS BABY! I’ll bring the booze, you bring $20,000. See you there!