Now that the lackluster season of American Idol has come to an end, it’s time for the real fun to begin! For the past three years, So You Think You Can Dance has been the bright spot in an otherwise barren summer television landscape. In this week’s premiere episode, auditions were held in New York and Denver. The producers kept the ridiculous dancers to a minimum, leaving plenty of time for true talent to shine.
It was nice to see Nigel and Mary again, as well as Tabitha and Napoleon, who were guest judges in New York. I wasn’t as thrilled with Sonja’s first turn as an audition guest judge. Her ooing and ahing were very distracting. She needs to save some of her gusto for the competition! There was the usual drama, with physically challenged contestants, those mourning the loss of a loved one, and those just being crazy (the pair of male ballroom dancers?!). About those guys, if you can’t find a female dance partner that you get along with well enough to do ballroom, then maybe you shouldn’t be a ballroom dancer. That form of dance is designed to display the beauty of male and female form and movement. Their audition was just silly.
I’ve blogged about SYTYCD for the past two seasons, and will be doing so again this year. Welcome back, if you have kept up with my episode reviews in past seasons. I was thrilled when Joshua won last year, and hope there will be at least one person I love as much as him this season. If you are new to my blog, check back each week for a quick recap of the audition rounds, followed by more detailed reviews of the performance episodes (once the Top 20 dancers are announced), and occasional videos of my favorite dances. And just a note about my credentials – I don’t have any! That is, I don’t have any professional knowledge of dance. I’ve never taken a class, don’t know the terminology, etc. However, I have picked up on quite a bit listening to the judges on this show. But mostly, I bring the opinions and perspectives of a general viewer to my blog. I like to think that I know good dancing when I see it, even if I don’t always know the best way to describe it. Can’t wait to get further into this season!
The dancers who stood out to me tonight:
- Gabi Rojas – I liked the circus performer/trapeze artist vibe she brought in her audition. Her routine was very enjoyable to watch, with its grace, fluidity, and charisma.
- Peter Sabasino – This “boxer in tap shoes” from Philadelphia didn’t exactly wow me with his tap audition, but he was entertaining, had some cool moves, had a nice personality, and he made me interested to see him do more when he listed off all the styles he’s been trained in. Versatility goes a long way in this competition.
- Kayla Rodomski – This blond-haired girl whose grandparents tagged along in Denver, danced to a nice song (“Blackbird”) and made a difficult routine look easy.
- Natalie Reid – Katie’s roommate from last season returned, and wowed the judges with an amazing audition. You can tell she has spent a lot of time with Katie (and probably with the same dance instructors), because they have a similar style and movements.
- Brandon Bryant – Wow. I remember this guy from last year and was disappointed that he didn’t make the top 20. When he dragged himself across the floor – WHAT? And then stood on tip toe on one foot while exhibiting such strength with the rest of his body? His audition was a great way to end the episode. He was fully committed, emotionally invested, and had the raw talent to go along with it. Hopefully he will bring more personality with him this year, since that is a key component on this show.
Before we dive into this season full force, take a moment to remember how it all ended last year: