Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance marches on this week with another round of auditions. This time Cat Deeley and the judges hit Utah with the hopes of once again hitting a gold mine (salt mine?) of talent in Salt Lake City.
Check out all the info on the auditions after the jump…
Helping Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy decide which dancers should continue on with the audition process in Vegas was the always passionate Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages in theaters this Friday, kids!). Adam so generously donated his gift of dance during Mary Murphy’s speech of what not to do (booty shaking, endless reaches, etc, etc.). Good stuff. But enough of this frivolousness. Time for those auditions.
Witney Carson: This “femme fatale” is an 18 year old latin ballroom dancer (her partner is only 16). And while her personality is clearly that of a sweet young teenager, when she danced she was certainly a strong woman. She reminded me of Anya Garnis (as Nigel said) in a Chelsie Hightower body. Being a Latin Ballroom power house, she earned Mary’s first “WOOO” Hot Tamale Train. And a ‘Shut the **** Up’ out of Adam. My favorite part though was how clearly uncomfortable Dad was with everything the male judges said, particularly Nigel’s dirty old man comments.
Lynn Gravatt: This week’s craziness comes from Pleiades. A constellation. Or so says, Lynn, who has 3 spirit guides. I really don’t know what to do with this girl, who is an aerospace engineer, btw . She clearly believes all the “my spirit is from the stars” stuff she said. Of course, Lynn is from Portland, OR. I told my husband about her and he said “is she from Portland?” We live in Oregon, so it’s cool. We’re allowed to assume the crazies are from there. Listen – Lynn is a happy girl, she had fun and is a lovely soul. But she is not going to be a dancer professionally. But we all wish her well.
Deanna Tomasetta: Dee is the youngest and the only girl in a large Italian family – oh sweetie, I can only imagine your life. Her background video was adorable, and having spent 15 years living in NY and NJ, the family was quite familiar! Her dancing was very fluid and and she had a lot strength. She played the big moments with power and the small moments with the right amount of control. I think my one complaint was that she wanted to smile the entire time, which was clearly due to nerves. But when she kept her face in tune with the mood, it was perfect. Off to Vegas with you, Dee!
Gene Lonardo: Not to let Spacey Lynn have the monopoly on the crazy auditions, Gene does a piece on the life of the male praying mantis. Right down to the bug’s unfortunate decapitation during mating end. However, unlike Lynn, Gene obviously has had training. And he did tell a story in a unique, if not completely bizarre way. Here’s the big difference between Gene and Lynn, if you have the talent to back it up, crazy can work (Helloooo Sonya Tayeh!). And guess what – being different, having creativity, and being maybe a little bit insane earned Gene a ticket to Vegas. Which is kind of redundant, because he lives there.
Lindsay Arnold: This girl is the oldest of four very pretty blonde sisters (she looks like Julianne Hough a bit, and her sisters are on their way there). I really feel bad for Lindsay’s father. I bet he owns a shot gun. Anyway – apparently all the ballroom dancers have been hiding in Utah because up until this point we haven’t seen one. And now, less than an hour into the SLC show, SYTYCD Season 9 has brought us two. I actually thought Witney was a little bit more dynamic, but Lindsay was very very talented. And off to Vegas she goes.
Speaking of ballroom – one of the many montages from tonight’s episode was about all the ballroom dancers they saw. Apparently that’s the thing to do in Utah? But at the end of that montage was….
Mariah Spears: This little blonde girl… Crumps. Cue Adam Shankman spit take! And get this – she was actually Crumping. Like, for reals. Lil’ C is super mad he was not the judge for this audition because little white girl was on level with plenty of the guys who’ve auditioned in this style. She did great, but who knows what she can do otherwise, so she was sent off to choreography.
Murphy Yang: This kid had the Mike Chang of Glee storyline, without the happy ending. He did have the sweet girlfriend that supported his choice to dance, even if his family didn’t. Murphy had a clever and entertaining routine that was hip-hop in style, but showed he had the ability to pull off contemporary. But it was a bit soft in the difficulty. So, despite “Vegas?” being written on his stomach, he’s sent to choreo along with Mariah.
Unfortunately, Murphy didn’t make it to Vegas. He just wasn’t picking up the choreography. But hopefully someone will see his story on here and offer him some classes and we’ll see him again. Lil’ Crumper Mariah, however, is on her way to Vegas. Now, on to Day 2….
Dareian Kujawa: Oh, I really, really liked this guy. There is something about being able to move slow and steady through certain moves that I love in a male dancer. Dareian did that several times. He also did some gorgeous pirouettes without the slightest stumble when he was coming out of them. His tricks were strong and his transitions were gorgeous. Mary and Nigel both pointed out his feet were awful, which even I noticed. But he can work on that. And he’s got some amazing talent to back up his crap feet. Off to Vegas with you, my friend.
Johnny Ahn & Whitney Hallam: Johnny learned how to act around women by watching 200 hours of DVDs as part of a dating course. He thinks it’s working great, I think he acts like a Ken Jeong character. I don’t understand how, Whitney, his ballroom dancing partner tolerates it. I could barely handle watching the few minutes the producers showed us. As for the dancing – it wasn’t the worst thing ever. But they both pulled so many faces it was hard to really watch the moves. And they had very little chemistry (how are those DVDs working for you, Johnny?). So they are sent to choreo to dance with others.
There was a montage of some “we saw them in Vegas before” dancers who all made it back through. Then we saw…
Adrian Lee: He was cut in Season 7 (when they went to their homes to say yay or nay). He took a year off to contemplate and now he’s back, not willing to give up. He took the stage to the very excited cheers of the crowd. But fun twist: his family doesn’t know he’s there! He dances to some Otis Redding “Try a Little Tenderness” which is one of my all-time favorite songs, so that’s a win. And just as I remember, he’s an amazingly dynamic dancer. His choreo was kinda “eh” but he’s not a choreographer, so that’s to be expected. Either way, he’s going back to Vegas. And Nigel asks for his mom to go with him!
Rachel Applehans: According to her background video, Rachel used to be a bit of a wallflower. Now she’s dancing in white booty shorts and a bustier, so not so much of a wallflower now, thanks to dance! While she may have some talent, I felt quite a bit of her dancing bordered on the exotic variety, and most of it didn’t have a lot of technique. The judges all agreed, so she was sent off to choreography.
Just so we don’t think all of SLC was full of win, there is a montage of horrible dancers. I wish we could see a few more of them.
Leroy Martinez: And then there is Leroy. Leroy got into dance to avoid being part of a dangerous life style. He’s the only male in his family never to have been locked up, been on drugs or had a kid out of wedlock. Now he runs a program that helps kids make the same, better, life choices. And he works at a doggie day care. I love this dude. Now, Leroy is a bigger guy, so you can tell Nigel is worried. But along with great personality, he is adorable and has some great moves. He even had some tricks – he did flips and head stands! Adam was in love with him and got all choked up. While he may not be competitive at this level, he is an inspiration. Either way they send him to choreo, just to see how it goes.
Johnny, Whitney, Rachel and Leroy compete in choreo (the last two as partners). Johnny and Whitney are both sent home, but told to get stronger and come back (please don’t Johnny). Rachel had some good and bad, but her good was so good they decided to give her shot and sent her to Vegas. As for Leroy, he got a standing O from the judges and crowd, but no ticket to Vegas.Since Adam LOOOOVED him, and I think I heard something about him being in the movies, I bet he can help Leroy out some if needed. Oh, and Leroy got to hug Cat at the end. That’s all I’d really want out of the day.
Next week: VEGAS, BABY. VEGAS!! We see all the things I love about Vegas week in the previews – yelling, crying, ambulances, judges begging for people to live up their expectations, dancers begging for another shot, more ambulances! It’s all sure to be very dramatic. The most dramatic Vegas week ever, if Cat is to be believed. And would she ever lie?
Meet you back here next week for all the fun!
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae
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