Night two of season seven of So You Think You Can Dance features Los Angeles and Chicago. I really can't wait until we get to Vegas because these audition periods can be exhausting and sometimes quite boring. Only one more night of auditions and then it's Vegas, baby, yeah!
First up tonight was Los Angeles, where Nigel was joined by Adam Shankman and a new hip hop choreographer named Hi Hat (cool name, lady). LA featured a couple of returnees from the last go 'round, who had made it to the end of Vegas but not into the show - Cristina Santana, a latin dancer, and Alexie Agdeppa (or, to me, Smiley McSmilepants), a contemporary dancer. Both made it straight through, as was to be expected. Apart from the one guy who shall remain nameless to discourage famewhoring, this section mostly featured good dancers. I am dreading the time when Sex will inevitably appear. Can he please not be featured this time? Ugh, anyway.
Back to the good. There was Rachel Girma, a rhythmic gymnast with some seriously dramatic music who I think could really be a contender if she can do the other styles; Melinda Sullivan, the tapper with a unique style that got through to Vegas after the choreography round, and Ryan Ramirez, a contemporary dancer who had been a protege of Mia Michaels. Unless she starts to take off, though, she didn't have as much sparkle as some of the others. We also had our requisite sob story with Taylor Costello, whose birth mother had been murdered when she was 11, so she never got to meet her. That was rather shocking, and also I thought her dancing was better than the judges gave her credit for. If she keeps training she probably has a shot in the future.
In Chicago, Nigel and Adam were joined by contemporary choreographer Stacey Tookey. This half seemed to have a particular focus on background stories, with a couple of disastrous people thrown in, because that's what they do on this show. One of the inspiring stories was thanks to Jarrell Robinson, a deaf guy who actually danced hip hop rather well, I thought. He feels the music through the bass and from there can derive how many steps he needs to do. The judges were inspired but didn't send him further. What I liked most about him was his reaction to a hug from Cat - a mouthed "Wow!" and big smile. Also featuring an inspiring story was Andrew Phillips, a fraternal twin whose twin was born with Spina Bifida, so as he explains, he dances for the both of them. He has great spirit, and though his dancing isn't quite top notch, the judges did send him through to the choreography round. He must have really surprised them there, because they sent him to Vegas! I admit I was surprised too. It would be great for him to go far, but I fear he will be an early casualty.
Also featured in Chicago was Kent Boyd, the boy from the tiny town of... Wapakoneta, or something? He has some talent, and after going through the choreography was told he had a lot to learn, but that he would be learning it in... you guessed it! We got a little bit of contemporary dancer Adrian Lee, who at this point just gets lost in the shuffle of my brain other than "tall, blonde," and finally, Jarrod Mayo. He's contemporary with a kind of African vibe thrown in, and had a really great audition set to "Amazing" by Kanye West. I think he could really go far if he does as well in Vegas as he did in his audition. On a somber note, it was kind of sad that Christopher Gilbert, he of the Urkel style pop bendy hip hop-ness did not make it past the choreography round. He has the personality chops of someone like Twitch, so maybe if he trains some he can go further next time.
That's it for tonight! Tomorrow features the last two cities before Vegas week officially commences, and the dancers get whittled down to not the top twenty, but the top TEN. I mentioned in an earlier post that this season would be featuring just ten top dancers. That's not all. It will also be having just one elimination a week, and those top ten will be dancing with past top dancers from the show. Will they be overshadowed by the previous stars? Time will tell.
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