Thursday, May 24, 2012

SYTYCD S9: NYC & Dallas Auditions

Well look at that, we're back for another season of So You Think You Can Dance! I would like to start off this recap with a quote that I think encapsulates why I like to watch this show, courtesy of Lil C:

"I love, love, love talent. But what I love more than talent is when talent meets skill. It leaves me spellbound."
Recap/review of So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 - New York City and Dallas Auditions by

Exactly. I think anyone who works in a creative capacity can have an appreciation for that. But okay, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thing: the dancing of it all! Now, I'm just going to come out and say it straight off... I'm not a huge fan of the audition shows. They're bloated with filler and feature people who do should not be featured. What bothers me about featuring such people is that is exactly what they want! Like one dude, who shall remain nameless because I'm not going to give him the satisfaction, whose goal was "to be a celebrity." Really? Ugh.

Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, let's head into hour 1 of the premiere, which kicked off in New York City. Nigel and Mary were joined by Tyce Diorio for these auditions. The two dancers from this hour that stood out for me were Shafeek Westbrook and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. Shafeek was the breaker/flipper who had an awesome smoothness to his work that you don't necessarily see very often in the more hip hop type dancers. He was great, and as such was sent straight through to Vegas. Chehon was the Swiss ballet dancer who was beautiful in more ways than one. Shut up, you know it's true, even Mary gave him a prolonged hug after his audition. He was strong and not obviously just a ballet dancer, and if he can do the other styles I think he could go far.

A lot of people will probably give props to Leo Reyes, but I get a little annoyed with obvious emotional blackmail. Look, I get it. There's a story there, but I felt like the story was played up more than actual dancing. We'll see how long he lasts in Vegas. Also played up was Amelia Lowe, the '20s style girl that everyone seemed to love and I just kind of thought was more of the same contemporary stuff we've seen. but heck, what do I know?

Moving on to Dallas, Nigel and Mary were joined by Lil C, and I thought this hour was much more entertaining than the first. True, I love Lil C, but that's not the only reason why. There were two guys here that really impressed me as well, and also one woman too. Gotta give props to the lady since hardly any ladies got individual showtime this week. The lady in question is Bree Hafen, an "older" dancer with a couple kids, but hey, she can dance. And despite the obvious emotional blackmail here too, at least I felt like I could see that she could dance.

The two guys that really impressed me were Stepheon Stewart and Hampton Williams. Stepheon was the creepster zombie guy who could seriously do some really terrible things with his voice and eyes and weird smile, but he also displayed some serious skills. And this just goes to show you what a great audition means, because he went straight through to Vegas, which doesn't always happen for the more pop lockin' types. Another prime example is Hampton. Because damn. You hear his spiel about exorcising stuff from you through his dancing and think oh man, what am I in for, and then you see it, and yeah. Yeah. I got chills. His music choice was so unexpected, but in a good way, and they actually let him go through the whole song, which never happens. That's how riveted everyone was. Whether he goes very far in Vegas, I don't know, but it was great nonetheless.

There was also Jarell Rochelle, another contemporary dancer that was, you know, good, and had good emotional weight to his dancing, and Daniel Baker, the Aussie ballet dancer, who was also, you know, good. Whether they will be memorable later on? Remains to be seen.

What about you guys? Are you excited for another season, or are you waiting to reserve judgment until the top 20?

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  1. I agree that the "filler" is starting to become so tedious and annoying. It's especially cringe-worthy on SYTYCD and with the wonders of DVR...I simply fast-forward through the cringing.

    Very interested to see how the competition format will be changed with only one two hour show this year. Auditions are always exciting because you see marvelous dancing, but I too tire of the dramatic storylines they foist on people.

    Look, if someone is talented I'm going to enjoy their work regardless of whether or not their moms is going blind or they have adorable children or whatevs. Quit pandering and show the damn dancing already!

    Ahem. I've missed Nigel, Cat and the whole crew. They are so lovable and bubbly and interesting and full of life. As opposed to that OTHER reality show.

    This season feels like a breath of fresh air so far. :) Great review!

    1. Yeah I started fast-forwarding too. The small amount of guilt I felt about it since I do this recap vanished pretty quickly!

      I hardly watch any other reality shows because I just can't take it, but on this one everyone actually seems pretty genuine and passionate about what they do. Plus I just like seeing some amazing dancing!

      Hopefully the season will continue to feel fresh, fingers crossed!

  2. Agree about Swiss "cheese" and b-boy/flipper Shafeek as being the best to come out of NY. Producers are holding something back from the NY pool going to Vegas.
    The Zombie and the Xcercist are compelling to watch, but I prefer the grace, intelligence, and maturity of Bree Hafen and Jarell Rochelle. Jarell, in particular, is my stand-out from Premier nite. 23,Skilled, focused, and dynamic -- he recently graduated from Sam Houston State with a degree in Theatre. Watch this one !

    1. It can sometimes be hard to tell who's going to make an impact just based on the auditions. We'll see who survives Vegas Week! Sometimes people they feature strongly in the auditions go really quickly.