So You Think You Can Dance Recap: Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Auditions.
Yes Trashmi, it’s that time again! The school year is over (or ending if you go to one of those schools that go to mid-June), recitals are happening, temperatures are rising,
So dust off those jazz shoes, fluff that tutu, and get some pep in your step because So You Think You Dance season 11 is about to begin!
Oh, Cat. I thought we were friends.
Yes, Trashmi, before we go any further it seems that I owe you an apology for missing last week’s debut. I forgot it was on then remembered then forgot again then got bad family news about my grandfather and went into a bit of a funk. By the time I pulled out of the funk it was pretty much time for the new episode, so I decided to combine both into one recap. Thankfully it’s the auditions so we all know it’ll be full of a bunch of crap we could care less about.
UGH. Be prepared for my yearly ranting about bullshit we don’t need to see! I know how you look forward to it.
Alright. This recap ain’t gonna write itself so let’s dive into the Easy part of auditions. That is The Big Easy, New Orleans……
Joining Mary and Nigel in NOLA is Wayne Brady. He’s been an enthusiastic judge in the past and I happen to like the guy so I won’t complain about him being here. Unless he does something to piss me off. But for now I’m happy to see him.
Awwwwww…..Wayne…….you’re so sweet.
You all remember how the auditions work, right? Bad dancers get the boot, good dancers get choreography, and great dancers get a ticket to Vegas. Well, not Vegas anymore. Apparently they’re going to California for the “Vegas” round now.
Another change for this season is a dance crew competition that will be brought to us by Justin Bieber.
Hey, I’m all for some dance crew action because the cancellation of ABDC made me very sad, but why Bieber? WHY???????????????????? Does Nigel hate us that much?
First up to audition is Shelby Rase.
She’s got fantastic control and musicality. She also has a TON of developpes, leaps and turns crammed into this audition piece. But no back hand springs, so she wins points from me. She’s good, and I’ll be surprised if they don’t put her through.
But before we can find out Shelby’s fate we have to veer off into the land of stupid time wasting dancing when she mentions that her dad specializes in a thing called the bottle dance. Naturally Nigel cannot pass up the opportunity to call the dad onstage so that we can all be subjected to this nonsense.
Dad informs everyone that he’s usually had a few drinks before performing this dance and then he busts his moves.
Shelby gets a ticket to
Next up is ballroom dancer Tanisha Belnap who tells us she has eleven brothers and sisters. Yes, you guessed it Trashmi, she is from Utah. Tanisha tells us dance is super important to her and coming from such a large family she didn’t get no dance classes for free; she had to work for them by sewing costumes, babysitting her teachers brats, and scrubbing toilets.
So she does her ballroom solo which we all know is always difficult to pull off, but she makes sure to bring as much of the sexy as she can because she knows if Nigel pops a boner she’s sure to get a ticket.
Damn girl, don’t you know you have to cover those teeth? Nigel doesn’t like to get scraped. Much.
Next up are brothers Skip Skipper and Shane Skipper. Skip auditioned for season six and decided to give it a go again this time bringing his little brother along for the ride.
EH. They’re okay, but I’m sure we’ll see much better than this over the full course of the auditions. The judges agree with me and send Shane home and Skip to choreography.
Oh fuck me gently with a chainsaw. It’s time for the first sob story of the evening.
So this is Megan Marcano who Cat tells us has beaten the odds just to be there. She’s been on her own since she was twelve years old with a drug addict mom who had a string of abusive boyfriends. She ended up bouncing around to a bunch of different homes and always wondering why she wasn’t love enough for someone to keep her. Okay, I’ll admit it; my allergies might have acted up a teeny tiny bit during her story. What? I’m not COMPLETELY heartless!
While she’s dancing Wayne whispers to Mary that she’s awesome. I love that she’s quirky and not the typical run of the mill contemporary dancer. She’s got something more there and I find myself liking her. The judges and I are once again on the same page; Nigel tells her she’s fabulous, Mary thinks she’s a star, and Wayne says she has everything. Nigel interrupts to say she doesn’t have everything. And then gives her a ticket.
More nonsense follows because why should we just be able to enjoy good dancing?
Also ridiculous is the next auditioner’s over inflated viewpoint of himself. Meet Trevor Bryce who tells us he’s never seen anyone do what he does. He’s seen them TRY, but it doesn’t work out for them. Oh man, I am SOOOOOOOO looking forward to him getting his ass handed to him.
Shit. He’s actually really good. Dammit. He’s weird and funny in his performance with a lot of great technique moments thrown in there as well; the only time he seems to have an issue is with one of his turn sequences, falling out of the turns. But other than that, the kid has something. Other than a really big head. I think I’m gonna hate him, but I’ll try not to rush to that judgment this soon in the game.
Nigel tells him it was one of the greatest solo performances he’s ever seen on SYTYCD and that if he ever needs to do a dance for your life solo there’s no way he’s be sent home dancing like he just did. Nigel thinks it was tremendous. Mary and Wayne also loved it and unsurprisingly Trevor gets a ticket to the next round.
Trevor’s audition wraps up the first day’s solo auditions so now we’re down to the choreography round. Remember how Skip Skipper got sent there and his brother got sent home? Well, after about a half hour of choreography, Skip decides to send himself home. Quitter.
Cat doesn’t tell us exactly how many dancers make it through the choreography round, but based on the number of dancers holding tickets in that segment, it doesn’t look like too many.
Time for day two in The Big Easy.
We start out this day with Courtney Barnes who tells Cat he would describe himself as fabulous. Stylish. Unique. Classy but never trashy. He forgot ANNOYING.
I can barely watch the dude because he’s already aggravated me. And it doesn’t get any better when he’s done dancing as he and Nigel decide to engage in a Wendy Williams impersonation contest. UGH, Shut. Up.
Thankfully he’s not good enough to make it straight to
Vegas California; he gets sent to choreography where I pray we lose him because there is no way I can deal with this dude for more than five more seconds. I may kill someone.
Novien Yarber is up next and you might remember him from last year’s auditions. He tells the judges that he wasn’t certain he was going to have a chance to come back and audition for them again because he took the rejection to heart and wasn’t sure he would EVER be good enough for them. Nigel gives him a bit of a lecture about how dance is supposed to bring joy into your life and whether he gets this or doesn’t get this he should know that he’s a good dancer.
Nigel tells Novien to get his shit together and bring it.
The judges don’t even bother to critique him.
Novien sparks a trend and we see a montage of dancers getting tickets to the next round.
From the montage we move to another returnee from last year’s auditions: Caleb Brauner. He’s one who ended up with their dad onstage with him last year and you all know how much I LOVE that. Sadly though, his dad has recently died so now I feel like a jerk for groaning when we were reminded about his dad dancing on stage. Then I remember I am a jerk and I feel better about the whole thing.
So Caleb has returned as much for his dad and his memory as for himself.
He’s not terrible, but he’s still not great. And as much as his story touches the judges they’re not moved enough to send him straight through to the next round. But he does get sent to choreography, so his chance isn’t over yet.
We get a montage of ridiculous including a chick that tells the judges she used to eat dog food, a dude who wraps about people liking his dumb hairdo, and a fat dude doing a jump split. But hold up; fat dude jump splitter is actually our next auditioner, Jacoby Jimmerson. He tells the judges that’s he’s studied ballet and jazz and that he teaches Zumba. And I am left wondering
Wayne says he lurves Zumba and Jacoby says Wayne couldn’t handle his class. Naturally this leads to Wayne going up on stage where he has a mini class from Jacoby in order to waste more of our time before Jacoby actually auditions. And guess what? Jacoby gets sent home. I know, I was so shocked as well.
Moving on, we have Marcquet Hill and Brooklyn Fullmer, ballroom dancers who want everyone to know that they are not dating, they are JUST FRIENDS. So stop asking mom!!!!!!
Nigel reminds us all that Marcquet danced with Witney Carson for her season 9 audition but was too young for the show at that time. But now he is a grown ass man according to Wayne.
They’re good, and knowing what studio they come from I am not surprised at all that they both get a ticket through to the next round.
Marcquet and Brooklyn signal the end of the second day’s auditions and once again we’ve got nothing but the choreography round left. Caleb is part of the twenty dancers hoping to push through choreography and earn a spot in the next round.
It looks like Caleb isn’t the only one going home; I may be wrong, but the way it seems is that no one made it through on this round of choreography. I miss when Cat used to tell us how many people made it through each time.
So Biebs and Nick DeMoura (choreographer to the Biebs) talk about how awesome the other is and I fight the urge to FF through this section so that you can. You’re welcome. They’re here to introduce an exciting new part of the show: SYTYCDBDC. They’ll show us some crews and we’ll (well, YOU’LL) vote for favorites on Twitter. The top crew will get to perform in the finale this season.
The first crew is Poreotics. FUCK. These guys were on ABDC and I think they’re a bunch of assholes.
They’re still obnoxious and I still think they’re assholes, so if you vote for them I will ban you from this site. Well, I’ll tell Ronnie to ban you and then he’ll ignore me. So there!
The second crew we get to see this week is an all girl crew called the Syncopated Ladies.
They’re like a hip hop tapping crew and I’m not sure I love them but anything is better than Poreotics, so they win my vote. Or they would if I was voting.
And that’s it for the Biebs this episode, so at least we know we’re not going to have to put up with him for TOO long each week. There may be a god after all.
We’re heading now to the breezy part of our audition tour, The Windy City, Chicago. After confirming that it’s super cold, we move indoors for the auditions. This time around former ballerina Jenna Elfman will be joining Mary and Nigel at the judges’ table.
Please let it be a complete loss of voice for Nigel. That is something I would be THRILLED to experience.
We start out the Chicago auditions with two guys from Florida. They are buddies Nick Garcia and Rudy Abreu and they’re hoping to bring some heat to Chi-Town. They’re annoying. And in love with each other but in total denial. What else could explain their cheesy come ons and personas. Oh. Wait. Maybe they’re just geeks.
Nick is up first. He’s a Latin ballroom dancer. Normally he would dance with his sister, but she’s hurt so he’s going it alone.
Eh. He’s no Pasha or Dmitry, but who is? Mary LOVES him and treats us to one of her ear splitting screams. So now I really hate him. He gets a ticket to the next round.
Nick’s buddy Rudy is up next and he has a very different style. A style that is all his own and based off of his scar that he has from a hole in the diaphragm and a blood disease that he was born with. He says it is very manly and warrior like.
He’s good. The judges put him through to the next round and I look forward to the last two guy spots being between him and his buddy. You know it’s gonna happen.
We get another montage of dancers getting tickets and then……
Caleb Brauner has decided that he will NOT accept defeat and so he has returned to audition again. But will he be able to break through to the next round this time? Or will it all end in tears again? Whether he makes it through or not there will CERTAINLY be tears because this time his audition piece is based on the last voice mail he got form his dad. Crap.
Jenna loves him taking his quirky style and him turning it into something poignant. He gets a yes to choreography from all of them. Will he make it through or be sent home yet again?
We’re not going to find out yet because first we need a montage of ridiculousness. Including a chick that says she does contemporary chair dancing, some dude in suspenders, and the strippers we saw last season who want to prove they can do more than take their clothes off.
Time for choreography. The strippers bail because not being able to rub your dick all over some poor unsuspecting female is just too hard. But what about Caleb? Will he get that ticket?
Personally, I don’t think he’s going to go very far in the next round, but then again, most of the time the people I really love get cut, so what the fuck do I know?
And so day one in Chicago is over and a total of twelve dancers are headed to L.A. Before we end this episode, Biebs pops up to let us know how the voting is going so far and I am happy to report that the Ladies are in the lead. Hopefully this will remain true so that I don’t have to start hunting down Poretics voters.
And that ends the first audition episode, but not this recap because we’ve got another one yet to go!! So let’s get to it!
We start the second audition episode with the second day of the Chicago auditions. But Jenna Elfman is not returning for the second day in Chi-Town. Instead she’s been replaced by Fabrice Calmels from the Joffrey Ballet.
Kicking off the second day in The Windy City is The Puppet, aka Paul Brushhaber. He is a HUGE fan of Brian Gaynor (who isn’t??!?) and Brian inspired him to create his own style of dancing based on puppetry.
He is super cool and I love what he’s done with his own style of dance, but if we’re being honest, we all know he’s not going to make it onto the show. Or he will and we’ll all end up hating him as he gets passed through round after round after round because of his “uniqueness”. Damn, I sound like such a dick, but just because it’s dicky doesn’t make it untrue. I hope he doesn’t make it so I don’t end up hating him ‘cause right now I really like this kid.
Nigel thinks this style has sort of a lyrical quality, Mary says she wants to live in his world, and Fabrice and his extremely deep voice love that Paul has created his own style. Mary calls Paul a genius and pretty much tells Nigel he needs to go straight through to the next round. Nigel is hesitant when he hears that Paul has never danced with a partner before but Mary and we know that they’ve put people straight through before with no partnerwork on their resume. She is not backing down and Fabrice sides with Mary, so Nigel relents and gives Paul a ticket through to Vegas California.
Next up is Emily James who has auditioned twice before: in seasons eight and nine. Why no season ten? To her parents’ delight she took a break from dancing last year to concentrate on school and get her business degree. But Emily is not ready yet to give up on her dancing dreams and so she’s returned again this year to give auditioning another try.
She’s good. Maybe not original, but good. Mary tells her to follow her heart; she’s a dancer. Nigel says he’s shocked that she’s dancing like that now considering she took a year off. Fabrice loves her transitions and footwork; he really enjoyed it. She gets a ticket through to the next round.
But because she brought kid cousins with her we can’t just move along to the next person. Nope. We simply HAVE to see the kiddies dance on stage. UGH.
What’s worse is she does fucking acro which I fucking hate and now I want Iris Myandowski off the damn stage. Damn you Lythgoe!
That stupidity leads us into a montage o’goodness so I am brought back from the brink of madness. Which is good as we move on to the next dancer, Franchesca Bass. She has alopecia which caused her to lose all of her hair in the sixth grade. She’s got a great attitude and tells us she doesn’t need hair to be successful. Unfortunately she DOES need hair to give Nigel a boner so I fear that even if she is amazing she still won’t make it very far.
She’s interesting and quirky and I still maintain that Nigel will not let her make it to the top twenty. Never gonna happen. But for now she at least gets a ticket through to the next round.
Next up is Jenna Scaccia who just happens to train at Joffrey’s Academy in Chicago as well as stalking Fabrice during his rehearsals.
I found myself wondering where the fuck her shoes were and wishing she had auditioned on pointe. I mean, if you’re going to make it a thing that you’re a ballerina, why not really go for it? She is good, so it’s no surprise to see her get a ticket to the next round, but she’s definitely no Eliana. Juss sayin.
We’ve reached the last Chicago auditioner, James Thomas who is a hip hop dude. More specifically, he does that bone crunching style of hip hop which makes you want to watch while partially covering your eyes.
They send him through to choreography where he quits after forty minutes because he thinks he’s fucking over his partner by being there. It looks like that actually DID help her out as it looks like she is one of ten dancers to get tickets to the next round.
And with that, we leave Chicago and head out to the beautiful portion of our auditions; LALALand, the place where beautiful people are made, not necessarily born. Joining Mary and Nigel for this leg of the auditions is Christina Applegate.
The first of our LA dancers is Jessica Richens who already has a leg up because she is gorgeous and sure to give Nigel wood. She tells us she loves to be sexy onstage and that it just really comes naturally to her, so there you go. I predict a ticket to ride Nigel’s pocket rocket.
I’m going to go way out on a limb and say this girl will make it into the top twenty. Nigel will never deprive himself of the opportunity to oogle her goodies all summer.
As Jessica leaves with her ticket, Mary and Christina say they want to be her and then they remember they’d have to deal with Nigel the Perv and immediately rethink that.
Next to audition is Valerie Rockey and her little red tap shoes.
She’s not the strongest tapper we’ve ever seen on the show and we all know how THEY’VE done, so I don’t hold out much hope for her. She isn’t terrible, just not terribly terrific.
Nigel loves that audience loved her. He liked a lot of what she did, but thought she was too kiddie in some places. Mary also liked her and Christina did as well, but they’re not blown away enough to send her straight through to the next round. But she does get put through to the choreography round, so all hope is not yet lost for her.
Nigel quickly moves on to the next dancer, Jaja (or Yaya) Vankora. Those of us who are ABDC fans should recognize her from IaMmECrew, Phillip Chbeeb’s crew, champions of season six of ABDC. I LOVE that crew and am excited to see a strong girl hip hopper here. Hopefully she can hang and make it through to the show because we desperately need NON contemporary/jazz girls up in this place.
Oh man. I hope she can do other stuff and partnering because she is freaking awesome. The judges think so as well and send here right through to the next round. Pleasepleasepleaseplease let her be able to hang.
Looks like a lot of previous contestants have turned up to watch the LA auditions. We see Fik-Shun, Jasmine, Audrey, Clarice, Paul, Nico, Will, Cyrus, Makenzie, and Legacy all stop by to check out the talent. Why should we care? Well, hold on a minute or two and maybe it will all become clear.
But first, let’s check out the next dancer, Kyle Taylor. He’s a popper from Wichita, Kansas. He tells us it would mean the world to him to be able to impress someone like Fik-Shun or Cyrus.
He’s actually better than I thought he was going to be, but once again, I doubt that he’ll make it very far in the competition. But he seems like a sweet guy and I’m glad he got to come out and dance somewhere other than his living room.
Nigel tells him he looks like he should be battling people, so he calls up Cyrus, Legacy, and Fik-Shun for a friendly battle. I know this is pure filler and I usually lose my everloving mind over stuff like this, but I am not mad at this at all. You know why? Because it’s fun and makes me smile and actually adds a little extra pep in Kyle’s step. But is it good enough to earn him a ticket?
Yes, but only to choreography. But Nigel tells him he should be happy because Nigel was ready to send him straight home before the battle and he actually changed his mind. Of course by sending him to choreography he’ll probably still be going home, but at least he gets to stick around for a little while longer before heading back to Kansas.
Next up is Justine Lutz who says she has studied jazz and ballet but no contemporary (“there was no contemporary then”). Her audition style is contemporary, so clearly she was talking about the styles she studied when she began dancing at the age of three. Or was she?
I like her; she a combination of angles and weirdness and technique and I think the fact that she’s not a “pretty” contemporary dancer sparks my interest. Mary and Christina give her a standing ovation and a ticket to the next round.
After Justine we get another montage o’good dancers all making it through to California which is where they are so why even bother with a ticket?
Next up are dance partners and real life lurvers, Daisie Mendosia and Mauricio Vera. They are a ballet couple and you all know how I love me some ballet, so I am immediately routing for them.
GET A ROOM!
They are ridiculously in love and they don’t give a shit who knows it.
They are also ridiculously good dancers and I think I might be in love with them. Well, their dancing anyway. All three judges give them a standing ovation. Christina says she can feel the love between them and she could feel everything they were feeling. She wants to watch them dance all day long.
Mary says they made an impression from their very first second on stage and built on that as they went on. She is grateful that she got to watch them. Nigel says it’s tough on guys because they don’t get to show off as much as the girls in this kind of situation, but that doesn’t really matter since they are both getting tickets to the next round.
Time for this week’s visit from the Biebs. Before he introduces us to this week’s crews we find out (with no fanfare whatsoever) who the winner of last week’s “battle” is….
So thankfully Poretics did NOT win and I don’t have to make a kill list. At least not yet. Wanna find out who the crews are this week? The first crew up is another ABDC alumnus, Break Sk8
For those of you that didn’t watch ABDC and/or missed my recaps of that show, I’ll let you in on a not so well kept secret: I HATE the gimmick crews. These guys don’t earn the level of hatred that Poretics did (those guys’ gimmick was being jackasses), but I’m still not a fan. Never was, never will be.
The second crew this week is called Academy of Villains. The guys are dressed up like the puppet from Saw while the couple of girls just have random costumes/makeup on.
Not sure why they didn’t just have the girls in the Saw look as well, but these guys are the ones getting my (non-existent) vote this week. I know, I just got done saying I hate the gimmicks, but I like them. What? I don’t have to stick to what I say. I’m allowed to change my mind ya know!
Time for the next auditioner, self proclaimed Miley Cyrus lookalike Hailee Payne. Hopefully she doesn’t shoot powder out of HER vagina!
She is REALLY annoying to me already, so no matter how good she is I already know that I will hate her. How do I know this? Because I have to fight the urge to punch her in the face. No matter that I am not there with her. My fists longs to connect to her face and I am not proud to have to admit that to you.
Turns out she’s a good dancer. I still want to punch her in the face. She gets a ticket to the next round. My TV shudders in fear.
Let’s move on, shall we? We get another returning contestant, Sebastian Serra who almost made it to the green mile last year. He’s hoping for better results this year.
He has packed an insane number of leaps and turns into his audition, hoping to impress the judges. Well, it works. Mary loves the way he used the entire stage; she says she felt like he could use even more room. Christina compares his use of the stage to Chehon’s which is a HUGE compliment, so no one should be surprised when he gets a ticket through to the next round.
Up next is Dani Platz. She tells the judges that she danced from age three to sixteen when she had to stop due to an eating disorder. I’m not sure this is the right show for her; Nigel can really be an asshole to these girls and I’m immediately worried for her.
She has some beautiful movement in her routine, but I still find myself worried for her. Nigel talks about how bendy her body is and thinks her piece was beautiful and ugly and he could see the sadness in her. Mary and Christina are both in tears over her and Christina says she is broken but healing and loves that she is showing that to the world. They put her through to choreography.
Time for the last audition of this round. Marie “Poppins” Bonnevay is a French popper who does not believe in tricks but performance and feeling.
She has a guest performer in the middle of her audition and I don’t know whether it’s planned or Fik-Shun just can’t keep his ass in a seat. But she totally went with it and if it wasn’t planned, she handled that like a pro.
The judges loved it all and they give her a standing ovation and a ticket through to the next round.
And so we end as we do all audition episodes with the choreography round. We’ve got Kyle and Valerie and Dani hoping to make it through, but it’s clear early on that Kyle is WAY out of his league and so he bows out. Will Dani and Valerie make it to the next round?
Damn. That was not something I wanted to see. He doesn’t even make it off the stage, puking about an inch away from the wings. Srsly show? You couldn’t cut that part out?
Yes, thank god smellovision doesn’t yet exist.
But can we get back to Valerie and Dani? Did they make it through to the next round?
So we end this episode on a positive note. And in case you were wondering, the puker got cut.
So what did you think of the first two rounds of auditions, Trashmi? Anyone catch your eye so far? See a possible winner in the mix? Who will you be happy to see cut in the call backs? And do you hate Smiley as much as I do?
I cannot wait a minute more to hear what you all think so I’m gonna shut the fuck up now and let you get to it!
See ya soon…..
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