And So (You Think You Can Dance) It Begins… Again

Guest judge Adam Shankman.
Guest judge Adam Shankman.

Hey hey hey… here’s a quick rundown of the first “So You Think You Can Dance” episode of the season: The Los Angeles auditions! (Aired 9/9/09)

We started out with a montage that basically said, “Hey, it’s Season 6! It’s our first Fall season!” I was kind of skeptical about SYTYCD coming back so soon, and I usually think these montages are dumb, but for some reason I got a little weepy-eyed, watching this. I am SUCH a loser, you guys.

I kind of feel bad for Jeanine, because she’s getting replaced as “America’s Favorite Dancer” super-fast. She only gets the title for a few months. But she’ll always be the Season 5 winner… so, that’s good news.

It’s funny to me that every season they act like the seasons before were full of amateurs. THIS season is the best! Sure. Way to honor all of the dancers of the previous seasons.

Okay, so we’re at the Orpheum in Los Angeles. Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Adam Shankman are the judges. Cat Deeley is hosting. Obviously. Anya and Pasha of seasons-past (but the new dancers are supposedly so much better?) are running the choreography for the in-between auditioners… but we hardly even see Pasha. It’s a real shame, because Pasha is ADORABLE.

Mercifully, they cut the auditions down a lot. Instead of showing Good, Bad, and Strange with equal weight, they focused mostly on the Good, a little bit on the Strange, and did a quick, nameless montage of the Bad.

The Good:

Mollee Gray- Mollee was a principal dancer in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 1, 2, and 3. Her family (Mollee, mom, and two younger brothers) moved here from Utah and are living in an apartment with no furniture. Sacrifices! Mollee gushes about how great her mom is, saying, “We’re like two peas in a pod. She even looks like me, sort of.” Um, honey? I think you look like your mom. Because… you know. Hahaha. Also: Her mom’s name is Thursday! Mollee really wants to make her mom proud. It’s sweet. And she dances to a Postal Service song. Cool!

After Mollee gets her ticket to Vegas, her little bro calls her “phenomenal,” and kind of flicks his wrist. So… Mollee dances in a bra, her brother flicks his wrist, there’s no dad in the picture, and they moved here with nothing from Utah? I’m thinking… escaped Mormons?

Ryan Kasprzak- Surely you remember that he was very nearly in the Top 20 last season? And then his brother Evan got the spot instead, and ended up in the Top 3? Ryan tries out with an a cappella tap routine that involves spoken word. Later I will talk about a terrible, terrible no-music audition that actually came before Ryan’s which also involved spoken word, but luckily Ryan’s in non-terrible. In fact, Adam thinks it’s the best audition ever. Obviously, Ryan gets a ticket.

Bianca Revels- Another tap dancer! She was also really close to being Top 20 last year, and swore she wouldn’t come back. But she DID come back, and she and Ryan dance in an “impromptu” tap battle, which is called a “trade?” And it really makes me want to have a male and female tapper in the Top 20 this year, so that there can be at least one badass tap routine.

Amber Williams- When she was ten, her mother was paralyzed from the waist down in a surgery gone wrong. So she had to grow up fast and help her mom, and had to give up her dancing for a little while? Amber’s mom seems super-nice, and has one of those high-riding wheelchairs, so she’s almost as tall as Amber. Wheelchairs of the future! Cool. Amber stops dancing in the middle of her song, which is kind of weird, but the judges love that she’s light on her feet. When she gets a ticket to Vegas, there’s a montage of her victory set to Beyonce’s song “Halo,” which is kind of Haha. But I really like that song, so…

Alexie Agdeppa and Paula van Oppen- Two really great contemporary dancers. Apparently Paula is dance-friends with my sister’s dance-friend? Thanks for the info, Mom.

Christina Santana- She does salsa with pop-lock elements. There is something a little weird about her movement, but I enjoy her spunky attitude… and her “pot stir” turns. Her partner isn’t trying out, and Nigel wants to know WHY?! The partner says he doesn’t have as much of a dance background, and flees the spotlight. We find out that Christina also belly dances, among other things. That’s awesome! Adam says that she has amazing core strength.

Phillip Attmore- Another tap-meister! AND he was roommates with Ryan Kasprzak when they were on tour with Fosse. Cat asks Phillip some hard-hitting questions about Ryan: Did he have stinky socks? Phillip reveals that Ryan has a happy face tattooed on his butt. He draws a picture of it, and Cat says that she’s going to verify this. Haha. Phillip taps to “Almost Like Being in Love,” and… swoon. He’s going to give Ryan a run for his money! Is Ryan going to get edged out of the Top 20 by yet another friend/relation?

Nigel thinks it’s the year of the tappers. I hope so! I really like tap-dancing.

The Strange:

Cole  Clemens- One side of Cole’s head has normal hair, and the other side has crazy spikes. Red flag! He calls himself a trendsetter, in a crazy-eyes way. He has… no music. Mary is super-confused. Cole walks around the stage doing spasm-y movements while delivering the following monologue: “Allure… Seduce… Shatter shatter… shatter shatter shatter! … The candles blow out on us, too.” It’s like a weird Calvin Klein commercial from the eighties, delivered by a psychotic, potentially homeless man. The judges are trying not to crack up… but not really succeeding. Nigel says that it had an Off-Broadway feel, and Adam quips, “Like in Cleveland, off Broadway.” So… the candles blew out on Cole.

Christopher Aguilar- Thinks that’s he’s an old school, Gene Kelly type dancer… you know, like Evan K… except that Evan K is a really good dancer. Christopher wants to produce a dance movie, starring himself. He does a terrible dance to “All That Jazz.” It looks like something that a spazzy little girl would perform in her bedroom mirror. When Adam says that the gendered-ness of the dance was kind of odd, Christopher starts talking about his thesis, and switching male and female roles. I’m confused. Is he a grad student? At any rate, it’s a no. And he leaves with his beaming mother.

Next week: Auditions in Phoenix… and Mia Michaels is going to be one of the judges. And… the return of same sex ballroom! Except this time I think they’re both gay… or the “straight” guy realized he was gay. Or it’s two different guys? I don’t know, but I’m intrigued.

I wonder how many of the dancers auditioning are the exact same people that auditioned just a few months ago. What a drag for the judges. Ah well, it was their idea to do a fall season.

Until next time.


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2 thoughts on “And So (You Think You Can Dance) It Begins… Again

  1. Me too! He got me laughing my ass off here, lol! And as for the Christopher guy… when he said he was like Gene kelly and Ginger Rogers I got sooooo mad! SUCH an Evan K. wannabe!!! I just wanted him to get OFF the stage!
    I thought that Mollee Gray was really great, such a cute little thing up there! Amber was… so so for me… the ballroom girl was good – but I kept thinking the whole time that she was nowhere near Janette!
    Ryan and Biana were AWESOME! But what was that frenemies of Ryan’s, Phillip? He totally rubbed me up the wrong way… guess I don’t want competition for Ryan!
    I’m pretty sure Paula van Oppen tried out last season! I clearly remember her from the group coreography round – her group was the worst one, and they went to sleep without having gotten anything right… I think she was the only one from the group who survived the cut that day … but she was cut when the time for the Top 20 came. U go Paula! U know what they say: second time’s the charm! Oh, wait…

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