Hey All :)
Welcome to the season fifteen premiere of So You Think You Can Dance. This is Franky and many of you might know me from my blogging of that other little dance program called Dancing with the Stars. MJ asked me to cover this program this summer and I thank her for that and am looking forward to it. I hope to see some old and new faces in the comments as we all come together to once again find America’s favorite dancer!
The auditions begin tonight with our judges Mary Murphy, Vanessa Hudgens, and creator and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. Former contestant and dance world superstar Twitch is also on hand to guest judge. Cat Deeley is back as host.
We begin as the judges narrate a quick look at the variety of dancers we are going to see this season in the auditions, with everything from contemporary to ballroom. Cat welcomes us to the show.
We are in California tonight for the auditions. If those auditioning want a ticket to the academy, they need to impress the judges. This season, there is no choreography round. So if you are good, you go right to the academy. If you aren’t you are going home. Let’s get it started.
Marina Mazepa is up first. She’s absolutely crazy flexible, looking like something right of an episode of American Horror Story with her moves. She’s very in tune with the music and is completely mesmerizing to watch. She rips off part of her clothes as if she is having an out of body experience. The judges are all up. Nigel has never seen anything like that. Marina choreographed it herself. Vanessa says Marina has her heart. She calls it performance art. Twitch loved it and says it is special to see something we never saw before. Mary says Marina is an artist. All the judges give her a yes and she is heading to the academy.
Gaevin “Rated G” Bernales is up next. He joined a dance crew when he was nine. He has been many competitions. When he turned 18, he decided to teach. So he is helping the next generation. He wants to take breakdancing out into the world. He’s good but it isn’t anything we really haven’t seen other B-Boys do previously. He has swag and a lot of fun up there but can he handle other styles? If anything, his solos on the show would be fan favorites. Vanessa says he is really strong. She feels like he could have stuck his moments a bit. Twitch loves some of his signature moves and confidence. He wants to see the moves packaged a bit more. Mary feels like he held back a bit but she thinks he is super talented. Nigel thinks he is one of the best B-Boys. He doesn’t think he will be very good at a Viennese waltz. All three judges say yes.
Next up, Marcus Nyemchek, Magda Fialek, Allen Genkin. Marcus is Kiki’s (from last season) brother. Magda auditioned with Kiki last season. Allen tried out before but was injured in Vegas. The three will be auditioning together tonight. That was great. If you have seen past season of DWTS, they sometimes do a trio dance round. This was like that. You had the guys sharing the girl but each shined in their own ways. They came together for a very cohesive and fun routine that allowed us to see why they are all great at ballroom dancing. Mary is screaming. She says Allen has improved but says Marcus was out-shined by Allen. She is thrilled with Magda. Nigel thought Marcus was a bit too quiet. Vanessa says her eyes were on Allen. Twitch agrees. All three of them get tickets to the academy. YES votes for all.
We get a very quick montage of ballroom dancers auditioning. Names like Cole Mills, Natella Devitskaya, Tristen Sosa, Stephanie Sosa, Dillon Lehman, KJ Mills, Hope Jackson. From what I could see, all of the people mentioned received tickets to the academy.
Taylor Haines is next and she is from Alaska. She loves nature. She was born with a disorder where her ankle bones were missing. When she was eleven months old, her leg was amputated and she has a prosthetic now. She has been dancing forever and feels it is a great challenge for her. Taylor is performing a sweet contemporary routine although her moves are not fantastic. She has limitations obviously but deserves all the credit in the world for doing that. Vanessa calls her strong and compliments her extensions. Twitch thanks her for the inspiration. Mary agrees and but feels Taylor isn’t strong enough for the show. She gets a no from the judges so she isn’t moving on.
Next is up Jay Jackson, a fabulous drag queen. He had a hard time getting dance jobs until he embraced he is a feminine male who loves drag. He’s too funny. He’s dancing in heels and has some great moves. I love the musicality. This is a performance from start to finish. He kinda threw everything he probably knows in that routine. He needs to be polished of course as a full dancer. He’s got a great personality. Nigel doesn’t think it is good enough for the academy. Vanessa loves the spirit. Twitch does too and loves how he represents the community. Twitch doesn’t feel the jazz wasn’t so strong. Mary wants him to come back after training hard. Nigel says no but Vanessa and Twitch say yes. It is up to Mary. She says yes. To the academy goes Jay.
Time for a bad dancer. Well, it only took 45 minutes. We get a montage of dancers who…let’s just say, are not too great.
Up next is Alexis Gilbert. She auditioned last season and was on Jenna’s (Jenna Johnson) team but got cut after group round. So she is back to try again with more training and confidence. She is just as outstanding as she was last year. Just a killer in contemporary. So much strength. So many extensions. Twitch says she came back stronger. Mary says it was knocked out of the ballpark. Nigel felt it was tremendous. Vanessa says Alexis shines like a star on the stage. Of course, all of them say yes to her.
Finally tonight, Eddie Hoyt. He is a tap dancer. He came out as gay freshman year and it was really difficult. He was brought up religious so his sexuality took a toll on him and his family. He is himself when he dances and it is very important to him. Great tapping. He really performed that piece. Nigel is up on his feet. I especially loved how much attention he paid to the beats of the song. Nigel (who is a former tap dancer) loved it. Eddie choreographed the routine himself. Vanessa loves seeing Eddie’s joy. Twitch says it was a joy to watch. OH. Twitch gets up to dance with Eddie. Amazing. Twitch doing what he does best and Eddie tapping away. Just fun to watch. Of course he gets a yes and is heading to the academy.
And that’s it for tonight’s opening episode. The auditions continue next week. Thanks for joining me tonight. :)