Welcome to the season sixteen premiere of So You Think You Can Dance. We begin our annual Summer tradition of finding America’s favorite dancer tonight! The first evening of auditions will be as usual, hosted by Cat, with this season’s judges comprised of Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and newest additions Laurieann Gibson and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval, replacing Vanessa and Twitch.
This season, the dancers will audition in Hollywood with a brand new set, all done up with intricate camera work and lights to catch everything. The new judges are excited to bring their expertise to the panel. The new set is like theater in the round. It’s very cool looking.
First up tonight is Dezi Saenz, a hip hop dancer. She describes herself as a girly-girl. She’s bubbly and friendly but a beast when she dances. Nice. She’s very good with what she can do- a lot of popping, locking, animation. Basically, what you see from Twitch. Quite talented. But can she dance other styles that she will need to on this show? Nigel found it tremendous. Laurie calls it the definition of the natural born gift. Dom enjoyed how much work she put in for the audition. And Mary tells her she took it to another level. The contestants need three yes votes this season and Dezi has received four. She is going to the Academy!
As we return, we meet Stephanie Sosa (who was on the show last season) and her brother Ezra Sosa. Her mom had a stroke last season after she Stephanie got cut. Stephanie remembers driving to the hospital and calling her brother. Her mother is here and happy to be alive. Stephanie is dancing for her mom. Dang. That was a hot jive. From the both of them. So refined and on point. They were equally stunning. Mary says Samantha went from an emotional start into a beast. Nigel loved Ezra’s legs. He calls it very sharp. Laurie calls it spectacular and compliments the pants. Dom loved it all from beginning to end. Here we go… Mary SCREAMS. Our first hot tamale train of the season. Both are heading to the Academy!
Next, a quick montage of good dancers, including Jesse Sykes, Dayna Madison and Benjamin Castro.
Up next, we have Matthew Deloch, who was on the show season fourteen but not last year because of an injury. A strong contemporary dancer who knows how to emote when he dances. Love the story he told while dancing as the music was perfect and he has outstanding musicality. Quite impressed by that. Dom calls it amazing and says Matthew has an impact without even moving. Nigel says his technique is superb. Laurie found it wonderful and says Alvin Ailey would have loved. Mary says the stage was just set on fire. All four say yes and another one heads to the Academy!
As we come back from commercial, here comes Sarah McCreanor, also known as “Smac” but I refuse to call her that. She is from Australia and does jazz. She came to LA about six years ago. Her quirk factor is an a hundred for sure. She’s really humorous when she dances. My worry is that the technique isn’t really all that great and she may struggle with choreography and other styles. If all else fails, this girl is having a blast right now doing this routine. Dom says she is brilliant with her craft. Mary loved the professional timing. She calls her the Lucy Ball of dancing. Nigel calls it fantastic and says she is a star. Laurie calls her a natural born entertainer. All four of them say yes and Sarah is going to the Academy! I thought it was good but I need to see better dancing as she goes forward.
Perhaps they are loading this premiere with the best but the judges so far have been very over the top with their praise. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Vanessa’s judging but to be honest, she and Twitch were critical when necessary. But it is still early so we shall see. I need to hear some constructive advice from these judges so the contestants know what to improve on.
Dancing next is Amanda Butler, a hip hop dancer and mom of three. She is here with a crew of women. They are based out of Dallas. Wait, is the whole crew auditioning? Oh, they are just supporting her. Methinks they will all dance at some point during this. All together, they have thirty-eight kids. Hmm. Some of this is a mess. Why didn’t she audition alone first before bringing in so much backup? It is hard to pay attention to her with everything else up there. They are okay dancers. But that’s about it- just okay. Laurie calls her inspiring but agrees with Nigel that some of the others pulled focus. Dom thought the group’s performance was good but not so much Amanda alone. Mary thanks them and tells Amanda she needs more work. Nigel wants Dom to go up there and dance. LMAO. Dom is as he always was, a big ham. But he took to that choreography fast. Back to Amanda, it is a no to the Academy even though Laurie and Dom said yes.!
The final audition tonight belongs to Gino Cosculluela. He is a contemporary dancer, dancing since he was five. His siblings dance professionally. Oh- he was on Dance Moms when he was nine. Nigel invites his mom to judge. Mmm. He has some beautiful lines. Tells a good story with his dancing as well. I see a lot of potential here. He could do wonders with some of the contemporary routines this show puts out. I hope he can handle other styles too. Probably my favorite overall routine tonight. Mom says she has seen better. LOL. Nigel told her to say that. Nigel says he will be shocked if Gino is not in the top ten this year. Laurie agrees but feels when he came out of the step and was still that she saw the dancer. Dom says he is a blown away by all of it. Mary says it had everything. All four give him a yes and Gino goes to the Academy!
And that is it for our first audition episode of the season. I was glad to see a little criticism from Dom and Laurie later in the show but they need to continue that- too much praise is not a good thing when these kids need honesty. But all in all, a fun premiere with some good dancing. I wouldn’t say anything stuck out for me as special beyond the final audition but I saw good dancing tonight with the potential for more as the season progresses. Any of the those auditioning tonight that went through have the chance at being exceptional with the dance boot camp they are about to go through.
I’ll see y’all next week for episode two and my apologies if I am being, as usual for me, super wordy with these recaps. I just can’t help it. :D