Thursday, May 28, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance? Season 5 - Miami and Memphis Auditions

If you only knew how I've been biting my nails and crafting countdown paper chains and pacing the floors of my home in the middle of the night waiting for season five of So You Think You Can Dance? to begin. If you only knew! Because if you knew, you'd understand what a letdown last night's two hour audition show was. The morning after watching it, I'm cudgeling my brains to come up with more than a handful of awesome dancers -- and I'm talking in any style, not just my personal favorite! -- and really, it's hard to do.

Here are some the standouts:

There was one couple from Miami who did the most incredible flippy-dippy salsa dance (which Nigel irritatingly pronounced "saaaalser") and it was muy caliente - so fun to watch. I didn't catch their names, but they were so good and they both got tickets to Vegas.

And there was Joseph Smith from Memphis who was full of personality and, yes, talent, who made me smile with his "ShaaaaaWHAM!" and his general joie de vivre. He did a hip-hop routine which I remember vaguely that I liked, but he got so much more screentime with the "shaaa-WHAM" and the ultimate "shaaaa-WIZZLE" or something like that, I can't recall to mind what he actually did. Like, onstage.

And oh, yes, also Memphis police officer Marico Flake (unfortunate name) with a badge and a uniform and a squad car and everything, who disconcertingly looked to be about twelve years old. Disturbing! I think that maybe there should be looks requirements to go along with the age and weight and educational requirements to qualify one as a law enforcement officer. He was dancing in a style called "Memphis Jukin'," which of course I have never heard of, but judge L'il C (a krump dancer -- don't ask me what that is -- and choreographer) waxed poetic on it, so I'll believe him because he is such a good judge.

There was also a beautiful girl from Miami named Talia Rickards who lost her young husband to a motorcycle accident. They were married four years, high school sweethearts, when he decided to go out for a ride one night. "I felt like something was wrong," she said, gulping back tears. "And a few hours later, the cops came to my door." Tears all around in the living room. The girl mentioned how she goes to visit her husband down the street where he is.....she struggled to say the word "buried" and lost, instead substituting the word "sleeping" and how she knows he would be proud of her for auditioning.

Then she danced and it was very touching and she got a ticket to Las Vegas, I think.

There were two sisters, Megan and Caitlin Kinney, both of whom made it through to Las Vegas, both of whom were beautiful dancers. Megan auditioned in Miami and Caitlin auditioned in Memphis, and of course I can't remember what genre each girl chose, but I do remember that I liked them. I totally suck as a reviewer, don't I? I'm glad I'm not getting paid for this, because I have the feeling that I would shortly no longer be getting paid for this, if you can follow me.

Best of all, though, were the Memphis auditions of brothers Evan and Ryan Kasprzak. Evan went first and did this kind of Gene Kelly-ish, Fred Astaire-like jazz dance to "The Best is Yet to Come" and highlighted, underscored and bold-texted the fact that a man can twirl in the air and leap about and still look masculine. His routine was fun and entertaining and I loved it. Then Ryan, the older bro, came onstage for his a capella tap routine accompanied by a singular prop: a whoopie cushion. The routine was just too clever and Mary Murphy giggled throughout the whole thing. I couldn't find the Kasprzaks' auditions at YouTube, but here's a link to an entertainment blog called where you can watch them.

Here are a few people who should've stayed home:

There were two other sisters, identical twins, who costumed themselves very strangely and inappropriately in black thong leotards. And black leggings. And some very strange-looking tie-on boots. Just....never mind. I can't explain them, the boots or the sisters. All I can say is that they were just wrong on so many levels, including the one where they both pointed their large, be-thonged rear ends at the camera. Thank heaven for the leggings, is all I can say. Yikes.

And then there was a girl in a bikini top with a t-shirt over it, only....the t-shirt didn't cover her boobs? Why didn't it? And at one point, she threw her legs wide and showed us her crotch, which couldn't be more obnoxious, and not what this show is about. The judges all flinched, along with the four of us. Make her go away. Oh, for a vaudeville hook! And, I don't know....a blanket to cover her up? Hurry.

But the worst by far of the evening was Miami judge Tice Diorio, a choreographer whose Broadway routines on SYTYCD? nearly always leave me feeling that "The Great White Way" ought to be called "The Great Wrong Way" where he is concerned, anyway. He is in luuuurve with the sound of his own voice and mugs and preens and pans for the camera, the theater audience and the other judges until you just want to slap him on the back of the head and bark, "SHUT! UP!" We were all so glad when the second hour of the program started and Li'l C came in. Tyce, banished! If only we were shed of him for the rest of the season.

Here's a nine-minute snippet from last night, including Joseph "Shaaa-WHAM" Smith and his very enjoyable routine (which I now definitely like, now that I've re-seen it) and the Crotch-Showing Girl....eeeeuuwww. It also includes the very excited dancer who exited the theater screaming, "I'm going to Vegaaaaaaaas!" and then dropped her ticket, which proceeding to blow blithely down the street. The unforgiving camera caught her in an undignified, hunched-over scramble for the errant paper, which just had to hurt, knowing that it was going to be on national television, and all. We felt sorry for her, mostly because it seemed so exactly like something Meelyn, Aisling or I would do.

Tonight! Final auditions in Los Angeles and...Denver? Is that right? Anyhoo, we'll be in front of the television, ready for the entertainment.

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