May 30, 2007 09:39 PM by Joe Blackmon
For the So You Think You Can Dance Los Angeles auditions, dancers
waited in a line over mile long for their shot at auditioning. Wade
Robson joined regular judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. First to
audition was Lauren “Misha” Gottlieb. Lythgoe called Lauren a
“beautiful girl” and a “beautiful dancer,” and all three judges agreed
on sending her straight through to Vegas.
Next up was another beautiful girl named Jessi Peralta, who rubbed baby oil on her stomach during her dance. Nigel said “When the baby oil came out it worked for me,” and Jessi also made it straight through to Vegas.
Things took quite a different turn with Ernie “EJ” Sierra. EJ was a heavy set guy, but he danced well enough to earn the applause of the crowd. Nigel Lythgoe told EJ, “That was patronizing. They are applauding you because you are fat and doing it. Do you understand that? And I find that patronizing, alright. It isn’t because of your dancing, because lots of people have done that and not received the same applause as you’ve received.” The crowd booed Nigel’s comments, and one of the other contestants said “I thought his fat comment was a little harsh. He could have used a little more intelligent word.” EJ was sent home by the judges.
Before his audition, Colin Wheeler told a story about how Anna Nicole Smith hugged him on his birthday. Even though Anna Nicole passed away, Colin said that she still talked to him and he was doing this audition for her. Mary Murphy told Colin, “You’re just in your own world up there.” Nigel Lythgoe told him that his dance style wasn’t right for the competition but thanked him for bringing it to them.
Olivia Usey auditioned for her mother, who had found a lump in her breast and was going in for a breast biopsy. Nigel Lythgoe told Olivia, “I thought you danced very nicely,” but Mary Murphy thought she over danced at points. Olivia was invited back for the choreography round, where she did receive her ticket to Vegas.
Bryce “The Gold Inferno” Cleverly showed up to audition wearing a golden mask. The Gold Inferno explained that he wore the mask because he was one of the few Americans that did jump style dance. Nigel Lythgoe said he thought The Gold Inferno was fantastic, and the judges sent him through to the choreography round, where he was cut from the competition.
Amanda Vivona struggled to complete some of her moves during her audition. Nigel Lythgoe told Amanda, “Find something really useful to do with your life, because it won’t be in professional dancing.” All three judges rejected Amanda.
Kurt Myers and Dia Beck auditioned together. Kurt has had the hiccups for the last seven years, and Dia winked at the judges as she danced. Nigel Lythgoe said “Do you think with your hiccups and her wink, you’re a very strange couple.” Despite the hiccupping and winking reducing the judges to hysterical laugher, the judges put the couple through to the choreography round. Both eventually made it through to Vegas.
Jesus “Chuy” Solorio, who made it to Vegas last year but was cut, showed just how much he had improved during his audition. The judges put him straight through to Vegas. Also returning from last year was Hokuto “Hok” Konishi, who was cut last year because he was only in the country on a student visa. The judges gave Hok a standing ovation. After Hok showed his work permit, they put him straight through to Vegas.
Dominic “D’trix” Sandoval showed off some great moves. The judges felt he had a good audition, but they worried if he could do other styles of dance. However, they decided to also put him straight through to Vegas.
Brianne Healey, who danced on a cruise ship, impressed the judges. Mary Murphy called Brianne an “inspiration” and a “breathe of fresh air.” The judges asked Brianne to come back for the choreography round. In the choreography round, Brianne got her ticket to Vegas.
Joshua Hill didn’t fare as well with the judges. Nigel Lythgoe said that what he was doing was great for social gatherings, but Wade said he wasn’t right for the competition. So You Think You Can Dance 2 winner Benji Schwimmer accompanied his little sister Lacey Schwimmer to the auditions. Nigel warned Lacey about making faces while she dance, but he also said her technique was great. The judges sent Lacey straight through to Vegas.
At the Chicago auditions, Shane Sparks joined regular judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. First to audition was Morgan Larson, who impressed the judges with a move that they had never seen before. Nigel Lythgoe told Morgan, “You’re an interesting little thing aren’t you.” The judges sent her straight through to Vegas.
Phillip Chbeeb also showed off some rather unique moves. Shane Sparks told Phillip, “That’s the epitome of what I’m talking about.” Mary Murphy said Phillip had some “wicked moves.” The judges put Phillip straight through to Vegas.
Brother and sister Isauro and Yesenia Gomez auditioned separately. The judges were left confused as to exactly what Isauro’s dance style was, and they did not put him through. However, Shane Sparks gave Yesenia a standing ovation, and the judges put her through to the choreography round. In the choreography round, Yesenia received her ticket to Vegas.
Eva “Evita” Arce and Michael Jagger danced as a couple. Nigel Lythgoe called their dance “a lot of fun,” Mary Murphy called it “terrific,” and Shane Sparks said the choreography was great. Both Evita and Michael made it through to Vegas.
Medical sales rep Janet Bombard, who had a prosthetic arm, impressed the judges with her audition. Nigel Lythgoe said he wouldn’t have noticed that she had a prosthetic limb if it had been written down on the piece of paper given to him. Shane Sparks called Janet, “the brightest star in the building right now.” The judges invited Janet back for the choreography round, where she received her ticket to Vegas.
Jon “Quincy” Vereen auditioned for the first season, but he later lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. Nigel Lythgoe said “We get a lot of people come and audition for us, and boy, I wish they had your attitude.” Even though the judges invited Quincy back for the choreography round, he was unable to continue due to an injury to his ankle.
The Los Angeles and Chicago auditions offered up both cruelty in some of the judges’ comments and inspiration in some of the contestants that auditioned despite having lost limbs. One of the reasons that So You Think You Can Dance succeeds is that the contestants become more than just people auditioning for a dance show. The contestants are often presented in such a way that viewers are able to relate to them and care about the challenges they have faced.