May 29, 2008 08:14 PM by DA Southern
The So You Think You Can Dance judges head to one of the most glorious cities in America, Charleston, SC, for the next round of auditions. By the looks of it, Charleston had some great talent showing some incredible moves,and that was just in the line waiting to get in. We would soon see if the most polite city in America would deliver as expected. If nothing else, host Cat Deeley was having more fun than we had seen to this point with the waiting throng.
Inside the audition hall, Judges Nigel and Mary were joined by guest judge, Tyce DiOrio, who has judged in the past as well as done choreography for many of the dance numbers seen in the competition Season’s past.
We got our first glimpse at a dancer from Atlanta, GA, Sheila Kaiser, who was auditioning against her father’s wishes and by the looks of her dancing, she didn’t need daddy. Mary gave her a scream in delight and Nigel teased her a bit before finally giving her a ticket to Vegas.
A couple, Erin Mansour and John Tabakian tried to heat up the stage with some very lame dancing but the judges were having nothing of it. Erin, who supposedly was a dance teacher, did not even resemble a teacher as the pair was quickly sent packing by Nigel, Mary and Tyce.
If nothing else, the contestants were pretty exuberant as they waited for their time in the spotlight in Charleston as we got a glimpse of Jeremiah Hughes warming up. Jeremiah was fairly confident in his ability and gracefully entered the stage to try to woo the judges. Even though he messed up a bit in his routine, he still managed to acquire the coveted ticket to Vegas.
Our first Hip Hop dancer, or so she proclaimed to be, moved around the stage and had all of the judges shaking their heads in disbelief. Gosh, you gotta wonder if some of these people have ever seen the show before. Things went from bad to worse as the talent seemed to vamoose in Charleston and we wondered if we were ever going to see someone good again.
A set of twins stepped up to audition and we hoped that the dry spell was soon to be over. First up, Twin brother Anthony Hart did not really do anything to impress the judges but his brother, Antwain Hart, stepped up and really did some great moves. Nigel was so shocked by Antwain’s dancing and how good it was, that he asked his brother Anthony back up to give him another chance. This time both brothers put on a dancing display and for one of the first times in SYTYCD history a “Do-Over” got both brothers a shot in the choreography round. After the choreography round, Antwain and Anthony both made it to Vegas as did eighteen other dancers from the Charleston Day 1 auditions.
Day 2 in Charleston saw another Georgia girl, Abigail Thurman, showing her stuff for the judges and this Georgia girl did some weird moving around like she was in a pool. The judges even recognized that she was way out of her element and gave her the swimming papers that she so rightfully deserved. Our next contestant from New York, BJ Harris, would hopefully wow the judges enough to get a trip to Vegas with his Break-Dance style. He did not but he did get to try his hand at choreography to see if he had what it took to succeed in the dance world.
A heavily profile dancer, Courtney Galiano from New York, showed the extensive dance background that she brought to the stage and immediately got her ticket to Vegas as the judges sang her praises and she anxiously waited for Nigel to give it up,the ticket that is.
Well, we knew it had to happen. Our first transvestite dancer, at least we think that was what Jason Looney was as he took the stage to horrify the judges. I don’t think he even had a chance with that last name, did he? After he attempted to dance, Nigel really let him have it as he said that he completely disrespected the rest of the legitimate dancers with his antics. Looney set off a barrage of poor dancing as the contestants just seem to go from bad to worse as Michael Jackson’s Thriller played in the background.
Claire Callaway, who was eliminated in Vegas in Season 2, was back at it again to try to make it all the way this year. Callaway had lost a few steps since Season 2 and the judges seemed to be very hesitant about giving her another shot, but she was allowed to attempt choreography later in the day. After the choreography, Break Dancer, BJ Harris, was unable to convince the judges that he had what it took to continue but Claire did, along with seventeen from Day 2 in Charleston.
Washington, DC was next on tap as Judges Nigel and Mary were joined by guest Judge, Dan Karaty, to see what talent they could pull from the Nation’s Capitol. Our first DC dancer, Megan Campbell, was so impressive to the judges that she got herself a ticket to Vegas after Nigel teased her a bit.
A character who calls himself, Dancing D, who was really Derrick Bradley, was back at it again this year to see if he could make it through the auditions without having to have oxygen like he did in last year’s auditions. Well, he didn’t need the oxygen this year, but he didn’t need a suitcase either.
We were finally graced with an excellent Hip Hop dancer, Markus Shields, who was dancing to honor the memory of his late mother. All of the judges quickly agreed to send him to choreography and then we had some comical glimpses of what had to be dancers that probably did not make it but were entertaining, especially to the judges.
We had or first Swing Dancing couple, Markus Smith and Deonna Ball, put on a display of DC Swing Dancing with a twist. Nigel loved it as did Mary and Dan and the couple was off to the choreography session with Travis Wall. Our Swing Couple was not fortunate enough to be put through to Vegas after the choreography but our Hip Hop dancer, Markus, was headed to Vegas with nine other dancers from Day 1.
Day 2 in Washington, DC, brought out a wild bunch of contestants and we first saw a contestant that had previously fibbed about his age to get on the show three years ago. The kid, Brandon Bryant, was excellent at fifteen and, at eighteen; had all the right moves to continue on to Vegas without a hitch even eliciting a scream from Mary on how good he was.
Our next dancer was a colorful character with a name just as colorful, Phucdat Ngyuen. He took to the stage as comical as he was profiled but his comic nature did not earn him an immediate trip to Vegas, but it did earn him a trip to the choreography later in the day.
Mariya Priymak took a big twirl ribbon and tried to make it into the next round but failed. It was actually a set-up to the final contestant, Anthony Bryant, whom Nigel had actually insulted in Season 1 when he danced with ribbons,and not in a flattering way. This time Anthony was decked out in camouflage attire to look more masculine. It didn’t help. He definitely showed some serious improvement this time around but the judges only managed to give him a trip to the choreography. Once again, Travis Wall took the hopefuls through their paces to see who would continue on.
The crazy Phucdat Ngyuen did not earn a trip to Vegas nor did the oh-so-graceful Anthony because he just could not seem to muster any “Star quality” to his dancing but nine hopefuls did continue their journey to Vegas as the Washington auditions drew to a close.
Cat Deeley said that the final auditions were going to be next week as the judges headed to Wisconsin to see if the Midwest could deliver the next top dancer and we would set up the Vegas showdown.
Photo courtesy of Fox Broadcasting