June 04, 2008 09:12 PM by DA Southern
Poor Cat Deeley was freezing in the cold Midwestern air as she announced that the So You Think You Can Dance crew was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the final rounds of this year’s auditions before the crew heads to Vegas to pick the Top 20 who America would eventually be voting on.
Before we had a glimpse at the Milwaukee dancers, Cat showed us dancers from previous auditions that we had not seen yet, which we knew had to happen because there were a lot of folks put through that had not seen any camera time.
We had a glimpse at numerous Hip-Hop dancers from previous auditions and we saw the bizarre effect that they had on Nigel and how they generally wore him out, both in a good way and a bad way. We saw Michael Kim, a “Popper” from the Washington auditions that had auditioned in Season 2, made it to Vegas, and then fizzled out. This time around, Michael was determined to pass through Vegas for a spot on the big SYTYCD stage. All of the judges knew he could go to Vegas, but he would have to produce this time around to make it to the Top 20.
The first profile of the evening was of roommates, Katee Shean and Natalie Reid, who planned to audition and, hopefully, both make the trip to Vegas together. Katee was first up and had a flawless audition which got her the ticket to Vegas she wanted from judges Nigel, Mary and Mia Michaels. Now she just had to wait for roommate, Natalie to make it past the judges as well. Cat Deeley gave Katee a peek on Natalie’s audition as the audience responded loudly when she finished. The judges were kind to Natalie and sent her immediately with her roommate to Vegas for her chance to make it all the way.
A dancing team, Janette Manrara and Romulo Villaverde, were set to audition and we all gasped as the couple completely flubbed their warm-up before facing the judges as Romulo dropped Janette several times when practicing their lifts. The nerves completely vanished as the couple hit the stage and put on an incredible performance as they got a pass to the choreography, which we did not see, but found Janette passing through to Vegas and Romulo staying behind.
Finally the Milwaukee dancers hit the stage as four judges were there to judge this time around. Judging this time were Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, of course, along with guest judges, husband and wife Hip-Hop team, Tabitha and Napoleon, to see if Milwaukee could produce any dancing talent to speak of.
Cat Deeley once again explained how the auditions work, for those of you who have been hiding under a rock.
First up was Bianca Revels who performed the first Tap Dance routine we’ve seen this season, at least the first for the cameras. Bianca easily earned herself a trip to Vegas as James Davis from Crossville, TN, put on a display of jumping that had no real dance value to Mary or any of the other judges. The funny thing was that several choreographers actually told him he was good. I guess when you are paying people, they will tell you anything.
A jazz routine by Evan Kasprzak, put immediate smiles on the faces of the judges with a beautiful dance routine encapsulating dance styles from the 40′s and 50′s and grabbed his ticket from Nigel’s hands with glee as he headed to Vegas.
Poor Cat Deeley was once again stuck in a snow storm as Milwaukee was dumped on with a March storm as the auditions sizzled inside,well, not so much. Things inside seemed to go as cold as the weather as several very bizarre dancers took to the stage, especially a masked man who the judges could not get to unmask.
A dancer, Kourtni Lind, who was profiled with her mom told of how she wanted to be a dancer and had even moved to LA to pursue her dream, was next up for the judges. Kourtni did an awesome contemporary dance and immediately garnered a golden ticket to Vegas which seemed to bring Milwaukee back into the good graces of the judges.
Back on stage, Tom Kozal, was trying to whip up a storm as ferocious as the one outside the auditorium as Day 1 was beginning to draw to a close, but did not do much besides hop around on stage. Even next contestant, Ashley Henry, could not impress the judges with her weird dancing and hapless begging to go to the choreography, even though she gave it the old college try. Nigel did finally relent and sent her through to the choreography because of her winning personality but knew that she would probably not pass through to Vegas.
High School teacher, Susie Garcia, who looked nothing like the high school teachers that I remember, used her sexuality to try to impress Nigel and the rest of the judges but failed to really impress but did earn herself a trip to the choreography.
Contestant, Rebecca Hart, who had previously auditioned in LA, was back for another try for a trip to Vegas and truly put on a show for the judges this time around earning a trip to Vegas setting the stage for Brice Casimir, who did a Hip Hop routine to see if he could earn his ticket as well. The judges did not appreciate the fact that Brice completely ignored them as he danced and sent him to the choreography to see if he could take direction.
As usual, we saw glimpses of the choreography and would not learn the fate of those we had followed until later. Brice Casimir did not make it through the choreography and our wild girl, who begged her way to the dance round, was unable to sway the judges to release a ticket to her. Our sexy-dancing high school teacher from Miami, however, did impress enough to get herself a ticket to Vegas as Day 1 drew to a close as eleven other dancers joined her on the trip to the sunny southwest.
The final day of auditions always bring out a different breed of contestants as the sun was out in Milwaukee. Cooper Zamorano was the first we saw as the day started with great promise with Cooper’s flawless contemporary dance routine winning the judges over and getting a ticket to Vegas for his troubles. A couple of contestants from last year were back for another try this year as we saw Yesenia Gomez, who made it to Vegas last season and missed the cut, bound up onto the stage with new energy.
Gomez had shed a few pounds this season and was determined to get to the big stage in LA and into the Top 20. Unfortunately, she faltered during the routine as her knee gave out and she could not finish. She truly moved the judges with her story of how SYTYCD changed her life last season and Nigel gave her incredible encouragement to come back next year to tryout.
Gomez’s friend, Philip Courter, also a previous contestant, was next on the stage and did a somewhat crazy Popping routine that won the judges over and got him his golden ticket to Vegas as we then witnessed a different type of audition in Raymond Love. Love started with so little passion that Nigel actually stopped the routine to try to evoke some emotion from him. If nothing else, this show has always had heart. Nigel and two other judges gave him a pass to the choreography, with Mary being the only one to say “No” to him continuing on.
We had a final wacky contestant, Hao Hou, who was dressed like an Indian, Eskimo, Hawaiian something or another as we saw our final contestant, Lizz Plott, decide to dance with out music, well,she did a tap dance routine,and got a dance card to Vegas.
After the final choreography finished, Raymond Love did not make it through to Vegas but eleven others did as the auditions drew to a close and we looked forward to the emotional roller coaster ride know as Vegas and we see the Top 20 chosen in tomorrow’s show.
Who will make the top twenty? Discuss on our So You Think You Can Dance message boards.
Photo courtesy of Fox Broadcasting