Sunday, May 31, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Miami & Memphis Auditions / Seattle & Los Angeles Auditions

So much for what started off as an impressive ratio of good auditions to bad auditions! Both audition episodes underwhelmed me with their its (Ed.: Aaargh) mediocrity -- maybe I'm still coming down from Brandon Bryant's tour de force -- but I'm using that as an excuse to offer a recap that smacks with a whole lot less effort. Why should I extend myself when the show doesn't?

Blast Nigel for raising my hopes!


Anyway, Cat doing the Stripper Dance, after the jump.


Some music notes:

In case you wanted to know whose version of "Toxic" to which Paris Torres danced, I'm betting dollars to donuts that it was Yael Naim's. (You may remember Yael from that Apple Macbook Air advert a year ago.)

The song that Kelsea Taylor danced to is "Tore My Heart" by Oona Garthwaite and David Tweedie (H/T Pure SYTYCD). One doesn't easily forget a name like Oona, and sure enough, she was also behind "Haunting Me," the music to which Twitch auditioned in 2008. Check it:

All this talk about Peter Sabasino/Ryan Kasprzak/Erik "Silky" Moore/Bianca Revels "Yell" potentially being the first tapper to make the show conveniently ignores the truth; I know that most people want to to disavow the first season like a bottle full of Lethean water, but Sandra -- yes, the tap dancer from the premiere season -- shouldn't be elided, because her abs were prominently featured in the promo materials for season 4. Forgotten First Tapper has become the new SYTYCD meme, replacing Forgotten Russian Ballroom Expert/Hottie. Remember Stanislav? Of course you don't.

The epic battle between Leo and the other guy warrants only one comment: Leo had to have been on the joke. Regard: at its conclusion, Nigel asked if, in the spirit of camaraderie, the battle should be pronounced a draw, but Leo took that mofo as a victory for him, thanks very much. Afterward, Leo straight trash-talked while standing next his opponent: "My buddy David here was an excellent dancer tonight. You can believe that, right? Unfortunately for him, I was the better dancer. I got it!"

Carrying on Lacey Schwimmer's proud tradition of Good Dancer, FUGGED OUT BANGS:



Not long ago, I watched a DVD of two Stravinsky pieces performed by the London Royal Ballet. One of the pieces -- Les Noces -- was originally choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska (Nijinsky's sister, if you were wondering). At the time Les Noces was revived in the '60s, she was a dumpy (she's on the left), middle-aged woman who spoke in infamously broken and inscrutable English and choreographed with unorthodox, non-classical movements. In other words, she was the Mia Michaels of her day.


New! For 2009 Emo Style!


Asymmetrical cutoffs!

New! For 1949 Bopper Style!


Pit stains!

The way this show is banking its auditioners for future seasons is getting out of hand, especially with how Nigel expressly put Nathan Trasoras straight through VEAGS for next season. We're really seeing this practice take off this year as all the seeds planted in season 4 are blooming with Brandon Bryant, Nathalie Reid, Evan Kasprzak (unless he's going to get reality-tv-blocked by his funnier/sweatier big bro), and Phillip Chbeeb. (In Chbeeb's case, though, he was an injury/illness casualty before he even made it to VEAGS, so maybe he's not part of any V REAL conspiracy.)

On the one hand, I'm a little bothered by banking talent for future seasons -- why "save" someone for later when you can have them tear it up now against hot competition? But on the other hand, this show really adheres to a strict quota system of styles among its top 20 (at least one ballroom rep for each gender, a couple of assorted hip-hoppers (of which at least one must be a b-boy or b-girl), and fill out the rest with contemporarists) -- and honestly, I can't argue with this level of diversity, which means that some kids inevitably get squeezed out by the numbers.

Returning to Paris Torres -- someone pointed out the Star Trek reference in her name -- Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, who became romantically involved on their show. Unfortunately, they're from Voyager, so it's not worth getting too excited over.

But Paris is the site for even more weird pop culture confluence when someone left a comment (perhaps multiple comments -- I'll explain in a bit) in one of Nate Levy's insta-recaps on Remember that Paris Torres is a pageant girl; someone left a comment praising her, alluding that the two of them participated in the same pageants even. That someone uses the handle Miss California 2005, and if you're a fan of The Amazing Race... you immediately begin to wonder... and so you check, and is that really Dustin of the best ever all-female Racers the Beauty Queens?

But then, if you click on Miss California 2005's username, it pops up a profile that lists other posts, of which we see three, attributed to three different usernames. However, the menu says that we're looking at Dancer12's profile, so the person who posted these comments probably was not Dustin from The Amazing Race.

Funny how we got an actual wrestler to audition (I don't know if Sammy Ramirez meant professional or amateur -- judging by this recap, he's an amateur Greco-Roman style wrestler), as I was going to compare Chris Carrozza to Matt Hardy.

It was harder for me to enjoy Cat's impromptu rasslin demo with Sammy, mostly because of my many years wasting my time watching it and thus could find obvious problems with her technique. So I fixed it for her:


She's about to win the European Heavyweight belt from Mideon with her finisher, the Kitten's Elbow, which is just a flying elbow drop, but with more fabulousness.


As Joseph Smith stepped onto the stage for his audition, I hoped that he'd drop a nuclear bomb of an audition -- anything less would render him and his stupid wannabe catchphrase a total poser. There's absolutely no way that "Shawam" is ever going to catch on. (It is no Awkward Dance that is for sure.)




Do you hear me? NO WAY.


After this episode, I can't really call him Tasty Oreo anymore, can I? More like Bitter Cake. The less spoken about this tired and past-his-expiration-date choreographer, the better.


Shankers, on the other hand, can be a self-promoting hack, and I generally don't care for how the judges so often grab for the spotlight, but if push comes to shove, I'd rather have him involved than Tasty Oreo Bitter Cake, especially after Shankman hoofed it onstage with Calico Sequira, easily the judicial highlight of these auditions. I didn't love how Calico got shooed off stage so that Shankman could deliver some standup, but it did open the door for the IV Real crew to get involved in a cute moment (as staged as the whole thing probably was) so that they could put it over the top into the all-time AWWWW! category.



I maybe don't know from Miami, but aren't coats as heavy as these a little much? It's surely not to hide their bodies, particularly Romulo who has put on a lot of new muscle since their audition last year.



It's like he met with a shady cousin, or something.


Twitchette! She made it to Memphis!

If she makes it to VEAGS, I wonder if I'd even recognize her if she doesn't wear her glasses, i.e. all of a sudden the Clark Kent Effect doesn't sound so implausible.

If this show has done one thing, it's opened my eyes to the sublime extremities of graceful human movement demonstrated how many different ways parents can spell "Chelsea." (The other faction of annoying parents need to escalate, clearly, and I offer them: Qoortknee.)


Download Kelsea Taylor's audition (10.95 MB)

She's kind of working an Amy Winehouse beehive, isn't she?

Nigel mentioned that Kelsea would be a perfect match for Sonya Tayeh, which is the only reasonable observation; Kelsea even called back to Sonya's "Garden" with Shortney and Mark with OOD FACE.


Never interrupt a dancer when she's in the middle of a handstand.



A speaking mime? Has he no respect for the craft?

I am sensitive to charges of misogyny, especially the brand of perving practiced by one of the judges who will remain nameless for the remainder of this sentence, but dangit if I don't partake in it as well, which leaves me in the proverbial rock and a hard place (heh heh). But I let me offer a compromise: any perving will be conducted in French so that it sounds classy with a dash of that doomed, wine-soaked Gallic romanticism, hein? Like: Janette Manrara a chauds abdominaux! Ooh la la, je bave avec de désir.

I'm ready for the competition to begin. Who else?


Update: Because I always forget something... Cat suddenly busting out wrestling moves may just be another expression for her desire to enter the squared circle, the first and most obvious expression being her wardrobe.

Indie rating: Shakira Feat. Wyclef Jean- "Hips Don't Lie"


momo said...

So much material, so well employed!

Sample french phrases for future:
oh, qu'il est beau, ce mec!
elle me rend fou, cette nana!
Cat est tellement adorable que j'ai envie d'etre son esclave et de lecher ses doigts de pied!

Margot said...

Gee Maria, that's awfully nice of you. =/

Tyce - jeez bro, what's your problem??? Shankers is my new crush. He would even interrupt the other judges when they were being rude and try to get back to being constructive. wubLoved Kelsea! And Pono! But I do have a bias towards dancers from 24/7 dance studio =)

Nate Levy said...

Leee, if I didn't already love your recaps for your effortless wit, the sheer mention of it as Ood face sealed the deal. Perfect PERFECT description. And glad to find another Dr. Who fan.

Totally agree about Sha-Not gonna happen. I was pissed by the third time he tried it out.

Also, I can't stop watching Kelsea's audition (and I agree with your comments about the spelling). It's even better with the original music, the Kate Nash Habanera (which I also can't stop listening too).

Leee said...

momo, your inappropriate French is leaps and bounds better than mine.

Margot, I'm of two minds about Shankers. He's a goofball which is endearing when it's not too over-the-top, but he was also the one who started the Danny Tidwell Arrogant meme. I went to Jr. High w/ a guy who had Pono's hair, and this was in the early '90s.

Nate, "effortless"? Haw haw! FTR, I take 3 straight days to put these recaps together, which will keep me busy till the next Who season starts up.

I actually prefer Oona's song to Kate Nash's, probably because I find it weirder and more off-kilter.