Where better to start than the beginning? That is to say, the teaser for the first episode of the season (which you can watch at SYTYCD.ca). It starts with these indelible words:
I've been waiting for this opportunity since I was a little kid.
If you want to make it as a dancer, you've got to make it on this show.
When I get on that stage, I know I'm not holding nothing back.
This is your one shot.
Your one chance.
Your one moment.
To make an impression.
All I want to hear are those three little words.
What about mom's spaghetti?
To snap back to reality, I'm quite happy that the judges were mostly left the shtick behind, instead wielding a much more low-key and dry sense of humor that had the added benefit of being funny (e.g. Nigel telling Sonya and Jason to "check your focus" after they commented on how much he must've enjoyed Candace Craig's audition, or Shankman saying how awkward it would've been if he'd also worn Jamie Greco's costume). They seemed almost to be taking pointers from the Australian judges. Moreover, the episode also minimized the parade of loser auditions, a pattern that I hope continues throughout the audition episodes, but I think we all know better than to hope, yes?
Anyway, auditions of note:
Sarah Brinson was happily devoid of girl contemporarist hair dancing. I liked her pace a lot; much of her solo is languid movements that she puts a lot of soul behind, and punctuating the routine with a technically adept flourish only occasionally. As Mia said, very mature.
Giselle Peacock and Henry Byalikov danced... a samba? With some salsa on the side (hurr hurr)? Whatever it was, I just about lost my mind: unbelievably fast, precise, hot. Audition of the night, easily. I should note that the two of them are definitely ringers -- Burn the Floor is a Jason Gilkison production -- and in Henry's case, doubly so, since I've read that he made it into the top 10 of the first season of SYTYCD Australia. I promise not to care at all if they continue to bring it as hard as they do here.
Let's see how long it stays up on YT:
Mike Perlman, AKA "Lazer" from American Gladiators, AKA "Hipster Douchebag."
I'm intrigued by Briana de Falco; a sprightly ballerina is always welcome.
As cloying as I found Teddy Tedholm last season -- like cool, whimsy exists in a quantum state, i.e. if you explicitly call attention to it, it no longer exists -- I have to admit that he has impressive technique. But between his cloyingness and this audition's overwrought franticness, I'd say his strength isn't choreographing a solo (if I can assume that he put this audition together himself).
Chris Dixon, AKA "Isolock," was vastly entertaining. Great look, too.
Jamie Greco actually moved very well, and had I been a judge, I would've sent him to choreography. Perhaps Nigel, Mia, and Shankman were horrified by his teeth...
... though they were utterly transfixed during portions of his audition:
OK, maybe that was a waste of an animated gif.
Wadi Jones' popping was better than his b-boying, and he was a better freerunner than a b-boy. All the same, I thought he did well enough in the choreography, for a b-boy, to get through to Vegas. (And from what I could tell, he did about as well as Jose Ruiz in the choreography.)
Anthony Burrell is really tall for a (contemporary) dancer.
Megan Davis looks like Kathryn (and Brooke Shields).
Edward Spots' legs are amazing, and he looks like he's perfectly at home at Ailey.
Candace Craig. Right.
(The judges' reactions were kind of classic, though.)
Jose Ruiz, AKA "Full Deck," has a lot of nerve to include a headspin in his solo and then say he's better than Legacy; Jose's headspins were fine but didn't approach him of the most fluent and articulate neck that I've ever seen. (Unlike Donna Bowman, I don't think he came close to one-upping Legacy -- changing speed mid-headspin isn't exactly groundbreaking, uh, breakdancing.) Not to say Jose sucked -- he spent more time on his top rock than Legacy does, which I appreciated -- or that I think his talk was anything worse than genial trash-talk, but he's still got a lot of dancing left to do.
Here's a thought, though: if the two of them both make it out of Vegas, Jose's probably going to get partnered with Megan Davis, and the two of them will surprise us all as the power couple to beat and... oh wait.
We should've known that Miami was going to be off considering that in all the shots we see of Cat, she's wearing long sleeves. (Yes yes loads of the dancers were wearing long sleeves outside too because the auditions were held in January or something but let's not let that get in the way of making fun.)
Anyway, at least it afforded the opportunity for this inspired lunacy.
Serious question: which looks more fun, being in a Pizzaface Party...
... or being a Spray-Tan Super Fan?
Though how can we be sure beneath all the bronzer that Michael Petr isn't also a secret Pizzaface?
(It's nice, however, to see Iveta Lukosiute auditioning again and in fact moving onto Vegas, since I thought she had aged out when she missed the season 6 cut.)
Another question: who was cuter, RoboBoy or Tiny B-Girl?
And what's that written on the bottom of Tiny's golden ticket (which in the year 2023 will seemingly replace plane tickets, I assume because Willy Wonka will have diversified his business into a transportation monopoly)? It kind of looks like "Jest," which is the British equivalent of "lol just kidding ;)"?
Oh god, a Juggalo. Not looking forward to Dallas.
Indie rating: Autechre – "Perlence Subrange 6-36"