An abbreviated recap because I've been extraordinarily busy, not to mention sleep-deprived. I might try to get some additional media up later in the week, so keep an eye out.
The run of audition and callback episodes that precede the competitive bulk of SYTYCD is interesting because these episodes are a lot more like other reality programs than the rest of the show is. Namely, the auditions emphasize the spectacle of failure and delusion or the pathos of someone's difficult or tragic or simply unusual life -- and seven seasons of which get kind of tiring, and which the LA/Chicago auditions typified, because hardly any of the tryouts we saw in those two cities were worth remembering, and it's not because of a lack of regional talent. LA, for instance, is a ripe hip-hop scene -- as evidenced by the West coast dominating America's Best Dance Crew every season -- but instead one of only a handful of hip-hop auditions that made the broadcast was Well Hung (or whatever his name), who was a walking Asian minstrelsy show that makes me wish that the subtlety of Misha Chan would return. (Oh, wait.) (Just so the show could claim that it isn't totally pandering to hip hop, we did get Christopher Gilbert, him of the Urkel hip hop, holding it down for the nerds.) I also would've killed to see more from the contemp-tang dancer. In fact, we hardly saw any ballroom -- I guess they're preparing us for the competition's usual parade of contemporary a little earlier.
And the night after, we moved onto Dallas, where fools wear Bosox caps on top of NYC sweatshirts:
So I didn't expect anything out of the gate. Of course, right out of the gate was Ida Saki, whom, in spite of all of Tasty's attempts to recenter himself as the focus of with all his boorish comments, I instantly fell in love with. I'm bordering on heartbreak at the likelihood that, per the previews for next week, she's going to be withdrawing from competition. But let's focus on her while she's still technically in the competition as far as the broadcast goes -- the control! The grace! The power! She's like a female Brandon Bryant -- stunning physical specimens built to dance, but, as an IM friend said to me, not as connected to the music as she could be.
I also liked Nicole Knudson, though I wonder if my affection is due to her beautiful hair or because of my weakness for skinny girls or if the fact that she performed to "The Rip," aka the best song off of Portishead's Third, because to my eyes, she kinda fell short of "once every hundred years" talent.
Then, the Vegas callbacks slipped into this episode, which was like stepping into dog poop and then realizing that the dog had eaten and then passed some diamonds. Or something. We were finally treated to some eye-popping dance, too many for me to recall at the moment, but yeah: