I don’t know about you, but all these two hour audition shows are beginning to turn into one big episode. Too many dancers, too many great moves, too many unfortunate people who just want face time on national TV. I feel like I’ve just exited a crowded subway and been asked to describe every person I saw. Uh, there was the sweaty white bald guy next to me, the tall African American chick in blue yoga pants … after awhile they morph into one big bald African American chick that sweats. But, you expect more from me so for you I will make this sacrifice. After all, the Vegas auditions are tonight and you need the background for all of the dancers, right? Right. So pull up that bowl of ice cream, partners, gather the cats around and I’ll tell you a tale of Milwaukee.
But first, we’re going to go back to a few dancers who didn’t get profiled in earlier episodes. (Huh? Maybe if they’d spent a little less time on Gold Inferno or the endless parade of whiney losers then MAYBE they would’ve had time for the real dancers.) We see Michael Kim, a great hip hopper who went to Vegas last year but “got creamed” by Mary Murphy’s salsa routine. Murphy corrects him – it was the samba, no wonder you blew it dude – but the judges love him anyway.
We see some quick clips of judge Nigel Lythgoe getting all home boy on us. Stop, please.
Next is Katee Shean and Natalie Reid and damn, they’re adorable. They’re friends and roommates. We see them exercising together including some leaning and touching and rolling around that … have I mentioned they’re adorable? I’m afraid they’re being set up though and I tell my cats to turn their backs ‘cause there’s gonna be a big crash of kvetching losers. But ya know what? They’re both really great contemporary dancers and at the end, they’re a clump of jumping screaming hugging women. Great to see that kind of support. I hope Vegas doesn’t eat them alive.
There’s a salsa couple from the DC auditions who steam up the place. Only the woman is sent through to Vegas although the guy doesn’t seem too upset. Maybe he can go home to his boyfriend now.
Finally we’re in Milwaukee. Guest judges Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo join them. They’re a husband and wife team who’ve choreographed for a ton of shows including ones featuring Missy Elliot and Christine Aguilera. Frankly, they don’t add a lot to the proceedings or maybe I’m just bitter because my TV girlfriend, Mia Michaels, is absent again. (And you thought I was going to go a whole recap without mentioning her?)
Bianca Revels is first and already I’m writing “cute” on my notepad and circling it five times. Her influences are Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers– all tap dancers so you know where this is going. Good lord she’s good, tapping out multi-rhythms that haven’t even been invented yet. Murphy’s head blows off she’s so excited. Of course she’s sent to Vegas, one of the few tap dancers to make it through.
James Davis is next and after the air guitar and jumping, we know he’s a goner. Also? Dude? A vest and tie?
A host of commercials assaults me so I surf over to ABC where they’re showing a dancer who’s sporting way too much sparkly eye shadow and a pert gingham dress. She struts on stage and begins removing her clothing to reveal a corset and plenty of heaving bosom … send her to Vegas! Oops, wrong show.
Because of my dalliance on that other channel I’ve missed the name of the next dancer. Too bad, he’s really good in a Gene Kelly-old-movie kinda way. It’s straight to Vegas with you, darlin’.
Kourtni Lin is next and she’s brought her mom who’s also her dance teacher. That could be great or it could be dance competition crap with mommy dearest beaming at her little darling off stage, yelling smile and mimicking the moves. Fortunately, it’s not the latter and Lin does an awesome job with an angry contemporary piece. The judges joked that she could do Kill Bill: the Musical. She’s on to Vegas and hopefully, not to murder anyone.
I loved Ashley Henry. Clearly she’s not a professional dancer but oh my, she earns an A plus in booty shakin’. The judges commented on her charisma and suggested she take some dance classes. They sent to her the choreography round but she crashes there. I’d love to see her next year.
Susie Garcia is the high school teacher every kid wants. She’s model beautiful, nice and a great dancer with some fierce Latin moves. She’s sent to Vegas after the choreography round.
Rebecca Hart tried out in LA two weeks prior and was told she had too much sparkle. That’s dance-speak for you look like a cheerleader so for this new audition she smartly tones it down. Dancing to a beautiful ballad she focused on graceful moves and not a toothy smile with fake emotions. Murphy screamed, “She’s going to Vegas!” Very good, Murphy, now take your meds like a good girl.
I was channel surfing again so I missed the start of the next dancer but I liked the few seconds that I saw. Lythgoe praised him with “You dance like a man.” Excuse me while I cough up a hairball. Outside of Lythgoe’s sight he clutches his ticket to Vegas and does a very cute swishy victory dance. You go, boy.
I’m not sure I’m buying the tearful story of Yesnia Gomez but heck, I’ll give the woman a chance. She’s one of the few big women they’ve featured who can really move and now that they’ve shown a clip of her audition last year, I remember that she did well then. Since then she’s lost fifty pounds and while her hip hop moves this time were great, it wasn’t enough. I’ve never seen a happier loser. She practically danced off stage after telling everyone to “embrace every day.” I start by embracing my cats.
A friend of hers is next. He’s great, with unique moves using his hands like puppets and doing weird twisty shapes with his body. The judges loved him. Murphy drinks champagne out of his shoe.
There’s another great woman tap dancer, Lizz Plot, and she doesn’t use music. Who needs to when you can make music like that with your feet? She’s going straight to Vegas. Well, maybe gaily forward. Groan if you will but that’s what I’m hoping.
Wait! There’s one more dancer, a mystery contestant. As I take a good look at the dancer’s legs (hmm, very drag queen) and “It’s Raining Men” cranks up I’m already cringing at the “not masculine enough” comments I expect from Lythgoe. Hey, she’s good, waving that umbrella around, strutting around the stage like she owns the place and pulling off some pretty stupendous moves including a head stand with a back bend. The judges are laughing … ah, it’s Travis Wall, the choreographer who’s been teaching the choreography round. He doesn’t have to worry about being masculine; he’s already got the gig.
Tonight is Las Vegas where a hundred dancers will compete for the twenty finalist slots, ten boys and ten girls (or “gulls” in Deeley-speak – I so love her sexy accent). Join me, ‘k? I’ll provide the ice cream and the comfy couch but it’s BYOC (bring your own cat).