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Welcome to the So You Think You Can Dance recap on TheCelebrityCafe.com! While this is my first time writing about SYTYCD, I’ve been a long-time viewer of the show and am excited to get back into one of summer’s best television shows.
Before I get into recapping, I feel I should admit that, despite being a fan of the show, I am not a dancer. I can barely do a box step. I don’t even like to dance at weddings. But I do have performance experience and what I lack in technical dance knowledge I make up for in a keen eye for talent, musicality and what makes a “full package,” as reality show producers like to say.
The premiere episode kicked off with auditions from New Orleans and Chicago. While the two-hour long episode was filled with some phenomenal dancing, heart wrenching moments, memorable characters, Justin Bieber’s terrible pubescent moustache and a bottle dance that would make the residents of Anatevka blush, and I could talk about everyone (and will once we get to the live shows), today I’m just going to fully recap my top five auditions for the premiere:
While 22-year-old Megan had a tumultuous childhood involving domestic abuse and foster care, what really drew me to her was her incredible dancing. With a style all her own, Megan’s solo sparkled from her large, expressive movements to the way her quirky, coquettish style was perfectly mirrored by her music choice.
Nigel called Trevor’s audition “one of the best solo performances [he’s] seen on SYTYCD” and, while that might be hyperbole, he wasn’t far off. Trevor, an Orlando teenager, performed a killer routine. Part jazz, part contemporary, part mime and part a new style that my SYTYCD partner-in-crime Heather referred to as “demented fun house,” Trevor’s piece was brimming with a kind of fierce originality you rarely see at an audition.
Novian wasn’t wrong when he pointed out that most of the African American men on the show are hip-hoppers, so it’s quite exciting to see a talented African American contemporary dancer emerge with such a unique solo. Reminiscent of season 9’s Cole, who artfully blended dance with martial arts (and, coincidentally, is starring as Bruce Lee in a new Off-Broadway musical), Novian’s solo was strong and masculine and brimming with passion.
Caleb, 20, auditioned not once but twice in the season premiere. In his New Orleans audition, Caleb, who previously auditioned last year with his dad, tearfully spoke of his father’s passing and performed a fun, cheeky number. While I quite enjoyed his springy physicality and great use of space, the judges gave it a mixed review and sent Caleb home after a disastrous choreography round. But, showing his true fighter spirit, Caleb reemerged in Chicago with a stronger, more emotional solo. I’m not a betting man, but with Caleb’s ferocity, musicality and talent, he’s going to be one to watch this season.
Brooklyn Fullmer and Marquet Hill
The best ballroom performance of the night came from Brooklyn and Marquet (who you might remember as Witney season 9’s audition partner). Now with Brooklyn, the friend-zoned Marquet performed a really sultry, manly Latin number, complete with fancy footwork and a sassy sense of fun.
Other auditions include: Shelby Rase (Yes to her legs! No to her father), Tanisha Belnap (whose somewhat awkward, disconnected audition didn’t fully live up to her technique), Skip & Shane (can a dance routine be more fun and infectious?), Courtney Barnes (he’s not right for Dance but the TV Gods really need to find this guy a show. Drag Race season 7, anyone?), Jacob Jimmerson (I would go to this “Black Swan’s” aerobics class any day, as long as he didn’t make me do those painful-looking splits!) and Nick Garcia & Rudy Abrey (two greasy Lothario types who actually had some good moves…well Nick had good moves, jury's still out on Rudy).
Image courtesy of ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Adam Rose/FOX