Now that ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is gone, that means it’s time for the crazier of the dance shows, ‘So You Think You Can Dance‘ to take over our summertime small screen.
Season 7 claims to be the most competitive yet because only 10 dancers will make it to the stage instead of the usual 20. My favorite part of the new season already, though? No more screaming, squealing, or gyrating from judge Mary Murphy. (She will be choreographing though. Those poor dancers’ ears!) Sure, many fans love her for that. But, uh, this blogger was not one of them!
As for the addition of choreographer Mia Michaels, who made a dramatic departure from the show last year, to the judges’ table, Adam Shankman couldn’t have said it better: “The bitch is back! And Mia’s back too.”
The two-hour season premiere showed auditions held in Miami and New York City.
Here are the highlights of who moves on to the Las Vegas call backs:
THE BEST OF THE VEGAS-BOUND
Teddy Tedholm, 18, Rockaway, N.J.: A colorful Teddy auditioned in Season 6, made it to Vegas, but now he’s back in black and taking it oh so seriously. “Oh my God,” Adam said under his breath. “I think that sort of thing upsets me,” said Nigel. “You remind me of the unpopular kid, the one that was always laughed at or made fun of,” said Mia in tears. “That to me is the most brilliant part of who you are. It’s pretty genius. You are something else, Teddy.” Adam added that it was “really, really special.” Vulnerability gets him to Vegas! Yay!
Sarah Brinson, 22, Philadelphia: Talking about her weight issues is always a good way to endear her to the judges, and, of course, to sweetie-pie host Cat Deeley. But she didn’t need all that, as her dancing was downright beautiful. “I thought you were amazing. You’ve got everything going for you,” said judge Nigel Lythgoe. “You dance like a matured dancer,” said Mia. “You’re so self-assured and you know exactly who you are as a dancer,” said Adam.
Giselle Peacock, 28, Menlo Park, Calif., and Henry Byalikov, 24, Sydney, Australia: With six months on Broadway, of course they’re going to be great. And great they were in their Latin ballroom dance. “Oh my God, you’re so hot,” said Mia. “You just tore up that floor,” added Adam. “And a HUGE turn on. It was fantastic.” Nigel said, “You are sensational dancers.”
Michael Petr, 30, Engelwood, Colorado: The ‘Dirty Dancing’ lover got that ticket to Vegas with his ballroom bravado in day two of auditions in Miami. “You’re so precise and clear and energized. I loved it. It was very electric,” said judge Sonya Tayeh. “I thought you were fantastic,” said judge Jason Gilkison. He was sent straight to Vegas.
Tyrell Rolle, 24, Liberty City, Florida: “Hmmm, yummy,” we heard Sonya say during the dance. Yes. Yummy, indeed. “Your arms, your upper body is fabulous,” commented Nigel. “Your lines are stunning. Your portabra is gorgeous! It’s masculine, it’s aggressive, it’s strong and I believed you,” said Sonya. “Strong, secure, emotional. I loved every second of it,” said Jason.
Henry Rivera, 19, Miami: His silly pre-show nerves went away fast when he started wowing the judges from his first move. Love it when they comment with “oohs” and “ahhs” and “oh my Gods” before the dance is even over. You are a brilliant dancer. You’re inspirational,” said Nigel. “Every single movement mattered… You’re just a sweetie pie. I love you,” said Sonya. They all agreed he’s the best dancer they’d seen in Miami so far and was going straight to Vegas.
THE BEST OF THE LOSERS
Our favorite moments from those who didn’t have a chance to those who almost made it:
Touching Moment of the Night: Megan Carter, 18, Leesburg, Virginia: She might have been insecure about her “thickness” and about being on TV, but this youngster delivered a beautiful and graceful dance. “Look at these two, they are both crying here,” said Nigel. “You just blew every single stereotype so far out of the water. You are so gorgeous,” said Adam, who was, in fact, in tears. Mia said, “You make me so happy to be a woman of size. I was told I would never dance because of my body … No matter what size we are and what shape we are, we are truly artists. It doesn’t matter. And you exemplify that for me.” She’s in but was sent home in the choreography round.
Chris ‘Isolock’ Dixon, 23, Iselin, New Jersey: Doing iso-locking, which is isolations mixed with locking, something different was certainly brought to the table. He even put a picture of Nigel’s face on the back of his stylish tap hat for a laugh, threw in some Russian kicks, and great knee turns. It worked. “It’s a lovely look. The eccentricity of it is terrific,” said Nigel. “I think if Tony Basil was here now, she’d be on her back foaming like a seal with rabies.” Mia “really loved it” and he got a ticket to Vegas. But then, in the choreography round that followed, he missed the cut and was sent home.
Mike Perlman, 27, New York: OMG. To Dead or Alive’s “Spin Me Around” and in awful ’80s shorts, knee-highs, and arm bands, this 123 Party dancer (it’s an ’80s inspired dance troupe) made us laugh. But this isn’t ‘The Last Comic Standing.’ No laughing in dancing, please. When asked if it was choreographed by Adam, Mike went “who?” Major faux pas. When all three judges nixed his goals for Vegas, he ran out with his boom box over his head.
Scott Vogel, 25, Orlando, Florida: He picks up brain matter during the day as part of his cleaning job, but by night he’s twinkle toes. His country line-dancing (sans the line and the people in it) just didn’t do it for the judges. “You’ve got a mean back ball change going on,” said Mia. But, unfortunately, it was a big fat no. It’s okay. He expected it.
Jamie Greco, 30, Bronx, New York: With a Chiquita Banana-inspired hat and veggies covering his nipples, there’s funny and then there’s just stupid. “I just want to say, I get it,” said Adam. “I’m not the only fruit here,” quipped Jamie. “I loved that you have a love affair with fruit and vegetables. It’s very healthy,” said Mia. They loved it, but not quite right for Vegas.
Wadi Jones, 23, Ossining, New York: Bringing parkour, which involves running and jumping over things, to the dance floor, for what might be the first time, was a treat, but not Parkour enough, if you ask me. And I’ve been YouTubing this French trend for weeks now. “I thought it was very good,” said Nigel. “Your footwork is so light,” said Mia. He moved on, and then lost it in the choreography round.
Creepiest Moment of the Premiere: Daria Kopylova, a 19 year old from Tampa, who danced a seductive dance with her father. “It felt very strange,” said Nigel, because of the father-daughter awkwardness. Sonya agreed. “It was a little uncomfortable for me.” No, no, and no.
‘So You Think You Can Dance’ airs Thursday nights on Fox.
Who is your favorite dancer so far? Comment below.