SYTYCD 11–The Audition Diaries, Part 1

SEASON 11 IN FULL EFFECT! image courtesy of 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions

image courtesy of 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions

I know y’all didn’t think this summer was going to pass without me saying ANYTHING about So You Think You Can Dance, did you? I’ve had a full plate and I STILL owe you guys a Tour Review from the last cast, but I am about to dive in headfirst and give my usual dish.

My intent was to start at the very beginning with the first week after….and I actually did watch and take notes. And then stuff happens, and the notes sat there. So I’ve decided in order to get up all on track, I’m going to share my notes as is to catch up the folks who haven’t seen anything AND to give you all a glimpse into my thought processes as I’m trying to get out these blogs. Like the regular show posts in previous years, I “type live,” which means I watch the show (usually on TiVo delay because the commercials make me impatient) and type as I’m watching for initial impressions, then watch again to fine-tune and make any corrections on anything I’ve gotten wrong. So I hope you enjoy!

Auditions: New Orleans

Guest judge: Wayne Brady

Shelby Rase, 18, Covington, LA, Contemporary
Nice to start with a “hometown” girl–Covington is right across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, so on the national stage, we’ll claim them under the same blanket. 🙂 She’s got some really good technique, and the judges move her on to next round. (Dad does the “Bottle Dance”–yes, America…this is the stuff our dads do here. We embrace OUR crazy. LOL)

Tanisha Belnap, 19, Payson, UT, Latin ballroom
One of 12 kids; gymnastic ability in addition to her ballroom skills—on to next round

Shelby “Skip” Skipper, 25, and Shane Skipper, 21, New Orleans, LA, Bounce
Still not that impressed with the whole bounce phenomenon but at least it’s not twerking. Skip to choreo, pass on Shane.

Megan Marcano, 22, Houston, TX, Contemporary
Still trying to place who she looks like but she’s quirky like Amelia. She makes it through to the next round.

Cue the dueling bad dancing dads….Bottle Dance guy vs. Gray and Fuzzy. I told you we embrace our crazy down here….

Trevor Bryce, 18, Orlando, FL, Contemporary/Hip-Hop fusion
Danced to a mix of that Windows error sounds song; insane musicality, humor and balls-to-the-wall skill. Dubbed one of the greatest solos of the show and put through to the next round.

Choreo: Markko (who snuck into town and didn’t come and get me) and Kathryn; Skip bowed out of choreo.

Day 2

Courtney Barnes, 22, Jackson, MS, ????
The personality is what got him the interview because it was NOT the dance ability. And I GUESS it was a dead-on Wendy Williams impression…he’s cuter. He DID get Nigel to try it (sounded like the original Cowardly Lion). Nigel wishes him well, but Mary and Wayne give in to let him try choreography.

A full-panel Wendy Williams impression….oh goody…. *eye roll*

Novien Yarber, 22, Huntsville, AL, Contemporary
Auditioned last season in Memphis….still fantastic, three ticket standing O.

Dancer interview/montage….

Caleb Brauner, 21, Blue Springs, MO, Contemporary
Auditioned last year in Memphis and got to duet with his dad. Back this year without him, as Dad had a massive heart attack and passed away. Still has that Teddy Fourance vibe in a lighthearted, silly-romantic piece. Judges send him to choreography.

Jacobi Jimmerson, 18, Mount Pleasant, TX, Hip-Hop
“Aerobics instructor”; dubbed the “Big Black Swan” by Wayne after talking about a ballet class experience, then challenged Wayne about not being able to hang in his class….so of course Wayne gets up on the stage and does the routine he set down. Of course, that sadly wore him out to the point of making a so-so audition even more mediocre. Thank you, love your spirit, but no.

Brooklyn Fulmer, 18, Provo, UT, and Marcquet Hill, 18, South Jordan, UT, Latin ballroom
NEVER remember seeing a Black ballroom guy. Well, the time he was 16 and helped Witney Carson with her audition for Season 9 doesn’t exactly count, but we’ll work with it. He and Brooklyn dance at the same studio and decided to team up for audition. Marcquet kind of reminds me of what Stefan Urquelle would be like in Cuban heels, and Brooklyn’s got a little sexpot vibe going. Great technique from both, though Mary called Marcquet on his chemistry. Still, we knew they were getting tickets.

Choreo round—we knew Courtney was ringing out but I was a little sad about Caleb. He just really got lost during the routine and was weak in the partnering area. Hopefully, he’ll keep trying. (Which he does…in Chicago.)

Crew battle #1: Poreotics vs. Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies
Poreotics won Season ? of ABDC (which I thought was unwarranted then); I first saw the Ladies in a YouTube video doing a Beyonce mix—women tappers who are sexy without being raunchy. Guess who gets MY vote….

Auditions: Chicago, IL

Guest judge: Jenna Elfman

Welcome to “Chi-beria.” Standing in the cold waiting and dancing in that glass observation deck in the Willis Tower (you know, the one that recently discovered cracks in the floor?)—yeah, y’all can have ALL of that.

Nick and Rudy—buddies from Miami (but they remind me of the Jersey Shore dudes)

Nick Garcia, 18, Miami, FL, Latin ballroom
He’s got killer solo skills—can’t wait to see him dance with a partner. Earned a Mary scream….and of course a ticket to the next round.

Rudy Abreu, 18, Miami, FL, Contemporary
Rudy has a scar across his midsection from some childhood surgeries and uses it as inspiration for his dancing. ‘Cause that’s typical. Warrior aura, he says….and his athleticism backs that up. He needs to stretch his feet more, but he’s got skills. And, like his buddy Nick, a ticket to the next round.

“Hot” dancer montage….

And then enter Caleb Brauner for a second time. This audition he’s doing a piece centered around the last voicemail he got from his Dad. Well received again and sent back to choreography.

Unusual styles montage….

And bring in the skrippers—FAME crew, who want to make sure you know they can actually dance (hip rolling and “jitting”); apparently it’s enough to get all four guys to choreography. But not, of course, before Mary returns to the stage and brings Jenna with her for a PG-13 double-team lap dance. Bodhi, I KNOW you see your wife…. (Mary certainly ran off that stage when Nigel yelled, “Your turn, girls!”)

Choreo round…and this time Caleb gets through. Yay! 


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