SYTYCD 11–The Audition Diaries, Part 2


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!

SYTYCD 11—Episode 2
Auditions: Chicago, Los Angeles

Guest judge: Fabrice Calmels – former model and principal ballerino/danseur, Joffrey Ballet

Paul “The Puppet” Brushaber, 18, Mokena, IL, Puppeting (fluid blend of animation and robotics), Mary pushed for next round while Nigel wondered about partnering skills….but he puts him through anyway.

Emily James (Season 8 and 9 return auditioner), 21, North Kingstown, RI, Contemporary, straight to next round. Not to be outdone, one of her little cousins gets on stage to “audition”; good gymnastic skills and flexibility—with some time and polishing, I could see Season 18 in her future….

Dancer montage—of course all of them went through (the two girls and a guy thing must be the set montage format)

Francesca Bass, 18, Crown Point, IN, Contemporary—bald by alopecia (she’s still cute); alien quirk that Sonya Tayeh would LOVE, through to next round.

Janice Scaccia, 18, Chicago, IL, Ballet/Contemporary, Joffrey Ballet trainee, idolizes Fabrice, auditioned barefoot, through to next round

James Thomas, 18, Chicago, IL, Hip-hop/Contortionism/Bopping, dude is double-jointed, through to choreo but it overwhelmed him

Marko and Ellenore doing choreo in Chicago

On to Los Angeles!

Guest panelist: Christina Applegate

Jessica Richens, 18, Yorba Linda, CA, Jazz, audition reminiscent of Lo-Fro’s (how she danced with all that hair flying is amazing), through to next round (got the “she could win” pronouncement from the judges)

Crews up tonight: Academy of Villains vs. BreakSk8 (they didn’t win ABDC but the lead dude’s conceited air already has me voting for the other crew. Still, I’ll be fair.)

Valerie Rockey, 20, Indianapolis, IN, Tap, passable style but clear taps, through to choreo

Jana “Jaja” Vankova, 22, Chatsworth, TN (originally Czech Republic), Animation, third IaMmE member to audition (Phillip Chbeeb and Emilio Dosal), poor Christina didn’t know where to look…lol; I think the three-way standing ovation pretty much guaranteed the callback ticket.

(Thrilled to see Jasmine Harper in these Degree commercials)

Cue the alumni…and the wretched auditions…..

A white boy from Wichita, KS—Kyle Taylor, 28—is going to do some popping, apparently self-taught. He’s got some skills….though the performance energy was a bit low. Oh snap—a battle including Fik-Shun, Cyrus and Legacy? Alright nah….yeah, dude needs to battle, because that energy shot WAAAAAY up. He’s a contender. That battle saved him from going straight home.

Justine Lutz, 19, Minneapolis, MN, training in jazz and ballet but auditioning Contemporary…go fig. She almost looks like she’s breakdancing with some of the floor moves and she can shift her joints. Another Sonya lump of clay. Another three standing O ticket wave.

Cue next round montage….blonde contemporary girl, Latino Latin Ballroom couple and a brunette ASIAN ballerina. Editors, you shock me. Add the Asian male contemporary and another blonde contemporary girl and that’s five straight tickets.

First ballet couple auditioning—and they’re literally a couple. Mauricio Vera, 27 and Deise Mendonca, 23, both of Santa Barbara, CA; made Christina cry. The zebra/mesh leggings threw me a little but their form was just gorgeous. He looked nervous, which surprised me for the level of skill and technique he has. But naturally, they both got tickets straight through.

Time for the Crew Battle—the Syncopated Ladies won last week’s contest. Yay!

This week: BreakSk8 is up first. Still as good as ever.

Their competition: Academy of Villains. Theatrics heavy (their words). Could have done without the creepy clown makeup but the doll-like costumes and the puppet strings were cute. I’m tempted to give them the edge mainly because BreakSk8 has had their 15 minutes, but since unlike Poreotics they didn’t walk away with a victory, I’m torn.

Hailee Payne, 19, Roy, UT, Jazz/Funk, QUIRKY a la Ellenore this time, but from a spiky-haired blonde who also has acrobatic skills. Just throw the girl her ticket, whydontcha? She says she has a Miley Cyrus look….the hair, maybe? But I really don’t see it. More Liza Minelli to me
Sebastian Serra (returning contender from last season—cut just before Green Mile), 24, Orlando, FL, Contemporary Ballet; he must have auditioned in front of Christina because she remembers him….as does the rest of the panel. He better have gotten that ticket….

Dani Platz, 18, Moorpark, CA, Contemporary, recovering anoxeric, another double-jointed girl, I really love her aura….the last person I saw dance with that much fluidity and peace was Eliana Girard. Can’t necessarily call Top 20 but I would not be surprised. Christina got the feels…and got voted down 2 to 1 over sending her straight through, so off to choreography she goes.

Marie “Mary Poppins” Bonnevay (and yes, the puns were pushed to the limit), 27, North Hollywood, CA (originally from France), Popping. Damn she’s smooth with it….and I hate that I said that seeing as she’s dancing to Sade’s “Smooth Operator”….but then to not only take the moves to the audience but transition into a badass freestyle with Fik-Shun….boy, if she doesn’t get that ticket….. (they weren’t stupid—she did.) *My friend Judi just pointed out that she’s in the Roomba commercial….)

Choreo round: Kathryn and Robert (Barbie and Ken of his season, the first with the All-Stars concept)

Dani and Valerie doing well but Kyle has a rough time and drops out; both girls get tickets.

I wonder what happened with the poor dude that threw up onstage….(he got cut, but he had a good attitude about it. I hope we see him again next year.)

Next week wraps L.A. and moves to Philly….and what rhymes with Philly? BILLY!!!!!!!! I can’t wait! (And I just checked my TiVo listing and am THOROUGHLY embarrassed that I didn’t recognize Misty Copeland…but to be fair, I’ve never see her in anything other than still photos. Double excited!)


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