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So You Think You Can Dance: Auditions: Phoenix

Illustration for article titled iSo You Think You Can Dance/i: Auditions: Phoenix
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Illustration for article titled iSo You Think You Can Dance/i: Auditions: Phoenix

We're into the second week of a grueling six-week audition schedule, and the question is whether the trends Genevieve noted last week will continue.  As a reminder, those themes are: Tapper Chic, Contemporary Glut, and Hip-Hop Hiatus.  Let's see what the celebrated dance capital of the American West — that's Phoenix, Arizona for you outsiders — can offer to the season we are being repeatedly told is so awesome it takes the other seasons out back and beats them up before going home with their girlfriends.

Hip Hop?

We start with one immediately, the comic hip-hop duo of Biggy and Shorty.  There's no way they can do anything other than that routine, but hooray for the fat boy wiggling his fingers on his tummy.  But they make us wait until the very end before giving America what it really wants: a powerful, charismatic breaker named Legacy.  Not only can the boy move, but he's a born celebrity.  The interview he had with Cat revealed it — the way he leaned in to her, looking intently into her eyes, it's the trick that the beautiful people use to make you feel valued, to get you on their side by making you think they actually care about you.

Contemporary … Again

You knew we were going to get a lot of this, and that most of those who impress the judges are going this style.  Sasha Mallory could be the poster child for contemporary, with her violent movements, lovely lines, and pauses for acting.  Then she's followed by a montage of strong female auditions … all of whom do contemporary.  It looked from the choreography round that some of the women we didn't see were ballroom specialists, but for some reason they weren't memorable enough to be featured.  And naturally, on day two it's a blond contemporary girl who breaks the cycle of alien-inspired weirdos.

They're Different

Same-sex Latin dancers (and gold medal winners for USA — hoo! hoo! hoo!) Jacob Jason and William de Vries try once again to break through the SYTYCD gender barrier, with a sensual and yearning routine.  Interesting, their pre-audition interview acknowledged the difficulty same-sex couples have had with the show's format.  And interestingly (if a bit sycophantically), Nygel acknowledged that he has gotten criticism for not taking the genre seriously in the past.

Don't Encourage Them

The bane of the audition shows, of course, is the deluded or acting-out "dancer" with no training and no talent.  Why do the producers persist on giving them air time?  It only ensures that more of them will show up next season.  At least Mr. I Am A Disco Dancer was clever.  And Jarvis Johnson's method of shedding his shoes mid-step was extremely entertaining.  But Brandon and Nicole's bizarre giants-in-toyland routine?  At least the montage of awfulness barely gave any of them enough screen to be memorable, and none of them had names.  Take a note, American Idol.

Grade: B

Stray observations:

- I'm not seeing the excitement in these auditions that the slow-motion teasers are promising week after week.  What do you bet that none of the people who've been featured so far will end up in the top 20?  Okay, I know they're taking Ryan, but other than him?

- It's Mia Michaels in the guest judge chair tonight, and it's Mary Murphy's second gorgeous dress in two weeks.  Seriously, that red, black and white number last week?  Put that on sale as part of your new Hot Tamale line, and I'm buying.

- The subtitles while Allison Becker, the girl with spinal meningitis, was talking, garbled the spelling of "rhythm" in as creative a way as I've ever seen: rythmn.

- We now know that the plastic surgery has not affected Mary's tear ducts.

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