Season 5 of the Summer’s hottest show- So You Think You can Dance is here! The whole gang is back! After bearing with Ryan Seacrest (American Idol) and Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars) for weeks and weeks, Cat Deely’s presence on TV is a pleasant change. She is always full of sunshine and delightful to watch. We can’t wait when she introduces the “jidges.”
Opening up the season, the two-hour show featured auditions held in Brooklyn, New York and Denver, Colorado.
“Nasty Nigel” is his old self. We’re almost positive SYTYCD just lost a good number of viewers upon hearing Nigel Lythgoe’s homophobic comments when two male dancers auditioned together as same-sex partners and have them do choreography to see them perform with female partners. He said that the same-sex partnering would “alienate” the audience. We think Nigel’s comment just alienated the viewers! In the end, after the choreography round, the two didn’t make the cut. (UPDATE on the “homophobia issue” here and the audition video)
Mary Murphy didn’t disappoint when she kicked off the show with her irritatingly loud scream from hell. Guest judges Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo are a couple to watch sharing their inputs in the New York auditions. They have done some really great choreography in Season 4; the most memorable dances were Katee Shean and Joshua Allen’s “No Air” and Mark Kanemura and Chelsie Hightower’s “Bleeding Love.”
Sonya Tayeh who was first introduced last season joined Nigel and Mary as guest judge in the Denver auditions at the second half of the show. She left a lasting impression for her jazz choreography of “The Garden” danced by Mark Kanemura and Courtney Galiano. Sonya seemed genuinely impressed with all the contemporary dancers who auditioned and couldn’t quite contain her excitement and awe. (Watch a clip of her first judging stint here.)
Unfortunately for us, we barely saw any of it as Fox is doing their fast forward thing again- showing quick montages of those who got in and holding back names and faces, yet spend a minute or two to highlight certain people with back stories.
Standouts in the New York and Denver auditions we got to see were amazing.
Gabi Rojas, 24 from Albuquerque NM is someone to watch out for. She received a standing ovation from most of the people inside the theater and from the judges after her audition dance. “If you are not in this year’s top 20, I’ll be surprised. One of the best auditions I’ve seen in five years,” says Nigel. (Watch audition video here)
There’s Natalie Reid, 23 from Seattle, WA who came so close last year to getting into the top 20 where it was between her and roommate Katee Shean and the judges eventually picked Katee after a dramatic split decision vote. Sonya Tayeh was left nearly breathless and speechless after Natalie’s audition performance. “Everything was so right. I’m dying… I’m your biggest fan. Your movement was so real… so sincere, didn’t want it to end. You’re really something to see. I hope you make it all the way,” explains Sonya to the misty-eyed Natalie. (Watch audition video here)
Then there’s Brandon Bryant, 19 of Miami, FL who had a similar fate getting the cut last season for a spot in the top 20 in favor of breakdancer Gev Manoukian. He danced so beautifully that Mary was in tears after the performance. And heck, she still gave out that horrific scream! “I have to say I have the greatest job in the whole world, to be able to sit some days and witness something I could never do in a million years. It’s just fabulous to see… technique, artistry, use of stage, intent, commitment. If you don’t make it to the top 20, I think I’ll just die this year,” Mary says tearfully. (Watch audition video here)
We definitely want to see these three make it to the top 20! Special mention goes out to Arielle Taylor, Nobuya Nagahama and Kellen Stancil.
Sample of the Mary Murphy Scream