So You Think You Can Dance offered a wealth of talent in the Chicago and Los Angeles auditions this week.
We started the night in Chicago. The guest judge was Fabrice Calmels from the Joffrey Ballet. My, he's handsome (and a charming, articulate judge as well).
Highlights from the Chicago auditions included:
The Puppet, Paul Brushaber. The Puppet is an animator, and his dancing was really unique. He really did look like a puppet on stage.
Franchesa Bass. Franchesa is a contemporary dancer who has Alopecia. Her dance had an otherworldly, alien quality, and was very unique.
Janna Scaccia. Janna is a ballet dancer and she is a trainee at the Joffrey. She idolizes Fabrice. I love ballet and am always delighted to see ballet dancers on the show.
The show then moved to Los Angeles. The guest judge was Christina Applegate. She and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are my favorite celebrity judges. Christina is always bright and funny, and seems to have a lot of heart.
Los Angeles offered some strong moments including:
Jessica Richens dancing to a jazzy "This is a Man's World." I liked her dance better when I first watched it. After some thought, I think she had a bit too much hairography and attitude to supplement the actual dancing.
Valerie Rockey tapping to "I'm Movin' On." I love tap! She seemed to really take joy in dancing. She went to choreography, but got a ticket to Hollywood there.
Kyle Taylor, a 28 year old mechanic from Wichita, Kansas, is a popper. He danced and had a dance off with visiting SYTYCD alumni Fik-Shun, Cyrus, and Legacy. Kyle is untrained, but loves to dance. The dance off was a great moment. He moved on to choreography, but bowed out after trying to partner there.
Deise and Mauricio are ballet dancers in love. They danced a lovely number together. Deise is particularly strong, and was the focal point of the dance.
Hailee Payne is a jazz/funk dancer. She looks a lot like Miley Cyrus, with short punk blonde hair. She is a good dancer but I think her very big personality may wear thin over the course of the show, if she continues on.
Sebastian Serra is a returning auditioner. He is a ballet dancer with big, bold moves. I loved seeing him travel the stage as he danced.
Dani Platz is a contemporary dancer. She has struggled with an eating disorder, and danced a number full of emotion that moved Mary and Christina. Mary Murphy commented that dance is "like oxygen for the soul." Dani moved on to choreography and got a ticket to Hollywood.
The final dancer for the night was Marie Poppins (pictured above). She is a popper from France. She did an elegant and rather lyrical dance to one of my favorite songs, "Smooth Operator" by Sade. As she danced out toward the judges, Fik-Shun got up and joined her and they did an impromptu dance together on stage. This was definitely the highlight of the show to me -- great fun!
Did you watch SYTYCD last night? Do you have any favorites from the night? I would love to read your comments, below.