June 2nd, 2011
10:17 AM ET
You know it's a good audition episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" when the words "That's my new favorite" come out of your mouth more times than you can count. Such was the case with Wednesday night's episode, featuring tryouts from Salt Lake City, Utah and Brooklyn, New York.
First in Salt Lake, steppers Devon McCullough and Micah Clark proved to be a dynamic duo, though only Devon ended up moving on past choreography to Vegas. He will certainly be one to watch.
"SYTYCD" superfan Chyna Smith seemed tailor-made for this show, not only because her dance was choreographed by Allison Holker, but she pulled it off flawlessly and has one of the best personalities so far this season.
Tadd Gadduang had an extraordinary level of musicality, not to mention a very unique take on popping and locking. But never mind that Annie Graton - who had one of the more impressive contemporary auditions so far - put her dad through to Vegas!
Then there was Chase Thomas, who wore the least we've seen on a male dancer since Brandon Bryant. He's not quite up to Brandon's level, but he's certainly got a great style of his own.
I was sad to see Samantha Hiller, who was suffering from amnesia, not make it through past choreography, but I think we'll see her next year.
We simply can't talk about the Salt Lake auditions without mentioning Brittany Morgan Starr, one of the most bizarre characters seen in this show's history (and yes, that includes "Sex"). The producers even went to the lengths of visiting her home to find out more about her father, who claims to be the real "Ringo Starr." Personally, I think the several minutes spent on Starr could have been used to feature one of the "montage" dancers who went to the Las Vegas callbacks, but that's just me.
On to New York, which started off with a bang, as "whacker" Samara “Princess Lockaroo” Cohen wowed the judges with a style of dance that can best be compared to voguing, but much faster-paced.
Then came the sure-to-be-controversial krumper Brian Henry, who insulted season 6 Russell Ferguson and Lil' C right out of the gate as being too "mainstream." There's no doubt that he's got talent... in fact, I would say he is a better krumper than Russell. It remains to be seen if he is as versatile as Russell, however.
Mary Murphy made a good point, though, that it was really bad form to come out dissing other dancers who have come before him (especially since Lil' C is an occasional judge on the show). Brian's tears of joy when he got past the choreography round to Vegas could go a long way in gaining audience sympathy, however.
As for Brandon Jones, I have to say he didn't especially stand out to me, but I could be convinced otherwise in Vegas.
New York gave us three dancers who have the potential to garner a lot of votes, if they make the top 20.
First, there's Irish dancer Mary Kate Sheehan. I don't recall any previous Irish dancers, so she certainly has her work cut out for her. However, she charmed the judges and this viewer, and I look forward to seeing what other styles she can do. I have a feeling she will gain a lot of fans.
I feel that the judges were far too tough on Jesse LeProtto. One can't help but be reminded of Evan Kasprzak, since he's a Broadway-style dancer, but he doesn't have Evan's personality. Despite that, I tweeted "audition of the season" when I saw him last night. Whatever his talents might be in other styles, this routine absolutely blew me away and I was left scratching my head as to why he was sent through to choreography. Didn't he just prove that he can perform choreography?
And OK, I may have said that Jesse had the audition of the season, but that was before I saw Robert Taylor, Jr. Can I get a "woooo!"? This guy was absolutely phenomenal. I would not make the comparison to "tWitch" lightly, but I really think he has that X factor (sorry, Simon). Look for him to get a lot of votes, if he can get through Vegas (please, oh please!).
I would be remiss not to mention popper/locker Virgil "Lil' O" Gadson, and ballroom dancer (another example of an inexplicable decision to send to choreography) Kristen Dobson. I enjoyed them both well enough, but with the level of talent we've seen thus far, it's hard to say if they will make it through Vegas.
So which ones were your favorites? Do you agree that they were too harsh on Jesse and Kristen? Would you also have preferred to see less of "Ringo Starr's" daughter? Share your view on iReport or comment below.
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