June 14th, 2012
09:33 AM ET
Oh, what a breath of fresh air it was to see some ballroom routines on the final night of "So You Think You Can Dance" auditions.
Salt Lake City, the final stop on the audition tour, certainly seems to pride itself on ballroom and it did not disappoint. There has been a shortage of good ballroom on "SYTYCD" lately, and we've barely seen any this season - until now.
But before I get to the ballroom talent, there's a krumper I must discuss. So, without further ado, my five favorite auditions (you have probably guessed that space cadet Lynn Gravatt isn't one of them):
1. Mariah Spears
Where did she come from? It's been eons since we've seen a great female hip-hop dancer, and a female krumper doesn't come along often. Mariah may be my new favorite going into Las Vegas. I have a feeling that, had he known, Lil' C would have paid for the flight out to Salt Lake just to pronounce her "bucc."
2. Whitney Carson
Whitney was Mary Murphy's first "hot tamale" of the season, and boy, did she earn it. I was immediately reminded of Chelsie Hightower's audition in season 4 (I think that worked out well for her), and Nigel Lythgoe compared her to another ballroom great from seasons past, Anya Garnis. High praise indeed.
3. Adrian Lee
This contemporary dancer had one of the most touching auditions I can remember on the show. He skipped out on season 8 after coming ever so close to the top 20 the year before, and just had to try one more time. To my great relief, he made it through to Vegas once more. You can't help but root for him.
4. Lindsay Arnold
Whitney's got some competition, as Lindsay gave another outstanding ballroom routine. Send them both to the top 20, I say.
5. Deanna Tomasetta
She was a textbook example of a terrific audition. This was a full performance, blending technique with personality. I can see her going all the way as well.
There was a lot of talent in Salt Lake and, once again, I really hated to leave out Dareian Kujawa's tremendous audition and Gene Lenardo's praying mantis routine (I can see Sonya Tayeh fighting for him in Vegas). But most of all, I have to mention Leroy Martinez's appearance, which inspired everyone in the room, even if he didn't make it to Vegas (I was happy to see him put through to choreography at least).
It was also great seeing "Rock of Ages" director Adam Shankman back as a judge, and hopefully he'll be back later this season. Though I could do without him telling someone, "You're what this show is all about," for the umpteenth time.
We've all got a ticket to Vegas next week, and once again, the promos promise the most excruciating week ever for the dancers with at least one person sent to the hospital.
Which dancers do you want to see survive the Vegas callbacks? Share your favorites on video or comment below.
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