By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh
This week the “So You Think You Can Dance” auditions took off in Salt Lake City.
Host Cat Deely and judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy were joined this time by Adam Shankman.
Courtesy of Buffy.wikia.com
Salt Lake City auditions have always been fantastic, and this round did not disappoint.
Up first was Witney Carson, 18. Utah may be cold; Carson brought the heat and the talent with her cha-cha and tango.
“When it comes to dancing, I like being a woman,” she said of her sensual and confidant dancing.
That confidence paid off. Carson received the first standing o of the night, a comparison to Anya Garnis, the first ticket on the hot tamale train this season, and a ticket to Vegas.
Next on the stage was another underground dance style: alien space dance. This type of dance was inspired to Lynn, 33, from Pleiades and her spirit guides. She used to be an aerospace engineer but wanted to find herself, and encouraged the audience to learn that they can always start over no matter their age.
Then Deanna took over the stage with absolute grace.
“I just loved every single second of that,” Murphy said. Deanna’s performance was absolutely stunning on stage: beautiful lines, expression, transitions and “wisdom” according to Shankman. She was on her way to Vegas.
Body paint? Life cycle of the male praying mantis? Just one of the outrageous auditions of the day. Gene Lonardo, 22, showed everyone in the audience what it was like to live and die as this insect. Weird? Yes. Talented? Yes. Perfect from choreographer Sonya Tayeh? Yes. Ticket? Yes.
Lindsay Arnold, 18 was up next with her jazz, contemporary and ballroom training to impress the judges.
“I thought you were absolutely fabulous,” said Lythgoe, acknowledging both her performance and technical skills. Murphy said Arnold reminds her of Julianne Hough.
After an endless amount of ballroom came krumping from a little blonde girl. Mariah Spears, 18, rocked the house with her powerful moves.
“F****** krumping!” Shamkman exclaimed. “So, so that was from all of your rough time on the streets I’m assuming…it says you like to ride horses,” he said, glancing at her form. “ I don’t know how you do what you just did. You blew my mind.” Spears was sent to the choreography round and later, Vegas.
Last up on day one was Murphy Yang, 22, who gave up everything for dance. His parents did not support his dance career and disowned him. But he had his girlfriend. He refused to give up and wants to prove that dance was the right choice by being on the show.
“Murphy Yang, you are an entertainer,” Lythgoe said. The judges were not sure about his technique and sent him to wait for the choreography round where he was cut.
Dareian was feeling confident and excited about his audition. He had a rough childhood and says dance lifted him out of his experience. He definitely lifted the judges spirits on day two.
“You’re just joy out there,” Murphy said, though she agreed with Lythgoe that he needs to work on his feet. He’ll have to work on those feet in Vegas.
Next on stage were playboy/dancer Johnny and his partner Whitney. The pair have been dancing together for just eight months. Even with all of Johnny’s relationship courses, the two lacked chemistry. They were sent to the choreography round. It was a no to both.
Several dancers at the audition weren’t strangers: they had auditioned for the show before and been cut in Vegas. Several of them got return tickets. Would season seven and now season nine auditioner Adrian Lee, 22, be so lucky? Well, he’s on his way back to Vegas; but will he make it past the grueling week and into the top 20?
Dancer Rachel Applehans was hoping to make Lythgoe uncomfortable. Dressed in a lingerie top and rolling around like a stripper…that wouldn’t be hard to do.
“I think that if some things were a little different in my life I’ve move to Salt Lake City,” joked Shankman.
“A little too much burlesque for me and not enough jazz,” said Lythgoe. Applehans was sent to choreography and later to Vegas.
Last for the auditions: Leroy Martinez. Slightly reminiscent of Allan “Big Poppa” Frias.
“You’re f***** awesome!” Shankman swore.
“You are an absolute joy. You’re the kind of person…we want to root for you,” said Murphy. She and Nythgoe agreed that he would not be a contender on the show, but they sent him to choreography anyways – not to Vegas.
Courtesy of Reviewstl.com
This was the last round of auditions before the ticketed dancers fly to Sin City for the fearsome Vegas week, where they will be competing for one of the coveted top 20 spots.