So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 Episode 5 Recap: Vegas Callbacks
Jun 20 2012 11:04 pm ET
The predominantly contemporary and hip-hop auditions have finally ended and 181 contestants have made it to Vegas. So that basically meant that 11% will survive the whole ordeal.
On our menu for Vegas this season:
1) Initial solos
5) The Dreaded Group Round
8) Final solos
Extended panel of judges included Lil C, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe. As the solos began, Nigel reminded the contestants that they were looking for sparkle/personality and Nigel would cut them if the solos were bad. He used the phrase "massive cuts" which apparently meant "more than 50."
Day One - Morning - We start the solos with Hampton "The Exorcist" Williams, the hip-hop dancer that made Mary Murphy cry. He decided to perform similarly to his original audition. It made Adam and Tyce cry like little girls, though I guess I was jaded from the audition. The auditions continued to sparkle, one with a weird looking mask. Nigel stopped at the 10 solos, two contemporary girls were cut but Hampton and a few others survived.
Janelle, the Bellydancer, was in full Bellydancer attire and was ready to give everything she had; she kept eye contact and hit every beat hard. Again, Tyce seemed enthralled by the whole performance. Janelle would be a great addition to this show considering that she falls under a genre that's not contemporary. The whole set of dancers continued to amaze the judges. The round cut 51 contestants including the martial artist/Selena Gomez fan, but not the other Martial Artist and though we never really focus on Cole, we see glimpses of him near the last ten minutes of the show.
Day One - 5PM - The contestants got changed for hip-hop with their definitions of what they think "street" looks like these days. Season 4's Twitch & Comfort had a funky routine that represented the Atlanta swagger. Our focus shifted to the Dragon house Crew. They apparently got past solos and we watched them struggle with practicing. Hampton Williams immediately had to quit and tried to apologize to the judges because he's never picked up choreography before. The Dragon house crew also struggled, Andre decided that he had to quit as well. He talked to the other two crew members and they tried to convince him to stay but he left.
The performances began and Boris (the blue haired dragon) was first. He looked awful, but gave it a valiant effort. Nigel called out Boris and had to eliminate him. Also cut were praying mantis guy and mommy dancer. Luckily for us, most of the non-hip-hop contestants showed versatility. That's what cross-training could do for you future dancers. Twitch & Comfort seemed happy that they had 97 contestants survive their choreography. Cyrus, the last of dragon house crew performed in the "last group" and he tried. He was better than Boris, but I don't think that was saying much. Everyone in his group made it through anyway.
Solos Survivors: About 108
Day Two - Morning - Broadway Nigel welcomed the group and Tyce started choreography. Tyce's story is about a club and drinking "water" which made them sexual. Dear Tyce, stop doing routines about roofies. The ballroom dancers Whitney and Lindsay, from the Salt Lake City auditions and roommates, knew each other since nine so they decided to stick together. I think both dancers being there together motivated each other to perform better. Both danced better than their partners, but all six of the dancers moved on. People continued to survive, making me wonder if Tyce's choreography was too easy. Or if dancers knew what being on ruffles felt like.
Alexa Anderson, the last person cut last season, was up for auditions and she wanted to do her best. I will say that her movements matched the lesson, but she lacked any sparkle. She should have drunk the water. In whispers Tyce pointed out that she had no life in her face. Adam called her out and said he didn't want to save her, she had no spirit whatsoever. Adam warned her to be better with partnering. She survived, but was in shock. We should have cut her now to save us time on television because I've already grown bored of Alexa.
Our favorite golf pants wearing Teddy, and 23 other contestants were cut. Teddy claimed that he didn't want to waste his time and was never coming back. The producers made it a bit of a point to make him look like a bitch.
Broadway Survivors: 82.
Day Two - Jazz - Sonya Tayeh was looking for strength and musicality. At this point, most of the dancers should have both. Hip-hop dancer Shaffiq scraped through Broadway and started complaining about how little space he had to perform. Bacon loving Danielle was his partner and tried her best to boost him. She tried to practice with another partner for a little bit which upset him a bit. We also note that Burlesque Rachel was in the group. Danielle did decently, considering that Shaffiq looked awful. Shaffiq admitted that he messed up. Shaffiq and Rachel were both cut. Rachel tried to fight her way to another round by using "passion" and "fire" in her sentences. The judges voted across and she was given one solo chance. Shaffiq bitched and complained.
The jazz round continued as Sonya looked embarrassed that her choreography wasn't translating. Around 5:30 Bacon-fan Danielle was helping another dancer Giovanni, but as the song began he kicked her head and she fell hard on her bum. Like a true dancer, she powered on. That's got to give her some stock from the audience. Amelia Lowe, silent movie auditioneer from NYC, tried her best but was struggling. Cyrus, the last dragon house member, was also part of the group and struggled. Lindsey (ballroom dancer) was paired with Cyrus and she was actually doing a great job considering her background. Amelia had a split vote (which makes no sense to me since with Sonya on the panel makes a seven-person judging panel), and was forced to dance for her life. Sonya talked to Cyrus and warned him to get some classes and learn lines. He survived yet another round. The medical team decided to check Danielle further. They decided to bring her to the hospital for a check.
Day Two - 9PM - 15 dancers were already cut and Amelia and Rachel were left dancing. Rachel decided to stick with her burlesque routine and did a lot of self-loving hand motions and had some great motions involving her tie. She then did angry motions. She got four No's. Debbie warned her to dance without having to be so sexy. Amelia was last and wanted to make sure that Sonya was won over. She danced in a graceful way to the right music that fit her. The piece moved Adam, but that didn't surprise me at all. He probably cried after reading reviews of Rock of Ages. Sonya finally got the Amelia-love and voted yes. Nigel somehow voted no anyway. She got the rest of the panel to vote yes.
Day Two - 10PM - It's my favorite time to watch: Group Routines. Cat prepped the dancers about grouping and picking music. There's a twist: they get to pick their own groups. The groups had to be in groups of five or six. Each group randomly picked their song, which included Gotye and The Wanted. The initial practice time was okay, but soon the stress kicked in though we didn't get to see it until vignettes. I'm still not sure who the guy was that was screaming at his group from the second floor.
Day Three - Morning - The groups are back and had half an hour to practice before the group routines. Bacon Danielle was cleared after midnight. All of the groups had formed two hours before and Danielle had to beg her way into a group; she asked a group with ballet dancer Daniel Baker. His group decided to change their routine as Danielle tried to learn their moves. They decided to sleep instead of practice. As they danced they looked awful; it was painful. Nigel pointed out that there was no synchronization. The judges pulled out the dreaded board and contemplated. Danielle got cut, mostly because of her injury. She explained that there were no excuses. I still think that if she didn't get kicked in the head that she could have survived much longer. A lot more of the contestants got cut, but Cyrus continued to survive.
Around 11:30AM Aubrey, ballet dancer, was with four other men and called them "The High Schoolers." They had a "prom" theme. I liked the way that Aubrey was used during the routine and the judges were blown away. Tyce called it "smart" and she was compared to Mia Michaels. This caused a string of contestants to succeed.
We got to watch the "Wolf Pack" which included three prior Vegas survivors Dres, Alexa, and Adrian. Their routine looked sloppy at several points, even though Adrian was trying his best. Debbie enjoyed the routine. Tyce continued to pick on Alexa; he still wasn't moved. Both Tyce and Mary need to see fire. She tried to passively fight, eventually got to tears trying to push herself. They told her to "Just Dance" and let the whole pack through.
The contestants all went to the pool to celebrate a little bit. I'm shocked that Fox didn't have shameless less clothing shots.
Jazz Survivors: 61
Day Three - Afternoon - Ballroom (Jason Gilkison) Our routine technically was Latin since Jason was teaching a Cha-Cha. Jason wanted to make sure that there was sass from the women and support from the men; the couples needed chemistry. Cyrus was confused, but continued to fight his way. His group was first and he was close, but not close enough for me. It left the judges giggling. The rest of the group made it through, but Cyrus was forced to dance for his life. Dancing his own genre was his obvious strength.
There were several more cuts as Amber, Asher, and Dee got cut. I vaguely remember them, but I figure they should deserve more glory than, "Oh yeah! That guy!" Aubrey tried to have as much confidence as possible, coming off of a strong group round. Aubrey had all the choreography, but none of this "sparkle" the judges continued to talk about. Jason called up Aubrey and she was cut. Just as quickly as she hit this high, she crashed immediately. Both Whitney and Lindsey survived their Ballroom round. Zombie Stephan, Ballet Eliana, and several others made it through. I have to assume that Stephan and Eliana should survive a few more steps.
We return to Alexa, who was convinced that she was strong enough to make it. She was the last group to perform. She was a little wobbly in the beginning, but she started to give face. Alexa was called first and made it through; Jason pointing out that she had personality. The perfect critique for a dancer with no soul. Cyrus was the last to dance for his life; he was motivated because he could be himself in his routine. Cyrus was hanging on a thread as he danced for his life. He was popping as hard as he could and he was giving great emotion during the routine. I was impressed as were the judges and remaining contestants. He had a sweep of Yes and survived.
Ballroom Survivors: 52
Day 3 - 9PM - Contemporary (Travis Wall) - The dancers had one hour to learn the routine. Travis wanted passion and other things, but I couldn't really bother paying attention as I gawked at Travis' good looks. After three rounds of choreography it was time to perform again. Nigel decided that everyone will perform first and then the judges would decide after seeing everyone. The 52 contestants seemed like they were supportive of each other. After all the dances Nigel started naming 34 people. All of them made it through to the next round. The other 18 dancers were on the 50/50. They were all forced to dance a second time. Most were cut.
Of the last few dancers Joshua Alexander and Krumper Mariah Spears were one of the weirdest pairings. Mariah got cut, but Joshua survived. It's such a shame because she was one of the best krumpers I've seen. And yes, I think she was better than Comfort. The other contestants went to bed for the last day.
Final Solos - Joshua tried his best to learn a backflip. As he flipped, he landed hard on his back. The girls were in tears. Every dancer would perform a solo and then plead their case. We followed Alexa some more and she gave it everything she could. She used the word "growing" as her reasoning. I actually liked the way the editors mixed the interview with the dance. We then got a large montage of everyone dancing their solos. A lot of really good spins, jumps, and shining faces.
Our last routine was from Chehon, an amazing ballet dancer. He wanted to break from the ballet style, but he really shouldn't. He was amazing. The judges gave him a standing ovation. He's clearly through, but I guess we'll have to wait.
Nigel called all the guys to the stage. Nigel wanted to give apologies, he Tre, Dres, Adrian, and Brandon (who we've seen before replace Billy Bell) all got cut. Poor Adrian. For the women, Nigel explained that he was looking for uniqueness; not necessarily the "best." None of the girls would be cut yet.
Final Solos Survivors: 35
We never saw Joshua perform, but apparently he's around next week as we meet our "Top 20."
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