So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 Premiere

Thursday, May 25, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance's second season opens up tonight with auditions in New York City. Last year, we saw one dancer, Nick Lazzarini win the title and a year in New York City, all expenses paid. This year, the stakes are higher as the winner will be able to join the hit Las Vegas stage show, A New Day with Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace. They will also win a car and $100,000 dollars. Not bad.

This year we have a new host, Cat Deeley, a young woman and television personality from the UK. She will take us through from auditions to finale with her commentary and hosting. During the auditions, the judges will pick the best from those auditioning in the cities of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Charleston. Those selected will then travel to Las Vegas to go through what I called hell week last year on my reviews. Five days of intense working with five different choreographers. Only twenty will make it past this round, ten women and ten men, and this is when the vote will go to America.

Tonight, we have the New York Auditions with the return of judges Dan Karaty, Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe. Auditions open up with David Soller, who preferred to go by the stage name, Sex or Sexy. He used both, but he was anything but in my mind. The judges compared him to Pee wee Herman, and this was something his mother didn't particularly like at all. Next up was Gino Guevara. He appears to have injured his knee during his audition, and on the way out the thirty-one year old said he would never be able to dance again. Next we quickly saw Erica Wallace-Jackson, and she didn't make it through either. Our first contestant to make it through and receive a ticket to Vegas was eighteen year old, Krystle Henry, from Baltimore.

After a commercial break, we saw three more go straight through to Vegas. The first two being, Juliya Tamarkina and her partner Stanislav Savich. Both ballroom dancers from Russia, and there was no doubt in my mind once Juliya began to dance these two would make it through. Next we saw Jason Luks, an eighteen year old tap dancer. He impressed the judges with his moves and everything else, but you have to wonder if he can just tap dance or is he the entire package? I guess we'll find out when he makes it to Vegas. The next auditions, Heath Stambo and Ian Bernardo, were frightening, and it was clear they weren't going to make it through. Even with the words of the judges, I have a feeling they are still dancing to this day.

After another commercial, we saw three more dancers, two that were cut and one that made it through. The two that were cut weren't horrible dancers. They just needed some more technique. First up we saw Dave Warshaw, who hit his head a little during one of his breaking stunts. afterwards, we saw Jason Perez, who I commend for actually going to audition. Little people can dance too, but I agreed with Nigel. It would have been hard partnering him up when it came time to dance on stage for America's votes, and his partner would have been at a disadvantage. Last season, we saw this with Big Poppa. This time it would have been the opposite end of the scale. I do think Nigel and the judges could have found a more tactful way to say this though, and Jason was right to walk away. Last up for day one, we saw a returning audition from Musa Cooper. He tried out in NYC last season, but he didn't make it past the choreography round. He went back and took classes, and this time he earned a straight pass to Vegas. After he left, Mia and Dan with those they wanted to look at again in the choreography round, and a few more made it through.

Day two started and first up we saw an amazing break dancer, Christopher Bryant. Mia and Dan were impressed, but Nigel wanted to see if he could make it during choreography, so they kept him around to see that. The next two, Emily Rodriguez and Rob Williams didn't make it through. Emily mooned the judges, but Rob Williams was just great, personality wise. He actually reminded me of Big Poppa, but he just didn't have the talent needed. The auditions continued on with popper Michael Kim. This is another the judges wanted to stick around to work with Mia on lyrical. Our final NYC audition was Joseph Greco, also known as Jaime. They were a treat to watch, but as Nigel mentioned this gender chameleon just wouldn't be paired all too easily. Afterwards, we saw our two breakers work with Mia, and one made it through, Michael Kim.

With New York done, auditions moved to Charleston. Two new judges joined Nigel for these auditions, Doriana Sanchez and Ron Montez. Out of the first four auditions we see in Charleston, only one makes it through straight to Vegas. That is dancer Travis Wall. all the judges enjoyed his performance. As for Jessica Wheeler. Derek Talisman and Glenda Deshield, they did not advance. Glenda, in fact, showed the judges just a bit more than what the judges were expecting to see when it appears her breasts popped out of her top part way through the audition.

Auditions continue on, and we see one male dancer, James Davis, quit after two attempts. Natalie Fotopolous makes it through straight to Vegas, while a third Claire Calloway needs to go through the choreography round first. The last male dancer to audition, James Payne, also was asked to stick around for choreography. Both James and Claire made it through to Vegas. Next week, the auditions move to Chicago as the show moves to Wednesday night at 9/8c.

A few things I noticed in this premiere episode for the second season. The judges were extremely harsh with some of their comments. Nigel actually makes Simon look nice some of the time. I understand this is a competition, but still some of the comments were over the top. I also noticed that in the opening comments, the host mentioned they were searching for America's favorite dancer, and not the best dancer. This makes me believe this competition will be based on personality and not talent. I hope that isn't the case, but I think we need total all around package, meaning personality and talent, to win out here. For those wondering on last season's host, Lauren Sanchez is on maternity leave. She got married shortly before the end of the first season. and she is now awaiting the birth of a child. Congratulations to her.


Anonymous said...

Do you know what the songs were in this?

Anonymous said...

If anyone knows what that music was from Michael Kim's dance, I loved it and want to find it.
please post.

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