'So You Think You Can Dance': Season premieres in awesome Atlanta and stellar San Francisco
We've got a ways to go until these dancers sweep us off our feet, but Atlanta and San Francisco got us off on the right foot with some nimble-footed pros and some seriously talented street dancers.
It's a little early to start talking contenders, but Jeffery McCann, who showed up up for the San Francisco auditions, stole the show with his breakdancing. Yes, breakdancing. It was that good, that choreographed, that athletic. B-boy perfection. We'd love to see him make it this season by crossing over into other dance forms. It would be totally like "Breakin" (not like "Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo"). And we may just get to see it happen -- Nigel sent him straight through to Las Vegas, where the next round of competition will unfold.
After being absent last season, the Hot Tamale herself -- Mary Murphy -- was back behind the judges' table in Atlanta adding her signature spicy commentary. Though she was playing hurt -- she went through surgery for a benign throat tumor in December 2010.
"I did notice that when I was in Atlanta and L.A. auditions that when I tried to talk one time and got louder that it didn't come out and it really was kind of quite upsetting to me," said Murphy in a conference call earlier this week. "But I'm sure it made Nigel happy."
But -- dare we say it -- Murphy was upstaged (or upjudged) by guest critiquer "crunk legend" Lil C, whose comments were not only poetic, but poetical. A few examples:
"I think that Zeus himself would invite you to come and dance on Olympus."
"That performance was hard to ingest, even harder to digest."
"You were very submissive unto your own dominance and I don't really see that a lot."
Alrighty. Moving right along, host Cat Deeley was back in the game, too, interviewing hopefuls before and after their on-stage moment and, you know, fending off propositions from contestants. Maybe it was that leopard-print one-piece.
"I'm just ready to dance my little tusher off," said 18-year-old Amber Williams of Utah (why she didn't wait for the Salt Lake City auditions we'll see next week is a mystery). And that she did, earning herself a ticket to Vegas.
Since the show's in the early audition phase, we got the requisite freak shows. Ieshia Moss, for instance. A former (so she claimed) stripper sporting bright blue and pink eye shadow and -- in a super-bold fashion statement -- rocking a missing front tooth.
"I used to be a stripper, so that's where my booty-popping come from," said Moss who -- we die inside, but have to say it -- looked like she might have been five-months pregnant.
"It's one big hot cup of vomit," said guest judge Tyce Diorio. Not about Moss, but after witnessing another contestant who burst into gasping tears on stage at the end of his less-than-stellar performance.
Nineteen-year-old Danielle Ihle was great and earned herself a trip to Vegas -- even though she only wore one sock (okay, so she needed it for pirouettes). But, please, can the dark hair on the bottom, blond on top trend please go away? It's like a girl mullet -- business underneath, party on top -- and we're over it.
In an important historical note, "SYTYCD" documented the Oakland, Calif., born dance style known as "TURF": Taking Up Room on the Floor. Looked to us like a cross between breakdancing and Parkour.
Neat, but apparently not neat enough to make Vegas.
Next week: More auditions, this time in Salt Lake City and New York.