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- The seventh season premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance" took us to New York City to kick off a season that will see just 10 dancers make it to the live shows.
New judge Mia Michaels joined Adam Shankman and Nigel Lythgoe on the judging panel. The dancers had to impress the judges to either get a ticket to the next round in Vegas, or at least do enough to earn a call back to the choreography round at the end of the day. If they failed to impress at all, they'd be sent home.
The first dancer was a 22-year-old from Philadelphia named Sarah, who'd overcome some body image issues after years of thinking she was big. Her contemporary tryout floored the judges. Nigel said she looked like Charlize Theron and Sarah said she gets that a lot. Mia said Sarah danced like a more mature dancer than her age. Sarah got a ticket to Vegas.
Ballroom dancers Giselle and Henry, who have been part of the show "Burn the Floor," decided to go from Broadway and their national tour to "SYTYCD." Mia was blown away by their hotness and Adam said they "tore up that floor" and said it was "a huge turn-on." Nigel mentioned having already seen them in "Burn the Floor" and said they were stars.
Mike, 27, a member of a self-made dance troupe called "1 2 3 Party," which performs in the style of the '80s. He and his crew have apparently been arrested by the Boston Police Department. Once he started dancing, it was clear to see why. Mike was sent on his way, but he left with a smile and took his boombox to Times Square. Mike kicked off a montage of bad auditions.
Teddy Tedholm, who went to Vegas last year in a colorful outfit, was back and dressed in a black suit to try again. Mia and Adam became emotional watching Teddy's wild contemporary routine. Mia said his routine was "pretty genius" in its ability to tap into the emotion of being the kid who was probably picked on. Adam said he was "honored' to have been able to take in his audition. Nigel handed Teddy a ticket to Vegas.
Danced named Briana and Daniel put on solid auditions that earned them tickets to Vegas in a short montage.
Scott Vogel, whose day job was cleaning up blood and "gray matter" from crime and trauma scenes, put on an odd display of what he called "country line dancing" (there was no line). The judges were enthused by his profession, but not so much by his dancing.
Chris "Isolock" Dixon, a locker who brought his mentor "Shockalock" with him, combined locking with isolation -- something he said hadn't been done before. Nigel liked Chris' look -- a big top hat and a long-sleeve, black-and-white-striped shirt -- and Mia and Adam saw enough to bring him back for the choreography. He didn't make it through, but was satisfied that he gave his all.
In all, 15 dancers from Day 1 moved on to the next round.
On Day 2, Nigel asked all the contestants to be original, and that wasn't a problem for Jamie Greco, who works for a horror-film company and dressed as a woman for his audition -- complete with a Carmen Miranda-like fruit headdress and a pink tutu. Adam and Mia loved Jamie's eccentricity but it wasn't enough to get him to the next round.
After a short mix of dancers taking spills on stage, an aspiring parkour enthusiast named Wadi put on a display of some flips and popping and locking and breakdancing that impressed Nigel. The judges all enjoyed his skills and brought him back for choreography.
A contemporary dancer named Anthony Burrell was "one of the best dancers" from New York, according to Nigel, and Megan David was equally impressive. They both moved on to Vegas.
Edward Spots, a 20-year-old whose been on the show before, was back for another try and left Nigel in awe. The judges were proud of Edward, whose father had previously been unsupportive of his dancing, and asked him to return for choreography.
Megan Carter, 18, who called herself "obviously thicker than other dancers," said Mia Michaels was an inspiration to her. Mia and Adam were soon crying and Adam said Megan "blew every stereotype so far out of the water." Adam said he couldn't believe what he was watching because he realized he held a stereotype about her. Mia said she was told she couldn't dance because of the shape of her body. Nigel told Megan she'd find it difficult to get dancing jobs, and Mia said she didn't get any dancing jobs (which was why she became a choreographer). They asked her back for choreography.
Megan and Wadi were in the first group in choreography and did not get tickets to Vegas. In the next round was Edward, who moved on. In all, 16 more dancers from the New York audition made it through.
Next stop, Miami: Jason Gilkison and Sonya Tayeh joined Nigel in Miami. Ballroom dancer Michael Petr, who said watching Patrick Swayze in "Dirty Dancing" inspired him to take up ballroom. Nigel and the others enjoyed his precision and energy and said he was fantastic. He went straight through to Vegas.
Tyrell Rolle came from the less glitzy part of Miami -- a rough neighborhood called Liberty City -- took up dancing as a way to get on to a better life. His father, who'd been skeptical of Tyrell's choice of dancing, said he was entirely supportive and became emotional when he talked about how proud he was of his son. Tyrell wowed the judges and his proud father beamed in the back of the theater as his son was handed a ticket to Vegas.
Henry Rivera was falling apart during his interview segment, but he was sure and steady when he hit the stage. Sonya loved it and Nigel called Henry "inspirational." Sonya appreciated that every move Henry made mattered. Host Cat Deeley talked about how the auditions had become a family affair as dancers brought their parents and their children. And 19-year-old Darla Kapylova brought her dad -- to dance a couples contemporary routine that made the judges a bit uncomfortable. Nigel said it was a little odd, and Sonya agreed. All three judges said no.
Ami Aguilar-Riley, a wife and mother brought her 6-year-old son for inspiration and came out to prove herself. Nigel said she had an intensity that draws the audience in. Sonya loved her aggressive style. The judges unanimously agreed to bring her back for choreography.
She came back at the end and earned her ticket to Vegas. Nine other dancers made it through.
On Day 2, Candace Craig, part of a girl singing group, said she was "the sexy one" in her group. Her eye-popping performance heated up the room. Jason thought she didn't need to dance as sexually as she did and wanted to see more of her as a performer. Sonya agreed. She was asked back for the choreography and vowed to wear a sports bra for that routine.
Rose Neptune, who said it was like she was on fire when she hits the dance floor, was extinguished promptly. As Cat put it, "Miami continued to suck," and a montage of poor performances followed. Nigel was getting annoyed with the lack of talent.
Jose Ruiz, a B-boy who said he was inspired by Legacy's appearance on the show last season (but said he could give Legacy a run) wanted to give the show a chance. Nigel liked it and said he was surprised on a couple of occasions during the audition. Sonya thanked him for bringing some energy to the Miami auditions. All three judges agreed to bring him back for choreographer.
Jose and Candace returned for choreography. Candace was disappointed when she wasn't sent on to Vegas, but Jose got a ticket, along with 20 other dancers from the Miami audition.