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So You Think You Can Dance Review: Los Angeles Brings the Heat

I spent hours catching up on the past couple of weeks of So You Think You Can Dance this past week, and nothing makes me happier. Something about this show, the passion that seeps from the pores of these kids, their visible love for creative expression, brings me to tears at least once a week and leaves me with a strange sensation almost like hope.

Not bad for reality television, huh?

This week the audition tour stops in Salt Lake City, New York City, and Los Angeles and let me tell you, they saved the best for last.

First up, Salt Lake City.

The night began with a couple of steppers, which I can’t recall seeing on the show before. They were great, and one of them ended up making it through to Vegas. We went through a SYTYCD super fan (who looks sort of like last season’s Molly), a borderline insane redhead who looks like she’s kicking someone’s rear while she dances, and a lot of talk about the Pussycat Dolls. And those were the ones who made it through. After all, what would a reality audition episode be without the strange ones. In this case, a guy who insisted on talking about his bruised balls – on his feet, of course – a girl suffering from amnesia, and a girl who believes her father is the “real” Ringo Star.

Yes, really.

And we’re off to New York City, which shouldn’t have any trouble drumming up dancing talent, given that it’s pretty much the dance mecca of the universe.

I have no idea what wacking is, or even if I’m spelling it right, but the girl who brought it to the show pretty much blew my mind, and the judges too. NYC also gave us an awesome krumper, a hip-hop dancer with personality to spare (who totally won the judges heart), finally a Latin dancer worth talking about, and of course, a Broadway dancer. NYC also offered my favorite contestant of the night, an absolutely breathtaking Irish dance performance. This girl is amazing and I hope she continues to prove herself in Vegas.

Last but certainly not least, not this week, is Los Angeles.

It kind of seems like every person who auditioned in LA ended up going straight through to Vegas. Each contestant pushed the envelope, wowing the judges with something new and exciting they’d never seen before. The girl who started the night claimed to be innocent, but when she stepped onstage she looked anything but, getting both Nigel and Tyce pretty worked up, and not necessarily about her dancing. We had a teen dad, a girl named Ariel who has auditioned for the show three times before, and a Japanese girl named Hero who is pretty much one of the best people I’ve ever watched talk/dance/exist. We interrupted the flow of winners briefly for some strange man dressed like Santa Claus, but even he wasn’t that weird. It’s like LA ran out of weirdos and that’s the best they could do.

The night ended with Jeanine Mason‘s (Season 5 winner) younger sister Alexis’ audition, which was lovely and sent her through to Vegas, and a sister act that I expected to be awful but ended up really touching me instead. Both girls went through to Vegas and I expect to see some drama involving them in the weeks to come.

Next week we’ll all head to Vegas for the remainder of the grueling auditions, where there’s sure to be tears, drama, pain, injuries, passion, and triumph. All the ingredients for a good show, yes, but also for good life, good humans, and good spirits.

See you there.

For more on these episodes, check out How Could I Dance With Another? by Inisia Lewis.

Season 8, Episodes 2 and 3 (original air date June 1 and 2, 2011)

So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesday and Thursday night at 8/7c on Fox.

Photos Courtesy of Jeff Neira and FOX

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