Although I took a week off from blogging, I did manage to catch the
Vegas Pasadena callbacks of So You Think You Can Dance and I know I’m not alone when I say I was disappointed. I mean…this top 20 isn’t bad by any means, but it isn’t really the group of dancers I’ve been rooting for during the audition process. For the most part, I find myself asking, “Who was that again?” I don’t understand why they paid so much attention to certain dancers – who ended up going home – and barely gave airtime to some of their top choices. The biggest heartbreak, of course, was the elimination of popper Jaja Vankova, who absolutely killed it during every audition round and then was inexplicably sent home. I was devastated. But I guess I cannot dwell forever – hopefully Jaja will come back next year. In the meantime, let’s see who was chosen to compete live this week:
Bridget Whitman, contemporary
Bridget’s a good dancer, but not an amazing dancer. Her dad died. Did you know that? He did. She’ll tell you all about it. About her dad, who died.
Brooklyn Fullmer, ballroom
I didn’t really remember Brooklyn until I looked her up. Brooklyn auditioned with Marcquet (see below) and they were very good, despite her terrible ombre hair and their choice of song (“Blurred Lines”).
Carly Blaney, contemporary
Girl, I have no idea who you are. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen you dance, even.
Casey Askew, contemporary
I have in my notes that I loved Casey’s audition, but I cannot say that I remember it at this moment.
Emilio Dosal, hip-hop
Emilio actually auditioned and made it all the way in season 10, only to be seriously injured before the show began. He had to withdraw from the competition, but apparently they gave him a ticket straight through to callbacks this year. He’s pretty great and one of the few hip hop dancers who made it this season – though I still would’ve preferred Jaja.
Emily James, contemporary
Jacque LeWarne, ballet
Jacque is a ballerina! No, I do not remember her.
Jessica Richens, jazz
Jessica is our sexy jazz girl who I wanted to dislike, but her audition to “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” blew me away. The judges were pretty rough with her during callbacks – they made her dance for her life at one point – but she rightfully made it through. I think she will be a front runner this season.
Jourdan Epstein, ballet
Jourdan is the ballerina that I think we actually got to see. I remember her audition and I know that I was impressed. Also, it’s nice to see such ballet representation this year.
Malene Østergaard, ballroom
Malene auditioned with Armen Way, who didn’t make it through. Malene was much stronger than him, not to mention captivating as hell. She’s the ballroom one to beat this year, mark my words.
Marcquet Hill, ballroom
Marcquet auditioned with Brooklyn (above) and then we never saw him again. The most memorable thing about Marquet is how everyone kept mistaking him for a hip hop dancer. See, because he’s- oh, you get it.
Nick Garcia, ballroom
Nick auditioned with his BFF Rudy (see below) and they are both insanely adorable and insanely talented. The girls are going to sprain themselves, voting for the two of them this year. I actually think Nick is the more talented dancer, but Rudy is more memorable. We shall see.
Ricky Ubeda, contemporary
Ricky is the contestant to beat. He’s ridiculous. I mean, look at this solo. He’s just incredible to watch. Ricky will be top four, or I eat my hat.
Rudy Abreu, contemporary
Ruuuuuudy. Rudy is the most adorbs. He is the bestie of Nick (above) and has his own unique “warrior” style of dance that truly separates him from the crowd. I really enjoy watching him.
Serge Onik, ballroom
Serge made it all the way to the green mile in season 10 before being sent home. This year, he made it through! Serge is pretty awesome to watch, not to mention possible Pasha Kovalev-levels of sexy.
Stanley Glover, contemporary
Stanley has a very sad backstory, which he did not use as a guilt trip every time he messed up *cough* Bridget *cough*. Stanley had a memorable “creature-like” style that helped him stand out in auditions. I look forward to seeing more from him.
Tanisha Belnap, ballroom
Tanisha wore a pink ostrich feather thing on her butt. That’s about 80 percent of what I remember about her.
Teddy Coffey, hip-hop
Teddy, I have no idea who you are, but you look like a serial killer.
Valerie Rockey, tap
Valerie has red tap shoes! That is all I remember.
Zach Everhart, tap
Zach is the tapper I do remember! He actually stood out at callbacks, excelling in several styles. I think Zack could be the dark horse of the competition.
You can check out a preview of the So You Think You Can Dance top 20 here:
Overall, this season of SYTYCD has a very ballroom-heavy slant, which might not be a good thing. Typically, it’s hard for ballroom dancers to break out of their technique-driven ways and really embrace other styles. There’s also a very small number of hip hop dancers, with almost no representation in more distinct styles like popping or animation. Also, did I mention how Jaja Vankova didn’t make it through? Yeah.
You can see the top 20 perform live this week for the first time. Are you excited for the live shows to start? Who are your favorites?