It's not a review...really!

Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Disclaimer: The post you are about to read can in no way be construed as a review.

I know. I know. I KNOW!

Stop laughing.

I said I wasn't doing reviews until Top 20. Well, this isn't a review.'s not!

I said stop laughing!

This is just a collection of thoughts about the Season 5 premier of So You Think You Can Dance.

If you don't stop laughing...don't make me come over there!

So the first hour was auditions from New York. Of course we have Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy returning as judges. Joining them are Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo.

And there were some dancers that really stood out for me.

There was a gal named Tiffany Geigel, born with a severe birth defect that fused her spine and stunted her growth. She danced beautifully. Nigel critiqued her dancing and gave her productive notes to improve. Only after that did he address her handicap, calling her an inspiration. The judges gave her a standing ovation for her effort, before telling her that she wouldn't continue in the competition. And she was ok with it, because she made her point. She dances because she loves it and because it's in her to dance.

There were a couple of ballroom dancers, Nina and Igor, that did a fantastic Cha Cha Cha. She did this incredible spin on the ball of her foot with her free leg barely off the ground. Mary called it a pot stir. Amazing. Igor made it through to Vegas, but not his partner.

There was a hip hop dancer that reminded me a bit of Twitch, last season's runner up. He wasn't as talented as a dancer, but he was a terrific performer and did well enough with choreography to make it to Vegas. His name is Chimezie.

41 dancers made it to Vegas out of New York.

In Denver, Nigel and Mary were joined as judges by Sonja Tayeh.

Right off the bat there is a gal named Kayla who is stunning. Her lines and shapes were amazing. She went straight through to Vegas.

There was a montage of what looked like 6 or 7 excellent lyrical/contemporary dancers. They didn't focus on anyone specific though. Presumably many or all of them made it to Vegas.

Well. Misha and Mitch dance a same sex Samba. One is straight and the other is gay. Technically they were a bit sub-standard. The judges were a bit confused by the routine, mainly because they switching between who did the lead and who did the follow. They went through to the choreography round, but neither made it through to Vegas, and it was about not being good enough dancers individually.

A couple of brothers caught my eye. One is only 16, so he's too young to try out. Look for him in a year of two. They are pop-lockers and very good. The older one's name is Elias. But like most pop-lockers, he didn't do well with choreography. He didn't make it to Vegas, but the judges told him to try again.

Last season, Brandon and Natalie were in the heart breaking #11 spot in a competition that takes the top 10 boys and top 10 girls to the live show. Katee made it through to the top 20 instead of Natalie, and Gev made it instead of Brandon. Natalie's audition was beautiful and she made Sonja very nearly speechless. Brandon was...I can't even describe it. He gave me chills. It was dramatic and he made everything look effortless. He brought Mary to tears. Brilliant. Both of them easily moved through to Vegas.

So 19 made it through to Vegas from Denver.

Next week, we get auditions from Miami and Memphis.

See? I told you it wasn't a review. I didn't even cue the theme music. HA!

But wait! Can I get a woooooooooooooooo for a fall season?????? Are you kidding me? We get Dancing with the Stars AND So You Think You Can Dance at the same time???

Hokey smokes Bulwinkle!


  1. I am sooo ready for this show. I thought Brandon made it look effortless. He was incredible, and I will be surprised if he and Natalie don't make the top 10.
    Have a wonderful week-end.

  1. Everyone is talking about this show!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay Trav, I took the bait and watched this show. I even had to record it on my DVR. It's an odd show if you ask me. Now like American Idol, I don't get into the show very much until they get rid of all the auditions and are in Hollywood and on this show I take it Vegas. So I'll pay more attention to it then. That's just the way I am. A few things I noticed. The judges are the meanest judges I've ever seen in my life. And that chick Mary is the loudest person I have ever heard. And that includes me. She's annoying and I'm going to have to buck up so I don't reach through the TV and bitch slap her. I take it the third judge is always different every year. That Mary and Nigel are the regulars? Another thing I don't get, is the guy at the end, was on the show last year or auditioned for it and didn't make it? And this year all of a sudden it moves Mary to tears and he moves on to Vegas? I don't get it. But this is my first time ever watching it. Those dancers sure do odd things. I'm not very use to what they do, because I"m so use to DWTS. I'm going to give this a whirl. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend :)

  1. Anndi says:

    I can't even tell you how that show brightened up my week.

  1. Travis says:

    Drilleraa: I think the only way they don't make it through is to screw up or have a bunch of people dance better. I don't see that happening.

    NNG: That's cause we likes it!

    Ann: I'm glad to hear that.

  1. Travis says:

    Thom: The regular judges are Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe. The various choreographers for the show rotate through as guest judges each week. And there are also some celebrity guest judges, all of whom work in the business and give excellent notes to the dancers for improvement. And they pay attention to what they see on stage. Their insights also provide instruction to the viewer regarding different dance styles.

    Mary Murphy is an acquired taste...she is loud when she likes something. But underneath all that noise is a talented choreographer and a world class former ballroom dancer. She knows her stuff.

    Nigel Lythgoe is the creator of the show, as well as a producer of American Idol. He doesn't pull any punches with his criticism of dancers who waste time. My only problem is that they show those auditions, which encourages people to try. Fortunately they don't show a lot of those and focus more on the people with real talent.

    Dancing is a rough business. Most choreographers casting for dancers are dismissive if you don't measure up. These kids develop thick skins.

    The two who were on last season, Brandon and Natalie, missed Top 20. They were the last 2 cut before the live show began, so they are not disqualified from trying again. They are both outstanding dancers and just missed out last season, so they've come back to try again. Mary had a similar reaction to Brandon last year. His trouble was a shy personality and they thought he wouldn't connect with audiences. Rather than have such a brilliant technical dancer go out too early, they cut him and gave him notes for things to work on. Now he is back and we'll see what happens.

    I hope you do give it a chance. You'll see all different dance styles during the show, from classic ballroom to Latin, from hip hop to jazz, from lyrical contempary to ballet, with broadway styles thrown in for good measure. But what you'll always see is amazing talent on stage every week.

  1. Julie says:

    If it looks like a review, smells like a review and tastes like a review....I think it's a REVIEW!

    **runs away quickly**

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info. I do appreciate it and it makes more sense to me now. Mary is definitely an acquired taste. Will look forward to next week

  1. The girl with the handicap was very inspirational and her hair was beautiful! The girl with the "pot stir" twirl was phenomenal. We thought she didn't have any legs when they were showing her on the preview! *LOL*

    I LOVE this show. I can't wait for more.

    Thanks for not reviewing it. heh heh heh

  1. Jeni says:

    I have to confess here that normally, I don't watch any of the programs like this -the American Idol, America's Got Talent, DWTS -all, as a general rule, don't really interest me. However, the other day, I did come across this program -the auditions from Denver -and I watched a portion of it. My problem I suppose here is I can't dance, don't have a clue what moves constitute good dancing, etc. However, I did see the young brothers and I did like them, their dancing as well as their overall exuberance too.