Cue that theme music...

Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It's taped from Vegas!


Welcome to night 1 of Vegas callbacks. We're on our way to the top 20 who will advance to the live shows beginning next week. It'll be 10 boys and 10 girls, and we'll find out the names on Thursday...uhm...I mean tonight.

Sheesh! You'll have to forgive my tenses. I'm writing now, but you're reading now too. Oy!

Just pretend it's Wednesday and let's have a recap!

There are 172 dancers, and they will go through some of the most grueling class and choreography they've ever been exposed to.

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Debbie Allen, Mia Michaels, Lil C, and Adam Shankman are on the panel.

Each dancer gets a solo to begin, to reintroduce themselves to the judges. There is no formal feedback for these solos, but you can tell from the reaction of the judges what they are thinking.

Nigel explains that he doesn't feel that the field is as good as they looked at first auditions, and 45 dancers are dismissed after this solo round.

Now we have a hip hop round, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo. Some dancers who don't do well with hip hop make it through on the strength of their solos. But the key in this competition is versatility and 37 dancers get cut, leaving 97. Dancers are on notice to bring it.

Oh ballroom. We're waltzing with Jean-Marc Genereaux. I always love it when hip hop/poppers/lockers/breakers shine doing ballroom choreography. It shows a dedication to craft. Unfortunately, 16 dancers weren't good enough.

Sonja brings a jazz routine. She had kittens over Natalie during the audition round, and Brandon brought Mary to tears. Sonja uses them as an example for her choreography. But Natalie has a bit of trouble in the performance for the judges, and they send her home. Damn. She was the last cut in 2008. One bad performance. Brandon was devastated and had to dance right after Natalie was cut. Both Lil C and Mia were not impressed and told him so. He makes it through, and Nigel gives him a pep talk about keeping his confidence up.

Another early favorite struggles in the jazz round...Gaby. She brought an incredibly unique and passionate solo during audition round. She gets a chance to dance her solo to stay in the competition. She is a superior emotive dancer. But her trouble appears to be with technical choreography. The judges move her through unanimously on the strength of her solo work, but with a caution to bring up her level during the choreography.

Now it's down to 73 dancers, and they get put into groups to make up a dance to a random piece of music.

A lot of the groups didn't have anyone who understood how to design a dance, and they were really bad. Since the kids are put into their groups, I often wonder whether the judges set some of the dancers up to fail and some to succeed. But when you have a choreographer in the group, such as Ryan, you can get brilliance.

And 68 dancers make it through after group round.

Of course just when you start to feel good about yourself, it's time to take choreography from Emmy winner Mia Michaels. A lot of talented dancers can't get through her pieces. She can also bring out more than a dancer thought he or she had in them. Kaitlin Kinney was one of those who was overwhelmed by Mia's choreography. She got a chance to dance her solo, showing that sublime quality of movement that I enjoyed from her audition. In a split decision, she moves forward to the next round.

Brothers Ryan and Evan...they both make it! Wooooooooooo! I really like these two because they are throw backs to the dancers of the 40's and 50's, but they can also fit in today's styles. They are versatile entertainers.

Mia does bring out the best in the best of the dancers. You know you've been through something when you interpret one of Mia's pieces. Thirteen didn't make it through and only 55 go into the last day.

We're doing Broadway routines by Tyce Diorio, who makes routines for the girls and the boys separately.

The music is America from West Side Story for the girls. All of the girls dance before any cuts are made. Megan Kinney didn't make it through, but sister Kaitlin is in the top 16 girls and will dance a solo to try and make the live show. Gaby was another casualty.

The boys dance to Cool from West Side Story. Philip, Brandon, Evan, Ryan...they all made the final 16 boys and will dance solos to make the live show.

Sorry...that ran a bit long. It's a different show than Dancing with the Stars. DWTS is fun and frivolous. But I get a little more invested in these kids on SYTYCD. And tonight, from 32 we'll get 20.


  1. barb says:

    I love how much you love dancing, Trav!

  1. DrillerAA says:

    This is quite possibly the best reality show on television. The talent is superb across the board, the "jidges" are serious about their work, and the hostess is simply great. I love this show.

  1. Anndi says:

    I love the brothers Kasprzak... just LOVE them!!!!

    It's lovely to see that they still make dancers like that.

  1. sigh
    I'm gonna hafta start watching this.

    you are like a drug dealer ya know.
    feeding my addiction
    all innocent like...

  1. Kanani says:

    I love this show. We've watched several seasons of it, and always find ourselves drawn in. Funny how it's the ones the editors overlook who get in.

  1. Dianne says:

    live from Hollywood yet taped from Vegas ;)
    I guess so that they have time to edit out the drunks lol

    just saying hi

  1. Bond says:

    NAncy and I sat and watched and were amazed at some of the cuts.

    I love that the search is for America's FAVORITE DANCER and not the 'best' dancer...

    The brothers work it out!

  1. Thom says:

    I finally came into this show for the first time last night. By that I finally get the power of it and it's emotion that comes from all these kids. I think it's because it's getting down to the final 20 and that's when, just like with AI I start to enjoy it more. So different than DWTS. I will say, the emotions that come out make me even tear up at times. The brothers are awesome and I really like Kaitlin. I felt so sorry for her sister but what a wealth of support she is for her. DWTS you have the pro's to rely on and's just what they kids can do. One of the best things about last night is you didn't have to suffer with Mary all that much. Mia is one tough cookie. Trav I have to say I'm glad I have stuck with this show. I can say now it will be more of a favorite of mine than DWTS. I"m sure of it. Mahalo. By the way...check my 3WT if you have time today :) Aloha my friend

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Dancing's back and Trav's happy! :)

  1. Jamie says:

    This is one "reality" show I actually have to watch. The talent and training level is so high that it is almost frightening. You do a remarkable job of describing everything.

  1. Travis says:

    Barb: It's fun!

    Drilleraa: Agreed! And I haven't even talked about Cat's LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS.

    Ann: Not only that they make them, but that we get to see them!

    Katherine: HA! You'll enjoy it.

    Kanani: I think there are too many dancers in the top 20 that we haven't seen anything of yet. I have my favorite already, but I'm going to try and keep an open mind.

    Dianne: Well, it's not live until next week...but I see what you mean!

    V: That's right...America's Favorite. We just can't predict what the voters are going to like.

    Thom: I'm glad you're enjoying it. Just wait until next week!

    Akelamalu: YAY!

    Jamie: I love DWTS, but SYTYCD is just a completely different animal for me.