Show of hands: On last night’s So You Think You Can Dance second two-hour audition episode, who cared to see anything more than 30 seconds of Alvin Antoine ”Tony” ”The Tony Style” ”Has Panic Attack After Blandly Bad Audition To Get More TV Time” Riendeau? Or Wislande ”I Wear This Shirt That Cuts Off Before My Bosoms Because Sometimes My Arms Get Cold” Letang? Or Dustin ”A Backstreet Boy Is My Second Cousin And I’m Still Pretending To Think It’s Lame When I’m Actually Still Totally Stoked And Bragging About It When I’m A Very 35 Looking 22” Dorough? Hands? Anyone? No? I thought so.
Okay, now a show of hands: Who wanted to see far more than the 15 second morsels we got of Alex ”Shoulder Pops And Freaky Flexibility” Wong, Henry ”Seen So Briefly That There’s Nothing To Put In Quotations Marks” Rivero, and Megan ”My Sister Auditioned In Another City And Got The Full Audition Segment Treatment Because She Had Hip Reconstruction Surgery And All I Got Was A Lousy 15 Seconds Of Screen-Time Even Though You’d Think The Producers Would Be Desperate To Play Up As Much ‘Will Both Incredibly Talented Sisters Make It To Vegas?!?’ False Drama As Possible ” Kinney? Hands? Everyone? I thought so.
The Miami and Memphis auditions too often sacrificed showcasing good-to-outstanding dancing for the sake of silly-to-stupid segments on boringly bad dancers, mildly diverting montages on bad audition techniques, and guest judge Tyce Diorio’s general bitchery. I had walked into the episode with such high hopes, too, after last week’s mostly-stellar season premiere, which was marred only by Nigel Lythgoe and his fellow producers’ continued icky sniggering around any male dancers who dare to dip into the dreaded pool of feminine movement. Yes, I digress, and I should point out that Nigel has since apologized for those particular remarks on last week’s show, insomuch as they were interpreted as homophobic. And since I’m on the topic, I should also point out that last night’s episode served up a curiously timed segment featuring Travis Prokop, a spirited, 20-year-old dancer with a somewhat feminine manner, who had tale of childhood torment at the hands of those who found his dancing less than macho, and a touchingly supportive high-school-football-coach father. (I’d call shenanigans on the segment’s timing, in fact, if the producers hadn’t clearly been taken with Travis’ story from the start and sent cameras back to capture his New Mexico hometown.)
But that lovely interlude came late in the show during the Memphis auditions. For the Miami half of the needlessly padded two-hour episode, we were treated to far too few standout moments. Yeah, Romula Villverde’s got a jaw (and, er, two other body parts) of steel for flawlessly executing partner Janette Manara’s horizontal kick and flip, and they definitely improved over their split-decision audition last year by both winning immediate trips to Vegas. But to my (admittedly untrained) eye, their quite literally tricked-out salsa steps contained very little actual dancing. The only thing I recall about Paris ”Former Miss Washington” Torres’ audition was her choice of a haunting, broken-down-music-box cover of Britney Spears’ ”Toxic” as her song. Likewise, I was too distracted by Mary Murphy clutching her proverbial pearls (and Nigel’s actual arm) after Geo ”Feathered African Headdress” Smith attacked the judges’ table to remember anything about Smith’s audition other than his feathered African headdress. And Joseph Smith showed off some strong showmanship and decent hip hop moves, sure, but his TV time was most notable for his tenacious determination to get Cat Deeley to help him force ”Sha-wham” and it’s amped up cousin ”Sha-wiz-am!” into the popular lexicon. That said, it was incredibly satisfying when Nigel used Joseph’s catchphrase to shush Tyce ”Thinks He’s Auditioning For The Guys & Dolls Broadway Revival” Diorio’s incessantly self-satisfied trap. (Speaking of Tyce and revivals, has anyone seen Every Little Step, the fabulous doc about the auditions for the revival of A Chorus Line? Tyce is in it, auditioning for the ”I Can Do That” song, and he’s just as obnoxiously full of himself as he was last night. And he gets cut. It’s glorious.)
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