'So You Think You Can Dance': West Coast and Third Coast auditions
Auditions resumed in L.A. Wednesday night, starting off with Lauren Froderman, who for some reason reminded me of Mollee Gray from last season (I have to admit I didn't love Mollee), but she was unique with her playful dance to "Let's Get It On."
There were definitely some unique girls auditioning in L.A.: In addition to Lauren, I was amazed by former gymnast Rachel Girma's power and flexibility, as well as intrigued by Melinda Sullivan, the tap-dancer who made the unique, somewhat controversial choice to tap-dance to a Stevie Wonder ballad.
I also remember Latin dancer Christina Santana from last season, and I was glad to see her come back through to Vegas; she seems so cool and happy and strong when she dances.
The one dark spot of the trip through L.A. was a dancer who went by "Hella Hung," a joke auditioner. Most of the time that is annoying in and of itself, but I thought there was something gross about how he and the show did this whole kung-fu gag (he's Asian) and basically got kind of disgusting with Cat Deeley. I was turned off by him (and the show's editing) before he even danced, which wasn't good anyway, but at least he had an obnoxious amount of confidence.
I was excited to see my hometown, home to a certain team playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, also represented in auditions. Please know that nobody refers to Chicago as "The City of Wind," but never mind. While L.A. had the impressive girls, the strong (young) guys came out of the City of Big Shoulders (that one's real). They included innocent-looking but athletic leaper Kent Boyd from Wapakoneta, Ohio, and Andrew Philips, who impressed the judges despite them thinking he wasn't quite ready for choreography. It was interesting -- I thought that when he stood and spoke, he did look like a guy who is still growing, as Adam Shankman noted, but he looked a lot more mature and manlier when he danced. I'm almost forgetting Adrian Lee, too, whose neck is as long as my thigh, and Jarrod Mayo, who also has a mild, sweet personality that contrasts with a strong style.
I really liked Christopher Gilbert, the "dancing Urkel" who performed with a cane in geek-chic character. Something about him reminded me of Twitch Boss (one of this season's All-Stars), but sadly he didn't make the cut. It's not too often I think about a dancer, "I really want to see him back next season," but that's definitely the case with him.
-- Claire Zulkey (follow me on Twitter @Zulkey)
CR: Michael Williams/FOX