Thursday, May 31, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9: LA Auditions


Just when you thought the zombies, exorcists and ballerina babies from last week's premiere had made So You Think You Can just about as weird as it could be, Nigel and company wheeled out all the freaks and maniacs the West Coast had to offer during last night's Los Angeles auditions. Waackers, circus performers, pole dancers, tapping surfers and, of course, Ninja Twins graced the stage in hopes of getting a ticket to Vegas from Nigel, Mary and guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Naturally, most of the bizarre acts didn't produce awe-inspiring auditions, but there was still a fairly good showing out in Hollywood. I'm still disappointed in the lack of ballroom dancers—we got one 15-second clip last night out of a 2-hour show—but hopefully the coming weeks of auditions will cure that. Right now we've been looking at a whole lot of female contemporary dancers, and that is just not going to cut it once we hit the Top 20. And, yes, I realize that ballroom dancers have been mistreated on the show as of late with contemporary girls taking the charge, but c'mon! I wanna see some rhumba hips on my screen!

Narrowing down my favorite auditions of the night was an interesting balance between actual talent and pure entertainment. Stephen Jacobsen turned out to be a phenomenal ballet dancer, but his half-assed and pompous audition left me with a sour taste in my mouth and him off the list. The opposite was true for the fabulous Ninja Twins: they made me cackle on the couch, but the end result audition wasn't exactly noteworthy enough to land them here. I'm not necessarily talking about the best dancers here, just my favorite auditions.

Want to see who made the cut? Keep on reading after the jump...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Trailer Tuesdays: Snow White and the Huntsman


Fairytale adaptations are no stranger to the pop culture landscape, but it does seem like they have been particularly rampant recently. ABC's Once Upon a Time just concluded its first season, the CW announced a new series Beauty and the Beast at this spring's Upfronts, and Julia Roberts brought her signature cackle to the... uh... politely-received Mirror Mirror back in March.

This Friday, another Snow White adaptation hits theaters, and this one may just turn out to be the fairest in the land. Starring the ever-fabulous Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen, Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Chris Hemsworth as the titular Hunstman, check out the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman...

Friday, May 25, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9: NYC and Dallas Auditions


With the onslaught of singing competition shows over the past year—American Idol, The X Factor, The Voice, The Sing Off and now Duets—the opening montage for last night's premiere of So You Think You Can Dance's ninth season could not have been more clear: shut up and dance! It felt so good having the show back on the air; it's felt like eons since Melanie and Sasha duked it out in the Season 8 finale last August.

This season is going to be a bit different than its predecessors. With the elimination of the results episode, the format of the show is going to be a lot brisker than before. Routines, solos, group numbers, guest performances, judges critiques and an elimination will all be packed into a weekly two-hour episode, with the votes from the previous week determining those in danger the next. It was also recently announced that two winners—one male, one female—will be crowned by summer's end. That's a change I could've done without, especially considering the show has an even split of male and female champions over the course of its eight seasons, but ultimately I am just elated to have Cat, Nigel, Mary and the rest of the SYTYCD gang back in my living room every week.

Normally I don't get into weekly recaps until we reach the Top 20, but this year I'm going to feature some of the best auditions from week to week leading up to the showdown in Las Vegas next month. Part of the joy of this show is seeing how much a dancer can grow throughout the course of a season, so what better way to highlight that journey than showing where these talented dancers all started?

The season's first auditions rounds took place in New York City and Dallas, with a serious lack of any ballroom entries and, thankfully, only a spattering of truly terrible displays of "dance." Amongst all of the dancers we saw last night, six grabbed my attention and will not soon be forgotten. Not all of them necessarily have bright futures within the context of the show, but are certainly worth mentioning.

So without further ado, here are my favorite auditions from last night's premiere...

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