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So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 – Auditions: Salt Lake City Podcast

June 22, 2012 Leave a comment


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Episode 47 direct download

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
1:04 – “No” to Vegas (non-ballroom): Lynn Gravatt, Leroy Martinez, Murphy Yang
5:04 – Burlesque and Krump: Rachel Applehans, Mariah Spears
8:55 – Contemporary/Jazz: Deanna “Dee” Tomasetta, Gene Lonardo, Dareian Kujawa, Adrian Lee
15:44 – Ballroom: Whitney Hallam & Johnny Anh, Lindsay Arnold, Witney Carson
20:41 – Who we’re excited to see in Vegas
26:23 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 28:20

It’s the last stop of the season 9 audition tour and while we were largely underwhelmed by the turnout in Atlanta, Salt Lake City more than made-up for it, providing us with many solid, diverse performers and a whole host of ballroom at last! Of the non-ballroom performers, Mariah Spears, Deanna Tomasetta, Gene Lonardo and Dareian Kujawa all impressed us with their stand-out solos, from Mariah’s surprising and convincing krump routine to Gene’s clever choreography about the life cycle of the male praying mantis. The moving story of Leroy Martinez and his work with disadvantaged youth was an uplifting segment and a fitting way, we think, to close out the first part of the audition process. And of course, we finally had some proper ballroom! In particular, we found Witney Carson’s ability to transform herself the second her routine began to be particularly impressive, and she has great skill to boot!

Obviously, since we’re posting this after the airing of the Vegas week episode, a lot of the people we were excited to see in Vegas wound up cut. We’ll dig into the particulars when we get the podcast for Vegas together, but we are getting frustrated. After two seasons of rosters that were stuffed with contemporary/jazz dancers, we were hoping they would expand beyond that model this season. Although it has some inaccuracies, the Vegas spoilers list (which doesn’t list a Top 20, and is no longer really a spoiler after this past episode) shows that the majority of people that made it through the week are contemporary/jazz. I think what bothers us most about that is if the Top 20 contestants from the first 4 or so seasons were to try out now, it’s doubtful that some of them would even make it to the end of the week (like Ivan, for example).

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! We’ve partnered with Pure So You Think You Can Dance to deliver this series of podcasts, so check them out and interact with fellow SYTYCD fans! You can leave us a comment on Pure SYTYCD, on this blog, or tweet us. You can also visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 – Auditions: Atlanta Podcast


Listen to the podcast

Episode 46 direct download

Subscribe to podcast on iTunes


Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
2:51 – Dragonhouse Crew: Boris Penton, Andre Rucker, and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
9:02 – Other Hip-hop/Street Dancers: Tim Conkel, Jackson Alvarez, Asher Walker, and Damon & Deon
16:28 – Bellydancing: Janelle Issis
17:53 – Contemporary Guys: Joshua Alexander and George Lawrence II
21:31 – Contemporary/Jazz Girls: Audrey Case, Danielle Dominguez, Courtney Kirby, and Brittney Ortner
29:46 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 32:18

After an exciting set of auditions in Los Angeles, we found ourselves disappointed with the turnout in Atlanta this year. That’s not to say there weren’t some standouts, and those standouts were pretty amazing. We were treated to some absolutely amazing hip hop from the members of the Dragonhouse Crew, with Boris Penton, Andre Rucker and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer each offering us unique and draw-dropping takes on their “robotic” style of dance. It’s breathtaking what is possible with this style, whether it’s a fresh take on a character-based performance or melding two unrelated elements together, such as Boris’ movement atop a beautiful piano piece. Beyond the Dragonhouse Crew, Asher Walker surprised us with his self-taught brand of hip-hop dancing. While his dance vocabulary is limited, he overcame this with a great personality and sense of musicality, gliding to and fro across the stage without effort. George Lawrence II put forth a strong contemporary performance, putting every inch of his body into his extensions and balancing this with a tasteful routine full of contrasts in speed and quality of movement. Rounding out the dancers that impressed us was Danielle Dominguez, who’s Sonya-inspired style stood out and displayed a sense of power while maintaining a quirky character.

We wish we could say that we liked everyone from Atlanta, but many of the other contestants left us with mixed feelings. We felt lukewarm towards Tim Conkel, Jackson Alvarez, and Joshua Alexander, and we didn’t know what to make of Courtney Kirby. In addition, during her segment we wondered if having family members sit up at the panel is actually a good idea or if it carries a risk of biasing the judging panel. We discuss these things and more in the Atlanta audition episode of our podcast!

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! We’ve partnered with Pure So You Think You Can Dance to deliver this series of podcasts, so check them out and interact with fellow SYTYCD fans! You can leave us a comment on Pure SYTYCD, on this blog, or tweet us. You can also visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 – Auditions: Los Angeles Podcast


Listen to the podcast

Episode 45 direct download

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
1:05 – Contemporary girls: Alexa Anderson, Eliana Girard and Sam Lenarz
7:26 – Jazz girls: Megan Branch, Jasmine Mason
11:18 – Choreography round guys: Jontel “Johnny Waacks” Gibson, Caley Carr, David Matz and Jonathan Anzalone
16:21 – Vegas-bound guys: Cole Horibe, Stephen Jacobsen and Marshea Kidd
22:30 – James & Nick Aragon, the “Ninja Twins”
24:34 – Wrap-up: Variety in the Top 20

Episode Length: 27:34

We’re still working to get caught up with our podcasts so that we’re releasing our thoughts close to the airing of the most recent episode. We apologize for the delay and we hope that after this one we’ll start releasing our podcasts on a more reasonable schedule.

If there’s one thing we love about this show, it’s that the audition episodes consistently bring out new and exciting dancers for us to enjoy. The Los Angeles auditions proved to be quite fruitful, with the contemporary girls Alexa Anderson and Eliana Girard impressing us with their skill sets and the character of their dances. We’ve been saying it for a while now, but we love it when contemporary dancers add some aggression into their style. There was also the sheer beauty of David Matz’s metal ring performance, which embodies everything we love about the quality of this show’s audition episodes. Cole Horibe’s audition was a welcome surprise, displaying a mix of martial arts ferocity with fluid, elegant movement that left us excited and wanting more. We also had the feel-good story of Marshea Kidd surviving a terrible car accident which nearly ended his life. That he could walk after what happened, let alone dance in the way he showed us, was a small miracle.

There was more to the episode of course, including the ridiculous first routine by Stephen Jacobsen that led many to speculate that the producers staged this for “controversy.” And who can forget the hilarious variety show that was the “Ninja Twins”! You can hear our thoughts about these and more in this week’s episode of our podcast!

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! We’ve partnered with Pure So You Think You Can Dance to deliver this series of podcasts, so check them out and interact with fellow SYTYCD fans! You can leave us a comment on Pure SYTYCD, on this blog, or tweet us. You can also visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 – Auditions: Brooklyn + Dallas Podcast


Listen to the podcast

Episode 43 direct download

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: Welcome new listeners and upcoming schedule
3:50 – Ballet auditions: Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Daniel Baker
7:16 – Male contemporary auditions: Leo Reyes and Jarell Rochelle
10:15 – Female contemporary auditions: Amelia Lowe and Bree Hafen
13:51 – B-boy/Street auditions: Toshihiko Nakazawa, Shafeek Westbrook and Stepheon Stewart
18:15 – “Other” auditions: Austin “Mr. Wiggles” Freeman, Sam Sheffler, Von Kipper
22:00 – The “Exorcist style” of Hampton Williams
25:16 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 27:54

It’s the summer and you know what that means, it’s time for another amazing season of So You Think You Can Dance! We’re very excited to podcast along to the new season (long-time listeners will recall we podcasted from Vegas week onward during season 8) and watch the new crop of dancers featured for us to enjoy. If you’re a new listener, welcome! As an introduction to us and what we’re doing, feel free to check out this short post that we wrote up last year shortly after we began podcasting.

This initial podcast is a week late due to our schedules preventing us from being able to record until now. Since the second audition episode has already aired, we’re planning to record and post our thoughts on that very soon, hopefully no later than the end of the upcoming weekend. After that we’ll be all caught up and will be able to release podcasts within a day or so of the Wednesday airing.

If the first audition episode is anything to go on, this season is already shaping up to be an excellent one! In the span of just two hours there were several standout dancers featured on the program, including the new wave of male ballet dancers Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Daniel Baker, the emotionally mature solo from Bree Hafen (not to mention her kids are adorable!), the sophisticated and musical b-boying of Shafeek Westbrook, and the show-stopping beauty that was the “Exorcist style” of Hampton Williams. Those are the dancers that intrigued us in this episode and we definitely think they will be the ones to watch during Vegas week. Of course, there were a small collection of poor auditions as well, for it wouldn’t be a reality show competition without them. But, unlike American Idol, we appreciate the positive attitude the SYTYCD judges generally take towards these individuals (for example, see the upbeat feedback they gave to Sam Sheffler).

So far so good with the auditions. Keep checking back over the next couple of days for another podcast which will cover the second audition episode.

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! We’ve partnered with Pure So You Think You Can Dance to deliver this series of podcasts, so check them out and interact with fellow SYTYCD fans! You can leave us a comment on Pure SYTYCD, on this blog, or tweet us. You can also visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

The X-Factor: Auditions Week 2 Podcast


Listen to the podcast

Episode 19 direct download

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Summary
This week continued and completed the audition portion of the show. We’re happy that The X-Factor went the So You Think You Can Dance route and kept this portion of the competition short, unlike American Idol which drags the process out for several weeks. We were introduced to some amazing singers such as Josh Krajcik and Jazzlyn Little, as well as interesting talent including Tora Woloshin, Brian Bradley and the performance piece that was J Mark Inman’s audition. The show wouldn’t be complete without the requisite bad auditions, of which Devon Talley’s ceremonial murder of RENT‘s “Seasons of Love” took top prize. We now know how to measure a year.

Going into the boot camp episodes, we’re worried about the groups. We haven’t seen anyone impressive and even the judge favorites, such as 4Shore, presented weaknesses that will become more apparent as weeks go on. The judges appear to be reaching for acts to fill the group slots as the decision to put through The Stereo Hogzz illustrates.

We’re looking forward to the boot-camp episodes and the developments sure to happen in them. We saw some footage of the contestants learning choreography (assisted by Mark Kanemura from So You Think You Can Dance!), an unexpected development that could change the contestant landscape. There was also footage of several favorites breaking down, although we can never be sure if this is a red herring or foreshadowing by the show’s editors.

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! Leave us a comment here, on Pure X-Factor or tweet us. We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

Episode Length: 38:24

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: We enjoyed auditions lasting two weeks, O Fortuna! and thoughts on the host Steve Jones
2:42 – What’s up with the eccentric mother/daughter pairs in every city?
3:35 – Auditions that left an impression: Kim Terek, Skyelor Anderson, J Mark Inman, Josh Krajcik, 4Shore, Tia Tolliver, Brian Bradley, Ausem, Tora Woloshin, Brennin Hunt, Devon Talley, Jazzlyn Little
26:46 – Other auditions: Brock and Makenna, Drew Ryniewicz, Phillip Lomax, Cari Fletcher, The Stereo Hogzz, Paige Elizabeth, Leroy Bell
32:49 – The people to watch going into boot-camp
36:07 – How will the judges be assigned to groups?
37:29 – Wrap-up

The X-Factor: Auditions Week 1 Podcast


Listen to the podcast

Episode 17 direct download

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Summary

We enjoyed the premiere of The X-Factor, contrary to what we expected when we first sat down to watch the show. We were expecting the auditions to be like on American Idol, but instead the feel of the episodes was closer to what So You Think You Can Dance does. The first episode in particular focused on the good contestants and relegated the majority of the poor auditions to a montage. The moderate pacing and extended length for the songs gave the show an organic flow in contrast to most reality shows which make use of quick cuts and short sequences.

The structure of the show is interesting, from the audience appearing to influence the choice of who gets through and who doesn’t to allowing people too old or young for American Idol to shine. We’re not convinced really old people will do well in this show since the need for energy and a strong vocal performance will be necessary in the long run. We also didn’t see much strength from the group auditions so far. We’re hoping the next round of auditions will reveal a compelling group act for us to enjoy.

Of course, no reality audition process would be complete without the bad auditions, of which we had several from Geo Goddley dancing around in a leopard print thong (no, he wasn’t naked although the censoring X made it appear that way) to Dylan Lawson’s freakout (we still have no idea what he was doing or what song that was supposed to be). Xander Alexander was an interesting case as his vocal ability wasn’t bad, but his attitude turned the audience against him. We’re convinced that if he auditioned for American Idol, he would have gone through and then would have had an intense backlash.

Siameze Floyd, Marcus Canty and Nick Voss intrigued us. We’re not yet convinced by them as their vocal abilities aren’t stellar, but they made up for it with good performances so we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt and want to see more. Caitlin Koch we don’t get at the moment. Her voice is good, but we didn’t find it as appealing as the judges did. Because a lot of people online and the judges liked her, we’re waiting to see another performance from her before we pass judgment.

We were blown away by Chris Rene, Stacy Francis and Melanie Amaro. Chris Rene pulled out a performance and sense of musicianship that we didn’t expect and Stacy and Melanie provided stellar vocal work and personality. Stacy’s soulful cover of Aretha Franklin moved us and made us happy to see her finally get her break. Melanie floored the room with their amazing control, strong range and sense of dynamics during her performance. She commanded the room without even having to move around.

We’re looking forward to the next round of auditions!

Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment here after listening either here or at Pure X-Factor! We love to hear feedback and what you thought of the show. We also encourage you to check out our twitter feed to keep up to date with us!

Episode Length: 40:39

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: We enjoyed the first two episodes and compare it with American Idol.
4:21 – About the production: General feel, how it’s different from American Idol, how the audience affects the process.
8:20 – Discussion about the judges
12:43 – The lower age limit: Rachel Crow and Ellona Santiago
16:47 – Can really old people do well in this? Dan and Venita.
18:48 – Benefits middle-aged people the most: Stacy Francis and Dexter Haygood
22:19 – Bad auditions: Geo Goddley, Dylan Lawson, Xander Alexander
27:50 – Interesting auditions: Siameze Floyd, Marcus Canty, Nick Voss and Caitlin Koch
33:13 – Amazing auditions: Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro
38:54 – Wrap-up: What do you think?