I was very pleased to hear during last night's episode of So You Think You Can Dance that auditions are already being held for season 6, even though season 5 just premiered last week. See, I never, EVER want this show to get cancelled. I love SYTYCD even more than I love American Idol--yeah, you read that correctly, that was not a typo--and last night's second episode of the current fifth season, which featured auditions from Miami and Memphis, did not disappoint.
There was a whole lot of brotherly and sisterly love going on last night, with three of the highlight auditions coming from sibling acts. This sort of keep-it-in-the-family vibe is nothing new on SYTYCD--adopted brothers Travis Wall and Danny Tidwell and boy/girl siblings Benji and Lacey Schwimmer have both competed on the show (albeit on separate seasons), while Benji went toe-to-toe with his dancing cousin Heidi Groskreutz on season 2. As for this season so far, three family duos made it through to the Vegas rounds last night, although it remains to be seen if any of them will get as far as the aforementioned contestants, or if there will be juicy TV drama ahead when they are forced to compete against each other and/or are inevitably split up.
First, there were button-cute identical twins Lauren and Lydia Guerra--who, despite their obvious genetic resemblance, danced very differently. I was a little partial to Lauren (the less physically powerful but more emotionally expressive dancer), but both definitely deserved to advance in the competition:
Another notable pair were the wacky Kasprzak brothers, Evan and Ryan. Evan actually auditioned last year and made it all the way to the top 40, but was cut in Vegas. Last night he executed a fabulously Fred Astaire-esque routine (choreographed by elder brother Ryan) that unsurprisingly earned him another ticket to Vegas, and if he shows as much finesse in other genres of dance, I suspect he'll make it to the final 20 this year. Ryan, on the other hand, did a routine that I assumed would be far less debonair--an "a capella tap with whoopee cushion accompaniment"--but he used the squeaky prop masterfully and very originally, and the gimmick worked. The sense of humor he brought to his dancing actually reminded me a bit of funnyman Benji Schwimmer. I look forward to seeing more from both Kasprzaks in Vegas:
And finally, there were golden-girl sisters Caitlin and Megan Kinney, who've been estranged for years (at least in terms of dancing together). But after successfully auditioning in separate cities, they will soon be reunited by SYTYCD in Vegas:
Of course, no audition episode of SYTYCD would be complete without some two-left-footed contestants, and in the case of one other sister act, there were FOUR left feet. Jessica and Jennifer Guadix, who said they "learned ballet from reading books" (and it showed), proved that sometimes talent doesn't run in the family, with a bad-stripper routine that guest judge Tice DiOrio declared "fun but tragic!"
Miami, the Guadix sisters' audition city, always seems to be teeming with dancers who would more be more suitable competing on a show called So You Think You Can Poledance--remember last season's salsa hoochie Susie Garcia? But to be fair, Susie probably honed her skills by actually dancing, not reading...which explains why she made it to the top 20 last year, while the Guadix sisters got cut last night:
Other lowlights--or I should say highlights, since I enjoy watching bad dancing almost as much I as enjoy watching great dancing--were Dustin Dorough (the jazz-handing, seemingly disowned second cousin of Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough); Chris Carrozza (the redheaded dreadhead whose self-invented "electric" style of dance seemed better suited for drum circles than legit talent shows); and another airport-stripper type, the inappropriately spread-eagled Wislande Letang (whose routine featured lots of splits, but whose elimination was hardly a split decision among the judges):
As for the standout non-sibling dancers, my three favorites were goofball breakdancer Joseph "Schwamm!" Smith, whom I suspect could be this season's Twitch; Eric "Silky" Moore, the hip-hop tap-dancer who got into tapping to "get girls" (who knew that'd work?) but may soon attract even more laydeez once he makes the SYTYCD top 20; and season 5 sob story Anna Dunn, who will surely receive sympathy votes because of her father's recent suicide (especially from guest judge Lil' C, who once experienced a similar ordeal), but luckily has the talent to rightfully earn a spot on the show under any circumstances:
My, so much astounding--and sometimes confounding--dancing, and it's only the second episode of the season! And there's another installment tonight that, according to Fox previews, will feature a return from the regular reject who goes by the marquee-worthy name of "Sex"! So come back later to see if So You Think You Can Dance brought Sex(y) back, along with other highlights.
And bring on season 6!