SYTYCD Recap: SYTYCD Returns with Hot Tamales and Lap Dances and Bieber, Oh My!

SYTYCD Recap: SYTYCD Returns with Hot Tamales and Lap Dances and Bieber, Oh My!

SYTYCD Recap: SYTYCD Returns with Hot Tamales and Lap Dances and Bieber, Oh My!

No one denies that shows like THE VOICE, THE AMAZING RACE, and American Idol have a larger cultural cache, but for fans who enjoy honest, artistic creativity, there is nothing on television like SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Each year, SYTYCD routinely turns out some of the most impressive and moving performances you will see anywhere. With changes to the format this year, including returning to a single winner, the introduction of dance crews, and a young up-start named Justin Bieber, Season 11 could just be the most exciting yet.

When I spoke to Executive Producer and judge, Nigel Lythgoe, last week, he spoke about how important this season's ratings will be to the show's future, so if you love the fact that quality dance, theatre, and art has a home on network television, watch the show, and tell all of your friends to watch as well. Oh, and tell them to read my recaps after every episode too!

The show opens with a nice package previewing the new season to come. The craziest part of the open was when host Cat Deeley reminded us that the show has been on the air for a decade; as if I needed another reason to feel old.

The first section of auditions came from New Orleans and featured special guest judge Wayne Brady, and the second stop saw Jenna Elfman judge from Chicago. Since we see so little from each performer, I am simply going to give a Three-Word Review for the contestants that we see a full solo from.

The only disappointing thing about the first week was that they apparently moved the callback round from Las Vegas to LA. Every show does their next round in Hollywood; I liked that SYTYCD had a little niche with Vegas. Oh well, if this budget cut means they have a better shot at Season 12, I can deal.

Now onto the performances:


Shelby RaseSYTYCD Recap: SYTYCD Returns with Hot Tamales and Lap Dances and Bieber, Oh My!
Covington, LA
Style:
Contemporary
Three-Word Review: Powerful, captivating, intense
Result: Ticket to Callback

Unnecessary Parental Dancing Alert: Shelby's dad did his "patented bottle dance", sans the six-pack that normally precedes it. Fortunately, Shelby did not inherit her father's skills. Why does SYTYCD think awkward parental dancing is good television? Please make it stop, Nigel.

Tanisha Belnap
Payson, UT
Style:
Ballroom
Three-Word Review: Sexy, Nigel blushed
Result: Ticket to Callback

Shelby (Skip) and Shane Skipper
New Orleans, LA
Style:
Wallace Bounce
Three-Word Review: Fun, not incredible
Result: Skip to Choreography (He dropped out mid-choreography round), "No" to Shane

Megan Marcano
Houston, TX
Style:
Contemporary
Three-Word Review: Elegant, Quirky Fun
Result: Ticket to Callback

Unnecessary Parental Dancing Alert: After a second dad came up on stage to dance, Mike Rase decided to issue a challenge, and we were subjected to watching the battle on the nation's premiere dance competition. I guess nothing on FOX could be completely pure and idiocy-free. This is the network that is currently airing I WANT TO MARRY, HARRY after all.

Trevor Bryce
Orlando, FL
Style:
Contempo-Hop?? (I just made that up)
Three-Word Review: One-ofa-Kind
Result: Ticket to Callback

Courtney BarnesSYTYCD Recap: SYTYCD Returns with Hot Tamales and Lap Dances and Bieber, Oh My!
Jackson, MS
Style:
I have absolutely no idea what that was
Three-Word Review: Double Jointed Weirdness
Result: Choreography (Eventual "No")

Novien Yarger
Huntsville, AL
Style:
Contemporary
Three-Word Review: Dude's got skills
Result: Ticket to Callback

In a montage, a former boxer, a Beyonce back-up dancer, and a popper all got tickets to the callbacks.

Caleb Brauner
Blue Springs, MO
Style:
Contemporary
Three-Word Review: Touching Dance Memorial
Result: Choreography (Eventual "No")

Acceptable Parental Dancing Alert: After a flashback to one of last season's memorable Parental Dancing moments, we learned that Caleb's dad, who did the worm on stage, passed away in December. It was really moving to see Caleb thank the judges for giving him that memory of the person that supported his dancing more than anyone else.

Jacoby Jimmerson
Mount Pleasant, TX
Style:
Jazzercise
Three-Word Review: "Big Black Swan" (credit Wayne Brady)
Result: "No"

Marcquet Hill and Brooklyn Fullmer
Utah
Style:
Ballroom
Three-Word Review: Whole Lotta Sexiness
Result: Ticket to Callbacks

SYTYCD fan Justin Bieber and his choreographer Nick DeMoura introduced the new Dance Crew aspect of the season. For each week during the auditions, they will be introducing two crews and asking fans to tweet their favorites. The crew with the most tweets from each episode will earn a chance to perform on a live episode, and the crew with the most votes will perform on the finale.

Many fans have been bemoaning the presence of the Biebs on this artistically credible show, but I had no problem with his minimal role. What I did have a problem with, on the other hand, is how little we saw of each crew. If they want us to vote for our favorites, it would be nice if you actually showed us enough to form an opinion.

Poreotics
Los Angeles, CA
Style:
Popping and Robotics

Syncopated Ladies
"East Coast"
Style:
Tap dance

BWW Matt's Pick: I have never really voted for reality shows, but if I voted this week, I would pick Poreotics (unlike most of the other viewers, as evidenced by the current standings at the end of the show).

SYTYCD Recap: SYTYCD Returns with Hot Tamales and Lap Dances and Bieber, Oh My!Nick Garcia
Miami, FL
Style:
Latin Ballroom
Three-Word Review: Fiery, Fast Footwork
Result: Ticket to Callback

Rudy Abreu
Miami, FL
Style:
Contemporary
Three-Word Review: Strong "Scar Dancing"
Result: Ticket to Callback

Caleb Brauner (who got cut at choreography in New Orleans)
Blue Springs, MO
Style:
Contemporary
Three-Word Review: Even Better Now
Result: Choreography (Eventual Yes)

Inappropriate Exotic Dancing Alert: In addition to the parental dancing, the other thing that I dislike that this show often does is have some frightening lap-dances, generally featuring Mary Murphy. This time Jenna joined them, but that didn't negate the uncomfortableness of the entire affair.

What did you think of the season's first episode? Did you mind the presence of Justin Bieber? Are you voting for one of the dance crews? Let me know in the comments below, and on Twitter @BWWMatt.


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