Finally, So You Think You Can Dance is back to its original format.
After a couple years of experimenting and trying to spice things up with such themes as 2015’s “Stage Vs. Street” and 2016’s SYTYCD Jr., the Fox dance competition show returned to the format that has made it such a fan favorite to begin with. There were no child contestants and no teams, just talented young dancers pouring their heart out in stage.
The auditions started in Los Angeles this year and everything seemed to go back to normal. Mary Murphy was back with Nigel Lythgoe sitting behind the judge’s desk, along with newcomer Vanessa Hudgens, who recently gave a memorable performance on Grease: Live. Cat Deeley effortlessly jumped back into her role as host where she charmed the contestants and viewers while listening to some heartbreaking life stories. The auditions themselves were also quite amazing, when they weren’t puzzling or awkward.
Although it’s too early to tell if one of the contestants who tried out Monday night will be the season’s champion, there were definitely some stand-out performances. Here are my thoughts on some of the top performers who received a ticket to the Academy.
Alexis Gilbert – Even though it was obvious how nervous she was before her audition, Alexis showed viewers that not only is she physically strong, but is also hypnotizing to watch. The only problem I had with her performance was the character she played while dancing to the music. I feel a more badass character would have been a better fit for the routine.
Kristina & Vasily – There have many real-life couples that have taken the stage on SYTYCD, but very few could bring their offstage chemistry to their routine. Fortunately Kristina and Vasily, this was not the case. Their love for each other was evident in the way they looked at each other and the way they moved. Their dance was passionate and sure to be a favorite for many fans.
Robert Green – I thought at first that his poncho get-up would be too distracting, but the energy and creativity Green brought to the stage made you quickly forget all about it. I am not sure how his skills will translate into other dance styles, but after a day of emotionally weighty routines, Green’s audition was fun to watch.
Darius Hickman – After a tough childhood that included a drug-addicted mother and domestic violence, Hickman used his experiences to connect to viewers through dance. The sadness and anger could be felt in his graceful moves has he performed his heart out. It was routine that told a story and left you wanting more. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the finals.
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