In a continuation of last week’s premiere (Longest. Premiere. Ever.) the audition tour for So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 stops in two more cities: Salt Lake and New York. If previous years are any indication these two hours should be full of the talent AND the crazy. And aren’t all good audition episodes of talent programs chock full of both?

SYTYCD 2011 Round 3: Salt Lake City

As Cat pointed out, this city is known for be the audition location to find some AMAZING talent, including, Chelsie Hightower (now a pro on DWTS), married pair, Ashley & Ryan, last year’s Allstar Allison Holker and Season 3 winner, Sabra. Fingers crossed SLC brings the goods this year too!

The Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy & Robin Antin (creator of the Pussycat Dolls)

The Second Chance Choreographers: Katee Shean & Will Wingfield


Ones to Watch in Vegas:

Chyna Smith: Well, this girl has no personality, does she? Self-proclaimed SYTYCD super fan, Chyna, had a routine choreographed by Allison Holker. She is a bundle of energy and yet very strong. She is a dynamic dancer. Lots of sex appeal – Robin said she would cast her as a Pussycat Doll. (Shhhh, Robin, her mother and grandmother are right behind you!) This girl, as Randy Jackson would say, is in it to win it. She has the pedigree, both genetics and dance-friend wise, so I think it will be great to see what she does in Vegas.

Annie Gratton: Girl’s got skills. Seriously tough cookie. Sometimes it isn’t the leap that is exciting but how hard you land it. And man, did she do some exciting leaps with some incredibly strong landings. Plus Nigel had her Dad come out and dance with her. Then he did a solo and got himself a ticket to Vegas as well… too bad I don’t think he is under 30.

Tadd Guaddang: This guy seemed like Hok and Mark had a dancer baby. If you aren’t familiar with SYTYCD, Hok was a fantastic b-boy and Mark was one of the most unique contemporary dancers to grace the stage. (Hok is a member of the Quest Crew and Mark is one of the male lead dancers on Lady Gaga’s Tour.) Tadd did such an inventive routine – going down the stairs on his hand, making his fingers dance – that the audience changted “Vegas, Vegas!” So Nigel obliged.

Chase Thomas: Once you get past the fact that this guy was only wearing a speedo (if you can get past that….) he was an incredibly strong dancer. He was simultaneously fluid and solid. Loved it. Can’t wait to see how he partners. And does hip-hop.

Sent Packing:

Samantha Hiller: This very talented girl wasn’t quite ready for this year’s show. But who can blame her since she is currently suffering from amnesia. Points for most original backstory. And remember her, because with a few more classes, she could be one to watch next year.

Brittany Starr :Ummmm… this woman claims her father is Ringo Starr. But the one from before Lennon was shot. (yep) She also thinks her doppelganger is Lady Gaga. Finally, the crazy. Mary called her delusional. Then they went to her father’s house. Wow…. it was new heights of crazy.

SYTYCD 2011 Round 4: New York City

New York City is my favorite place in the world. I love it there. Why? Because everything under the sun can be found there. Every type of food, tons of museums, culture, and most importantly for this show, every kind of person. The styles of dance performed in NYC this year ran the gamut. And the personalities were all over the place. From the very serious dancer to the obligatory crazy. Every show should always have an audition here. It’s just darn good TV.

Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Jason Gilkinson (choreographer of Broadway’s Burn the Floor)

Second Chance Choreographers: Katee Shean and Will Wingfield


Ones to Watch in Vegas:

Samara “Princess Lockerooo” Cohen: Her dance style is “whacking,” which, when Cat asked her to describe it, she said you “see the music” when she dances. Samara said she was inspired by helicopter properlers and martial arts, which was shockingly apparent in her dancing. When someone has a random dance style like that, I’m always a little wary, but her movement was…. indescribable. Her music was also clever – It was Rimsky Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee mixed with 70s spy music (a la Charlie’s Angels). I am VERY excited to see her in Vegas. I bet that girl can do a mean Paso Doble. She was fierce.

Brandon Jones: Wow. I love a strong, masculine, male contemporary dancer. Brandon (not unlike the Brandon in season 6) encapsulates that. When we get to Vegas, they often come out of the woodwork (and by that I mean, those guys the producers previously ignored finally get highlighted) but right now, Brandon is a frontrunner for the guys. (And breaking news via twitter: he is also friends with Neil Haskell. Brandon just scored more points for me.)

Virgil “Lil O” Gadson: This hip-hop dancer wasn’t just a great dancer, but he was a great performer, as Nigel pointed out. His routine wasn’t just tricks but also style. My issue: the “lil” in his nickname is quite literal. He is a very tiny man (adorable though) and sometimes that can create issues when partnering with a girl that isn’t as tiny – and often they aren’t sticks.

Brian Henry: This krumper caught my attention when he was ballsy enough to call out previous winner, Russell and Lil C for making Krump too mainstream. Then he took his shirt off and I really paid attention. (What? Who said that?) Of course, as the judges pointed out, there is a difference between being cocky and being obnoxious, and he may have crossed the line. But guess what – he put up when it came to choreo,admitted it was difficult, did a good job and got the ticket to Vegas. Then he cried. A lot. Can’t wait to see him meet Lil C. I love when Krumpers can translate to other styles, so I’m pulling for Brian to shut his mouth, try hard, and be strong. Can’t you see him partnering a tiny blonde girl??

Sent Packing:

A lot of very angry people day 1: We didn’t meet any of these people, just a montage. But goodness, there were some people who who did not fare well in the So You Think You Can Dance 2011 NYC auditions. And Nigel was also very angry about it. My particular favorite – the guy who was so upset he didn’t get through, that he demanded to be given a reason and the security guards had to hold him back. Dude – you didn’t dance well. That’s the reason.

Sadly, I was disappointed because they didn’t feature the crazy in NYC. You know they were there. I want to see them. I appreciate keeping the bad auditions to a minimum, but give me something.

So that’s a wrap for tonight, but don’t worry – there’s more tomorrow (Thursday) night as well. From LA. Fingers crossed for the cray-cray.

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

Read Small Screen Scoop every day for the latest So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 goodies. It may help you figure out the difference between Breaking, Hip-Hop and Krump!

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