So You Think You Can... Episodes

2005, TV Show

So You Think You Can Dance Episode: "So You Think You Can Dance"

Season 5, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: The fifth season begins with the first two rounds of auditions.
Original Air Date: May 21, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap: "Brooklyn and Denver Auditions" Season 5, Episode 1

It's that time of year again! Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance kicks off with two hours of auditions. Was it just me or was this audition show a little less painful than usual? As many of you know (and the rest of you will learn), I don't enjoy these early shows. I love great dancing, but if I wanted to watch it being done badly, I'd watch Dancing with the Stars. Oh snap. Kidding. Sort of. Our first two pit stops on the audition train (on the way to hot tamale town) are Brooklyn and Denver.

Oh, and it might be good to recap the judge's process in case you've forgotten or you're new. If the judges like what they see during the solo or after choreography the dancer is sent to Vegas. If they don't like what they see, the dancer is sent home.  Let's get started.

Brooklyn  — Day 1
Judges: Nigel, Mary, and Tabitha & Napoleon

First up is contemporary dancer Gabi Rojas, who was born and raised in the circus. She's got rheumatoid arthritis, and her body is deteriorating. But you can't tell from her wonderfully expressive performance. Her movement is beautiful. Nigel starts the night out with unusually high praise — but maybe since he hasn't seen any bad dancing yet he's not his usual crotchety self. He thinks Gabi will make it into the Top 20 and says she's one of the best auditions he's seen in the last five years. Mary gives us her patented scream and Tabitha likes her characterization. Vegas, baby.

Next we are introduced to "Mutation." Saalim "Storyboard" Muslim and Habby "Hobgoblin" Jacques apply some "schmean" to their faces and mutate into some crazy — and at times creepy — zombie-like dancers. Hobgoblin in particular is freaky with his "joint-tortionism." Nigel thinks they're weird and interesting. Mary adds crazy into the mix. Napoleon says their style gives him ideas, and Tabitha just wants to see them dance. They are put through to choreography, but ultimately they decide to go home before they finish learning Lauren's (from Season 3) routine.

Peter Sabasino almost tried out last year but got scared and decided against it. I am the first to admit that I can't fully appreciate tap, but I do understand that it's an art form. I always take a cue from the judges because I don't feel that I'm good at judging this style. I liked what he did but I didn't love it. Nigel calls him tremendous. Napoleon enjoyed it. Tabitha wants to see more. Based on that performance alone he's sent straight through to Vegas.

Tiffany Geigel, born with spondaic thoracic dysplasia, has to deal with people laughing at her every single day. I'm always inspired when they include auditions of people who love to dance and refuse to let a disability stop them from pursuing a dream. What a great spirit. I'm really happy she was able to prove something to herself and to us. I wish her all the best.

Maksim Kapitannikov is a ballroom dancer whose partner you might remember from Season 3. Say hello (again) to the lovely Faina. Nigel likes his dancing and his facial expression. Mary sees potential and presence. He's sent to choreography, and though he struggles with it, the judges give him a second chance in Vegas.

Nobuya Nagahama is an entertaining and energetic dancer. He's no Twitch, but the judges seem to like him. Napoleon thought his locking was superb. Tabitha wants him to fall in love with some other styles, so he's sent to choreography. He's also sent to Vegas.

Dancers through to Vegas: 27

Brooklyn — Day 2
Contemporary dancer Arielle Taylor auditioned in Season 3 and made it through to Vegas. She was still in high school at the time, and it sounds like she got scared and freaked out. But what we see tonight proves that she's matured and taken the judges' past critiques to heart. Nigel thinks she's terrific. Mary calls her stunning; a beautiful dancer. Tabitha likes that she's back. She's so Vegas.

Ballroom dancers Nina Estrina and Igor Zabrodin specialize in Latin. I enjoyed that crazy spin move at the end, and I thought they had a nice connection. Nigel thinks they're fabulous; a great couple. Mary says the pot-stirrer impressed her. Tabitha praises their control. They're put through to choreography but only Igor advances to Vegas.

Kellen Stancil danced a very impressive contemporary routine. When Mary asks him about the umbrella he used as a prop, he breaks down. He recently lost his aunt and with the umbrella he feels comfortable and protected, like she's watching him. Tabitha enjoyed the performance. Napoleon was moved. Mary called Kellen gorgeous to watch, and Nigel puts him straight through to Vegas.

Chimezie "Don't Say My Name Wrong" Nwosu admits he's nervous, but I found him highly entertaining. Nigel calls his choreography fun. Napoleon didn't feel like there was a lot of meat in his choreography but wants to get his hands on him. Tabitha congratulates him on great choices. He's put through to choreography and although he's no Twitch (is that even possible?) he impresses the judges enough to be put through to Vegas.

Dancers through to Vegas for Day 2: 14

Denver
— Day 1
Judges: Nigel, Mary, and Sonja

Kayla Radomski is a contemporary dancer whose father is out of the picture. She and her mom live with Kayla's grandparents, who must be the cutest, most supportive grandparents we've met yet. I loved them. I especially loved it when her grandpa cried. Awwwwwwww. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Nigel tells her she brought it. Mary thinks she's great. Sonja calls her smokin' hot, beautiful and interesting. Yeah, Vegas.

Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel (both male for those of you who didn't watch; one is gay and one is straight) are same-sex ballroom dancers. Although they had a nasty spill, I thought they had an interesting routine. Nigel, Mary, and Sonja talk about how confused they were when watching them dance. They're used to seeing a man and woman and they just couldn't get past it. I will admit I thought it was a bit strange but also kind of fascinating. After being paired with women for choreography they're both sent home.

Dancers through to Vegas: 11

Denver — Day Two
Elias Holloway and his 16-year-old brother audition with a pop n' lock routine. They are the youngest of fourteen children. Wow. I thought Elias was adorable and with all that buildup I just knew he'd turn out to be a dud. I was so happy to be wrong. Nigel found them extremely entertaining. Mary thinks Elias is the cutest thing she's ever seen and says the camera will love him. Sonja thinks he's very marketable. But he's sent home after choreography with the encouragement to return next year, which he says we will do.

Natalie Reid is back. She just missed making the Top 20 last year and now she's even better. Her lines are lovely. Sonja gets so emotional during the performance that Nigel allows her to critique Natalie first. Sonja tells Natalie everything was so right, so real, so sincere. She's something to see. Mary is so proud of her. She feels the realness of it, the connection. Nigel thought she was superb and said it was a great honor to see her progress. You know she's going straight through to Vegas.

Brandon Bryant is also a familiar face who just missed making the Top 20 last year. And I really felt like he was robbed. I loved me some Gev, but if Brandon's technique was close to perfection last year, it's only improved since. I also loved his bold song choice. Mary is so weepy she has some trouble talking. She won't know what to do with herself it he doesn't make it into the Top 20 this year, she says. Sonja calls him wonderful, and Nigel says the piece is beautifully danced. He tells Brandon to bring a personality to Vegas.

Dancers through to Vegas on Day 2: 8

In the past I've said I wouldn't discuss the bad dancers. Apparently that was a lie. Here's what I've got:

Katherine "Crazy Kate" Leach: Her dancing makes me uncomfortable. Did she really think she was good enough to make it into theTop 20? And what was that about a Lego competition?

Thomas Martin and Amanda Clark: Usually the bolero is a sensual, sexy dance. Six time national champion baton-twirler Thomas Martin may not be qualified to handle it. Did you see his expression during the critique? Was he that surprised? Really?

Allison Moist: Such an unfortunate last name. I felt bad for her when Sonja couldn't stop laughing. I mean, she wasn't good, but she still has feelings. Did she really think that makeup made her look like a lion?

So, what did you think? Are we in for the best season yet?

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It's that time of year again! Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance kicks off with two hours of auditions. Was it just me or was this audition show a little less painful than usual? As many of you know (and the rest of you will learn), I don't enjoy these early shows. I love great dancing, but if I wanted to watch it being done badly, I'd watch Dancing with the Stars. Oh snap. Kidding. Sort of. Our first two pit stops on the audition train (on the way to hot tamale town) are Brooklyn and Denver.

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Premiered: July 20, 2005, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: A national dance competition from the producers of `American Idol.'

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