So You Think You Can Dance 11 -- The New Orleans and Chicago Auditions

Thank God They Moved It To Wednesday!

The best news I've had lately is the show has moved to Wednesday nights. Now I no longer have a time conflict between it and Pretty Little Liars. And it became worse now that both FOX and ABC Family cut their deal with the cable companies that you can only watch episodes the next day unless you subscribe to a few chosen cable companies.

Anyway, the first week of auditions opened in New Orleans with Wayne Brady as guest judge. Most of the two hours was taken up by the New Orleans auditions, with maybe 45 minutes left for the Chicago auditions. I will say the auditions for this show can be fun to watch. They've really cut-out highlighting the freaks who can't dance who come to audition and most of the hijinks come from the judges, who seem to have a genuine good time at the auditions.

One of the first contestants to be highlighted was Shelby Rase. Mary says Shelby had her on the walk down. Wayne said she was stunning and he was so impressed. And Nigel got her to ask her father to come down and do his famous bottle dance, which was pretty raunchy.

Of course she got a ticket.

Next up was Tanisha Belnap. who has 6 brothers and sister and has had 6 years of ballroom. Nigel felt she was tremendous and has great legs. Mary says her technique is great. And Wayne thinks she's ridiculous in a good way.

She gets a ticket.

Two brothers named Skip and Shane audition together. Skip has auditioned before. I thought one of the brothers danced better than the other. Apparently, the judges agreed, as Skip got sent to choreography and Shane got the boot.

Megan Mercano comes to audition and with quite a back story to tell. She's been on her own since she was 12. Her mom got arrested and she and her siblings got separated. She says she's lived with 12 different people.

Nigel says she's a fabulous dancer; fun, light, breezy and coquettish. Mary felt like she was watching a Broadway show watching her perform. And Wayne says she has everything.

She gets a ticket.

To relieve boredom Bottle Dance Dad is back on stage having a dance-off with another dad. To the delight of the judges and audience. Then it's back to business.

Trevor Bryce auditions and declares he thinks he's unique. He's been dancing since he was 8. He makes the judges laugh, but in a good way. Nigel says it was the greatest solo performance he's ever seen. Mary loved every bit of it. And Wayne says it was just amazing.

He gets a ticket.

And that's the end of the Day 1 auditions. Skip walks out on Choreography knowing he can't cut it.

Day 2 brings us Courtney Barnes, who has no ego problems, unless an over-inflated ego is considered an ego problem. He declares he's fabulous and stylish. However, the judges send him to Choreography instead of giving him a golden ticket. I found him very flexible. Wayne says he has physical gifts. Mary thinks he's divalicious, but he needs more than that. And Nigel says he's naturally loose and is better fit for a sitcom, so his answer is a big no. However, he still gets a chance because Wayne and Mary say choreography.

Novian Yarber, who auditioned in Memphis last year is back. Nigel tries to build up his confidence when he starts crying. Whatever the case he gets a ticket.

Then we get a montage of nameless dancers [who I'm assuming weren't interesting enough to be featured in their own segment] who were also given tickets.

After that Caleb Brauner auditions. He auditioned last year and he and his father danced on stage together. Caleb reveals that since then his father passed away. He's been working hard to improve and is on a mission to get accepted on the show. Nigel declares he's improved and put a smile on his face. Mary says Caleb got to her, but he's still not at the dance level of the show. And Wayne says he's so unique.

He gets sent to choreography.

Okay the show does do a freak show montage, but it's quick and pretty painless and none are given their own segment to make fun of them.

Jacobi Jemerson is an overweight young man who auditions next. Wayne gets up on stage and dances with him. Then he does his own routine afterwards, but he's terribly out of breath when he's done. Mary says he needs to keep doing what he's doing, but he's not strong enough. Wayne tells him to be healthy. Translation: lose weight. And Nigel asks him to come back next year. But for now it's a no.

Marcouet, who auditioned with Whitney in a previous season, but was too young to be on the show, auditions with his new partner, Brooklyn. Nigel says he's blown away by their dancing. Mary calls them a hot tamale, which is Mary language is a very good thing, indeed. And Wayne thinks they're gorgeous.

They both get tickets.

Caleb and Courtney do choreography and both crash and burn when it comes time to perform for the judges. Both are rejected. But we haven't seen the last of Caleb, as he's determined to make it on the show come hell or high water.

Then we get a segment with The Beav. No, not Theodore Cleaver, but Justin Bieber. Yeah, I was thrilled about it, myself. I think the show is reaching out to this punk to try and save him from himself since no one did the same for Michael Jackson, and I think there's a lot of guilt from Nigel about that. He introduces two dance crews and you're supposed to tweet which one is your favorite.

Can I take a moment out to say how sick I am of people trying to point a gun to my head and force me to tweet. You can't even comment on any TV Guide stories anymore, and they want you to tweet. And my answer is always the same, "Why don't you tweet my middle finger."

Anyway the two teams are Poreotics from LA and Syncopated Ladies from the East Coast. It's a classic rivalry. It's men vs women. It's the east vs. the west. At the end of the show the ladies were winning it.

In Chicago Jenna Elfman replaces Wayne Brady as guest judge.

First up are two BFF's named Nick and Rudy who are both auditioning for the show, but no at the same time.

Nick Garcia is up first and he does a ballroom routine alone, which is not an easy thing to do. And yet he impresses the judges. Nigel says very good. Mary screams and it's her first of the season. That's better than being a hot tamale. And Jenna gives him a double thumbs up.

He gets a ticket.

Then it's Rudy Abreu's turn. He's got the back story. He had a hole in his diaphragm and blood disease when he was born. He describes his dancing as a manly warrior style emphasizing his scar. Nigel loves his movements. Mary says he's full of power and passion. And Jenna says it was very inspiring.

So both BFFs get a ticket.

Another dance montage of those who got tickets in Chicago.

I said he'd be back and he is. Caleb has followed the show to Chicago to audition again. This time he does a serious routine about a message from his father. He gets sent to choreography again.

A montage of the bad dancers in Chicago.

Mary and Jenna go on stage and let the F.A.M.E. dance crew dance for them. They get sent to choreography and leave before it's over. Meanwhile Caleb finally gets his ticket, but did he get it because he was radically better than before or because they knew he'd continue to follow the show wherever they auditioned next to try and get on the show?

Whichever the case, a ticket isn't a guarantee of getting picked for the top twenty. The auditions will continue next week and The Beav will probably be back next week, as well. Oh, joy!


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