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S15.E01: Auditions 1 2018.06.04

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Top dancers from around the country perform. Stephen “tWitch” Boss joins the judges.

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tWitch and Allison's little boy is so cute!

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Wel, they almost got me to stop ffing through the judges by having tWitch there, but NOT.  Loved the battle.  Not happy about seeing Kiki's facial double as I didn't like Kiki and I note his and Jenna's prominence on the opening credits.

I can't imagine that it's all that smart to get rid of choreography although I'm sure it will make for more drama at academy.

It appears that they won't be doing the mentoring auditions with the former dancers which pleases me completely.  God those were annoying.

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The first girl has to come from a circus/contortionist background. We've seen a lot of male hip hop dancers bring the "bonebreaking" style, but I think she might've been the first female to incorporate it heavily into a lyrical, contemporary type piece.

The Bboy choosing ATCQ's "Scenario" was perfect. He definitely has the entertainment factor for sure.

I actually don't think the Ballroom trio or the tapper did as well as we are suppose to believe. Particularly the tapper's piece didn't really match or vibe with his choice of music at all. Now the battle w/ Twitch was fire, so I'm not mad about him getting a ticket mind you.

The less said about SYTYCD's Ada Vox, the better.

So this season is all or nothing? No on the fence dancers trying to fight through a choreography round??

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Hello, old friends.

The show should consist of nothing but Twitch dance battles from now on.

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27 minutes ago, Mertseger said:

 

The show should consist of nothing but Twitch dance battles from now on.

Agreed!  Twitch makes any episode better.  Will he be a judge all season, or just this first night?

I really liked the tapper -- he was delightful.

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Doing away with the choreography round means there are going to be a lot of cuts in Vegas/academy week. I liked that we saw a number of older contestants. I don't know if we've seen this many contestants over the age of 25 in one audition episode before.

On a shallow note, I don't like the shade of blonde that Mary's sporting right now.

19 hours ago, PhD-Purgatory15 said:

The first girl has to come from a circus/contortionist background. We've seen a lot of male hip hop dancers bring the "bonebreaking" style, but I think she might've been the first female to incorporate it heavily into a lyrical, contemporary type piece.

I thought Marina came from either a rhythmic gymnastics or circus background. I'm surprised they didn't ask her what her training was in. She did a great job of grabbing the judges' attention so I'll be interested to see how she does in other styles.

Gaevin is obviously a performer who knows how to use the music well, how to work a crowd, and which tricks are crowd pleasers. That's what dancing on the street will teach you! I do agree with the judges' criticisms though. He has a lot of tricks but a lot of them were just thrown together which kind of lessened the potential impact. Space them out a little more so that the audience has time to appreciate them! And Vanessa was correct when she said that some of the landings were a little sloppy. I think he has a lot of potential though. And since he learned how to dance by being in that group, there's a good chance that he will be able to pick up choreography better than some of the b boys we've had in the past.

I didn't like the threesome audition because there was too much time where whoever wasn't dancing with the girl was just standing around. That's not the best way to showcase your dance skills and show that you deserve to make it to the next round. I hated what Magdalena was wearing and I hated that their audition made Mary shriek. I have not missed that AT ALL. I'm glad that Nigel mentioned that one of the guys was mouthing the words to the song. One of the things I was taught was NEVER to do that unless it was an intentional lip sync routine.

Ha, I laughed when Taylor said that she likes to turn her prosthesis backwards and walk around just to freak people out. I'm glad they showed her story before her audition because otherwise I would have spent her entire routine wondering why she wasn't pointing one foot. I hate how patronizing the judges are with dancers like this. "You're so inspiring! You're so courageous! I'm so proud of you!"

Miss Estranja wasn't the best dancer I've ever seen but, like Gaevin, it's really obvious that she is a performer. Oh, Nigel, the she-blam is called a death drop. This is exactly why Nigel comes off as really ignorant when he doesn't know about stuff like this.

Even after they showed footage from last season, I still didn't remember Alexis. I got a note of false modesty from her when she said her video got "I don't know, maybe ten million views?" Girl, please. You know you checked right before your audition.

I know the shiny back floor looks great with the lights and the logo on the back wall, but I HATE that it makes it so difficult to see the dancers' legs and feet, especially with Eddie's audition. With black pants, dark burgundy shoes, the black floor, and the dark purple background, I had to really squint to see his tapping. I ddin't like his music choice. His tapping seemed so much more fun during his battle with tWitch. I'd watch them battle every week. Make it happen, show!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo. Reason: Typo
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Enjoyed this. I love ballroom and tap so they can't front load these enough for me. If I never see another angst ridden, writhing on the floor contemporary with bicycle feet, it will be too soon. 

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Normally I would FF through all of the judges' comments (wish I could also "photoshop" Vanessa out) but I kept stopping for Twitch.   He has really done a lot since being a contestant - acting, DJ'ing on Ellen DeGeneres' show.  And he also seems like such a nice guy.  Miss Estranja was a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race a couple of years ago, thus the shout out to Ru by playing his song.

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6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

 

Miss Estranja wasn't the best dancer I've ever seen but like Gaevin, it's really obvious that she is a performer. Oh, Nigel, the she-blam is called a death drop. This is exactly why Nigel comes off as really ignorant when he doesn't know about stuff like this.

 

Her death drops were nothing if you watch Bring It! on Lifetime. Her dancing was a cute performance but I don't see it stacking up against anyone at the academy. Nigel was right not to give her a yes.

It was worth sitting threw the entire hour for the last 5 minutes of tWitch and the tapper

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Can tWitch dance with all the contestants?  That was such a joyful segment. I love the tapper and hope he makes it. But if not?  He will always have tWitch.  

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10 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

On a shallow note, I don't like the shade of blonde that Mary's sporting right now.

Couldn't agree more! She's not doing herself any favors with that awful yellow shade.

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Could have done without Alexis. I'd imagine she's in the top 20. I hate overtly sexual contemporary dancers. Hard pass. 

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I loved the first audition and the Twitch/tap battle the most of this episode.  Oh, and I love that it appears the 'all stars' won't be picking a team like last year.  I did not enjoy that format at all.  I love ballroom, but was not impressed with any of the three in the trio dance.  They may be excellent, but that dance did not allow them to show off their skills really. 

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Worth it for the delightful last couple of minutes of the show. I wound that back a couple of times. (Although I don't think I've ever seen tap shoes so... enhanced.)

Can they swap out Vanessa for tWitch permanently? She seems like a nice person, but she brings very little to the judges' table. And I hope Mary sees these audition episodes and tones down the hair and makeup before the live eps.

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Agree with the judges that Allen is the one that stood out in the trio but agree that he shouldn't lip sync.  Don't really like the girl.  She seems bossy to me when last season, she had to do all the talking.  That's not why I noticed Allen the most even though she should have been the one to stand out.

Vanessa, the girl with the prosthetic did not have good extensions.  Glad she didn't go through because it would have been a pity vote.  Didn't think Miss Estranja should have gone through either.  Although, she was a good performer but not enough technical skill.

Alexis was better in her clip before the actual audition.  But she probably went through since they know her.  If I just saw her from the audition, I would not have let her through either.

The first girl seemed more like a contortionist than dancer.  The little bit of dancing that she did do was good enough that I would have sent her through.  She also knows how to perform.

Loved the battle with Twitch and the tapper.  I wish Twitch would be a permanent judge and we got rid of Vanessa.

Edited by realdancemom.
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15 hours ago, HelenCrump said:

Agreed!  Twitch makes any episode better.  Will he be a judge all season, or just this first night?

I really liked the tapper -- he was delightful.

They made it sound like he'd be there for all the auditions. I hope they keep him for the live shows too, though, because he's the best. Vanessa doesn't bother me as much as other people here, but she's definitely a Paula Abdul "cheerleader" sort, and I prefer Twitch's enthusiasm AND real eye for dance movement over her any day.

I didn't see anyone who wowed me here. I thought the first girl was very cool and different but I don't know how that will translate long term. I can't remember if last year they talked about the all-star mentors this early, so if they did and it's clearly absent this year, then I am very excited. Just get back to the old format of the regular top 20! 

Agree about the floor/background making it a bit difficult to see people. I like the new logo in the back but it was competing on the shiny floor with the dancers themselves. 

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Haven't watched this show for years.   Does the 'hot tamale train' still exist?  

I used to really enjoy this show.  Time to give it another shot! 

Edited by mishap.
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I've never been a fan of tap, but the dance-off with Twitch was fab!

No idea how/why the drag queen got through. That was not good.

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2 hours ago, mishap said:

Haven't watched this show for years.   Does the 'hot tamale train' still exist?  

Sadly, yes. No one seems to understand that Mary is a great judge despite and not because of her various shticks.

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So glad this show is back. I've hated the last few seasons. The mentor thing, the kiddie season. Ugh.

I was bracing myself for Nigel to unload his typical "funny" homophobic comments when Laganja Estranja come out. He came close but managed to restrain himself. He really can't deal with anyone who isn't completely straight and cisgendered, can he? I was so surprised that the tapper came on as openly gay. Has there ever been an openly gay contestant on SYTYCD before? Someone who was open on *their* season? This show has pushed fake showmances and done everything else to get us to forget that there might GASP! be gay folks in the dance world. 

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I think the reason that the drag queen went through was Nigel's nod to the world that he can hack it and had nothing to do with her dance ability.  Is she gay? Or transgendered?  She didn't say so when I was watching, but I do hit the ff button a lot.  I find it hard to believe that Nigel wouldn't have taken a lot of hassle about being slight of build and effeminate himself (having seen one or two videos of his dancing and style from a time period that I lived through and know was rabidly homophobic), so I suspect that a lot of his attitude about that is received.  Doesn't excuse it but where do you stop with something like that?  My worst dance teacher had clearly been verbally abused by several of his former teachers and he was an absolute pr*ck as a dance teacher because due to his experiences that's how he thought you do it.   He conflated verbal abuse with high class dancing (like ballet) and thus could not recognize what an exhausting teacher he was as a result.  With Nigel being in production of specials and stuff like that, I assume he thought that what he'd been taught and hassled about was the best way because he experienced success with it.  He comes across as very very arrogant, which is unfortunate (and backs up my argument if you understand human psychology) because I think he's done amazing things for the dance world and should be cut some slack, personally.  Especially from the accusations of perversion which are so ageist and show so little understanding of aging that they make me ill.

Edited by crowceilidh.
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8 hours ago, Lily H said:

Couldn't agree more! She's not doing herself any favors with that awful yellow shade.

Agreed. She looks so much better with brunette hair. The blonde just doesn't suit her. 

Loved Twitch battling it out. He's so mesmerizing. 

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3 hours ago, crowceilidh said:

I think the reason that the drag queen went through was Nigel's nod to the world that he can hack it and had nothing to do with her dance ability.  Is she gay? Or transgendered?  She didn't say so when I was watching, but I do hit the ff button a lot.  I find it hard to believe that Nigel wouldn't have taken a lot of hassle about being slight of build and effeminate himself (having seen one or two videos of his dancing and style from a time period that I lived through and know was rabidly homophobic), so I suspect that a lot of his attitude about that is received.  Doesn't excuse it but where do you stop with something like that?  My worst dance teacher had clearly been verbally abused by several of his former teachers and he was an absolute pr*ck as a dance teacher because due to his experiences that's how he thought you do it.   He conflated verbal abuse with high class dancing (like ballet) and thus could not recognize what an exhausting teacher he was as a result.  With Nigel being in production of specials and stuff like that, I assume he thought that what he'd been taught and hassled about was the best way because he experienced success with it.  He comes across as very very arrogant, which is unfortunate (and backs up my argument if you understand human psychology) because I think he's done amazing things for the dance world and should be cut some slack, personally.  Especially from the accusations of perversion which are so ageist and show so little understanding of aging that they make me ill.

I understand what you're saying here, but I'm not sure how objecting to Nigel's occasional leering or 'creepy' comments has anything to do with age.  For me, it's his words and his delivery - and this would hold true had it been any of the younger judges - tWitch included.

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I hated the shiny floor with a lot of hate. I guess Alexis didn’t make much of an impact last year because I barely remember her other than her sexual writhing. (And shut up about your social media love.) I thought she seemed like gravity was holding her down and she couldn’t really jump. If that makes any sense. I did not understand the tapper’s music but I liked his dancing. Of course that might be influenced by the freaking dance off! Twitch is so much fun. 

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On 6/5/2018 at 3:11 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I hate how patronizing the judges are with dancers like this. "You're so inspiring! You're so courageous! I'm so proud of you!"

I was cringing when the jidges were talking, because they were totally skirting the line of sounding insincere.

I am thrilled for another season of Cat Deeley! There can never be too much Cat Deeley. tWitch was the surprise -- what a great addition to the judges' panel! And of course that battle was everything.

It seemed like Miss Naranja was the only one to speak with the judges and introduce herself before her audition, and then afterwards as well, while xenormorph-stripper girl benefited from coming out silently with her face hidden and starting her dance that way. I hope we get to see what Sonya Tayek does with her. Or that choreographer duo that created the wardrobe/spinning hanger piece last year?

Vanessa Hudgens was tolerable because of tWitch sitting next to her, and at one point they were chair-dancing in sync which is cute. Which might be my way of asking the show to please keep tWitch on the panel.

That ballroom trio was kind of .....reminding me of why I couldn't stand Kiki last year.

Bajillion Youtube Views Girl--thanks for reminding me to come onto the forum. Where else am I going to find other people who yell "HMV!!!" at the screen when you dance?

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20 hours ago, Keekski said:

Could have done without Alexis. I'd imagine she's in the top 20. I hate overtly sexual contemporary dancers. Hard pass. 

I'm not sure what is was but I found her unpleasant to watch. Like I can see she has some skill but it seemed like she lacked grace. It might've been the onesie style outfit, I didn't like that look.

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5 hours ago, Kaiju Ballet said:

Bajillion Youtube Views Girl--thanks for reminding me to come onto the forum. Where else am I going to find other people who yell "HMV!!!" at the screen when you dance?

[snark]  See, this forum has ruined the show for me.  I've been watching since season 2, but not following this forum for that long.  Now every time I see one of those moves, that's the first thing I think.  Y'all are just a bad influence. [/snark]  LOL

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Glad to see the show back.  We liked the first girl (I don't remember anyone's name at this point) - different and really interesting.  As others have said, I'm not sure how that will translate into other styles.  Does anyone know why the dropped the choreography round?  She seems like a perfect candidate for that.  We also really liked the tapper and that first ballroom couple.  Ballroom trio was okay.  With the way the judges were talking, we were expecting them to put that one guy and the girl through but not Kiki's brother.  Kiki grew on me last season, so I'm okay with his brother.

Am I right in thinking they're not doing that team thing they did last season with the All Stars?  We really did not care for that at all.  I haven't been able to find out too much information about this year's format, so I don't know if they're completely back to the way it used to be or if there are more surprises in store.  But we're looking forward to it.

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Hello old friend, glad to see you back! 

And so glad the team thing is over. 

And (unpopular opinion) glad they did away with the choreography round. They'll never pass day one in Vegas at any rate. 

I don't know why I like this show so much, none of the dancers (with the exception of the tapper) were "wow" worthy.  The tap guy MAY make it through the academy if he can do other people's choreography.

Seriously. Why do I love this show so much? The dancers aren't very good, and the format gets worse every year.

But I love it. And it's one of the shows worthy of space on my DVR. World of Dance don't even get that.

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Oh and the "Ru Paul's Drag Race" dude/girl?

He's had formal training, said as much. I'm really looking forward to him/her slaying and perplexing at the Academy. He said when he graduated from dance school/school of the arts, he had a hard time getting gigs as a dude because he was so feminine so he went with it and started BEING feminine on purpose. He didn't do himself any favors doing the  "drag race death drop" style dancing, but he DID say he's had years of formal training in all styles.

 

And come on....NOT put a (whatever is PC for a dude who is a dude but dresses like a girl) through? On the live show?

COME ON!!!! YOU KNOW they will. Just need to find a partner for him/her tall and strong enough to do the lifts.

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On 6/5/2018 at 7:27 PM, crowceilidh said:

I think the reason that the drag queen went through was Nigel's nod to the world that he can hack it and had nothing to do with her dance ability.  Is she gay? Or transgendered?  She didn't say so when I was watching, but I do hit the ff button a lot.  I find it hard to believe that Nigel wouldn't have taken a lot of hassle about being slight of build and effeminate himself (having seen one or two videos of his dancing and style from a time period that I lived through and know was rabidly homophobic), so I suspect that a lot of his attitude about that is received.  Doesn't excuse it but where do you stop with something like that?  My worst dance teacher had clearly been verbally abused by several of his former teachers and he was an absolute pr*ck as a dance teacher because due to his experiences that's how he thought you do it.   He conflated verbal abuse with high class dancing (like ballet) and thus could not recognize what an exhausting teacher he was as a result.  With Nigel being in production of specials and stuff like that, I assume he thought that what he'd been taught and hassled about was the best way because he experienced success with it.  He comes across as very very arrogant, which is unfortunate (and backs up my argument if you understand human psychology) because I think he's done amazing things for the dance world and should be cut some slack, personally.  Especially from the accusations of perversion which are so ageist and show so little understanding of aging that they make me ill.

Gay, not transgender.  Was a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race where that death drop is becoming more and more prevalent.

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First I can't tell which is worse, Mary's 16 year-old-girl weave or the silicone-glazed floor that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to follow anyone's feet.

3 Ballroom Dancers: "Oh Alan, no one could look at anyone but you.  Kiki's brother, you sucked but we are taking you anyway since we signed a 20 year contract to accept any/all Nimchecks into the cast.  We have no choice, and we promise we will, like your brother, advance you unfairly."  As for Magda--she has a "hard" look about her.  I am going to wear a denim shirt with garter belt and stockings and see what it brings into my life.

I was amazed to see Laganga Estranja try out.  I would not have thought she would have the energy due to the massive amount of pot she smokes.

Edited by WhineandCheez.
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On 6/6/2018 at 6:19 PM, hnygrl said:

Oh and the "Ru Paul's Drag Race" dude/girl?

He's had formal training, said as much. I'm really looking forward to him/her slaying and perplexing at the Academy. He said when he graduated from dance school/school of the arts, he had a hard time getting gigs as a dude because he was so feminine so he went with it and started BEING feminine on purpose. He didn't do himself any favors doing the  "drag race death drop" style dancing, but he DID say he's had years of formal training in all styles.

I have zero issues with male, female, transgendered, drag queen, gay, straight or whatever - I just want to see fabulous dancing and that performance was not. 

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1 hour ago, Lunula said:

I have zero issues with male, female, transgendered, drag queen, gay, straight or whatever - I just want to see fabulous dancing and that performance was not. 

Agreed. I wasn't impressed; it would be nice if I could see that he had years of formal training.

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That's why I wanted him to go through. I want to see what he can really do.

Without the wig, makeup, and tuck...can he DANCE dance, or is he an oddity act?

Kinda rooting for the guy.

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On 6/4/2018 at 6:54 PM, PhD-Purgatory15 said:

I actually don't think the Ballroom trio or the tapper did as well as we are suppose to believe. Particularly the tapper's piece didn't really match or vibe with his choice of music at all.

 

On 6/5/2018 at 12:11 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Eddie's audition. With black pants, dark burgundy shoes, the black floor, and the dark purple background, I had to really squint to see his tapping. I didn't like his music choice. His tapping seemed so much more fun during his battle with tWitch.

I read these comments before I saw the episode but I REALLY enjoyed the tapper (Eddie?). Both as a tapper and as a personality.  I totally understood why Nigel gave him a standing slow-clap.

The difference in our opinion is, of course, a matter of taste.  But to explain my reaction: I like to listen to tappers because a lot of what they do is percussion - but with their feet instead of their hands. His percussion beautifully accented the song he was dancing to.  The problem with tappers who focus on the auditory part of tap is that it can be to the detriment of the visual part. And most people view dance as a visual medium with the rhythm being a secondary support. There have been other tappers on this show who also focused more on the auditory rhythms they were creating and also weren't received very well. There was one young woman (might have been Melinda Sullivan S07) in particular who was cut right after making Top 10 due to her "avant-garde" approach (IMO). I also think Ade Obayomi (contemporary S05) was criticized for his solos which focused a lot on moving to subtle underlying rhythms to the songs he chose. It's a bit of a niche approach to dance.

Going forward I hope he works on a more visual presentation (not for me especially but to keep him in the show) so that he just highlights his percussion prowess here and there to make it stand out. I'm thinking Fred Astaire dancing with the drum kit but this young man could probably do it without using hands. Astaire's rhythms were just as complex as Eddie's but he used hands to accomplish some of it. However, Astaire is eminently visually accessible.

Edited by Anothermi. Reason: clarity & spelling
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2 hours ago, Anothermi said:

 

I read these comments before I saw the episode but I REALLY enjoyed the tapper (Eddie?). Both as a tapper and as a personality.  I totally understood why Nigel gave him a standing slow-clap.

The difference in our opinion is, of course, a matter of taste.  But to explain my reaction: I like to listen to tappers because a lot of what they do is percussion - but with their feet instead of their hands. His percussion beautifully accented the song he was dancing to.  The problem with tappers who focus on the auditory part of tap is that it can be to the detriment of the visual part. And most people view dance as a visual medium with the rhythm being a secondary support. There have been other tappers on this show who also focused more on the auditory rhythms they were creating and also weren't received very well. There was one young women (might have been Melinda Sullivan S07) in particular who was cut right after making Top 10 due to her "avant-garde" approach (IMO). I also think Ade Obayomi (contemporary S05) was criticized for his solos which focused a lot on moving to subtle underlying rhythms to the songs he chose. It's a bit of a niche approach to dance.

Going forward I hope he works on a more visual presentation (not for me especially but to keep him in the show) so that he just highlights his percussion prowess here and there to make it stand out. I'm thinking Fred Astaire dancing with the drum kit but this young man could probably do it without using hands. Astaire's rhythms were just as complex as Eddie's but he used hands to accomplish some of it. However, Astaire is eminently visually accessible.

I'm glad you wrote this.  I also thought that the tapper accented his song perfectly.  It was what I liked about him.  I don't like the speed tappers that just go as fast as they can.  Melinda Sullivan was the same way but the audience didn't like her.  I don't know if it's because she's a tapper or if she looked older.  I mentioned the latter because I don't think the tween girls like older looking female ballroom dancers either.

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Mary has too much work done to her face. Yikes.

i liked the drag queen! 

The first girl is awesome. 

Vanessa does nothing for the show. 

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The first girl seemed more like a contortionist than dancer.  The little bit of dancing that she did do was good enough that I would have sent her through.  She also knows how to perform.

She's a contortionist and pole dancer. I would be shocked if she didn't have formal ballet training as well, but I don't know that factually. She's beautiful. She's also very innovative and creepy, so I don't think the show would know what to do with her.

I disagree with the verdict that she's more of a contortionist than a dancer. Dance is intentional, stylized movement. She incorporated contortion, but everything she did was dance. 

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