So You Think You Can Dance 14×01 “Los Angeles Auditions #1” was full of fantastic dances, with only one audition not getting a ticket to Vegas
Dancers from all over the globe auditioned in Los Angeles, and almost every single one made it through in this week’s So You Think You Can Dance. We had Mark from Hawaii, Russian couple Kristina and Vasily, Robert Green from North Carolina, Alexis Gilbert from California, Darius Hickman from Florida, and Russian twins Anastasiia and Victoria all advancing to the next round. The only audition that did not go through was Luke Dryjski, who failed to impress the judges but was joined on stage by Vanessa Hudgens in the So You Think You Can Dance premiere’s most adorable moment.
Audiences seem to be divided about a few aspects of this episode. Firstly, Robert Green’s outfit. His choice of clear plastic from head to toe left more than a few people scratching their heads, but others seemed to love it. However, the most highly debated aspect of the night by far is the Russian Twins. Most fans have a passionate opinion about this duo – many love them, including the judges, who gave their performance a standing ovation. Others question what about their routine was so impressive. And many consider the performance to be nothing short of confusing and possibly a little terrifying.
Here to discuss this performance, and others, is our roundtable:
Reagan (@reagandpierce) – TV addict, former dancer, writer for TVAfterDark
Austin (@theaustinmayor) – Dancer, choreographer, and teacher
Janine (@J9DH) – Mom of 2 and fan of talent shows like SYTYCD and American Idol
Terry (@rockinchick66) – Asset Manager by day, Wife, Kitty Mama and SYTYCD super fan by night!
Tracy (@tjohn68) – Dance fan, TV fan, Superhero fan
Kiamesha (@SimsKdsims96) – 21-year-old who loves writing, reading, music, and animals.
1. Who was your favorite dancer?
Reagan (@reagandpierce): I loved Alexis Gilbert. She is clearly very talented, I think she will go far in the competition! I also loved Darius Hickman.
Austin (@theaustinmayor): My favourite dancer was Alexis Gilbert. Her solo was very technical and I feel out of all of the dancers that they showed tonight, she could do multiple styles the best.
Janine (@J9DH): Darius Hickman! His power, technical ability, and passion were unparalleled in this episode.
Terry (@rockinchick66): Mark Villaver’s mom? Kidding! Darius Hickman was my fave dancer tonight. His story is so tragic yet inspiring. His dance technique is amazing! Definitely, one to watch this season!
Tracy (@tjohn96): Robert Green. His musician background was so on display in his routine. He knew his piece of music and hit every moment perfectly. But beyond that, personality for days. This was so much fun to watch, and I’m so excited to see what else he can bring to the table.
Kiamesha (@SimsKdsims96): My favorite dancer was the girl who did the jazz routine. It seemed so effortless and you could tell that she was having so much fun! Plus, her energy was so uplifting.
2. What was your favorite dance?
Reagan: I loved Kristina and Vasily’s routine. I usually prefer other styles over ballroom but this routine was just so unique and impressive. Like Vanessa Hudgens said, the spinning kiss thing was so cool!
Austin: My favourite dance was Robert’s hip hop routine. There were so many different styles incorporated, and the pauses and changes in pace were so great!
Janine: Kristina and Vasily’s ballroom dance was my favorite to watch. They added so much creativity to their routine, and I was mesmerized by their performance.
Terry: Kristina and Vasily’s “50 shades of ballroom” routine was my fave dance of the night! They definitely earned a spot on the hot tamale train! Sizzling hot and unique!
Tracy: Kristina and Vasily. Obviously, they are both great technicians, but they were just so sexy and so strong. The connection that they have with each other was so evident and just made the story of that routine come through that much stronger.
Kiamesha: My favorite dance was definitely the routine by the married couple. The music and the routine were AMAZING!
3. How do you feel about the switch back to adults this season? Do you miss the kids?
Reagan: For this show, adults are better. When the kids were around it just didn’t feel like SYTYCD! Maybe they should create a second show featuring kids.
Austin: As much as I enjoyed the kids, the adults will always be my favourite. They can do a lot more emotional, intimate dances.
Janine: I am relieved the original format has returned to SYTYCD. The kids were adorable and talented, but they are not capable of emoting like the adults.
Terry: I’m really glad SYTYCD switched back to the adults this season. Though I enjoyed the kids when it got to the live shows I found the audition episodes too heartbreaking when they didn’t make it through! I also hope there’s a tour this season!
Tracy: While I ended up enjoying last season more than I thought I would (mainly due to the choreographer’s creativity in giving the kids routines to really dig into) I, for one, am extremely happy that they are back to the adults. I just think that the choreographers can do so much more with those who have lived a little more life and have had a little more experience. And personally, I got more connected emotionally to previous season routines with adults than I did to some of the routines last year.
Kiamesha: I miss seeing the kids but I grew up watching the adults. Honestly, if the show is still on I’m happy.
4. How do you feel about Mary Murphy‘s return?
Reagan: I really enjoy Mary. She brings so much energy to the show! And her laughter is contagious. Plus, her comments are often very insightful.
Austin: I missed Mary!!! I know she is loud and crazy, but she is insightful and honest too!
Janine: I am ecstatic that @HOTTAMALETRAIN has returned to SYTYCD! I was sad when she did not return, and the show hasn’t been the same without her infectious enthusiasm and screaming!
Terry: I’m so so so happy to see Mary Murphy return! I know some folks think she’s annoying but I love her! She’s so wacky and a perfect foil for Nigel Lythgoe! I’m also a sucker for ballroom so with her return I’m sure we will get some good ballroom dancers in the top 20!
Tracy: I’ve always been a Mary fan, And I think tonight really showed all of the reasons why. I think she’s just really gets engaged in the routines, and touched by the dancers and their journeys. I know some people don’t like the screaming, but it always just made me laugh.
Kiamesha: I love Mary. Something was missing when she wasn’t there.
5. How do you feel about Vanessa Hudgens as a judge?
Reagan: I loved her. She was adorable. I was nervous about her qualifications to judge dance but she is proving to be such a joy and welcome addition that I’m no longer concerned at all. I like how she kind of represents the audience – the majority of viewers don’t have a whole lot of technical dance experience, but they love dance. That’s how Vanessa seems. She has a little experience but she doesn’t utilize technical jargon – she says the same sorts of things viewers at home do!
Austin: So far I like Vanessa as a judge. I’m not the greatest fan of having people who judge that aren’t strictly dancers and know the terminology, but she still has a little bit of a dance background and she’s super sweet!
Janine: Vanessa Hudgens did a great job at the judge’s table. She has relevant feedback for the dancers and is adorable to watch.
Terry: I love Vanessa Hudgens. Such a breath of fresh air and so sweet! I loved when she danced on the stage with Luke Dryjski!
Tracy: Vanessa surprised me tonight. I liked her dynamic with Nigel and Mary. And I think she had some good things to say about the dancers. Hoping that she can give some really good constructive criticism down the road.
Kiamesha: It’s a nice addition. My HSM heart was so happy when I found out.
6. Twitter has been largely divided about the Russian twins, who got a standing ovation from the judges! What did you think of their routine?
Reagan: I liked it as a performance. I was entertained and a little scared. However, I’m not sure it totally showcased their ability to do well in this competition, and I think they should’ve been sent to the choreography round.
Austin: To be honest, I didn’t enjoy their routine. I found it too jerky and very weird. As a fellow dancer, I didn’t see the difficulty in it or the enjoyment.
Janine: I thought their routine was very intense and interesting, but I do not think their choreography showcased much dancing ability.
Terry: Sorry, not a fan of the Russian twins! I’m sure Sonya Tayeh would love to choreograph them and I would love to see what she would do but I just found the routine too weird for my taste. I’m sure there are lots of dance fans who loved it though!
Tracy: It was definitely different. Definitely creative. I can’t say that I loved it, it didn’t necessarily move me. But I can see why the judges loved it. Definitely outside the box of what we normally see. Is the technique there, I don’t know. But I also saw a comment from Nigel about them on Twitter so this may be a moot point.
Kiamesha: I wasn’t really a fan of it the first time I saw it, but I saw it on TV and it was like I was seeing it with different eyes.
7. We are all happy the show has finally returned, what do you think makes SYTYCD such an amazing show, even if it’s the fourteenth season?
Reagan: As evidenced by the vast background of our first group of dancers, dance is a global phenomenon. It’s one of the things that connects people everywhere. It is so great to have a show like this to embrace that love. Dance is a powerful thing, and SYTYCD allows us to really connect with a group of people and root for their success. We learn so much about them, not just through their words but through their movement. That’s what makes this show feel magical at times.
Austin: I think SYTYCD is such an amazing show because it really kickstarted dance on tv! As soon as people learned that they could watch a dance competition show on their tv and they didn’t have to pay, that’s when millions of people started tuning in! Every year the dancing gets better!
Janine: SYTYCD is an amazing show because we get to see the hard work involved with dancing by everyday people. The dancers are so hard working, humble, grateful and talented! I love seeing the growth that occurs on the show, learning about the backstory of the dancers, and the chemistry at this judges table is fantastic. I love that so many different styles/genres of dance are represented and that we the fans play a part in their future by voting and supporting them.
Terry: SYTYCD is such an amazing show because it covers all genres of dance and challenges the contestants to get out of their comfort zones. I love to see a dancer who, at the start of the season, might only know one form of dance (such as hip-hop) and by the end becomes proficient in multiple styles of dance.
Tracy: For me, it’s always been about the journey every season. In the beginning during the auditions finding those dancers I connect to regardless of their genre. And then just watching them develop throughout the season when they are chosen into the top 20 or top 10. It’s amazing to watch how they dance at the beginning to how they dance at the end. Especially when they get a routine and a choreographer that just really challenges them and they rise to it. That excites me more almost than them winning the season because then I know that they are able to go on and do amazing things with their career.
Kiamesha: I believe that the show has a little bit of everything for everyone.
Final Verdict: Season 14 starts off strong with the return of Mary Murphy, adult dancers, and the addition of Vanessa Hudgens!
The first episode of the season has already sent eight dancers to Vegas! Plus, Mary Murphy’s return and the addition of Vanessa Hudgens has given the show a great energy, which is impressive for any show in its fourteenth season. Darius Hickman seems to be standing out as a fan favorite, and Kristina and Vasily’s ballroom dance is loved by many. With so many great dancers already on board, and a fantastic panel of judges, this season of So You Think You Can Dance is sure to be one of the best!