Podcast: SYTYCD Season 9 – Auditions: Salt Lake City

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
1:04 – “No” to Vegas (non-ballroom): Lynn Gravatt, Leroy Martinez, Murphy Yang
5:04 – Burlesque and Krump: Rachel Applehans, Mariah Spears
8:55 – Contemporary/Jazz: Deanna “Dee” Tomasetta, Gene Lonardo, Dareian Kujawa, Adrian Lee
15:44 – Ballroom: Whitney Hallam & Johnny Anh, Lindsay Arnold, Witney Carson
20:41 – Who we’re excited to see in Vegas
26:23 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 28:20

It’s the last stop of the season 9 audition tour and while we were largely underwhelmed by the turnout in Atlanta, Salt Lake City more than made-up for it, providing us with many solid, diverse performers and a whole host of ballroom at last! Of the non-ballroom performers, Mariah Spears, Deanna Tomasetta, Gene Lonardo and Dareian Kujawa all impressed us with their stand-out solos, from Mariah’s surprising and convincing krump routine to Gene’s clever choreography about the life cycle of the male praying mantis. The moving story of Leroy Martinez and his work with disadvantaged youth was an uplifting segment and a fitting way, we think, to close out the first part of the audition process. And of course, we finally had some proper ballroom! In particular, we found Witney Carson’s ability to transform herself the second her routine began to be particularly impressive, and she has great skill to boot!

Obviously, since we’re posting this after the airing of the Vegas week episode, a lot of the people we were excited to see in Vegas wound up cut. We’ll dig into the particulars when we get the podcast for Vegas together, but we are getting frustrated. After two seasons of rosters that were stuffed with contemporary/jazz dancers, we were hoping they would expand beyond that model this season. Although it has some inaccuracies, the Vegas spoilers list (which doesn’t list a Top 20, and is no longer really a spoiler after this past episode) shows that the majority of people that made it through the week are contemporary/jazz. I think what bothers us most about that is if the Top 20 contestants from the first 4 or so seasons were to try out now, it’s doubtful that some of them would even make it to the end of the week (like Ivan, for example).

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