So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 Premiere Recap: Vote for Best L.A. Audition! [Updated]

so-you-think-you-can-dance-season-10-premiereWhen Nigel Lythgoe referenced the Japanese horror genre early in the So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 Premiere, I didn’t realize his metaphor would take on quite such a literal slant. But over the course of a zippy, talent-filled hour, there were more than a few bone-chilling sights and sounds:

A former softball player’s “loose-jointed” knee shown in graphic slo-mo as it dislocated (complete with amplified “popping sound”) from its socket. Mary Murphy and a burly, ponytailed dude exchanging whooping mating calls. Another guy doing a painful-looking piroutte on his elbow. Even guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson telling a wide-eyed teenage contestant that she resembled a “little doll” — one which he very much enjoyed staring at. (To his credit, JTF acknowledged the unintended creepiness of his statement.)

All joking aside, though, we got to see extended auditions from six folks who earned their tickets to Vegas, two other street-dance tryouts that were quite entertaining (even if they didn’t yield a pass to the next round), and plenty of the inspirational-yet-goofy hijinks that are a trademark of SYTYCD auditon eps.

Without further ado, my ranking of the episode’s Vegas-bound contestants:

6. Malece ‘Looks Like a Doll’ Miller | I agreed with Mary that Malece’s transitions could’ve been smoother, and some of that “sexywalk” choreography didn’t jibe with the youthful vibe she was projecting.

5. Taylor ‘Dislocated Knee’ Ward | I’ll admit I had trouble focusing on Taylor’s routine because my eyes were glued to her bandaged “loose” knee like it was a cheetah in the bushes, waiting to suddenly pop out and strike again. I did detect about 50 percent too much vacant smile, but I also respected the girl’s committment to playing through the pain to achieve her dream of dance stardom.

4. Armen ‘Wannabe Rapper’ Way | You’ve kinda got to love Armen’s utter lack of self-awareness in showing his “rap video” — featuring bikini-clad chicks washing cars — and declaring it one of his proud moments in life. (Buddy, a large chunk of the voting audience is female! D’oh!) Then again, I suppose Armen does have a little of that hyper-cheesy, desperately masculine energy that Maksim Chmerkovskiy has winningly brought to Dancing With the Stars for so many seasons. The question is, does Armen truly want to be a hoofer, or was his quote about his emcee skills — “Even as a white boy, I would love to be recognized by an American audience” — mean he’d rather be Eminem?

3. Du-Shuant ‘Fik-Shun’ Stegall (pictured) | The way this dude rotated his hips and neck, it was as if they weren’t even attached to his torso. Freaky, and freaky good! Let’s hope he can handle choreographed pieces, eh?

2. Paul ‘SYTYCD: Armenia Winner’ Karmiryan | I enjoy a strong ballroom guy in the competition, and Paul’s spins and jumps were as precise as they were effortless. Plus, seeing that he managed to win Armenia’s version of the show, he has to have some versatility. What Mary astutely noted were Paul’s “movie-star looks” won’t hurt, either.

1. Elijah ‘Possessed by a Tutu’ Laurant | I wasn’t sure if Elijah was being set up as a joke contestant when he showed up with a black tutu on his neck and declared that it was “possessing” his body. But yowza, his routine turned out to be my favorite of the night, full of dark and feral movement — with a sly grin running through its undercurrent. Plus, Elijah had the quote of the night, squealing to Nigel (who totally “got” his vibe) — “Exactly what I was going for! Androgynous!”

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of SYTYCD’s Season 10 premiere? Who was your favorite auditioner? Take our poll, sound off in the comments, and for all my reality TV news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kari says:

    Malece was so good I got goosebumps and gasped. She may be the reason why I watch this season.

  2. gabe says:

    Does anyone one know what song the Malece danced too?

  3. Drew says:

    So when that former softball player girl was put thought, was I the only one who thought “Pop Pop!”?

  4. Chablis says:

    Meh on Malece. Reminds me of Melanie.

  5. Rachel says:

    I could not believe Taylor went through with the audition! Good for her, and well done. I was not as impressed as everyone else seems to be with the tutu guy. I can see his technique, and the androgyny was definitely different….I guess I just didn’t get it. I LOVED Fik-shun!

  6. JS says:

    I felt like the thing with Taylor’s knee was a little off. Like maybe she has a trick knee and did that so the judges would be easier on her. Frankly she isn’t a strong enough dancer to be on the show.
    And my favorite of the night wasn’t featured but was shown and it was Megan Branch. She was phenomenal in Vegas last season and got cut at the green mile so I hope she makes it this year :)

    • Genie says:

      I have a dislocating knee, and trust me, I would never dislocate it on purpose and I doubt anyone else would either. It hurts like a bitch and take weeks and weeks to recover from, sometimes months. That being said, maybe she wouldn’t have made it through without the backstory, but if she’s not good enough, she won’t make it much further anyways. So what’s the harm?

    • Kate'shomesick says:

      Maybe a stupid person would dislocate her knee on purpose. It doesn’t only hurt as hell…if it happens too often most people have to have surgery to shorten the ligaments which means less flexibility…which for a dancer equals: end of dancing professionally…

    • Marie Weigh says:

      When the knee dislocated she tore connective tissue and bruised bones. She would not do that on purpose! Any injury like that causes your surrounding muscles to stop contracting or working as hard (aka they lose mass quickly). And all these dancers are amazing that get to go to Vegas! They call it “America’s favorite dancer” because you can’t judge artistry only respect it!

  7. Pavanne says:

    So great to have SYTYCD back. And I’m actually kinda digging the one hour auditions. No time for the freak shows and fame whores. Count me in!

  8. D.C.Ellis says:

    im trying 2 learn the title 2 one of the songs during a rehearsal that had a woman saying,”i don’t know,,,,”, it was a female dancer on i think.

  9. Kate says:

    SYTYCD is back and Slezak is recapping – life is grand!

  10. Rain says:

    So happy SYTYCD is finally back and can we please please please have JTF every week?!!! The only one I really liked last night was Fik-Shun. Am I the only one who thought that if Taylor’s knee popped out that easy how is she going to make it on the show? She seemed like a talented dancer, but it’s going to be terrible for her partner if that happens right before performance night all the time.

  11. Nonya says:

    I didn’t think anyone particularly stood out last night. The Armenian dancer was interesting but it looked like he was holding back (at least I hope that wasn’t his best). I like the longer audition shows better. A little freak here and there makes it fun as long as there aren’t many of them.

  12. VCI says:

    SYTYCD is by far my favorite reality tv show (It’s the only one I’ve stuck with from the beginning and never once have been bored by or ask myself why am I watching this.)
    Elijah was a little too intense for me so I wasn’t able to personally connect, but he is a strong dancer and look forward to seeing how far he goes. My favorite by far was Fik-Shun.

    I’m surprised there isn’t a rule that if you won a different version of SYTYCD you can audition for another country, and that put me off towards Paul.

    Also why weren’t the brothers talented enough to go through to choreography. They sent far weaker dancers there before (the hawaiian yeller). Was it simply because they didn’t have the right physique. I felt like they hid behind you need to stay here and help the kids as an excuse. The oldest brother definitely could have held down the fort. Or did by some chance the brothers not want a real chance but just advocate their cause.

    last note: in the preview clips Hampton (the xcorist) is back and he brought his kid (or a kid), cannot wait for that audition!!!!! You know he practiced the other genres this year, so looking forward to him bringing it!!

    and YAY SASHA!!!

  13. ashley says:

    Maksim’s energy is desperately missing from tv right now. How about Maksim as a guest judge on SYTYCD?

  14. Amity says:

    I love SYTYCD and am thrilled it is back but I’m wondering if anyone else is annoyed that they keep showing the audience and judges during the audition pieces. I don’t mind a few clips but I counted 9 cuts to the audience/judges during Amy Yakima’s audition (the one dancing to the beautiful French song). I just want to see the dancing!

  15. Maritz says:

    Paul is the best. Love him

  16. Kelly R. says:

    Paul was my fav! Armenia is a small country (no bigger than Los Angeles) so i think its fine for him to pursue success in the US competition!

    • Narine says:

      Actually, Los Angeles is approximately 503 square miles. Armenia on the other hand is 11,484 square miles! Do some research and know your facts before you comment ! You go my fellow Armenians!!! Go show them Armen and Paul!!!!

      • Kelly R. says:

        yes, but Armenia has a population of under 3 million, while Los Angeles has a population of over 3.8 million. i feel like we are saying the same thing though, he deserves to audition! :)

  17. Ally says:

    What was the name of the song Taylor danced to?

  18. Narine says:

    Paul was the best. I wish they showed his dancing more instead of the audience or the judges faces. I don’t think it matters that he has won in a different country because America had different standards and he can continue to grow as a dancer. Great dancing and personality, Paul is the best !!!!!!

  19. Cate Brown says:

    Sorry to have missed it. Pre-empted due to tornadoes in Texas!!

  20. Zahir says:

    Does anyone know the name & artist of the song from the last contestants? They were the brother from Pacoima, CA Eric & Lorenzo Chapman. I loved the song.

  21. Davine says:

    Anybody other than me notice that they don’t show any black female dancers?

    • Lisa W says:

      You are not the only one who has noticed this. It has been going on for years. Yes, they do sometimes have black female dancers as part of the top 20, but with the exception of Sasha in season 8, it seems (in recent seasons) as though they go out of their way to not showcase black female dancers during the auditions. They’re fine with showcasing black men but not women. They have been doing this since at least about season 3 or 4.

      It’s one of the reasons that I stopped watching the show regularly years ago. The last full season that I watched was season 4. I watched most of season 8 as well. However, I got really tired of black female dancers on this show being treated as either non-existent or worse as clowns during the audition process. I watch the auditions every year hoping that will change, but it never does. Their dragging out Debbie Allen every once in a while as a judge just doesn’t cut it for me.

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