E: So that’s a lot of ground to cover! We’ve got the usual amount of brutal cuts, breakdowns, injuries and general disasters. And we’ve got the editors’ mission – to give us a dramatic show – that sometimes sits at odds with my preference to meet the actual contestants. Still, in the 219 dancers we have an abundance of wondrous, astonishing talent, and it’s a pleasure to see them ply their trade.
E: Is it weird that all I can think at this point is how many awesome dancers aren’t going to make the Top Twenty? I mean, wow. We’ve seen some really terrific stuff so far; by the end of the New York auditions, there’ll be 114 stage dancers headed to Vegas, and 105 street dancers. I doubt we’ve even seen half of them, but what have we seen? Really good stuff. I already feel attached, which is going to make next week more than a little bit painful. Ah, but it’s the summer’s sweetest pain.
E: Before we talk about the amazing auditions — and seriously, wow — let’s chat about the revelation for this year’s format. Turns out Standing Ovation was right; street dancer will only do street styles, and stage dancers will only do stage styles. In Vegas, the street dancers will do choreography provided by Dave Scott, Jamal Sims and NappyTabs (yay!), and the stage dancers will get Sonya Tayeh, Josh Vergas and team captain Travis Wall. I’m trying to be down with the new program, but this worries me. The casts won’t be integrated at all, and none of the dancers will get the chance to grow and stretch in the way we’re used to. I just don’t know if the comparison is ever going to be fair, or if I really want to see a show weighted so hip hop heavy (half the routines!) that it excludes so many other styles of dance. I mean, are we not going to see any ballroom, because that’d be too much of a downer for the stage dancers? I’m going to try and tamp down my judgement till I see it, though; maybe it’ll be fantastic.
To the good, there are more than enough fantastic dancers on this episode to more than fill up a slate of twenty. I feel really attached to them, actually. Way to bring it, L.A.! I’d be happy to see a really high number of these contestants in the Top Twenty. The inevitable audience full of All Stars and former contestants (Comfort, Cyrus, Fik-shun, Aaron, Jasmine, Philip, Millie, Lindsay, maybe Malece) is a pretty nice side benefit, too.
E: I don’t know if you would have guessed this, but the city that produced Eminem virtually teems with amazing street performers. Yes. I know. It’s shocking. But it is a pretty good couple of days to play for the street team.
The show isn’t done talking up the new judging panel, which does seem to be relaxing into more of a unit; Nigel and Paula, at least, are doing their level best to become the next Paula and Simon. I’m not sure this is necessary (the short jokes, come on), but it’s happening, so there it is. Also, sorry, but there’s no way we’re going to forget that Paula isn’t Mary. All that said, I’m enjoying them just fine, although I think I’m going to need to start a Special-o-meter to track the number of contestants Paula crowns with that particular adjective.
M: There are only a handful of wide releases coming to theaters in June, some of them of the variety that busts the block. We expect Jurassic World will bring in some serious coin, as should Inside Out. The latter might even be a good movie.
C: The premise is pretty weird, but Pixar’s hit rate is unquestionable.
M: That it is, as we’ll discuss. However, while some of the big offerings this month do look promising, we’re much more excited for a small documentary about a boy with leukemia.
E: I agree — this month’s slate of prospective tentpoles doesn’t thrill me nearly so much as that intensely moving and celebratory documentary.
C: And here I assumed you’d be more excited for A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, E!
M: You and me both, sis!
E: Okay, it might have been 47 degrees out and raining here on June 1st – but my summer has started anyway, because SYT is back, baby! Sure, the storm system we’ve been stuck in ate 10 minutes of the broadcast, but all that really means (I think) is that I didn’t have to sit through the return of the Wendy Williams impersonator. Yay, me!
First – before we get to the dancing and the exciting prospects for the show – we’ve got to talk about the changes we’re looking at for season 12, which are plentiful. Normally, I’m a creature of tradition and habit, and I approach change as one might a wolf on a leash. Which is to say, with caution and suspicion. Maybe you run at wolves, but that’s not normally how I roll This time, though, I’m cautiously optimistic that that I’ll keep enjoying my favorite summer treat. Let’s break it down: