Well, OK: It's not an audition per se. But Jesse Tyler Ferguson—"Modern Family" star, frequent "So You Think You Can Dance" guest judge, and #1 member of the Travis Wall Fan Club (we're #2, for the record)—just made a video in which he shows off his best dance moves in a Shaping Sound t-shirt. Is it exactly as hilarious as you think it'll be? Yes. Is his dancing also surprisingly impressive? Um, yes!
GET IT, JTF:
Welcome, to "So You Think You Can Dance!" This week, we're in L.A. for the third round of auditions—and I'm thrilled to report that these auditions were far more successful and entertaining than what we saw on last week's show.
On with the recap!
The Top 5 Moments From The L.A. Auditions:
1. Jesse Tyler Ferguson on the judging panel. I love him on "Modern Family" and I don't even care that he may not be a dance expert. He's so stinkin' lovable as a self-proclaimed "super fan of the show," and you could tell he genuinely enjoyed sitting up there with Nigel and Mary. Adorable and hilarious.
2. Alexa Anderson! Our former Cover Model Search winner was the first one up last night, and she got sent straight to Vegas. No surprise there: We knew she was a star when we spotted her on the competition scene, you knew she was a star when you voted her the winner of the 2010 CMS battle, and now the rest of the world will know she's a star when Alexa inevitably makes it into the Top 20. (Seriously, Nigel and Mary: Put this girl in the Top 20.) We're rooting for you, Alexa!
3. "No lip syncing." Mary Murphy, I love you for this. High five. She told the crop of L.A. dancers that she did not want to see any lip syncing. Write this down, dancers and teachers. No one likes lip syncing! I don't care if you're doing a musical theater number to "Cell Block Tango" and you swear mouthing the words will make your performance more believable. Let the singers do the singing, you just worry about your sassy moves!
4. All the super-cute contemporary girls. I loved Sam Lenarz, whose mom kicked her out of the house and didn't support her dancing. Her story was heartbreaking, but with her killer feet and ability to light up the stage, I doubt she'll be held back in life. Then there was Megan Branch, who danced with a youthful innocence that I found incredibly compelling. Nigel called her a "little firecracker." And then there was Emily James! Emily was a DS Cover Model Search finalist and she was sent straight to Vegas. Duh.
5. Jonathan Anzalone. I basically like that he looks like Joey Lawrence, and I had a crush on Joey Lawrence when I was in elementary school and he was on that TV show "Blossom." Jonathan was quirky, fun to watch and could shake his booty better than any dude I've ever met.
The “So You Think You Can What?!” Moment of the Night:
How much did I love the "A-list celebrity on a B-list budget" twins, Nick and James Aragon? I loved them so much. They refer to themselves as the "ninja twins," one is a stylist, one works at "The Village Idiot," and their double cartwheels were to die for. Are they going to win "SYTYCD?" Um, no. Not at all. But they were adorable and I want them to take me shopping.
Check back next week when we'll be recapping Atlanta auditions. And of course, tell us what you thought of the show!
This is awesome: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, aka The Greatest "So You Think You Can Dance" Guest Judge of All Time, wants to be on "Dancing with the Stars."
This is awesomer: The "Modern Family" star began this campaign at the behest of his mom, who is just as obsessed with his "SYT" judging as we all are.
This is awesomest: Ferguson first announced his new goal on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." And then Ellen made him do an impromptu "audition." Because of course.
If you love JTF's high-quality, hilarious commentary on "SYT," you are going to go insane for his high-quality, hilarious dancing in this audition sequence (yes, there's a little Fosse happening during the "hip hop" section, but let's cut the guy some slack):
Come to think of it—how has this man not been on "DWTS" already?? As we just witnessed, he has more natural dance ability than 90% of the people previously cast. His endearing/crazy antics will lend themselves perfectly to the show's personality-driven format. And we need something to keep our JTF dance dreams alive after his ultimately unsuccessful "SYTYCD" Australia audition.
Can we get a campaign going to make this a reality, please? #JTFonDWTS! #JesseTylerDancerson! Kthxbai.
"So You Think You Can Dance" has undergone a number of format changes over its ten seasons—some good, some bad: Adding the All-Stars? Awesome. Male and female winners? Great. No separate results show? Meh. Elimination at the beginning of the show? Awful. Elimination no longer at the beginning of the show? Phew.
You've gotta admit, they sure keep it interesting.
But one change we're still not quite sure about is the addition of celebrity guest judges. It's really a mixed bag. You get those celebrities with real experience in the dance world: Kenny Ortega, Megan Mullally, Rob Marshall, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Applegate and Paula Abdul, to name a few. But you also get those completely clueless celebs, who resort to common catchwords—like Great!, Inspirational!, Pretty! or Wow!—or to describing how much they like the contestants' "outfits." (Not mentioning any names here...ahem...Carly Rae Jepsen.)
But some dance-newb celebrity judges we can forgive for their lack of expertise, especially if they're cute, funny, humble and passionate about dance.
Oh, and if they happen to have red hair, three names and fashionable bow ties, we're totally sold...
Jesse Tyler Ferguson claims his rightful spot at the "SYTYCD" judges' table. (Mike Yarish/FOX)
Yep, that's right. We're talking about "Modern Family" star Jessie Tyler Ferguson. As an avid fan, JTF really takes "So You Think You Can Dance" seriously. He believes in the show's mission—finding undiscovered talent from across the U.S.—and his critiques are just downright entertaining.
Well, last week he gave "SYTYCD" fans another reason to love him. While kickin' it in Australia filming "Modern Family," he decided to take a trip to see his good friend Paula Abdul.
Selfie! (via JTF's Instagram)
But wait, it gets better. He didn't just visit Paula. He surprised her, showing up at the "So You Think You Can Dance Australia" auditions (where Paula was serving as a judge) for a cameo performance:
That pirouette at the end demonstrated so much commitment.
So what do you think? Could Jesse Tyler Ferguson become Down Under's next favorite dancer?
We'll miss you, Hayley and Paul! (Side note: I agree with Mary, they look adorable together. I wouldn't be mad if they started dating.) Photo by Adam Rose
With Jesse Tyler Ferguson joining Nigel and Mary at the judges' table and a stellar All-Star lineup, I was more than a little excited for last night's episode. And I'm happy to say that it exceeded my expectations! (I mean, even Cat Deeley brought her A-game. Did you see that dress?! And is just me, or was she even more hilarious than normal? Love her.)
Here are my Top 5 Moments:
1. Paul and Kathryn's jazz routine. It's no secret I'm a sucker for a technical, high-energy jazz routine, so naturally I was all about the Tyce Diorio-choreographed number. I loved the Latin flavor and the costumes and the performance quality and the partnership—it was the perfect way to start the show.
2. The Nappytabs Family. OMG. Did you see Baby London? That hat? Coolest kid ever. Which is not surprising considering who his parents are. Can I be adopted into the family, too?
See what I mean? I die. (Photo via nappytabs Instagram)
3. Jasmine and Neil's contemporary routine. While I wasn't in love with the routine itself, I was blown away by the quality of the dancing. Neil is a ridiculous partner and was able to really show off Jasmine and her gorgeous technique (those legs!). I'd love to see them do more together.
4. Amy and Alex's Bollywood routine. How could I not love this routine—Amy and Alex are two of my favorite dancers to ever compete on the show! I'll admit, I was nervous Alex's Achilles wouldn't hold up with all the tuck jumps and bouncing around, but that's what Bollywood is. Speaking of the style, I've never danced it, but I love it. Sometimes I just want my life to be a Bollywood routine—energy, cheesiness, bright costumes? I'll take it.
5. Paul and Hayley's contemporary routine. The song, the choreography, the chemistry—this dance was one of the highlights of the night. I really loved that Dee Caspary just let them dance. There was no need for crazy, intricate lifts or tricks, they just moved—brilliantly.
In the end, we tearfully said goodbye to Hayley and Paul. Thank goodness we'll be seeing them on tour in no time!
So, what do you think? Did they send the right dancers home? Which routine was your favorite? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to tune in for next week's performance finale!
Oh, "So You Think You Can Dance," you always sneak up on me. How are we already down to the Top 6 dancers?! I'm not ready for it to end!
But, I am ready for tonight's show. Not only is my favorite Jesse Tyler Ferguson joining the judging panel tonight, but they've also got a stellar All-Star lineup. Check 'em out:
Melanie Moore, Season 8 winner
Alex Wong, Season 7
Joshua Allen, Season 4
Witney Carson, Season 9
Neil Haskell, Season 3
Kathryn McCormick, Season 6
Are you as excited for tonight's episode as I am? Who do you think will be paired up? Personally, I'd love to see Neil and Amy dance together—it would be contemporary magic! Let me know what you think in the comments below.
(L to R) Shaping Sound's Teddy Forance, Kyle Robinson, Nick Lazzarini and Travis Wall, photographed for "Dance Spirit" by Joe Toreno
Last night, the DS staff got all gussied up and headed to the Beacon Theater for Shaping Sound's That's Where I'll Be Waiting. So did pretty much everyone else in NYC.
No, but really: The crowd at this show, which was the last stop on the company's month-long tour, was incredible. Along with mainstream dance fans like Jesse Tyler Ferguson (a.k.a. the best "So You Think You Can Dance" judge of all time), there were a host of familiar dancers and choreographers milling through the lobby of the Beacon. Joey Dowling! Kenny Wormald! Dana Wilson! Ida Saki! Catherine Hurlin! It was like a reunion for all the dance world's cool kids.
Not that that's surprising. The members of Shaping Sound are some of the most exciting people on the commercial scene, after all—and definitely not less famous since their turn on the reality show "All the Right Moves." Almost every Shaping Sound dancer is a dance celebrity, and the people most prominently featured in That's Where I'll Be Waiting—Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, who also created and choreographed the show—have become legit stars. More celebrities onstage = more celebrities in the audience (and also = more opportunities for us lesser non-celebrities to totally freak out because Jesse Tyler Ferguson is sitting one seat away from us, eee!).
The Shaping Sound foursome were smart about how they presented their well-known team, too. That's Where I'll Be Waiting gives each dancer a specific character—i.e., "The Trouble" (Alexa Anderson), "The Temptress" (Channing Cooke), etc—and at least a few moments in the spotlight. While the piece is threaded through with a love-triangle dream-story involving Travis, Teddy and Jaimie Goodwin, it's really driven by all the strong personalities onstage—personalities the audience already knows and loves.
Does that always work? Well, not quite. (Frankly, I'm still not sure why Chelsea Thedinga is "The Being.") Could I watch Nick, a.k.a. "The Wayward," do his flamboyantly fabulous David-Bowie-in-Labyrinth-meets-Herr-Drosselmeyer act (which is really just Nick being Nick) in his leather cape-vest alllll night? Oh, totally. And so could the rest of that star-studded crowd, which went standing-o bonkers for the entire cast at the curtain call. Congrats, guys!
Did you catch the Kinky Boots Awards last night? Uh, I mean the Tony Awards?
Yes, it seemed like Cyndi Lauper's high-spirited, be-spangled musical took home just about every prize there was, including Best Musical. But at the risk of sounding totally cheesy, I'd say we, the audience, were the real winners last night—because hey, it was a darn great show! Here are the evening's many high and few low points.
-Neil Patrick Harris. Can NPH host everything, ever? He was particularly awesome in the...
-...kick-butt opening number (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt). After getting shoehorned into the smaller Beacon Theater for a couple of years, the Tonys were back in Radio City Music Hall this time around—and boy, did they ever "go bigger." GO NEIL GO!
-By the way, did you catch Mike Tyson in there? Apparently he had a one-man show this year, which meant we got to see him do "choreography" and try to bite off NPH's ear. It was pretty spectacular.
Dance, Mike, dance!
-The Matilda performance. Super-clean choreography and fabulously clever lyrics performed by some of the most talented little kids ever? Plus scooters? And Ryan Steele? It doesn't get better than that.
-Actually, here's a shout-out to all the incredible kids who performed last night. From the Annie's orphans to A Christmas Story's hooligans (Luke Spring!), they showed a level of professionalism most Broadway grown-ups never achieve. And they were cuter to boot. As NPH put it, “They’re the reason this whole season seems to look like Chuck E. Cheese’s.”
-The mid-show musical tribute to Broadway actors and their canceled TV shows, starring Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty, Laura Benanti and brilliantly rejiggered versions of classic songs. Just watch it again (and suck it, Will Chase!):
-Cyndi Lauper's acceptance speech, because she seemed so genuinely thrilled by the awesomeness of it all. She also happens to be the first woman to win the Best Score Tony solo, which is pretty cool. (Honorable mention goes to presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson for screaming "Girl, you're gonna have fun tonight!" upon opening the envelope. And to Lauper's hair, last night and always.)
-Audra McDonald dropping the mic. (After helping NPH nail Lin-Manuel Miranda's awesome show-roundup rap, that is.) BOOM. What a boss.
-The introductions by other Broadway characters. Fine, the Newsies boys were adorable. But the pairings of old shows with new seemed totally rando (the Rock of Ages guys introducing...Cinderella??), making the gimmick disorienting more than anything else.
-Mike Tyson's reactions to the Tyson zingers NPH sprinkled throughout the show. Mike was not amused, Neil. And he's probably not the kind of guy you want on your bad side. Just sayin'.
-Patti LuPone's dress. No. I love you, but no.
I'm sorry I couldn't find a full-length pic, because the bottom only gets crazier. (photo Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
-Matilda not winning, like, anything. What? I mean, WHAT? OK, yes, it got Best Book and Best Featured Actor and a couple of those smaller ones they do during the commercials, but it was up for 12 nominations. Four out of 12? Did you see that performance earlier, voters??
By the way: Last week, we asked you who you thought would win the award for Best Choreography. While the actual Tony went to Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots, you guys were bigger fans of Andy Blankenbuehler's high-flying Bring It On choreo. Here are your results:
Andy Blankenbuehler for Bring It On: The Musical: 50.49%
Peter Darling for Matilda The Musical: 24.27%
Chet Walker for Pippin: 18.45
Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots: 7%