It's A Daddy-Daughter Dance On So You Think You Can Dance: TNG
The New York auditions present a couple dancers with actual maturity. And then there are the overzealous dads and kids who based their costumes on Magic Mike. Kids ruin everything.
The final set of auditions rolls through New York. Which, it turns out, has all the same awful stage parents the other cities had.
9. Try SYTYCD Junior Junior
Liza, age nine, and Joshua, age twelve, made for a very odd pair. The three-year age difference doesn't keep Liza from running the show, but their stories are all about how Josh, like, didn't want to be Liza's partner? Who put these two together? Also, Josh says he's going to buy his parents a Lamborghini if he wins. Kids are stupid, y'all. On stage, Liza's got crazy intense eye action, and to my mind they're both pretty mediocre. But Josh squeaks through while the judges pass on Liza. It seems like the judges feel the most free to cut dancers when they're younger than ten. Which will make for a better Academy, to be sure, but it feels a bit cowardly, that the judges can only be mean to kids if they can also say, "You'll be back next year."
8. Child...Strippers? That's Where We Are?
RJ is eleven, Jake is twelve, and they both like to dance the hip-hop. We thankfully only get three seconds of RJ-or-Jake's mom, who bounds onto the screen telling her kid, "You are the heartthrob the world is waiting for!" Get off my TV immediately! So the boys take the stage in their too-big suit jackets and too-loose neckties and proceed to dance their Magic Mike-themed routine. He's the thing: you KNOW this routine was the mom's idea. Ain't no twelve-year-old clamoring to ape the style of the deceptively introspective Steven Soderbergh movie about self-actualization. The kids dance well for their age, I suppose. The scrawnier one's legs are kind of a wonder, how fast they move and all. The other one is honestly not all that impressive.
7. Tap-Colored Glasses
Lucas, age thirteen, is a tap dancer who also enjoys hip-hop. He also opines that girls like guys who can move their feet, though I would think that is a very basic requirement indeed. He's definitely talented, but Nigel is up a TREE when he calls Lucas one of the best tappers they've ever had on the show. Didn't a tapper just win last year? A real adult tapper? Nigel is so disappointing. To the point where I have to look to JASON DERULO for support. He's honestly right, though. Lucas keeps trying to make cool faces while he dances and it's very distracting.
6. America's 321st-Best Dance Crew
Kai is twelve and a breakdancer from Jersey; he's got a "crew" with him, watching on the couches with his family. This crew. A twelve-year-old; a guy who is at-youngest seventeen; and a guy who is almost certainly in his late twenties. Do dancers just hang around studios until they get matched up at random? Kai dances with his crew, and they're okay, though -- big surprise -- the adults dance better than the kid, so congrats on selling out your fellow crew member, I guess? If only there were still a show for actual, adult dancers, these guys might go somewhere.
5. Enter The Matrix
Valeriya, age ten, and Alex, eleven, are ballroom partners who are dressed like they just entered the Matrix. As visual inspiration, I'll still take this over the Magic Mike bros. (Can you call eleven-year-olds bros? I feel okay with that.) Anyway, Valeriya is pretty meh, despite having a name that sounds like a Targaryen dragon, but Alex is really good. In that cheesy Latin ballroom way, but still good.
4. Brace Yourselves
Lotta dancers this week getting dinged for bad technique. Brace-faced ballet dancer Olivia, age twelve, is essentially all technique. Paula calls her "hyper-flexible but controlled." Hey, me too. She's not super-great at realistically projecting complex emotions (hey, me too), but she can really move.
3. Dad Jukes
Ruby, age twelve, is a Latin ballroom dancer from Miami whose mom and dad are dancers. Dad's the one who gets to sit on the Big Parent Couch on stage, though. And while he's definitely every bit the stage parent the others are, his irrepressible dorkiness and boundless energy for dance even while he watches his daughter go win me over. Honestly, the faces he's making.
The judges pretend to spontaneously ask him to go join his daughter on stage, but it's pretty cute. And I like her anyway, but she's the U.S. junior champion in Latin ballroom so I think she's fine either way.
2. Teach Me How to Dougie
Dougie, eleven, is wearing a Michael Jackson's HIStory-style sparkly military jacket. This kid knows how to death drop, I can tell. He's also got the only legit great stage parent, who talks about fighting for her kid against shitty homophobic teachers and such. On stage, we find out that Dougie has already danced in Kinky Boots on Broadway, and in the touring company of Motown, and I guess this is like Virgil last season, who had already been on Broadway. Maybe just keep working then? Anyway, as that pedigree might suggest, Dougie's incredible. Or at least I think he is. Nigel and Jason get really nitpicky with him before grudgingly putting him through. Hey shut up, idiots, he's great.
1. Canadian Fire
Tate, age twelve, is a ballet dancer who possesses a maturity of movement that a lot of her competitors don't, and for that reason alone I hope she makes it to Top 10. She's also from Calgary, and her family bio is full of Canadian details. Her dad works in a maple syrup factory, Mom is the nation's 4th leading distributor of Timbits, and her brother plays minor league hockey in the OHL. Or so I assume. Anyway, she is great and I am rooting for her, inasmuch as I am rooting for anything this season besides the swift return of Wade Robson.