There Must Be A Drought In Chicago, Because These So You Think You Can Dance Parents Are Thirsty

The auditions roll into Chicago, where we get ballet, puking, and more camera-hungry parents than you could ever imagine

I'm not loving the dancing-kids development this season, but by FAR the worst things about the new Dance world order are the parents. I hate that they get to sit on couches on the stage, I hate that eager look in their eye when they get even the slightest bit of attention, I hate thinking about how the show is going to end up integrating them into the competition phase. They're the worst, thirstiest people we've ever had on this show, and this show has prominently featured Tyce Diorio and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Also, remember how mean the judges used to be in their early seasons? Back when Nigel was trying to be Simon Cowell, and judges like Dan Karaty and Brian Friedman and Mia Michaels would tell you if they just didn't like your face? Sigh. So You Think You Can Dance is gone, Marge. Long gone.

The auditions rolled into Chicago this week. Let's see which dancers (and their parents) did well.

8. Oh Stewardess? I Dance Jive

Lenana, age ten, dances a spirited jive to that "Ain't Nothing Wrong with That" song, and it's a lot of fun while still only making me miss Jess LoProtto from back when adults were on the show.

7. Mama's Got The Stuff

Daniela, age eleven, is a Latin ballroom dancer whose mom was the first Cuban world ballroom champion. And Mom covers her mouth like she's soooooo embarrassed that they mentioned it. Like, come on, lady. No one is buying this. Not when she then gets up on stage and teaches Jason and Nigel some moves. These thirsty-ass parents, I swear to God. Literally, Daniela needs to scramble off camera in order to make room for her mother.

6. You're Watching Third-Graders

Ainslee, age eight, still has her baby teeth, not to mention a giant-ass Minnie Mouse bow on her head. She's a tiny little squirt doing jazz moves, and it's all so Little Miss Sunshine. Honestly, this stuff is creepy enough to ruin regular dance for me. (Thankfully, the judges take a pass on this girl.)

5. Zero Tickets To The Gun Show

Alex, age thirteen, is one of those little kids who have muscles, which is never less than completely unsettling. Put 'em away, kid. And eat a carb, you'll like 'em.

4. Girl Don't Play The Fool

Emma, age ten, is a tap dancer, and her mom isn't a regular mom, she's a cool mom. She dances to "Cold Hearted" by Paula Abdul, and Nigel gives Paula the requisite guff about it. Emma is wearing a sparkly bikini top with a sleeve on only one arm, and I'm not going to complain every single time one of these kids wears something age-inappropriate, so I'll just say it once now: it is uncomfortable to watch such things.

3. Jidges Finally Jidge

Tia, age twelve, is a ballerina from a whole family full of dancers, and while it's almost certainly true that her mother isn't Julie Delpy from Age Of Ultron, there's nothing in this particular segment that rules it out definitively. Tia gets to be judges by Fabrice Calmels, who just so happens to be the principal dancer at the Joffrey Ballet. He actually gives Tia some constructive advice (watch that right foot!), which counts as the only actual criticism levied in the first two weeks of the new season.

2. Reach For The Stars, Because Stars Don't Have Arms To Reach For You

Diana, age ten, encourages the viewers at home to "keep on dreaming because dreams come true," which even Cat Deeley has to make fun of. This girl has insane body control on stage, though. Sonya Tayeh is going to choreograph something really weird for this one.

1. Queen Ralph

Tahani, age twelve, is a hip-hop dancer and is working overtime to give us adorableness. She dances to Beyoncé's "Countdown," and the "grind up on it, girl" part needs to be edited out. She's really fantastic, though, with a routine that's actually enhances by her precociousness. And then she goes and pukes all over Paula Abdul when Paula hugs her too tight. She's my favorite of the season so far.

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