So You Think You Can Dance? Review: “Dallas And New York Auditions” (Season 9, Episode 1)

I’ve been a fan of So You Think You Can Dance? for a long time and you could say that I’ve been waiting anxiously like an impatient little child for season 9 to begin. There are only a few reality shows that I actually watch and So You Think You Can Dance? is one of them.

Often reality shows get stuck in melodramatic back stories, repetitive styles of production and format and talent that while good, is far from refreshingly new and exciting.

So You Think You Can Dance? has been unable to escape the torment of long stories, but the latter has never been a problem for them. With a change of judges and the introduction of All-Stars in season eight, the show has continually been able to keep my attention and so far, season nine is no different.

The first episode of season nine began with producer and permanent judge Nigel Lythgoe, Ballroom expert Mary Murphy and Tyce Diorio in New York and krumper Lil’C in Dallas. The judges’ chemistry was perfect; a mixture of comedic and insightful comments each delivered at the right moment in the right way. And as always, the show was hosted Cat Deeley, who is perhaps one of most entertaining hosts in TV history (I truly was stunned that she did not manage to snag that Emmy last year). Cat Deeley is the only reality TV host that I would genuinely want as a friend.

The two hour long show was filled with several stunning moments that justified my reason for watching the show. Perhaps the greatest of these was Bree Hafen‘s audition; an audition including a beautiful contemporary piece and a lot of cuteness. Trust me, it is hard not to feel mushy and gooey inside as a five year old boy is handed a ticket to Vegas so that he can run on stage and make his mother’s dreams come true. Also, seeing Bree’s two year old daughter Stella dance her own solo piece and actually show some talent (beyond being adorable) was hard not to enjoy.

Other notable auditions included Stepheon Stewart‘s zombie styled dance and Hampton Williams‘ “Exorist Style” dance that was no doubt the most original and moving piece of the whole night. Typically, I am most impressed by the contemporary pieces on the show, but William’s popping and locking mixed with some powerful miming was not only creative or entertaining, but meaningful in the story it told.

In the weeks to come in shall be interesting to see how the show is affected by the new direction and time slot. With the deletion of the eliminations show  and lengthened weekly episodes, I wonder if the show’s ratings increase or drop. Whatever the case is, I know that I’ll be watching till the very end (or at least until my new favorite dancer gets booted off).