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Fox is staging the ultimate dance battle with $100,000 on the line. Who'll get served, and who'll be the last dancer standing?

Recaps by Pierre Kelly, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Lauren Sanchez
Judges: Bonnie Lythgoe, Nigel Lythgoe, Jeff Thacker
Announcer: Mark Thompson
Creators: Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe
EP: Simon Fuller, Allen Shapiro, Nigel Lythgoe
Packager: 19 Entertainment, dick clark productions
Airs:
Wednesdays at 8pm ET on Fox


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"New York/Chicago (or: My Big Fat 2-Hour Dance Shindig)" - December 1

If there was one question I asked, would it be: So You Think You Can Dance?

FOX is here to answer that question as we start the audition process in the next 2 hours. Join host Lauren Sanchez as she searches the country for the best dancer in the nation. The dancers of all shapes & sizes come to prove that they can dance, but only 1 will win it if they'll survive the cut of round 1 auditions, work with top choreographers in Hollywood, and learn a new dance every week. Among the prizes for the ultimate dancer is $100,000 cash and a 1-year stay in a new York apartment. So, with that out of the way, let's hit out first audition city:

NEW YORK

New York City may be home to the Mets, the Yankees and Broadway plays, but there is one thing Broadway plays have, and that's dancing. In Round 1, they'll face Nigel Lythgoe who's the creator & executive producer of this show and American Idol, Bonnie Lythgoe who's the producer and Jeff Thacker who's also the producer. People lined up outside the Manhattan Center to give their one shot at dance stardom. They were so many street dancers, lockers, poppers, jazz, ballet & belly dancers, not one of them have made it through. However, Jason Maschi comes to put a stop to this drought. He dances hip-hop to "Le Freak." However, Nigel & Bonnie weren't interested in him making it through. However, a jazz dancer named Candice Latham did some leg spins to "Fever," and what Bonnie mentioned is that there were too many pirouettes, and just to be like Simon Cowell of his other creation, Nigel says she spins like his wife's tumbler dryer. So she spins outta here as Cheryl Texiara, who works at a burger joint since she was 17, comes to stop the curse. Her Britney Spears-like dancing to "Toxic" brought her game up. Jeff said it had engaging moves and agreed with Nigel to take her to the next round.

Up next, Christine Delano, an amusement park worker, will be doing hip-hop to "Tipsy." Unfortunately, she wasn't in tip-top shape and she danced worse. She even did a worse spin for the crowd. Nigel said she was bored stiff, but no fun for her, her ticket to round 2 is torn off.
Next, we see a montage every New Yorker has in it's culture since hip-hop began. That's right, I'm talking about the b-boys & b-girls, and they brought their moves by doing some tricks like an analog controller. Some breakers came and some headed for the exits, but one breaker named Daniel Gordon showed America how it's done to "Signs." Next, we see a montage of these Arabian beauties we call belly dancers. They know how to look good in costumes, the ability to tap finger cymbals, and the endurance to balance swords on their heads. There was one, however, with a real sword that made it through. One belly dancer comes in, and her name (who is real) is Isis. She had some peacock arms, did a little spin, and worked it like a professional. She says she wore the most expensive clothes today, but the judges gave her a free ride to round 2.

New York has many cultures of all kinds, and in this show, there were Ukrainians, Spanish people, whatever dance this girl was doing and Indian hip-hop. 1 Indian hip-hop dancer went through, by the way. All 4 Ukrainians came on stage to do a routine. To begin, 1 dancer remained standing, 1 stood on his head by climbing, and 1 did her thing upside down to him. Then, they walk around the stage, and when it didn't take long, they did some arm work for a while, then they walked again. But Nigel said no to these 4 walkers, and they walked out the door.

It's Round 2 and... oh, look who's here, it's Carrie Ann Inaba of "Dancing With The Stars" to teach the round 1 people some fine choreography, in one segment, 2 ladies were gone and 3 people moved on. and so were the other 20. In round 3, they had to work with partners as they pony up to "Hey Mama." By the time they were all shook up, 7 people got shook out the door. Some were derailed, but Cheryl made it to Hollywood with the same reaction the AI contestants previously have in round 1. Erin Pettigrew did well, and by Nigel's approval, she came through to Hollywood. However, Isis was unique, but not unique to move on to round 2. So Cheryl & Erin are the only 2 girls to go on to Hollywood.

DAY 2

It's Day 2 and before we go any further. We have some audition tapes of people who danced from the preliminary auditions in cities like Pittsburgh, Las Vegas & Atlanta. There were some that were funny enough like one who flipped onto a table and one who danced badly with a chair. However, none of those didn't do too good. Musa Cooper can do some good. He's a one-of-a-kind breakdancer who had all the right moves and did some shaking...upside down. Bonnie says she loves his dancing and Jeff said it was great, so he goes on. Camila Barrett is about to do a little hip-hop jazz with pizzazz, and she ignited it with a little crawl. Nigel said even with the cameras, she is a favorite, so Camila smiles as she moves on to round 2. Anthony Bryant did some contemporary dancing with a ribbon, however, Nigel didn't like his gymnast routines, however, Jeff & Bonnie agreed with Anthony to move on.

Nervous seems to be the word for Mandi Thomas, thinking that she lost her voice, but after crying, gained it by doing some hip-hop dancing. She even leaped off stage and danced in front of the judges. Nigel, Bonnie & Jeff loved her and she fought off the stage fright to move on. Ashley Dawson is dancing to some...African drum music. Nigel said it was superb, Bonnie said she was pleased, and Jeff agreed with the 2 to give her the pleasure of moving on. Melissa Vella is a daycare worker who went to Beijing, China for an event. Can Hollywood cancel her trip? She did some turns, spins and even took her jacket off. Nigel said it had style, elegance and passion. Those words were the right ingredients to take her into round 2. Brandon Jones did some hip-hop to "Lose Control" and he didn't lose control. Not one bit of it. Bonnie & Jeff like him and he moves on. Dominic Serphia did some breaking to "Tipsy" and did some leg work on the floor. Bonnie & Jeff like him, ! and was told to break a leg in round 2. Finally, Pamela Grove did some old-school lockin' to James Brown's "Get up Offa That Thing," but Nigel says she dances like some old university cheerleaders. However, it was a verbal diss on locking and told Nigel to take a lockin' class. As she headed out, she did a little diss to him. It's something AI rejects do when they tell to Simon.

Round 2 is underway and 51 dancers came through. Brandon & Musa didn't do too well on their choreography, Mandi's nerves struck back with a vengeance, and Sara the belly dancer decided to bailout. However, Mandi would join Sara and she too, bailed out. Round 3 and 25 have made it this far. Anthony had a little trouble with the choreography, but Brandon did his best and Camila did well all over. Will she make it for all or nothing? Nigel says she's turning into a diva, and it's the right word to take her to Hollywood. Brandon's next, and Bonnie said he's had ups & downs throughout the day and he's climbing up the ladder to the next round. Melissa also comes to Hollywood, so she can skips Beijing for a special event. Anthony is the best boy in New York, but it wasn't his best to make it through. However, there was an argument about masculine dancing between him & Nigel. Pardon the interruption, we have to move on. Ashley makes it through with tears of ! joy, so she joins the other 11 including Craig & Jamial to go on to Hollywood. Time to leave the Empire State city and head for the city where the Sears Tower is.

CHICAGO

In Chicago, there are many words that start with B: Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls, The Blues Brothers, a guy whose last name is Bartman, but is there a word called Ballet? It will be as we head to the Chicago Theater with Nigel doing his thing solo while Bonnie & Jeff are in L.A. Johnny B. (aka John Besser) is first, and he's a rapper for sure. He did a rap battle with his rival, Nigel Holt and did one in front of the camera. As for dancing, he stepped real badly, but his rival outdid him to The Clash's "Rock The Casbah." So Nigel goes on. Maritza Valetin is a dance instructor who had to either choose marriage or dancing. She took the 50/50 and chose dancing as she brought 2 groups of 3 people to do latin to "La Bamba." They were all excellent and they all went through. Chris Jackson, however, shook his groove thing, but there was no groove for him, so he's gone.

We get a montage of bad dancers...um, yeah, and we follow that up with with dancers that have nationalities like Arabian & Irish. One Irish dancer named Ashley Purl riverdanced her way into round 2. Meet Andrea Savelli. By day, an assistant manager for a food service company. By night, a dance teacher. This week, she'll shake it up to hip-hop. However, Nigel says she didn't smile, but she goes on anyway. Put a big smile on your face, Andrea, you deserve it. Next, a montage of pair dancers including 2 men with 1 pouring water on his partner...um, okay, but we get these gray-colored dancers Zach Clark & Preston Dinwiddle to move on. Chris Corres does some hip-hop dancing while his wife, Natalie waits. No need for him to wait as he moves on. 2 breakdancers move on as well. 1, John Q. Vareem who did some awesome breakdancing and the other, Nicolas Gates, did some flip, a flop, and a defibrillating heartbeat. So good for Nicolas!

Eugene Gaskett is a nut of the karaoke revolution. Will he become part of the Dance Dance Revolution? He'll do African, modern and hip-hop in one. However, he looked a little jiggly like JELLO, but like bad food, he's thrown out. Lisa Deschaaf, an AI alum, did some fine dancing to Britney Spears' "Crazy" and despite being 29 years of age, she moves on.

Round 2 begins fresh and Carrie Ann teaches the dancers some salsa. However, there were 300 dancers, but there was room to breathe as 80 were staying and 200 were going. Round 3, and the dancers picked their ponies to improve. Nigel sent him packing and he was mad, but Maritza survived and moved on to Hollywood. Ashley says she worked a lot to make it through and make it through she did. Chris has good news & bad news. Bad news: No Hollywood for him. Good News: decided to stay to witness wife's birth of a child. So much love for him. Andrea enjoyed the day, but despite Nigel's negativity, goes on anyway. Nicolas says he adds modern to hip-hop, but he's adding Hollywood to his journey as he goes on. Lisa's been to Hollywood before, but got cut by the mighty axe of Simon Cowell. Will the mighty axe be fallen by Nigel? Answer: No. So she joins, Nicolas, Andrea, Scott, Nick, Casper K. and a few more as they head for Hollywood.

Next week, We go to Los Angeles for some hula hoops, ballerinas, krumpers, breakers, magicians and a guy with light bulbs in his mouth. Should be fun. I'm Pierre Kelly, and until then, dots & power pellets, I'm out.

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