Mary Murphy and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe return as staple judges for the 11th season of So You Think You Can Dance on FOX with the third judges seat as a rotation of quality dance mentors and celebrities. Emmy nominated Cat Deeley returns as the show's stunning and exuberant host.
In the first episode of auditions for season 11 begin in New Orleans with guest judge Wayne Brady. If watchers were paying close attention, they quickly noticed the lack of "I'm going to Vegas!" comments, because advancement this year is in Pasadena which doesn't quit have the same ring to it. As usual though, judges will choose for each dancer to either not be chosen altogether, have a second chance at choreography at the end of the day, or be given a ticket to advance to the next round.
Shelby Rase - 18 - Ballet: After Nigel coaxed her father on stage to perform a "bottle dance" unworthy of making it past the show editors. However, her performance was elegant and impressed all of the judges enough to put her directly through to the next round.
Tanisha Belnap - 19 - Ballroom: She immediately grabbed the attention of Wayne with her sassy performance, though she was not partnered with anyone. With 11 brothers and sisters, all of whom are also dancers, she has found a way to stand out because the judges put her straight through to the next round.
Shelby and Shane Skipper - 25 / 21 - Hip-Hop: Shelby returning for the first time since season 6 with his younger brother to a coordinated street style hip-hop. Though the pair was clearly not to caliber with the likes of the other performances, Nigel felt that Shelby had improved and offered for him to return for a chance at choreography, though Shane was sent home.
Megan Marcano - 22 - Contemporary: The story of the day came from Megan's abusive past the likes that even brought Cat to tears. She provided a passionate performance that thoroughly impressed the judges and put her right on to the next round.
Trevor Bryce - 18 - Popping: After tolerating a boisterous puffing of his chest before and after his performance, the dance itself was quite impressive. Though Nigel called it the greatest solo performance he has ever seen on this show, he should still find some humble pie and serve up a slice. Nonetheless, he deservedly advanced to the next round.
Courtney Barnes - 22 - Contemporary: Prepared for a female impersonator performance, watchers were surprised by some general talent, though no real quality of choreography or fluidity of movement. Despite the melodramatic pre- and post-performance interviews, the judges agreed to give her another chance in the choreography round.
Novien Yarber - 22 - Hip-Hop: Returning with more experience and confidence than his past audition. It was enough to leave the judges speechless, so they just handed him a ticket to the next round.
Caleb Brauner - 21 - Jazz: A memorable audition from last year, Caleb returned this year after his father had passed away to dedicate his performance. Unsure why the judges continue to be so tough on him even after the huge fan following, they did invite him to return for the choreography.
Jacoby Jimmerson - 18 Hip-Hop: As is predictable with every other overweight performer, especially one claiming to wear sweat pants for his ballet and jazz classes, there is simply not a chance he'll make it. After being shown up by Wayne in a Zumba routine and exhausting all of his energy, he had not the breath to complete his own 30 second audition and was promptly sent home.
Marcquet Hill and Brooklyn Fullmer - both 18 - Ballroom: Though they claimed to only be friends, this couple clearly had natural chemistry that shined in their performance. Marcquet returns after being a partner in a past audition and having Nigel practically beg him to audition once he turned 18, and both dancers advance to the next round.
Whomever came up with the idea to have Justin Bieber promote a new segment for dance crews was a dreadful idea and waste of space on this quality show, therefore it will not be included in this column.
CHI-CA-GO! CHI-CA-GO! Former ballerina herself, Jenna Elfman joins as a guest judge in the windy city.
Nick Garcia - 18 - Latin Ballroom: Another unusual ballroom audition without a partner, but certainly enough to persuade the judges to send him through to the next round.
Rudy Abreu - 18: Along with being close friends with Nick Garcia, Rudy had an unusual story about being born with a hole in his diaphragm and then performed without a shirt to show off his scar. A little too weird for this journalist, but the audience will probably still like his over-the-top character. He made it through.
Uhhhhh, so apparently 12 dancers advanced past the first day though they only showed three of them. The great thing is that Caleb Brauner drove to Chicago to audition again, went to the choreography round and MADE IT!