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Mia Michaels

Mia Michaels

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I truly love "So You Think You Can Dance" but four hours of any program a week, excepting perhaps baseball, is way too much.� Next week is Vegas week (like Hollywood week to you "Idol" fans, except with dancing instead of singing, and much more challenging), and I hope that in addition to the added drama, the program in general is shorter.�Watching reality shows should be a fun escape, not a slog.� For the last 120 minutes of auditions, we were taken to Los Angeles and Seattle, where choreographers Adam Shankman and Mia Michaels, respectively, sat in as guest judges.�Thank goodness they did, because they're two of the most fun judges on the show.� Adam turned down swing dancer Calico Sequeria as an auditioner but graciously extended her 15 minutes of fame when she invited him onstage after he said, "I'd love to dance with you." He accepted and pretended to be a contestant, complete with fake panting and begging for his ticket to Vegas.� Meanwhile, I love how passionate, honest and crabby Mia Michaels can be.

I wonder if she noticed that a few of the dancers seemed to try to choreograph dances that mimicked her or Sonia Tayeh's eclectic styles.� For instance, Suzanne Fernandez's "fairy medicine dance" looked like a wanna-be Tayeh dance, and Brynelle and Xavier Blanton's strange brother-sister performance, with its awkward twisting and yet striving-for-passionate choreography, seemed to try to emulate a Michaels work.� Usually the weirdos don't get my attention, but I did want to pay special tribute to Michael Han, the big-boned Asian man dancing en pointe to Rihanna's "Umbrella." It was horrific yet compelling.� There were many more like him, of course, including poor Nick "Nasty" Salzman, the tattooed man who thought he could earn points with the judges by insulting Nigel Lythgoe, who Mia helpfully pointed out is the executive producer of the show.

There were plenty of bright spots in the episode, but the only one that truly caught my eye was Kelsea Taylor, with the white/black/blue hair, one of only four contestants who made it to Vegas the first day in Seattle.�She had a quirky contemporary style but more importantly her personality came through onstage, and not because she forced it by being hammy or oversharing.� I hope to see more of her.I could think of one great way to cut down this episode and that would be by eliminating the dance-off between Leonix Knyshov and David "Sex" Soller.� David may look like a joke with his leopard-print glasses, denim shorts and Rapunzel-like locks but he's not actually funny on or off-stage.� Leo, on the other hand, was actually a hoot.

I could stand to have him come by and stink the place up once a year as long as he said things like, "So let's hear what you have to say!" to the judges after his auditions.� Sex, meanwhile, should go on "Beauty and the Geek."� --Claire ZulkeyPhoto: FOX
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