One of my favorite parts of summer TV is coming back today, and I could not be more thrilled, since So You Think You Can Dance is probably my fave reality show of all time. I started watching halfway through the first season, but that season doesn’t really count anyways (sorry Nick Lazzarini) because no one was really watching, and the fab Cat Deeley wasn’t the host yet. Now about to enter its 10th (!) season, there have been hundreds of amazing dancers that have wowed the judges and inspired thousands watching. Here are a few memorable auditions from the past 9 seasons to get you back in the dancing mood!
Travis Wall, Season 2
Travis is somewhat of a SYTYCD legend, as he started out as a contestant in season 2 and became the runner-up. But he solidified his mark on the show by becoming a choreographer, earning Emmy noms for his work on SYTYCD as well as a group piece on Dancing with the Stars. Among the Emmy nominated dances, season 7’s Fix You by Robert and Allison, which will make my cry every time I watch it.
Donyelle Jones, Season 2
Donyelle had this light about her when she danced, and it made for a compelling routine every time she took the stage, eventually finishing in third place. She and frequent partner Benji (who went on to win) were like my OTP back in the day, but alas, she married her longtime boyfriend, and he turned out to be gay. Oh well.
Hok Konishi, Sesaon 3
Hok tried out in season 2, nearly made it to top 20, but since he’s originally from England, he wasn’t able to get a visa. He tried out again for season 3 and ended up landing in 7th place.
Joshua Allen, Season 4
Ok, so Joshua is a hip hop dancer. However clearly in this audition, he has so much potential that it’s clear why he won season four. I mean, that Russian? Hello? Where did you come from?
Ellenore Scott, Season 6
Ah, season six. Otherwise known as the ‘lost season.’ This season was overlooked by many, because for some reason, FOX and show producers decided to air it in the fall of 2009, right after the summer season had ended. Rude. But Ellenore was one of the best from S6, and made it to the top four.
Billy Bell, Season 7
Billy made it to the top 20 on season 6, but had to drop out because of a mysterious illness. Because the judges loved him so much, they allowed him to come back for season 7, and placed 6th. Also, season 7 was the one where they were all dropping like flies, because Alex Wong got hurt and Ellen DeGeneres replaced him, Ashley Galvan was also injured and forced to leave the competition and all-star Allison hurt something too. Dropping like flies.
Lauren Froderman, Season 7
LoFro! The winner of S7 came into the auditions not really prepared and went on a whim, and it worked out well for her.
Melanie Moore, Season 8
Another one of my faves, she is so elegant and sharp and bubbly all at the same time.
Kyre Batiste, Season 8
Ok, but how cute is this guy. AND his grandma!
Amber Williams, Season 8
Amber didn’t make it too far, but all I can say is FIERCE. I’m sure she’s doing well even without SYTYCD on her resume.
Leroy Martinez, Season 9
One of the most inspirational auditions ever, Leroy was just a bundle of joy and I wanted to hug him through the TV screen.
Cyrus Spencer, Season 9
Cyrus ‘Glitch’ Spencer: Real life robot? Probably. He did make it all the way to the final 4, so possibly not human.
Eliana Girard, Season 9
Damnnn girl, those legs! Ballerina Eliana became the first co-winner along with Chechon, and totally deserved it.
Ninja Twins, Season 9
“We consider ourselves socialites of LA. We’re like the Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie… but we’re broke.” Hilarious.