Ahh, the reason why I generally avoid audition episodes in reality shows: the sob stories.
But I get it. We're all starting with a clean slate, and we're all looking for someone to root for, so without any idea of who to cheer for (and why the heck we should), we take a look at the storied backgrounds of the wannabes. And then, hope that the talent justifies the story.
This is, honestly, the first time I watched an audition episode for So You Think You Can Dance, and just when I thought that dancing can be emotional (yeah, you, cancer dance), they play with these sob stories, too. And by that, I don't mean backgrounders on dancers that have already been here (yeah, you, Ryan Kasprzak and Bianca Revers) because we've seen what they do and that is basis enough.
There were a couple of them in last night's episode, focusing on what Cat called "the world capital of dance"--Los An-jee-leees. There's Mollee Gray, the High School Musical principal dancer who moved to California because the well of opportunities in Utah has dried up. Well, there wasn't really much of a sob story in seeing that they're living in a house with "suitcases and air mattresses," although you feel a bit for them because the family gave up so much just to see Mollee pursue a dancing career further.
Thankfully, Mollee's smile is so big I didn't get annoyed at her. Kudos to the producers for not playing up the fact that mom juggled three jobs to keep everyone afloat.
The second one is melodramatic--I honestly thought Amber Williams' story was straight out of those soaps. Her mom's paralyzed, a complication of surgery to remove a cyst in her spine--well, more because the doctor hit the wrong part of the spine and everything went downhill from there. Ironic, slightly--I'm stuck on a wheelchair and I'm seeing my daughter dance with all she's got.
Again, thankfully Amber's quite a good dancer--"making Mary talk about the quietness of things," if I quoted Nigel correctly--so I wasn't that annoyed.
But, personally, those sob stories didn't work as much, because I had a kick out of the tappers. The fact that no tapper's made it to the Top 20 has established the sob angle enough. Then again, Mollee and Amber, I now have my eyes on you (and not in a creepy Nigel way), with the hope that you'll do good dancing, and not just a sob story. While the show is "so much about personality" as well as technique, well, you can't have one and not just the other.
Now, I'll try to stop talking about Danny Gokey. This is, after all, So You Think You Can Tap--I mean, Dance...