Thursday's premiere of the fifth season of "So You Think You Can Dance" featured mohawk-clad choreographer Sonya Tayeh, a same-sex ballroom dance pair and judge Mary Murphy's token scream.
The two-hour Fox reality show included audition footage from New York and Denver. Murphy was joined at the judges' table by returning judge and producer Nigel Lythgoe. Tayeh sat in for the Denver auditions, while guest choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon critiqued the dancers in New York.
Some of the show's highlights:
The good: Keep an eye on Natalie, the redhead who made it to the Las Vegas round last year but was edged out by her roommate, eventual Top 3 finalist Katee Shean. Natalie impressed the judges this season in Denver and will advance to Vegas again. Luckily, she didn't bring a roomie with her. Denver dancer Brandon had a similar story. Gev Manoukian, the eventual ninth-place finisher, kept him from advancing past Vegas last year. But Brandon's back this season -- bringing judge Mary Murphy to tears -- and will dance in the Vegas round.
The bad: There were no shortage of missteps, but the female singer in Denver who took the stage dressed like a lion wins. Oh yeah, she danced with light sabers, too.
The surprising: In Denver, the show saw its first male-male ballroom dance team. To say the least, Misha and Mitchel left the judges confused. "I'm certainly one of those people who likes to see guys be guys and girls be girls on stage," Lythgoe said. Neither dancer advanced: A mid-performance tumble didn't help their case.
The unpronounceable: Chimezie, a dancer who advanced in New York, should prepare for a season of botched pronunciations -- especially from Lythgoe.
The Danny Gokeys: There were no shortage of sob stories Thursday. Try New York auditioner Kellen, who danced with an umbrella to symbolize his dead aunt. There's also Denver auditioner Kayla, whose dad left her when she was young. Now, she lives with her grandparents while pursuing her dancing career. Both dancers advanced.
Wednesday, "So You Think You Can Dance" features auditions in Memphis and Miami.