The Mystery of Kelsea Taylor, A Disappearing SYTYCD Contestant

I have a pretty unhealthy relationship with reality TV. I'm the first to admit it. Shy of The Hills and The Real Housewives of (not NYC/NJ), I'll watch any of it. So, I voluntarily expose myself to many strange and wondrous personas that show up to partake in the ellusive art of massive open call to possibly be humiliated in front of millions. Speaking from experience, it is an art to go through all that and still leave with your sanity intact.

Kelsea Taylor auditioned for this season of So You Think You Can Dance? in Seattle. Normally, I don't invest myself too much in this dancing show, as it is run by Nigel Lythgow who tends to be a bit of a prick just to bring in viewers. I chanced into Kelsea's audition in what was apparently an awful, awful audition turn out:

There are points in a contemporary/modern/jazz/wizard routine where she is hitting pops harder and better than contestants on America's Best Dance Crew. And it's such a strange routine, it brings back my summer investigating bizarre Japanese popping videos all over the web.

Kelsea's audition stood out enough that I had to see what other people thought. The allure might have ended with "Yeah, she's good, but she clearly isn't going to win" when someone stumbled upon a not so strange occurrence filled with increasingly unusual circumstances.

Kelsea did not audition to the Oona song above. Kelsea auditioned to Kate Nash's "Habenara," a song that has been my ringtone for almost two months. Just see how well the routine syncs to this song:

That's not so strange for this show. On AI, they'll just gloss over an audition from a contestant that features a song they can't get the rights to. On SYTYCD, they'll sync up another song or throw the contestant in a montage. What's strange here is obviously the amount of effort that had to go into finding just the perfect song to sync with Kelsea's audition. Could you imagine if they just kissed it off with a Gavin Degraw acoustic (the go-to SYTYCD contemporary song) and pretended that's how she danced? I mean, two seasons ago they showed what seemed to be the worst Latin audition ever synced to a Black Eyed Peas song that wasn't even at the same tempo as the dancer's steps.

So, they put in a little extra effort for one audition and synced a good song. Not enough to stand out. Except for one small detail: the auditions were in March, and this Oona song did not exist then. There's a very good chance that Oona, who has a prior relationship with Fox and this show in particularly, was asked to write a song for this audition. A song that, in its total length, is only a few seconds longer than Kelsea's one minute audition:

Normally, Nigel makes it a point to show what happens to a "weirdo" like Kelsea Taylor in the Las Vegas round on this show; it's like she never even existed now. Famewhores fall through the cracks all the time. A great audition will be followed by turning down the next round, or being uninvited, or maybe only being able to do that one song and falling flat on their face when asked to do it again. It happens all the time.

But why build up this whole "OMG Seattle sucks so bad can't anyone be good enough please God have mercy on us?" arc only to let that girl disappear? Could she be another one of the people given a ticket for next season before Nigel made it clear that there would be a fall season of SYTYCD immediately after the summer season? Could Kelsea magically show up there with a slew of other mystery contestants to be a fall finalist? Only time will tell.

People are still talking about Kelsea Taylor. You'd think she actually disappeared off the face of the earth with the "Where's Kelsea? What happened to her?" posts filling forums. One or two people have popped up claiming to have seen her in one of the early group shots in the first Vegas episode, but no one has backed it up with proof. Turns out there was no shortage of quirky girls with random streaked hair auditioning this season.

So, now I can't get that audition out of my head. It haunts me, like the Tyrade or a good Tim Gunn smackdown against Kenley (there are so many to choose from).

Happy Tony Day!

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