Friday, July 22, 2005

So They Think Lightning Can Strike Twice?

I watched So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesday on FOX. It's the new show from the producers of American Idol that looks for the best dance performer instead of the best singer. The two-hour series premiere covered auditions in two cities: New York and Chicago.

Let me say that this show is no American Idol. Since it comes from the same producers, it looks and feels a lot like American Idol. You see a selection of both good and bad dancers. Selected dancers receive extended profiles similar to how selected contestants on AI received extended profiles. So You Think You Can Dance has three judges (like AI) who critique the dancers on their performances. The show even has its own Simon Cowell in Nigel Lythgoe, an executive producer of both AI and this show. Nigel is meaner, ruder, and more honest than Simon Cowell is in his judgments of contestants. It was quite clear that he let some of the women through, in part, because he felt they were attractive. He repeatedly said that they were "casting" a show as opposed to truly looking for the best dancer. That admission is something that you rarely hear people on reality competitions say and I respect him for actually saying the truth. At the same time, though, I was kind of surprised by his comments to one 20-year-old guy during the New York auditions. He told the guy that he didn't dance masculine enough even though he was one of the best of the guys in terms of "technical skills." When the guy complained about that, he then went on to chastise him about his choice of attire among other things. The whole incident bordered on homophobic since it seemed like the guy in question was gay.

Another thing about this show is the appearance of Carrie Ann Inaba. You might remember that she was a judge for Dancing With The Stars. On So You Think You Can Dance, she is the choreographer that has to teach dance steps to the contestants. Apparently, she is the only choreographer in all of Hollywood right now. The funny thing is that even though Dancing With The Stars aired first, she was hired for that job while she was working on So You Think You Can Dance.

Right now, for me, the jury is out on So You Think You Can Dance. I don't think it will have the same appeal that American Idol did. Also, I don't think people vote for dancers on this show (I could be wrong, though) and that means that people won't feel as connected to the contestants. I will give it a couple more weeks before I decide to write it off or not. Besides, there's nothing else on TV.

1 comment:

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