Dancing Fools


Some English-challenged Ukranians tried to explain what they were going to perform and then did a strange acrobatic routine that bore no resemblance to any of the other dance auditions we had seen.


Lythgoe: What was that all about?


Sanchez: So the incredible strolling Ukranians do what they do best and just…walk around looking confused!. Are they aware they didn’t make it? Who knows!?! [tee hee! Aren’t idiotic foreigners funny?!?]

Finally, the (ouch) DVR moment of the night came when a backflipping dancer crashed into and shattered a glass table. He may have been terribly hurt (though he wasn’t) but the camera man was more interested in laughing than helping.



So You Think You Can Dance? was more entertaining than I thought it would be. Given the alternative summer programming it definitely has a leg up on the competition (har har).


  1. Joe says

    Lauren Sanchez is the VERY irritating “entertainment correspondent” on UPN 13’s nightly news program here in L.A. She never looks like she knows what she’s talking about, mangles peoples’ names constantly, and–worse of all–makes one feel sorry for the stars she’s yapping about. She recently married big-time agent Patrick Whitesell in an over-the-top, million-dollar wedding.

  2. says

    Yeah, I saw this and I was outraged…im mean sure everyone was thinking he was a fag, but how dare they tell him, a young guy that he wasnt manly enough!!! What the hell is he suppose to do about that. It should be purely about this talent, not whether or not his wrist is limp…while i appreciate their honest…i think they’re off!

  3. Drake says

    I thought the show was painfully boring. I couldn’t even sit through it. And how come the other judges never got to talk? I caught the part with the young dancer, and the British guy’s comments were way out of line. I surprised myself by being outraged at his insistence on enforcing traditional gender stereotypes. (So what if he’s queeny, he’s a ballet dancer.) If the show really is about taking a dancer who is good at one style and asking him to learn other styles, then give the kid a break. Seemed like a lot of “thugs” with no personality got through. But, overall, I thought the show was boring. It’s not making it to my DVR list.

  4. Bill says

    Did you read Tom Shales’ review in The Washington Post? (free registration required)

    I’ll quote some of the article, starting a few paragraphs in:

    “The series premiered last night with a two-hour episode, and it quickly became clear that Nigel Lythgoe, the chief producer and a former choreographer, thinks he has latched onto at least one fascinating star: Nigel Lythgoe. One of three “Idol”-like judges rating the contestants, Lythgoe cast himself in the nasty Simon Cowell role, dishing out insults even to people he chose as winners. (The other two judges spoke little, were barely identified and disappeared altogether in the second half of the program.)

    … “Dance” belongs not so much to the genre of reality TV as it does to that of humiliation television. Viewers are implicitly promised they will see people belittled and insulted, perhaps — if the producers are lucky — to the point of tears.

    Lythgoe reached his own personal worst with a prolonged tirade that sounded like poorly disguised homophobia. Imagine staging a dancing competition and having a few gay boys show up! That this might have surprised him is absurd enough, but Lythgoe took off after one young man in particular — an obviously talented kid named Anthony — for not looking “masculine” enough when he danced. Whatever that meant.

    “I need boy dancers to be strong, masculine!” Lythgoe bellowed. “You did not look like a masculine dancer with your partner.” As part of the contest, the rules to which are a hopeless mass of confusion, the dancers must pair up for one number. Little if any of Anthony’s team portion was shown to viewers, so who knew if Lythgoe had a leg to stand on, but the point is that his criticism morphed into a vendetta.

    Assuming any conflict to be good TV, the producers kept teasing viewers with little excerpts from this encounter throughout the show. Those who watched the full two hours (or rather, the empty two hours) heard the poor lad defending his masculinity four times. This goes beyond bad taste and simple sadism to outright insanity.

    The playing field for the competition was anything but level. Anthony, for instance, said he was studying dance at the Juilliard School in New York, which would seem to give him an unfair advantage over contestants who’d had no training. A few others indicated they had danced professionally. The competition also included folk dancers who were keeping various ethnic traditions alive; tossing them into a dance-off with Las Vegasy booty-shakers was pointless.

    Once the solos were out of the way and the dancers had expressed their individuality, they were sent off to be “choreographed” by a professional, with the ultimate goal to become part of a team of dancers and thereby have their individuality crushed. According to the opening announcements last night, the hundreds of dancers who auditioned will be winnowed down eventually to eight men and eight women and then someone will get to go to New York, “the dance capital of the world,” and win a cash prize of $100,000.

    Anyone who survived the first night, however, was grandly invited by Lythgoe, in his best “American Idol” tones, to “come to Hollywood” for another go-round. Next week’s show was taped in Los Angeles, which will make the invitation to “come to Hollywood” sound particularly ridiculous. To further muddle the pot, Lythgoe made occasional allusions to some other production he’s putting together in which dancers will appear.

    “We’re casting a show here where we want unique people to take back to Hollywood,” Lythgoe lectured one contestant. Who knows what the devil he is talking about? What show?

    Ineptitude haunted “Dance” from the very beginning, when the host made it sound as though various rounds of competition had already been completed and that what we were watching was a documentary about “So You Think You Can Dance,” not the show itself. Camerawork was so poor that dancers occasionally vanished out of the frame, and Lythgoe was featured in so many reaction shots that it was sometimes hard to remember who was onstage.

    There were also the predictable appearances by egomaniacs and the hopelessly self-deluded. Some of the most telegenic performers were eliminated after barely being glimpsed by the audience at home — which so far has no voice in who stays and who goes. The show doesn’t invite viewers in, as “American Idol” does, but instead shuts them out.

    Perhaps the young man who’d taken predictable umbrage at Lythgoe’s barbs and at being rejected on network TV put it best. He left the building simply shouting the word “crap” over and over. Vulgar, maybe, but succinct — and painfully accurate.

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