1. says

    I thought this was great, but it’s a shame (and so 1950s) that they had to present it as ‘friends having an argument’. The ‘all star’ format has provided great opportunity for some same-sex partnering, but this is the first time we’ve seen that idea taken to its natural conclusion. Nigel Lythgoe’s questioning of choreographer Travis Wall was gratuitously awkward, though, and typical of Lythgoe’s blundering heterocentrism. Clearly this is a personal piece for Wall.

  2. jay1980 says

    “Clearly this is a personal piece for Wall.”

    That he decided to present to the millions of people watching. And while I totally agree with you in general about Lythgoe’s “blundering heterocentrism,” to his credit he didn’t badger Travis for more information.

    Also note that Travis is the choreographer. He had all the right to say what the piece was “really about” but HE chose not to. And yes, he is an openly gay dancer.

    In any case, this was a beautiful number whether it was between “friends” or “lovers.” I don’t think it really loses its power and beauty either way.

  3. says

    Jay: Art should be personal, but the artist is not obliged to provide liner notes. The piece is an expression that, by its nature, is intended for public consumption. It’s not an invitation for the audience to go digging through the artist’s dustbins.

  4. DSig80 says

    @Jay – you say he chose not to, but it’s hard to say how Fox decided to edit the show, or what ultimatums he was given about discussing the nature of the dance.

  5. says

    Clearly the protests against Nigel’s “I don’t want to see any Brokeback Ballroon” comments a couple of years back seem to have worked to a degree. You’d never know from watching his playing along with Adam Shankman’s joking marriage proposal that he is the still rabid homophobe in charge of everything.

    The TRUTH was evidenced last night by the recurring “OMG! He’s going to explode any minute and say something awful” look on [pig] Tyce’s face sitting next to him.

    But, as the great Bayard Rustin pointed out, our goal is NOT to get them to love us but simply change their behavior. Yet, ENOUGH with Cat’s obviously having been directed to wrap each male dancer in an unctuous verbal cocoon of assumed heterosexuality week after week.

    One can still enjoy the beauty of the male-male choreography and its performance, and hope that someday the show is as honest as Adam is who got away with celebrating gay marriage equality before millions of straights last night. Imagine the out gay lovers routine that Travis or Mia could create!

  6. me says

    i thought it was hilarious how cat said “i think maybe the foot in the face was a little much” (it’s cut off in the video).

    anyway yeah it clearly wasn’t about friends from travis’s point of view. interesting that they packaged it like that (as friends) in the broadcast. Complicity in asserting that same sex relations are inferior / shameful / the love that dare not speak its name..

  7. Grover Underwood says

    as much as it sucks that the dancers can’t be completely open about their personal lives, you have to take a look at the target audience; it’s still teen aged girls and the producers think that the girls can’t handle objects of their fantasies possibly being gay

  8. pete says

    What does it matter what they called it. Would a rose by any other name? It was the truest expression of the joy and pain of young gay love in this time expressed through dance that I have ever seen. Hats off to Travis, Kent and Neil. No matter what their sexual orientation is, they all gave it the lyrical joy/pain that made it come alive for millions of people, gay and straight.

  9. dave says

    If you’ve been watching the show, there’s a lot of more behind that Nigel/Travis conversation.

    First, Travis is a former contestant, and he either won or came in the top few of his season. He’s since been promoted to a choreographer, and he’s quite a good one. Several weeks back, though, Nigel just ripped Travis a new one for choreographing a jazz number that didn’t have enough jazz in it for Nigel’s taste. And he went on and on and on about it. And on.

    For the judges to critique the choreographers on this show isn’t unheard of, but it’s almost universally praise for the other choreographer, or else they don’t say too much and instead focus on the dancers themselves (as they should). Nigel’s critique of Travis probably was legitimate, but it felt brutal considering Travis isn’t the one competing. And Nigel’s brought it up time and again (even sarcastically over-praising other choreographers for including jazz in their jazz routines).

    So I’m pretty sure this was as much about that event — Nigel stabbing Travis in the back, hence Nigel directly asking, “I assume someone’s stabbed you in the back?” when he likely knew the piece was about him. Mia getting her little dig in, “I certainly know what it’s like to be stabbed in the back,” makes sense in that respect, too, as Nigel seemingly stabbed her in the back last season with the decision to make Adam a permanent judge.

    Still, it was hard denying it was a very gay break-up dance. So it makes me wonder if it was also a dig from Travis at Nigel for all his comments about men dancing with men. Still, I have little doubt Travis won’t be there next season, especially given how Adam’s comment of “looking forward to seeing what you do with your career,” sounded as if Adam was admitting that this beautiful little act of rebellion probably cost Travis his place among the choreographers.

    Also, FYI — at the opening of the show, Adam made an announcement about the Prop 8 ruling, then asked Nigel to marry him. Given Nigel’s history of vaguely homophobic remarks, I thought that was quite interesting.

  10. Matt26 says

    Very beautiful. Gay or straight, they put lots of emotions into it. Thanks for posting.
    @MarkDC, I care, it isn’t much but it is sth.

  11. Tom says

    Okay, hot yes, but the choreography really was too athletic and on the nose for a subject that should express at least an ounce of the introspective. Just because it’s gay doesn’t make it exceptional.

  12. Jerry says

    Meh. Given the number of openly gay choreographers on last night’s show (Nigel kisses Desmond’s and Dwight’s asses, in case no one noticed…) I’m willing to cut a lot of slack.

  13. Keith says

    I have no doubt that Kent is gay, especially considering I was exactly like him at his age. I also grew up in a tiny rural town where everyone knew me and I had to hide my sexuality. As a way to focus my gay energies, I also turned to the performing arts. Also, considering the size of his family, he probably comes from a very religious family where coming out is not an option at this time.

    Kent, Billy and Robert are all clearly gay to me and I felt that, despite their clear superiority over other contestants like Jose and Adechike, it’s their “queeny” personalities that have sent Billy and Robert to the Bottom 3 week after week. Kent has a similar personality, but his youth and looks are what keep the tween girls voting for him. He is incredibly talented and will probably win, but I personally think Robert is the best dancer this year.

  14. jaragon says

    Are the couple lover or friends or both- it all depends who is looking at it…it was beautifully done.

  15. Strepsi says

    I think it was a lovely routine!
    They did great, and kudos to Travis Wall for giving at least some romantic male-male dancing, even if it is in “straight-face”.

    I love SYTYCD (and Neil !) but the season has been sad and hilarious, given that it’s almost all guys, lots of male-male pairings, and NONE romantic (as opposed to 99% of the male-female pairings which are about love, sex, and relationships). What have they done?

    You’re both actors trying for a role in Bollywood!
    You’re fighting!
    You’re fired clowns!
    You’re both whistling at an (invisible) girl!
    You’re both knights!
    and the most ridiculous evasion of homosexuality:
    You’re both best friends fighting over a girl… played by a CHAIR!

    Yes, SYTYCD would rather see a guy fuck a chair than another guy.

  16. Morgan says

    I just happened upon this page and began reading the comments. I have been a fan of SYTYCD since season 1. I have been a fan of Travis Wall since he competed on the show and love his choreography. Someone once told me that if you don’t want someone in your business then don’t share it with the world. I don’t have a problem with gay people and I never have. The only stipulation I have with my gay friends is DON’T DO IT SO I CAN SEE IT!!! I am heterosexual and I have a problem with gay people screaming “wrong, wrong, wrong, it is wrong to talk down about us” when you don’t agree with homosexuality. Yes, people judge. We’re not supposed to, but yet we do. Yes, I was very moved by the piece done by Kent and Neil but it breaks my heart that this homosexuality talk has begun over it. Love the piece for what it is… a beautiful piece of art. Quit with the ‘gay’ crap and enjoy it.

  17. Keith says

    Morgan, you obviously have some problem with homosexuality if you tell you friends that you are okay with it as long as you don’t have to see it. That should you are offended by homosexuality in some capacity. I have plenty of straight friends, both male and female, who have no issue at all with seeing any form of gay public displays of affection. Why should your friends have to not be who they are in order to be your friend? That’s very selfish of you.

    In regards to you other issues, you obviously have learned nothing from our fight for equality. As a straight person, no one treats you as a second class citizen because of who you love. So yes, we have issues when people talk down to us, considering how hard we fight for equality. If you have a problem with gay people who are outspoken and defend themselves, that’s your personal issue. How does my being gay and choosing to marry another man have any effect on your life?

  18. jack says

    i’m going to ignore all politics as discussed here as it simply seems the wrong situation to get all worked up about slights real or imagined. a devastatingly beautiful work of art was presented to us in an unlikely venue. i almost never care how the piece is set up. it sinks or swims on its on merit, and that piece is ballet company quality, and the dancers equal to the task. if network TV on occasion can present me with joy, i don’t choose to pour vinegar over it.

    young kent is a memorable dancer, and while i believe he has enlivened the show, i suspect that he will be competing against lauren, and she will win as the emotionally safer choice. i hope i’m wrong.

    i don’t think that the majority of kent’s screaming tween fans have any illusions about his probable sexual orientation. gay best friends are all the rage in their milieu.

  19. shylurker says

    My first though on seeing the intro package about “best friends” was wondering “Benji or Ivan?” from season 2.

    I hadn’t thought of Dave’s supposition that it could be a dig at Nigel because the piece seemed way too intimate, although I do agree that his scathing critique of the mentioned jazz piece was unprecedented. Nigel’s favourite regular targets of lackluster choreography have been the minimally used Tony and Melanie ballroom choreographers, though Nigel’s harshest critique to that point had been against Wade Robson for being too artsy and obtuse for a top4 competition piece, and Wade really hasn’t been on the show since.

    Oh well. If that is indeed the case, Travis can always come up to SYTYCD Canada and choreo circles around bi rotating judge and aspiring recording artist Blake McGrath (who competed in SYTYCD’s first ever season).

  20. Michelle says

    While recognizing the probability that this was a gay breakup routine, I saw it as a brother routine. Two brothers, best friends, fighting, holding each other up, etc… Art is many things to many people and this routine was sheer art.