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Ten Classic 'So You Think You Can Dance' Performances: VIDEOS

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BY BOBBY HANKINSON

Summer TV staple So You Think You Can Dance reveals its Top 20 dancers tonight on FOX. Despite its uneven handling of LGBT performers and issues, the dance competition series has been a consistent source of breathtaking choreography.

Before we meet this season’s finalists, reacquaint yourself with some of the greatest performances from the show’s previous nine seasons.

More, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Nigel Lythgoe Responds To Adam Levine's Gay 'American Idol' Criticism

NigelLythgoe Singer and The Voice judge Adam Levine didn't hold back in a recent Out magazine interview in which he accused rival show American Idol of covering up its contestants' homosexuality.

"What’s always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken,” Levine told the magazine. “C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that The Voice didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”

Now Nigel Lythgoe, an American Idol producer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance, has responded, telling Entertainment Weekly that he doesn't consider contestants' sexuality to be a relevant issue for his shows:

I didn’t understand why we’re talking about contestants being gay or not gay. I don’t go into my dentist and say, “Are you gay?” I don’t say to contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, “Are you gay?”

What does it got to do with me? What does it got to do with anybody? When does privacy stop in this country?

If somebody wants to say they’re gay, it’s up to them. You don’t expect us to turn around and say, “Are you gay?” Why would we do that? — “By the way, he’s a Catholic and he supports Obama and here’s his sexuality” — what does that have anything to do with singing talent? Maybe it does for Adam Levine, but not for me.

Lythgoe goes on to discuss Adam Lambert, an American Idol runner-up who came out after his season had ended. "He must have come out before being on Idol, he just didn’t talk about it on Idol," said Lythgoe.

He went on: "And why should he [talk about it]? Is every actor going on television going to say, 'I’m only playing the part of a straight man, I’m really gay'? There’s no reason that I would see why anybody that goes on television should start coming out with who they are, what they are, what they’re sexuality is, who they’re going to vote for or what their religion is."

For his part, Lambert says he felt like his sexuality was "out of my control" during his time on Idol, primarily because he was not allowed to do any solo interviews.


Same-Sex Ballroom Gets 2nd Chance on So You Think You Can Dance

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You may remember an episode of last year's So You think You Can Dance in which two male ballroom dancers auditioned together. Producer and Judge Nigel Lythgoe angered many people with his remarks.

Lythgoe Said Lythgoe: "I think you'd probably alienate a lot of our audience.  We've always had the guys dance together on the show but they've never really done it in each other's arms before. I'm really one of those people that like to see guys be guys and girls be girls on stage. I don't think I liked it, to be frank."

He later fueled the anger with a Twitter defense of his dislike of "Brokeback Ballroom". And eventually, was issued an apology after being hammered on blogs and receiving some words from GLAAD.

Last night, another same-sex ballroom couple, Willem DeVries and Jacob Jason, auditioned.

Lythgoe treads carefully this year: "Thank you for showing me that same-sex ballroom dancing can be very strong, and very good."

GLAAD praised the judges, one of whom, Mia Michael, was moved to tears: "We are pleased with the overall tone of the comments and that Lythgoe and the judges responded favorably to GLAAD’s outreach. This outreach will affect how millions of everyday Americans will experience the show. "

Watch Willem and Jacob's audition, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Nigel Lythgoe Responds: Not a Fan of 'Brokeback' Ballroom - Update

Nigellythgoe #sytycd

Nigel Lythgoe of So You Think You Can Dance responds on Twitter to internet uproar over his homophobic remarks on last night's show in response to a pair of same-sex dancers.

If you missed it, all the background is HERE.

UPDATE. Nigel Lythgoe issued an apology for his remarks. Here is his statement, via GLAAD:

“I sincerely regret the fact that I have upset people with the poor word choices and comments I made both during the taping of the ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ audition and on my personal status update. I am not homophobic and it was extremely upsetting for me to be classed as such.

I have been forthright and consistent with my opinion, as a judge, that professional male dancers should move with strength and agility — like Gene Kelly and Rudolph Nureyev.  I now realize how this could be misconstrued.

I have been a dancer, and involved in the dance world, for nearly 50 years. Professionally and personally, I believe the sexual orientation of an auditioner or contestant is irrelevant.  All that said, the fact that I have unintentionally upset people is distressing to me and it is obvious I have made mistakes that I must learn from. I trust that my humor will be more sensitive and mindful moving forward.”

Said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano: “We certainly appreciate the dialogue, and the opportunity for Nigel to help further educate people about how words and images matter. His sincere words are appreciated, and we look forward to words, images and representations of the LGBT community on So You Think You Can Dance that will be fair, accurate and inclusive in the future.”


Nigel Lythgoe Spews Homophobia on So You Think You Can Dance

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Last night's premiere of So You Think You Can Dance featured the audition of a same-sex pair (one straight, one gay). Watch the clip (starts at 5:10), AFTER THE JUMP...

The audition is introduced by zooming in on a men's bathroom as "It's Raining Men" is cued up. After their introduction, the dancing begins. Judge Nigel Lythgoe is immediately uncomfortable and points out, "the hand's on the back of his neck."

Lythgoe While the dancing was certainly not in top form (they did make an error), it was the non-dancing critiques that are the problem here. Judge and producer Nigel Lythgoe has made homophobic remarks before. You may remember last year when Lythgoe told a dancer he looked like he'd been anally violated. Or in 2007 when he mocked a dancer for not being masculine enough. This was the first time Lythgoe had encountered a same-sex couple audition though.

Says Lythgoe: "I think you'd probably alienate a lot of our audience.  We've always had the guys dance together on the show but they've never really done it in each other's arms before. I'm really one of those people that like to see guys be guys and girls be girls on stage. I don't think I liked it, to be frank."

Lythgoe tells them he'd like to see them dance with a woman, "You never know, you might enjoy that, too." The exit song that played as they walked off (2:09 in the second clip) was "It's a man world, but it would mean nothing, nothing without a woman."

AfterElton talked with one of the dancers, Misha, who filled in more of what went on at the audition:

"It was more offensive than what they showed. Nigel said that he's not sure that the fathers watching this at home would be encouraged to take their sons to allow them to learn to dance. Nigel told me that they [the show] has spent all these seasons trying to build up the idea that a male can dance and make it more acceptable, and we didn't really help the cause. I told him that I have a father, too, and I went through that. I told him that the country is already going through a lot of changes and could handle some more. Nigel didn't say anything to that. The judges kept going on about a man and a woman and I kept correcting them that it was a leader and a follower. "

Watch the clip (starting at 5:10), AFTER THE JUMP...

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