Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I have a confession: I am a So You Think You Can Dance addict. It might be because I'm also addicted to dance. Maybe it's that I'm addicted to artistic movement, or perhaps I'm simply just addicted to music. Regardless of the rhyme or reason, the results of last Thursday's show (which, incidentally, I was finally able to watch tonight) was very disappointing. Not only that, I was utterly shocked at the way America's votes went down and I think the judges were a little shocked too.

For those of you who don't know, the show was down to the final 8 dancers (4 male, 4 female), and all the dancers at this stage of the season are excellent. However, after Wednesday's performances, there were two male dancers that clearly stood out. They had two phenomenal performances each while the other two had inconsistent performances. Will and Twitch have not only been fan favorites from the beginning, but they are amazing dancers who stepped up to the plate and delivered some highly memorable performances. Mark and Joshua (even though I've been increasingly impressed with Joshua's versatility)both had a performance that was not up to par. Based upon both popularity and performance, one would expect either Mark or Joshua to get the least number of votes and be the next male to leave the show, but this did not happen. In fact, not only did neither Mark nor Joshua get the least amount of votes, they both got the MOST votes. That left Twitch and Will as the bottom two dancers...which, completely shocked me. Will is definitely the most technically advanced and the best dancer there, but Twitch has shined time and time again with some of the best performances of the season and a personality to match.

So, before I rant on and on, I'll cut this short and say Will got cut and there's really only one explanation. Pity. So many people must have felt that Will and Twitch would surely make it that they all voted for the underdogs. Of course, this reaction on a large scale yields results opposite the true desires of the people voting. But what is more interesting here is what it implies about Americans who watch the show? Do we root so hard for the underdog that we under-write those that truly deserve the spotlight? Don't get me wrong, all four are amazing dancers that have had some amazing performances that I can't get enough of, but when all is said and done, the truth of the matter is Will has had the most consistent and highest rated run of all the males, without question. Yet, Will wasn't voted for. Even Mark himself was shocked he wasn't one of the bottom two dancers. With Will gone, I think there is going to be a hole that will be hard to fill.

I hope a lesson was learned. Vote for who you truly thinks deserves to win, not who you're afraid isn't getting enough love. I too would have been tempted to vote for Joshua (who I'm secretly rooting for...or I guess not so secretly now), but would have suppressed that urge and vote for who I think had the most amazing performance of the night. For me, that would have been Twitch, so I guess out of the two, I'm glad to see Twitch is still in the competition.

And for those of you who haven't watched any of this show and love dancing...what's wrong with you? There is some amazing dance here. Watching someone like Joshua or Twitch who came on the show with a pretty limited dance background turn around and perform dances exceptionally well in styles completely different from their own is something to marvel at. Do you think you could do the same in such a short period of time?

So You Think You Can Dance, in my opinion, is one of the best reality TV shows out there that pretty much drops the trashy drama that fills so many others. The competitors in this competition may all be competing against one another, but they all respect each other. This show I think also serves to inspire people. The contestants weren't given any special treatment and they weren't picked from some VIP list. They every day people like you and me with a soulful passion for dance. They came from all walks of life and worked hard to end up where they did. Any one of us with the same passion and work could achieve the same feat. And even if you dance for fun and have no desire to be famous, the choreography in these dances is delightful and offer seeds of inspiration for new ways to interpret and express music through dance.

So watch the show. And if you don't have the channel or a TV, download the episodes online. Be inspired.

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