In terms of sheer minutes of time-wasting power, this show may be the single largest piece of summer trash in existence. Yes, I’m talking about So You Think You Can Dance. Now, I just started watching this show, and I am no kind of dance expert. However, I do know a lot about trashy TV shows, and that is one of the most valuable skills a person can have in today’s society. (Youth of America, take note.) If I get stuff wrong, feel free to chime in in the comments.The show opens with a dance-in. Some music plays and the host announces the dancers one by one; each does a few seconds of improv dance in his or her preferred style. Most of these dancers are still a blur to me at this point, but a few of them stand out based on what I saw last week:
1. Donyelle. Last week, she was unfortunately forced to dance to a song called “Too Much Booty.” And, I mean, she’s no Mandisa or anything, but she does have a booty. Her current outfit is unflattering. You should sense a dramatic upcoming storyline entitled Donyelle’s Weight.
2. Martha. My favorite last week. Martha has a stealth body. From the neck up, she looks very conservative, like a Huxtable. But her outfit last week revealed that her body is just breathtakingly awesome. No, that isn’t why I like her. It’s just noteworthy, that’s all.
3. Jamyz. This calls for an intervention. J-A-M-Y-Z does NOT spell “James.” Just looking at this spelling makes me want to punch this guy in the teeth. I may have a hard time calling him by his alleged name – will have to think of something else to call him.
4. Ivan. I saw enough of this show last week to know that Stanislav wuz robbed, and Ivan should have gone home. Thanks also to my sister for laying this all out for me with great eloquence – I am lucky enough to have a few relatives who are highly trained experts on this show, so I will be relying on that.
Other random things I notice during the dance-in: A few of the guys have long hanging-down suspenders that twirl when they twirl. (Some of these guys are awfully twirly.) And for the second week in a row, Jessica and Joy stand out to me as bad dancers.
After each person gets announced and takes his or her few-second turn in the spotlight, they all wrap up the intro segment with some awesome Thriller-style dancing. The girls march up in formation, and then the guys march up in formation, and then they kind of intermingle. There’s lots of shoulder activity. This is my favorite part of the show. When I saw this part last week, I went from dreading this show to loving it in the space of a few seconds. I mean, it has ’80s Jackson-video movies; it has ridiculous outfits; it’s all divided into boys and girls. There is a very retro feel to the whole thing. I think this is intentional and is the whole secret to this show’s appeal.
Then they introduce the host, Cat Deeley. She is an immensely tall blonde British model person, and as my sister points out, she is especially ill-suited to this job, because she towers over all of the dancers. You know how sometimes a female sportscaster will interview Shaq on the floor after a game, and you can’t hear anything he’s saying, because even though the reporter holds her microphone up as high as she can, it’s still too far away from Shaq’s mouth? Well, this is the opposite of that, and it looks just as silly. With Cat Deeley, we can hear everybody, but she has to practically bend at the waist to talk to the dancers.
Now, the way that Cat Deeley looks when she is standing next to the dancers is very reminiscent of a certain zoo animal. And the dress that she was wearing last week proves that she does not shy away from this resemblance at all – nay, she embraces it.
I browse on the twigs of trees, preferring plants of the Mimosa genus, but I can without inconvenience live on other vegetable food. (Source: Wikipedia.)
This week, she extends the wildlife theme with an even uglier dress, which has some sort of snake/dragon thing printed on the front. Maybe next week she will go all the way and just come out wearing a panda suit. Memo to anyone from the show who is reading this: You are welcome to use that idea. Really, it’s okay, you can thank me later.
Now, the judges. Shane Sparks is a choreographer. Mia Michaels is a choreographer. Nigel Lythgoe is the executive producer. I am immediately crushed to see that the crazy judge from last week, Mary, is no longer there. As I’m sure literally millions of people have observed, she was a poor man’s Paula Abdul, and I had plenty to say about that. Starting with the absurdity of the very concept of a poor man’s Paula Abdul.
Cat eggs the crowd on to boo the judges. You see, on this show, the host just goes right ahead and instructs the crowd to boo the judges, before anything even happens. I’m confused. We’re just supposed to hate the judges on principle? But what if they say nice things? Is reality-show judge now a job like personal-injury lawyer or used-car salesman, where you are just assumed to be scum on principle? Or is this show just desperate for some semblance of conflict, however canned? I’ll let you be the, uh, judge of that.
Cat asks the judges to talk about some of their memorable moments from the auditions. Oh, NO. Last week, we devoted a huge chunk of time to rehashing the auditions, and I was thoroughly bored even though I had only seen one audition episode. Sorry, guys, it’s not American Idol, and the auditions are not entertaining. The one audition episode I did see made me think this show was going to be mad boring, which it is not. I think maybe the only way to get through this is to drink whenever they show audition footage. Ready? Make sure your glass is full.
Shane talks about the girl who threw up during her audition. Yes, it’s as gross as it sounds, and this is at least the third time I’ve seen it. Scratch that drinking idea.
Mia reminisces about a gender-confused person, whom she calls “it.” Nice. We roll tape, and it’s the first time I’ve seen this one. It’s actually a pretty clever audition – the guy comes out in full drag and removes his drag as he does his routine. Incidentally, it is in no way hard to identify him as male, so I’m thinking the word “it” was not really called-for.
Nigel’s special audition moment is a guy who used the stage name of “Sex,” which is awesome. I can’t believe no one famous has used that yet. They show it and the guy is not cute, can’t dance, and is obviously auditioning as a joke. I hate it when Idol gives those people airtime, and on this show, it’s even worse. Don’t encourage them!
Cat runs down the prizes, and reminds us that the main one is a job as a backup dancer in Celine Dion’s Vegas show. Gack – that’s not a prize, that’s a violation of the Eighth Amendment. I suddenly have a vision of the dancers all frantically trying to suck as much as they can so they can get kicked off and escape this fate worse than death. This show is officially neck-and-neck with Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire? in the competition for Worst Reality Show Prize of All Time.
We now meet a guy whose name I can’t understand when Cat says it, but it sounds a little bit like Hood, and I am going to call him that because he is also wearing a hood. Hood auditioned for this show, but he was cut because – um, I don’t know why. Because he was good? They show clips of his auditions and he is fantastic – his style is martial-arts-inflected break dance. I’m going to guess that they cut him because maybe that was all he could do, although this is not explained.
Cat asks Hood if he gets recognized for being on the show and he says yes. She asks him if has met any girls. Um, Cat? Has it occurred to you that maybe – just MAYBE – some of the male contestants on So You Think You Can Dance are not really into girls? Heterosexuality doesn’t seem like that safe of a bet in this crowd.
I’m not saying all male dancers are gay, but this gives me an excuse to discuss my favorite news quote of the week. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has come under fire for calling a reporter a “f–king fag.” His main defense is cultural – things are different in Venezuela where he’s from. Sorry, Ozzie, but that’s weak. What is hilarious is his list of secondary defenses, which are dutifully reprinted in every article about this incident. Here is the quote, from several articles: “Guillen also told Couch that he has gay friends, attends WNBA games, went to a Madonna concert and plans to go to the Gay Games in Chicago.”
Is it just me or does this sound like something Jon Stewart or Weekend Update would have added to the story? I just wish Ozzie had said, “Oh, and I also love So You Think You Can Dance,” because then I would not be off on such a tangent right now.
Ahem. Hood and his “crew” perform. They are amazing; they do all kinds of crazy acrobatic moves. Again, all very mid-’80s in flavor. But let me get this straight. Rejected auditioners get just as much stage time as finalists do? Yikes, if we have this much filler now, while there are still 18 contestants, I shudder to think what we’re in for later in the season. “We’d like to welcome Joe, the security guard who works the back entrance of this auditorium. He will performing a special interpretive dance routine set to the music of the Baha Men.”
At 17 minutes into the show, we finally find out who’s dancing first: Martha and Travis. Yes, my early favorites. (What journalistic objectivity?) Last week, they danced Broadway; this week, they will be krumping. This rocks my worldview a little, because so far I haven’t seen a single routine on this show that looks like it was choreographed after 1992.
We meet a guy named Lil “C” (his use of quotation marks, not mine), who says he is the co-creator of krumping, which he calls “a dance style that looks very aggressive.” From what he’s doing, this seems like a fair description. Travis and Martha are both “lyrical” or “contemporary” dancers, so they are not used to krumping. Oh, the dramatic tension.
I should explain that Lil “C” is the choreographer for this couple tonight. According to the format of the show, each couple will dance a different style (drawn from a hat) and will have a different choreographer. I believe they reuse choreographers, and also select some of the judges from among the choreographers.
At 19 minutes into the show, we start our FIRST routine of the night. Travis and Martha krump their little hearts out. To me, they look like total pros. And the judges like it too! Oh, man, my krump-assessment instincts are dead-on. I feel so validated. Shane Sparks says that Travis was great, but Martha was just okay. Mia says that the routine was dirty, raw, and ugly. These are all compliments. (Cat repeats this back and of course she says “rawr” instead of “raw.”) Nigel says that when Lil “C” krumps himself, it’s better, but Travis and Martha were still good.
Travis responds to some of the positive judging by saying, “Lil ‘C’ brought the monkey and an animal outside of me.” Who with the what, now? He then goes on to say, “I got bucked like a buccaneer.” Um, Travis? Don’t ask, don’t tell, buddy. Unfortunately, these animal comments also echo some things that were said during the rehearsal segment, when Martha said the dance was “animalistic” and Travis compared it to King Kong. Hey, kids – you might want to tone down the repeated jungle references. I’m getting the sense that the cast of this show did not sit down for a big sensitivity-training seminar before they started to tape.
“But did they krump their way into your hearts, America?” That’s what Cat Deeley wants to know. After the commercial, we move on to Jessica and Jamyz, which I swear looks like it should rhyme with “The Miz,” and it’s driving me crazy. They draw foxtrot, and Jamyz is bummed because, he says, “The foxtrot isn’t very popular with the public.” Yes, I hear the foxtrot’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low. Why, just yesterday I was in line at the supermarket and I overheard someone saying, “I simply adore the Viennese waltz, but that foxtrot leaves me cold.”
We go to rehearsal, and the choreographer is Mary Murphy! Yes, the poor man’s Paula Abdul from last week. Please let her laugh. Please let her laugh. I want her to laugh because she laughs EXACTLY like the mom on That ’70s Show. (And remember, the mom on That ’70s Show is doing it on PURPOSE, as a JOKE.) And … she laughs! Jackpot!
She tells them they are going to be doing a “bluesy, jazzy, American-style foxtrot.” So, not a foxtrot, then? Mary refers to Jamyz as “Mr. Cool.” I was thinking more like “Mr. Tool.” He’s got the open shirt with the loosely knotted tie, like a drunk Bruce Willis in Moonlighting. I really hope they told him to wear that, because if not, he is an even bigger tool than I thought. When he does a spin, we see that he has “Rebellious” lettered across the back of his button-down shirt.
That’s Mr. Tool to you.
Then the routine starts, and this couple has to go and ruin my hatred of them by dancing to a song I love, which is the Sinéad O’Connor version of “Why Don’t You Do Right.” That whole album is genius. Mr. Tool and Jessica do a great job. I have a strong suspicion that there is not much foxtrot going on, but there probably isn’t a lot in Celine Dion’s show, either, so that’s okay.
Shane calls the routine perfect. Mia calls it mature, slick, and “bloody beautiful.” Nigel says that Mia’s English accent sounds like Dick van Dyke. I didn’t think she was trying to do an accent at all, but whatever. Nigel liked the dance, but he says that last week this couple landed in the bottom three with an even better routine, so he’s worried about them now. The crowd boos a little. Why? That sounds like a perfectly valid concern to me, and also a helpful tip to Mr. Tool’s voting bloc, should he possess one.
Allison and Ivan are next, and they draw hip-hop. They are happy, but once again, we are cautioned that Allison dances “contemporary jazz,” so this may be hard for her. She interviews that she doesn’t have a lot of experience with hip-hop, “especially ghetto style.” I don’t even know what that means. She’s saying hip-hop comes in “ghetto” and “non-ghetto”? And she has more experience with the latter? I would love to hear an elaboration of this theory.
Now remember, the consensus from last week is that Allison is good, but Ivan sucks. He landed her in the bottom three. He is inexplicably still on the show, instead of Stanislav. I have to think that Allison is really bummed that Ivan did not get the boot, because if he had, she would have been partnered with Stanislav, who was good, and whose own partner went home. (Note that the show has not explained this part of the rules, but I have to assume that if two people go home who aren’t partners with each other, then the leftover partners get put together.)
The way that the show is set up this year, Allison is stuck with Ivan until he goes home, so this week he may drag her down into the cellar with him again. Let’s watch and see! For the routine, Ivan wears a camo jacket and a do-rag, and he looks like a total idiot. The dance is lame. They don’t mess up or anything, but it’s slow and to me it looks simple compared to the other dances.
Cat calls Allison and Ivan “too cool for school,” and she tries to high-five Ivan, and he totally leaves her hanging. Ooh, dis! This is Ivan’s best move so far.
Shane loved the routine. Mia says she wanted more fireworks. Word to that, but the crowd disapproves. Nigel seems to be saying that he liked it, but as usual, he talks forever and mostly goes off onto a tangent about how he feels about the choreographers. (He thinks they’re brilliant, because … there are two of them? Okay.)
Joy and Dmitry pull the samba. Uh-oh, y’all – she’s a JAZZ DANCER! Every five minutes, this show tries to create all sorts of crazy suspense: “TUNE IN NOW to find out WHAT WILL HAPPEN when a dancer tries to dance in a DIFFERENT STYLE from that to which he/she is accustomed!” Get back to me after somebody has a spectacular style-related wipeout, and maybe then I’ll care.
My impression of the dance is that Dmitry looks smooth, whereas Joy looks like a spaz. I don’t think this is due to her being forced to dance the samba, because I have been equally impressed by her spasticity during the open credits for two weeks.
Shane pulls the old “you look great” trick, which I think we all know by now is never a good sign. He tells Joy that she looked nervous during the dance and that was distracting. He tells Dmitry that he was great – he “destroyed it.” I agree. He says, “Too bad y’all wasn’t equal.” OUCH.
Oh, but that was nothing. Mia addresses Joy directly: “Good thing you’re beautiful, because that was absolutely dreadful.” Oh, BURN! Suddenly, I love Mia. See, this is what Randy and Paula mean whenever they say they love someone’s shoes, but they never actually say it! Oh, Mia, did you ever know that you’re my hero?
Then Mia totally takes her to school. “We’re here to critique you, right? Okay, so. The first thing that we learn as we’re training as a dancer is to straighten our legs, yeah? Your legs were not straight. At all. Never. And then you gave us this fabulous [inaudible] that went like [unflattering noise] and it never lengthened, and I personally think … that you’re not ready for this competition. And Dmitry, I’m sorry for you, because you’re fabulous.”
Oh my God! That ruled. What do y’all think is the backstory here?
(a) Mia overheard Joy talking smack about her in the ladies’ room before the competition.
(b) As a trampy teenage babysitter, Joy slept with Mia’s husband.
(c) Mia is in love with Joy, and Joy spurned her advances.
(d) Mia secretly wants Joy to win this competition, so she is trying to reverse-psych the voters.
Or, I guess it could just be (e), Joy is a shitty dancer and Mia is a bitch. Occam’s Razor and all. But I want some backstage intrigue, dammit!
Somehow, Joy retains her composure, which impresses the hell out of me, because I almost dissolved into a blubbering pool on the floor just from listening to that. Nigel tells Joy she’s beautiful, again, some more. Jeez, couldn’t we skip that by now? Or else just put a button on the table that the judges can push to play a recorded voice saying “You’re beautiful.” Would save the wear and tear on their vocal cords, as well as the wear and tear on my brain from listening to them each trying to find a slightly different way of phrasing it.
Unlike the other two, Nigel doesn’t give Dmitry a free pass. He says that maybe he didn’t help Joy enough. Huh? I’m sure he did what he could; why would he want to make his own dance routine suck? To me, this reeks of Nigel straining to come up with something original to say. I think it’s a little weird that he’s made himself a judge at all. It’s like Madonna putting herself in movies, or Mark Cuban mixing it up with the officials – they do it because they can, not because it’s a good idea. But it’s weirder, because you know Madonna has always wanted to be an actress, and Cuban probably used to wish he were a coach. Has Nigel always wanted to be a talent-show judge? Seems like a highly specific aspiration to have.
Oh, wait. I just thought of a better analogy. It’s more like Mark Cuban creating a derivative, horrible, soul-sucking reality TV show as a starring vehicle for himself. Remember that? It’s just “I have money, so I should be on TV.” Nigel Lythgoe, explained.
Natalie and Musa are next. They draw “contemporary,” which is Natalie’s style. So this time, we have to get worked up over the GUY being out of his dance element. But we get a little extra drama this time, because Musa is a break dancer with no formal dance training of any kind! The horror! You just know that all the white-gloved country-club ladies watching So You Think You Can Dance are going to be appalled by that lack of formal training. Way to push the envelope, show.
By the way, I am only gradually absorbing what “contemporary” means in this context. It seems to be used interchangeably with “lyrical” and “modern.” The best way I can describe it is, if you go to any kind of a show – let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it’s a Celine Dion extravaganza – and there is something dramatic happening on a stage in a spotlight, and the music is very portentous and soaring, and then around the edges of the stage, in the half-dark, there are a bunch of people on their knees in leotards swaying back and forth like trees? Well, that’s the type of dance these people do.
I swear I came up with that description before I saw the next bit, where the choreographer says that contemporary dance is “barefoot dancers flowing, you’re rooted into the ground, it’s earthy.” And here I was thinking that my description was probably inaccurate and unfair, and feeling a little guilty about it. Never again! From now on, I will fabricate descriptions with impunity.
Musa and Natalie are all over each other during their interview segments. This has been going on ever since they got paired up last week. They’re into each other. I would just come right out and claim that they’re sleeping together, but who knows, maybe they have non-pretend relationships that I shouldn’t be casually destroying with my totally unfounded gossip.
Anyway, whatever’s going on, I hope it will eventually lead to a screaming breakup and then a distracted dance routine culminating in him dropping her on her ass on live television. Hey, a girl can dream. Did any of y’all see those Italian ice dancers during the last Olympics, who came out of retirement to compete, and then after he dropped her, she just reamed him mercilessly and then gave him the total silent treatment on camera for hours? That was one of the most excellent things I have ever seen on TV, and I have seen a lot of TV. I am praying for something like that to happen on this show, and any romantic connection between partners can only help my cause. So, godspeed, Natalie and Musa!
Their dance is good. Unsurprisingly, they have lots of chemistry. There is some simulated humping, and Musa does some cool jumps. Despite his sordid break-dancer past, Musa dances better than Natalie – she is a little rough here and there. It’s because she’s distracted by their offscreen love. Okay, I made that up, but I reserve the right to make stuff up.
Shane says that they were good, and that Natalie covered up for Musa’s weaknesses by being in tune with him via her body and face. Natalie finds this so touching that she gets all teary-eyed. No, really, no lie this time. Mia comments on the chemistry, and Natalie and Musa – snuggle and hold hands? Oh, wow, I am officially no longer joking about their love connection. They LOVE each other and it is actually going to be sad when they crash and burn. Way to ruin my fun, you guys.
Mia gushes about the performance. Nigel also gushes about the performance, and he turns up the soft-porn vibe even a little more by saying, “Your feel for each other, it was like a real man and woman on that stage.” Oh, Nigel, you frisky little animal.
After the commercial, Cat brings up an awkward moment from last week, when Ryan was openly disappointed to be partnered with Heidi. You see, he wanted Natalie. Who doesn’t? This week, Ryan and Heidi draw “pop,” and they both say that they don’t know what that means. Nor do I. Pop dancing? That seems very … vague.
There is a big spectacle made of Ryan apologizing to Heidi for his disappointment last week. She accepts his apology. I, on the other hand, cannot forgive him for the hat he wore last week. It is a Yankees hat and it is brown and patterned. I am a Yankees fan (don’t hurt me, please), and I feel very strongly that Yankees hats should only be navy and white, with gray as the only possible alternate color. These patterned brown Yankees hats, and pink ones and red ones and – gasp! – even green ones – these are fashion abominations. Ryan, I denounce thee.
We learn that “pop dancing” means “dancing like Britney.” (Pre-Federline Britney, duh. Incidentally, K-Fed is another person who wears non-approved Yankees hats.) In this type of dancing, you are supposed to move your hand up near your forehead and your eyes a lot. You know the deal.
Now, I have spent some time trying to figure out whom Heidi resembles. My brother-in-law says it is Kimmy Gibler from Full House. At first I was not sure about this, but then I found this picture, which pretty much confirms it is at least true when they frown.
Here is a cool piece of trivia about Kimmy Gibler: The girl who played her was also the first (juvenile) Carrie Brady on Days of Our Lives. Okay, so I think it’s cool; that doesn’t mean you have to. Anyway, while I was looking for this picture, I discovered that there is a quite extensive Wikipedia entry on Kimmy. Not about the actress, but about the character. Someone has really studied her as a cultural figure. You should check it out – this type of dedicated scholarship deserves to have the support of the American public.
Oh yeah, the dance. It’s a blast. Both partners are fantastic. The Kelly Clarkson song they’re acting out sure doesn’t hurt, either. Shane agrees; he says they just became the group to beat. Mia, on the other hand, isn’t buying what they’re selling; she thought it was “okay” and “cute.” Heidi needs “more strength and more groundedness … it’s a bit flimsy.” Heidi totally cries, even though Mia practically just proposed marriage to her compared to what she did to Joy. Mia says Ryan is like a stallion. Keep it in your pants, Mia.
Nigel didn’t like the dance – basically, he thought it contained bad acting, and it didn’t measure up to the, um, naughty feelings he got when he was watching Natalie and Musa. Boo! I liked this dance better; it contained more actual dancing. Heidi responds to all of this with a lot of class, saying she came on the show to become a better dancer and will incorporate Mia’s constructive criticism in the coming weeks. This actually gets her a clap from Mia. Also, with her current hairstyle, Heidi looks more like Reese Witherspoon than Kimmy Gibler, so she can take some solace from that.
Next are Ashley and Ben. They draw “American jive.” Mary Murphy, back again, points out that they sucked last week. Ashley, like Heidi, looks like an ’80s sitcom character. It took me no time to remember this person’s face but a few minutes to remember what show she was actually on. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sarah from Head of the Class, as played by Kimberly Russell.
Go to the head of the class.
Now, I also learned something intriguing about Kimberly Russell today: She went on to date George Clooney in the mid-’90s. So, Ashley, great news: If this show doesn’t work out for you, you just might be George Clooney’s type!
So Ashley and Ben try to dance, to “Great Balls of Fire,” and they suck. Again. The sad part is that they are both happy and excited after the routine, and then Shane shoots them down right out of the box. He says, “I felt like I was watching two five-year-olds dancing.” Bingo. Ashley totally copies Heidi by thanking Shane for the criticism.
Mia is actually nice for some reason, pointing out, quite accurately, that Ashley did a great job considering she has only ever danced hip-hop (sans training) before coming on this show. She also compliments Ben. Nigel basically says it was so-so, but vastly improved since last week.
After the commercial, Jason and Aleksandra draw hip-hop. And you guys are never going to believe this in a million years: One of them is challenged by this selection, because hip-hop is not his/her usual dance style! No, really. That really happened.
In this case, it’s Aleksandra who has no flava. During this segment, I learn a lot from the choreographers. I learn that West Coast hip-hop is more “jazzy,” while New York style is more “edgy.” I learn that Aleksandra has possibly taken a class in “new school” hip-hop, which will do her absolutely no good: “If you’re just doing new school, you missed out on the old school, so how you know that flavor?” How indeed.
Jason claims that Aleks can’t dance hip-hop because she is from a different “lifestyle.” As for Aleks herself, she claims that her inability to master the style is due to the fact that, being from the West Coast, she has not grown up watching people dance in this way. Hey, Aleks? It’s called TV. Check it out sometime. It can save you thousands in plane fare to different parts of the country.
So, we’ve just heard three or four different convoluted attempts at expressing one very simple idea: Aleks is very, very white. Yeah, yeah, I remember back up at the top of the page when I was complaining about the people on the show being culturally insensitive, and now I’m saying that they aren’t being culturally insensitive enough. But I’ve been watching this crap for hours and now, like Mia, I want some fireworks. Just come out and say it, people: This white girl cannot dance hip-hop.
This is by far the worst rehearsal footage we’ve seen so far. And everyone is totally on the same page about it. Aleks interviews that she has a couple of days to “find some street vibe” and “get down and dirty.” Somehow I doubt a couple of days is going to suffice for this, but hey, I could be wrong.
Let’s watch the dance. Oh, no, they are wearing matching velour tracksuits and Kangol-ish hats. Aleks is pretty bad, but improved since rehearsal. In the judging, Shane politely notes that Aleks is a good contemporary dancer. Then he makes all my dreams come true when he tells her, “You dance like a white girl, and I’m not going to give you props for that, because that’s not what I want to see in hip-hop.” Jason, on the other hand, “smashed it.”
I’m so sorry this had to happen to you. You both seem like such nice people.
Mia opines that Aleks’s prayers to the “funk god” must have been answered, because she pulled it off. Nigel, on the other hand, concurs with everyone else that Jason was good, but tells Aleks, “If it’s about flavor, it was like tofu.” You just know Nigel has been saving up that line for days. It’s probably written on a legal pad in front of him so he doesn’t forget to say it. “It was like vanilla water unsalted popcorn tofu.” The audience actually laughs for once (although some people do boo).
Finally, thank God, we are down to our last couple – Benji and Donyelle. Here is what I remember about them from last week, apart from the “Too Much Booty” song, which I already mentioned. First, when Donyelle came out doing her intro dance at the beginning of last week’s show, she made her boobs jiggle up and down at the speed of light. They were moving so fast they were literally blurry. Second, Benji was intimidated by their raunchy dance, because he said he hadn’t planned to touch a woman that much until he’s married. Third, their dance contained even more humping than Natalie and Musa’s dance from tonight. And fourth, related to all of the above, Benji hoped no one from his church was watching the show.
This week, Donyelle and Benji draw cha-cha. In rehearsal, they all fool around and laugh a lot. When they come out for their dance, it is immediately clear that wardrobe really screwed them over. She is wearing a purple dress that manages to be both skimpy and baggy, and it does not flatter her frame. He is wearing a stupid black tank top and an even more stupid fedora. Ow – I liked them last week, but this dance is painful for me to watch.
Then – huh? Shane thought it was probably the best performance of the night. Mia says they were fabulous. Nigel says they just surpassed the mark that was set by Martha and Travis last week. And apparently I am blind, or I was just distracted by their hideous clothing, or maybe I just don’t know jack about the cha-cha. All right, there’s no maybe – it’s definitely that last one.
Then Nigel brings up Donyelle’s weight, and I get this sinking feeling. I am fully expecting a Simon Cowell-style lecture or cow comment, and I am sad about it but resigned, because it is a dance competition, and you could possibly make a case that weight is important here. Which, in singing, you cannot, SIMON.
But instead, Nigel completely surprises me. He tells Donyelle that he’s sure she’s heard negative comments about her weight before in auditions, and that, basically, she’s just shown all those people up. He says that she came out and danced, totally comfortable with her body, and her weight was not a problem in the least, and she was one of the sexiest girls of the night. He is totally right, if you correct for the hideous dress.
Then Nigel tells Donyelle that she’s an inspiration and a positive role model to thousands of girls. Oh, crap – now I love Nigel, too. And the three judges’ brainwashing of me is complete. Not you, though, Cat Deeley. You still have a lot of work to do with me.
There’s a little recapping, with phone numbers for voting, and there’s a dance-out that’s funny because they’re all wearing such totally incompatible costumes. And finally, at long last, that is the end. I swear I am three years older than I was when I started this recap. Next – and hopefully soon – the results.