So You Think You Can Shut Up Already
So You Think You Can Dance is one of my favorite shows. Turns out dancing is a visual art form that can be enjoyed from the comfort of my couch! And if you take super-talented dancers and give them interesting choreography, entertainment is sure to follow.
However, we've just come to the end of the audition weeks. And they all kind of run together. There are people who can dance really well, and they get sent through to the next round. There are people who are specialists in hyper-local hip-hop styles, and they go to choreography and then fail. There are people with tragic stories that eat up a lot of airtime. And there are people who arrive in a costume or with a chip on their shoulder or who have some kind of mild brain problem that makes them think that flailing around arrhythmically looks great.
There are five things that I don't want any more of in audition rounds in the seasons to come. They're played out. They're dumb. And they get in the way of the great dancing, which is what I tune in for. (That and Cat Deeley.)
So, So You Think You Can Dance, stop doing these things:
1. The Nigel Fakeout
"I'm sorry to tell you...you'll be going to Vegas!" Nigel Lythgoe thinks it's hilarious to pretend to be rejecting someone right before he approves him or her. At this point, he's more likely to do the fakeout than he is just to tell someone he or she did a good job. And here's the problem: Nigel's terrible at it. No one's ever fooled! Especially not the audience, which just saw him do exactly the same thing three times in the last ten minutes. It's also mean to mess with the exhausted, desperate contestants like that. Knock it off, Nigel.
2. Parents Dancing
"Is your father here? Come on up on stage, dad!" A lot of dancers brought their parents to the auditions, because why not, right? And then they talked about their heartwarming stories, which is par for the course. But this year, a lot of parents got dragged up on stage. And a couple of them could dance, but it was still boring, because they couldn't dance as well as the amazing people who were auditioning. And I'm including in this the times that auditioners had children who got up on stage and danced. Go home, kids. Oh, except for that exorcist guy's family-dance.
That was awesome.
3. The Forward Flip Into Sitting Down
This isn't an audition-specific move, but I'm already sick of this one trick that was everywhere during the auditions this year: a contemporary dancer does a forward flip and lands sitting on her butt, with one leg straight forward and the other one bent at the knee. I worry that it's giong to be ubiquitous in the contemporary dances. It's this year's "reach forward at nothing, then convulsively pull your fist into your chest to show your deep emotion."
4. "Why are you still standing there? Come and get your ticket to Vegas!"
Nigel again. He probably thought this was a clever thing to say once; that doesn't justify saying it six times per episode. I realize it's a rhetorical question, but it has a simple answer: they're still standing there because they're not allowed to get their ticket until you tell them it's okay, Nigel.
5. Mary Murphy
I mean...look. I like Mary. I missed her when she was gone for that season. And I love her ballroom critiques, where she clearly knows what she's talking about. But stop it with the stupid hot tamale train and the shrieking. Actually, go ahead and keep the train. But between her shrieking and Adam Shankman's increasing tendency to burst into tears before the dancing even starts, the judging is having trouble escaping its rut. Also, I'm having trouble looking at Mary without thinking of the phrase "desperate, cocaine-fueled nymphomaniac," so she might want to act a little less desperate and cocaine-fueled.