So You Think You Can Dance. Now I Get It.

When readers had encouraged me to watch So You Think You Can Dance, I was skeptical.

When I watched it for the first time, nothing changed.

It looked as if the man who bears no resemblance to the Tooth Fairy was making a lot of money on the backs and feet of America’s dancers.

Of course that must be true.

May I confess, however, to have been mesmerized by last Thursday’s Las Vegas auditions?

A chap whose body performed more contortions than a politician’s mouth took one look at what was required in these auditions and quit because he knew he would have been asked to perform in a pair and he didn’t want to adversely affect his partner’s chances.

Altruism from an artist? That’s like a free crown from a dentist.

Yet the longer the auditions went on, the more I began to realize that because the prize is, in the vast schemata of entertainment greed, relatively insignificant, So You Think You Can Dance exhibits a radical honesty.

The auditions occur with all the other competitors watching. You know when they think someone is good.

You know when they appreciate when someone has great artistry. They stand and applaud like a drunken (but knowledgeable) New York audience on a Saturday night.

There is something really quite soothing about the fact that the other competitors clearly influence the judges by the sheer decibellicosity of their applause.

For some reason that, as an innocent bysitter to this spectacle, I do not entirely grasp, there seemed to be more judges than Teethy, Tia and Maria.

I suspect the others represented different dance disciplines, but, for all I know, they could have been the sexual partners of Teethy, Tia and Maria.

In any case, they seemed to reflect an endearing honesty too. I could not imagine one of them canoodling with Paula Abdul.

Which makes me think this show is a deliberately constructed catharsis for Nigel Lythgoe.

While he goes along with the venality and twistiness of American Idol, he dons sackcloth and ashes made of silk in producing SYTYCD.

On American Idol, when the singers work together, that work means less than the cork on an empty bottle of wine.

In this peculiarly seductive dance show, the fruits of group performance mean everything. Both in the joy of the dance itself and in the prospects for the individual dancer.

Even Debbie Allen, a judge and former handmaiden of The Kids From Fame from the last century, had leave her judge’s leggings behind because one of her proteges made it through to the final twenty.

Does Randy Jackson have any proteges?

I must admit that I have even come to appreciate Cat Deeley’s understated warmth. Cat was brought up a couple of miles from me. But, whisper it now, she comes from the posh part of town.

This is not a girl who rose from the depths of poverty like some of the dancers.

This is not a girl who had to cut her own hair.

The only rollers in her neighborhood had Royce at the end of their names.

Yet she exudes a worldly air that doesn’t cloud the performances that are happening around her. On and off the stage.

This show is behaving like a stealth bomber dropping essential emotional supplies to my living room.

What happens in Vegas is not staying there.

This is weird.

The Pond thanks Marcin Wichary for his singular evocation of honesty.



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5 responses to “So You Think You Can Dance. Now I Get It.

  1. Judy C

    Facinating isn’t it? Early prediction: Comfort, Mark and Twitch, three to watch. And I have to admit you’re right about the judges, in spite of their goofiness, unlike Simon Cowell they seem to know what they’re talking about. And Dude, I wanna live in your old ‘hood.

    So did ya watch the horse race today? Did ya think it was the Derby all over again when Big Brown pulled up? I was freaking out, but the only thing wrong with BB was that apparently he didn’t feel like running today. Ha! Love it.

  2. thespine11

    You want to live in my old hood?

    I don’t think you do…

    Who knows what really happened with Big Brown? I mean, who can you trust these days?

    Who had the big money and where? A question that I know you Texans understand very well.

    So how many bags are you taking on your trip? I only ask because I worry about how much the airline will make you pay..

  3. Judy C

    Here I am – have you missed me? Have you gotten married or grown a beard since last we chatted?

    I’ve checked on you, Pond, just to make sure you’re still wearing your sunglasses and cap, but I’ve been so busy, and I find I don’t like busy at all. But just maybe all this dither is worth it cuz soon Mr. Husband will put me on a plane to Seattle and lotsa fun will ensue. I understand I’ll be both kayaking and wind surfing this trip – altho not at the same time, one supposes.

    I’m a two bagger, one bag for hair products and make-up alone. But not to worry Pond, the reservations have been in place awhile so no more cash outlay is anticipated.

    What about you? When do you head for Austin? You really should go soon b4 it gets hot enuf to melt your warts off. You don’t want those pesky Mexican Freetails dropping out of the sky from heat stroke on your head do ya?

    I hear the hi and low temps in Seattle are in the 50’s! What? OMG! It’s like frigging Wales! Don’t they know I’m coming??

    You are absolutely correct about Big Brown. Like the pro basketball playoffs it’s probably rigged. Altho I do like the idea that this horse with the most unimaginative name in racing history just didn’t feel like running very fast that day.

    Speaking of “frigging”, are you a Battlestar Galactica fan?

    And, speaking of TV, leave it to Nigel to divert attention back to himself. Those damn dancers were getting all the air time! And what a lame bit it was too! Best part was seeing Nigel bound and gagged – made me happy. But I’m a little bored this year – altho Mark is still interesting. Are you watching, or have you given up?

    But you had such interesting neighbors in your old hood! Best I can come up with is a convicted murderer living in the big old Tudor down by the water hazard 1/2 block from me. Not a single celebrity unless you count the chick next door who used to be with some ballet company. Oh wait, I forgot! They guy who won America’s Got Talent last year lives down the street – remember the guy with the dummies?

    Here’s a question more aptly posed to your technical alter ego over at c-net, but here goes: why does the little fan inside my CPU run almost all the time I’m on-line? Do not get technical either! Just tell me if you think I need to call the geeks out.

    By the way, no one in the US but you and a few immigrants care about soccer, Pond. Sorry, but it’s true. Nicely written tho they are I’m afraid your offerings will go unread and comment free.

    OK, 2 am and I’m off to bed.

  4. thespine11

    Of course I’ve missed you.

    One bag for hair products and makeup alone? Oh, surely not.

    You really need to cover up that much? What does it all look like first thing in the morning?

    Battlestar Galactica? Oh, surely not. Do you not think I have ANY standards?

    Living next to a convicted murderer? What was he like before he became a murderer?

    CPU? What the hell is one of those? Is this shorthand for computer or something?

    The little fan would probably suggest you’re using your computer quite a lot. It’s not a PC, is it? Lord, tell me it isn’t.

    How funny that you think that my musings on Euro 2008 can only be seen in the US.

    You must be from Texas.

  5. Judy C

    I forgot all about your 18 million readers, Pond. I thot I was your only pal. Of course I only see things from my small corner of the world and from my small point of view – that’s what we do here. Are there really others besides Texans? We aren’t the only ones? R u sure?

    I still think soccer is dumb, tho. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, the most watched sport in the world, yada, yada, yada. And are there really women who like it? I mean no one wears big fancy hats to soccer games, and eck! there’s dirt, sweat, kicking, running and all that. Now, maybe if they played naked………

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