Have these words ever come out of your mouth: “Did he have to? Did he really have to?”
Sometimes people do things that you know they are going to do, even though, simultaneously, you know they are going to show that part of themselves that everyone suspected was there and no one wanted to see.
So it was last night, that Hell’s Teeth, a man who has singularly redeemed himself by bringing So You Thigh You Can Dance to television, a show that is everything its ugly sister, American Idol, is not, inspired the words: “Did he have to?”
For those of you who flip through your TIVO as fast as Sienna Miller flips through ineligible chaps, Nigel Lythgoe, producer and, er, producer, of two successful Fox shows, decided to surprise everyone by choreographing a routine for the five remaining eligible chaps.
Can I possibly sound fair when I suggest that the routine was as wooden as Pinocchio’s nose?
Possibly not. But can I sound accurate? I can only hope so.
At least Idol’s Randy Jackson limits himself to declaring that he played bass or fourteenth fiddle on the seminal works of Whitney Houston and Journey.
He doesn’t write the contestants a song and let them hope that it’s better than Simon and Garfunkel.
Nigel Lythgoe, on the other hand, not only choreographed (allegedly) a routine based on Five Guys named Moe, but he then ordered his, um hostess, Cat Deeley, to withhold this fact from the audience, lest the facts swayed their enthusiasm.
One assumes he was afraid that, should the information have come out in advance, the audience would have not been able to control their positive emotions throughout the dance.
Better to let them know afterwards, when, as it happened, the faces of Joshua and Will muttered the thought: “Jeez, I’m glad that’s over with.”
However, it was the face of Mr. Lythmoe that really clipped my duodenum with gherkin acid.
The pride of the insecure has not been more clearly seen since Julia Roberts gushed a fountain of self-vindication on receiving an Oscar.
Mr. Lythmoe was Julia Roberts and Sally Field put together. In mime.
The firmness that his lips adopted in order not to slide down his teeth and mouth and say: “I am. Really I am. I am as good as this lot. See,” was a feat in human engineering.
It seemed as if sitting next to renowned choreographers every week has preyed upon Mr. Lythmoe’s sense of self.
Yet if he really felt the need to dangle his credentials alongside his comments of dubious taste, then he should have decided to be a regular choreographic contributor (oh, God, no, that’s not his Plan, is it?).
Then everyone would have happily judged his abilities next to those of Tia, Maria, Napoleon, Josephine and the rest.
As it is, Mr. Lythmoe resembled nothing more than a man in a bar who grabs the karaoke mike near the end of the evening when all the customers are drunk beyond veracity.
The drunk’s reasoning is that it doesn’t matter whether his singing is comprised of deleterious atoms thrust into the torpid air because everyone will applaud at the end.
Most people would be satisfied with bringing one of the most honest, uplifting, artistic and joyous shows to television.
But no. Mr. Lythmoe had to find a way to say: “See, I can do this too.”
The saddest thing is that, despite his shoulders hunching up to support his head just in case it began to swell, all he proved was that perhaps it isn’t a wise idea to add moe strings to his boe.
The Pond thanks jnterwin for capturing a betoothed one being reined in.