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'SYTYCD': Was Melissa and Ade's 'cancer dance' overpraised?

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On last night’s So You Think You Can Dance, Melissa and Ade performed a Tyce Diorio contemporary piece inspired by breast cancer. “I just felt compelled to talk about breast cancer, and…a friend, who was faced with it,” was the explanation Tyce offered in the pre-package. The performance itself, embedded below, was lovely and well-danced. But like TV Watch writer Tanner Stransky and plenty of EW.com commenters this morning, I found the ensuing circus of weepy praise to be a bit overwrought.

There’s nothing wrong with tears, and I understand that in Mia’s case she’s more personally connectedto the subject matter than the others, but this was all a bit much. Nigel swiveling hischair around because he (presumably) just couldn’t bear to face forward anymore…the scores of quick cuts to white-capped Tyce in the audience…I know, I’m a terrible cynic, but it all just seemed so pandering. And not only to viewers/voters, but to the freakin’ Emmy committee as well. “If this isn’t nominated for next year, I’ll be truly surprised.” Are you kidding me? Nigel, that was obnoxious. I’d have preferred if the judges had just toned it down a bit and let the dance speak for itself.

Do you prefer dances with specific, emotionally charged backstories, or would you rather just interpret the performances on your own? And was last night’s “breast cancer dance” overpraised? Could it give Melissa and Ade a free pass at tonight’s elimination show?

(Which, by the way, I’ll be TV Watching for tomorrow morning. 100th episode, featuring…uh, Katie Holmes. Get ready.)