Every season on Survivor, we watch about 20 contestants plant themselves on an island, where they are deprived of sufficient food and shelter, and forced to compete in demanding, dangerous challenges. And though some finish their run on the reality series early, bowing out because of infected cuts or shudder-worthy breaks, the majority of the contestants leave the show with little more than permanently sweat-stained clothes, hunger-induced grumpiness, and the willingness to expose themselves for peanut butter. (But, then again, it is peanut butter. So who wouldn’t?)
Yet, here we are on So You Think You Can Dance, watching a dancer get sidelined due to an injury for the third week in a row. What’s going on this season? Nigel certainly wasn’t wrong in labeling season 7 Survivor: The Dance-Off after news hit of Billy’s knee injury. But how has SYTYCD become more dangerous than a show whose basic premise lies in torturing its players? The way each dancer is getting picked off one by one, I’m half expecting this to go full Donner Party mode within the next week.
Because even though I haven’t been the most faithful fan of Billy’s, our inability to watch him dance was somewhat tragic. Of course, not as tragic as Cat’s dress, which looked like something crazy Aunt Prudence would whip up with some old scarves in the attic while telling her frightened grand-nieces, Oh dears, won’t you come dance with your Aunt Prudence? ”They used to tell me I had the grace of Isadora Duncan, they did!” But I digress. Much like our judges did last night. Yep, because Billy was unable to dance this week, our judges found themselves faced with the task of filling two whole hours with only five dancers competing. And on this 150th episode, much of that responsibility fell to guest judge Kenny Ortega, whose presence was welcome, even if he played the role of the fourth American Idol panelist who does little more than excessively compliment the series and its stars. A little disappointing, especially since I was crossing my fingers for a Bond villain stroking a white, fluffy cat, what with the way they introduced Ortega via swivel chair.
And last night could have used a small dose of mean from the panelists. Now that we are down to the wire this season, I understand that we’re left with a crop of highly skilled, expert dancers. But you know what? Jose isn’t one of them. For the umpteenth week in a row, I’m finding myself utterly baffled by the judges’ inability to identify the b-boy’s weaknesses. Okay, he has a nice smile. But does it emit shiny white rays that hypnotize the entire studio audience into picturing him as Mikhail Baryshnikov grasping a baby beagle that’s licking the forehead of a kitten holding a Beanie Baby?
NEXT: Worst. Ballroom. Ever.