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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Picks and Panels

Though the right two dancers got eliminated, Nigel Lythgoe needs to focus more on the competition and less on the judges; plus, how loud is Mary Murphy?

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So You Think You Can Dance

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Nigel Lythgoe, Cat Deeley, Mary Murphy
Current Status:
In Season

Since I pretty much called it that Matt and Kourtni would be going home in yesterday’s So You Think You Can Dance recap (toot-toot! goes my own horn), and since the longer this recap is, the longer I keep the dotcom staff from heading off for their July 4 holiday, this is going to be brief(er than usual). Fortunately, there were only a few things really worth talking about anyway during last night’s results show. Unfortunately, most of them left me in quite the ranty mood.

First, though, here’s a quick digest of the non-vociferating moments of last night’s show: I’m guessing that Tyce Diorio’s Cabaret routine was perfectly fine, since I really only caught glimpses of it during all the frenetic, abstract camera angles and cuts — although I don’t know if I agree with Mary that it was all that great a showcase for Thayne. (Thayne’s teeth, maybe.) None of the bottom three couples were a shock, and I think Twitch and Kherington were the only one’s who weren’t shocked that they were safe. Courtney and Gev were blissfully welcome spark plugs of energy during their solos, and Cat ”Tonight’s Decade Will Be the Solid Gold 1970s” Deeley looked genuinely furious with Gev for racing into a near-miss flip not three feet from where she was standing. (Cat wears fury quite well, I’d say.) Kourt, who really only comes alive during her solos, lost the plot about halfway through and resorted to pointing devil horns, and Matt continued to be the living embodiment of the limitations of strong technique that lacks any emotional connection. But Comfort and Thayne both looked pretty beaten down during their solos, too, which led me to be six on them, a half dozen on Kourtni and Matt when Nigel gave out the final verdict.

So barring some kind of miracle, the top 10 is pretty much set in stone now — in ascending order of my personal preference, Jessicer, Kherington, Courtney, Gev, Chelsie, Twitch, Joshua, William, Katee, and Mark — which only further weighs down the series with an enervating sense of the inevitable. But that isn’t its biggest problem, nor is it the concern I expressed yesterday that all of the dancers have remained at the same level they started with, because once we reach the top 10, that level is pretty frakking high. Nope, everything you needed to know about what’s been so off about the fourth season of SYTYCD could be found in that insipid montage of Tyce’s catty commentary during the auditions. Nigel, if you’re reading this, let me put it to you as plainly as I can: This show is not about you. It is not about Mary. It is not about Cat. It is not about any of the judges. I can’t believe I have to remind you of this, but this show, your show, is about dancing. It’s right there in the title, and the most important word is even blown up all big and fancy-like just so you get the point. If you really do care more about this season’s dancers than the contestants in any previous season of SYTYCD and American Idol, perhaps you could’ve scraped together a 90-second montage of their behind-the-scenes exploits instead? It wouldn’t have to be much, really — heck, 90 seconds of watching them eat would’ve been fine — but it would definitely have to be genuine, not some manufactured ”fun” contrived to promote fabric softener.

NEXT: Mind your manners, Nigel