I finally got to watch one of the audition shows for So You Think You Can Dance. I ranted to someone about Fox not making the shows I missed available on line and they suggested that perhaps it was a rights issue with the music. I hate to admit it but that would be a valid reason for not making the show available on line or on video.
I saw the Austin and Los Angeles auditions. As always there were some dancers who seemed to only be there to get their few minutes of fame and other who were really gifted dancers. I love the show but I do have to say that there was much less dance and much more human interest on the episode I watched. Yes, it’s sweet that you have a little kid who likes to dance but that’s not what the show is about. And the hard luck stories are fine but it comes down to, can you dance?
If you’re familiar with the show you know that the contestants audition for the chance to go to Las Vegas. Some are sent through directly to Vegas other are asked to remain behind and are given an hour to learn a routine and perform it – how well they do determines if they get to Vegas or not. Once in Vegas the dancers are put through a grueling series of routines during which many are eliminated. Those who remain are then asked to work in teams to put together a routine. This is where the show gets a bit too crazy for me. They let these kids work through the night until some are barely standing on their feet and then they have to perform! They should set a curfew. Teach these kids to work together better and faster so they actually get some rest before going on stage. It is that performance which greatly determines if they make it to the top 20 who are on the show. What is gained by having them kill themselves so they are performing at the very edge of their physical tolerance? Project Runway doesn’t let the designers work through the night – which they would if given the chance. The fact that they have delineated hours and are sent home at 11pm is more realistic and more humane.
In the choreography portion of the show last Tuesday there were so many dancers vying for a ticket to Vegas who we’d not seen during the show. We didn’t see them because the show was too busy with scene sets and stories of some of the contestants and way too much about the judges. I tune in to see dancing. The producers need to get back to their original intent – introduce the television audience to dancers and dance!