This past weekend was National Dance Day here in the US, a holiday that was basically brought into the public consciousness by So You Think You Can Dance, and then hyped by Michelle Obama as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign. The reminder of the show I once loved so much steered me back to their YouTube channel to see just how far the series had fallen in their junioring of the program.
As I feared most of what I found there were children whose dancing was less about passion, dedication, or athletic talent and more about stage parents with trained human animal children. Moreover, I was sad to see that, especially in the ballroom group, girls far too young to be doing so were biting their lips and shaking their hips in come hither ways that were slightly disturbing.
But then, as I rolled though the performances with the All-Stars, I came across this one. And suddenly I was a little sorry I had given up on the show.
Continue reading National Dance Day and So You Think You Can Dance Jr
There are reality shows that take to the new “junioring” fad really well. Take Chopped, for instance, or Project Runway. Chopped: Junior features teen chefs who are both prodigy children as well as completely unaware of the irony when they say how, at age 11, it is hilarious to adults to listen to them parrot the “I’ve wanted this my whole life” competition trope that adults spout all the time. Project Runway: Junior gives the show a way to have a “nice” version of the show, in a time when “nice” reality shows are on the rise, without having to retool their original format.
The there are the shows where the “junior” variation is a disaster. American Juniors, which was the name of American Idol: Junior ran one season for a reason. One would think that Nigel Lithgoe, who lived through that ten years ago, would have remembered it when the time came to discuss the concept of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation.
Beyond the fact that SYTYCD:Jr did not take the easy title but made an already unwieldy title more cumbersome is only the start of our woes. SYTYCD works because it is adults who failed to get a dancing career off the ground on their own, competing to live that dream. Like Idol, the age of the contestants is part of why the show works–Adam Lambert was 26, and aging out of his chance at pop stardom when he launched a career from the Idol stage. Taylor Hicks was 30. A child of 12 singing for the first time hasn’t struggled for the career, and doesn’t understand the dreary world of retail they might find themselves in if they fail. And so it is on SYTYCD.
Continue reading So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation
Always got to up things for the Finale, so this season the opening includes not only a bit at the neighboring Grove Hotel, but also one on the adjoining roofs!
Other normal elements of the finale are also present, such as the return of all the eliminated celebrities, and Erin getting herself onto the floor and surrounded by hot guys. But another new thing: longtime show choreographer Mandy Moore (not to be confused with the late 90s teen pop star of the same name), makes an on camera appearance!
Let’s go bulletpoint style!
Continue reading Dancing With the Stars: Season 22, Week 10 “Finals, Night 2”
It’s the first night of the finals for Dancing with the Stars. This is effectively Week Two of the first two-week finale in DWTS history, what with last week’s scores carrying over to the final totals. They actually might or might not make the difference: according to Tom. The combined score/vote totals of the three finalists differed by less than 3%, which wouldn’t seem like much most seasons, but this one’s another matter. (And hey, it’s more than the margin at least one couple won their trophy by).
First round tonight are Redemption Dances, where each couple gets another crack at a style they didn’t do well enough the first time around. Second round, as always, will be Freestyle.
Continue reading Dancing With the Stars: Season 22, Week 10 “Finals, Night 1”
The intro to the semi-finals this season isn’t too long: an opening montage, and then the celebrities and their partners dancing out to each other on the floor. So there’s time for not only a reminder of the double-elimination but yet another announcement from Tom: scores and votes from this week will carry over and count towards the final winner-determining totals next week!
Well, if they don’t eliminate anyone next Monday night, that actually makes sense. They’ve got to do something with them, after all.
Another new thing this season: it’s trio night, and the trios will open the show this time.
Continue reading Dancing With the Stars: Season 22, Week 9 “Trios/Semi-Finals”
It’s the week before the semi-finals, which means it’s time for the Judge’s Challenge! No one is safe, declares the opening montage, before we have an opening number full of fog and flashy glowpoles.
For the first time this season, they’re calling results as they go. And it turns out one pair of people are safe right after intros: the first couple to perform!
Continue reading Dancing With the Stars: Season 22, Week 8 “Judge’s Challenge”
A week after famous dancers come famous singers! This being on Icons Night, the dancing to musical icons starts with a soon to be iconic opening number, which is to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.”
The 360 degree camera work from the center of the dance floor is a first for the show, and heavily promoted as a reason to tune in, as well as a reason to hit up their website. Because of course it is.
(By the way, their YouTube channel is back this week. It seems like they’ll only post videos if we’re not subscribed. How backwards.)
Down to the business at hand. It’ll be the last dances for two couples, Tom reminds us, before the remaining eight couples start their individual dances.
Continue reading Dancing With the Stars, Season 22, Week 7, Icons Night