Thursday, June 26, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance: Analyzed

Be warned, this post has nothing to do with marketing.

So You Think You Can Dance is really my favourite midseason show and something I look forward to every summer. Last night was exceptional. There are now ten couples left and every week, two people are eliminated. Now, you’ve heard me wax lyrical about my affinity for Idol because of its sheer spectacle and commercial excessiveness, but there’s a reality in SYTYCD that I find particularly compelling.

Let’s analyze:

No hope. Unlike Idol, the SYTYCD contestants have no real future. Being a dancer is a rough, tough life full of sprains, and being shunned in school. Furthermore, it is not a very lucrative or long-term career choice, unless you make it big and become a renowned choreographer like Bob Fosse or Debbie Allen. The long hours and physical pain of practicing and preparation just don’t seem to be as central to the lives of the Idol kids from humble, hometown American where we see people singing in choirs at church or just average kids with a gift for singing. Unlike Idol where we see contestants just get up and audition, the SYTYCD dancers have already had years of training just to perfect subtle movements. I guess it’s a grittiness which is attractive.

Depressing right? Well, it makes for great television. My problem with the Idol contestants is that their humility can sometimes be really sickening and contrived (see David Archuleta). Contestants on SYTYCD have nothing to lose and therefore are more likely to bring everything to the stage when they go and perform. It’s just a lot more realz. The contestants are also nicer and a little more realistic about their futures after the show.

The choreography is outstanding. This season the audience is privileged to see even more head-scratching, toe-tapping, get out of your seat routines than before with the inclusion of two new choreographers, Napoleon and Tabitha and the return of people like Mia Michaels and Jean-Marc Genereux. Although I can’t stand the rumba and disco numbers, I appreciate weird stuff like lyrical hip hop and the Vietnamese Fighting Waltz. Last night were two fantastic performances:

Chelsea and Mark danced hip hop

And Katee and Joshua danced the samba.

Cat Deeley. I am in love with Cat Deeley. She’s stunning and has got great legs. But her looks aside, she is a charismatic host of the show. She seems to genuinely give a damn about the contestants and moments when she is seen playing around with them after their performances are some of the most realz of the show. Ryan Seacrest can at times (most times) come across as too much of a douchebag with his saccharine polished veneer and yucky DJ-style delivery. But Cat Deeley has an honest to goodness air of unpretentiousness about her.

Tonight is the results show and we get to see who is eliminated. Frankly I think it should be both Chris and Comfort for this Amtrak of a performance:

I’m a Manson fan and The Beautiful People is an awesome song, but not like this.

Pajiba's review of So You Think You Can Dance explains in more eloquent terms what I'm trying to express.

Anyways, remember that in marketing, just like in this show, you should bring it, because it’s on!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I watched this show this week (for the first time) and I absolutely love it! I've always liked dancing (although I'm not much of a dancer) but it's fun to watch and I'm sure fun to do too! I could not agree more with you that Ryan Seacrest definitely needs a lesson or two from Cat Deely. I love her accent and her genuine comments! Oh, and did I mention that I hate that judge Mary and her brainless, annoying comments?!