So You Think You Can Dance
"Dancers Audition Around The Country"

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The Politics of Dancing

Day 2: Abigail Thurman wants to see if she can compete with the best of the best. She's a swimming instructor who's very nervous. As she dances, though, Cat's smile fades, and Abigail stops dancing when she sees Nigel covering his face with his hands. She wasn't very good, and kept unconsciously brushing her hair out of her eyes. "Honey, that was horrifying," says Tyce. "Oh, crap," she says. She's really sweet, and takes criticism well. Too well, in fact, as she calls herself a loser standing up on stage. Nigel tells her not to think of herself as a loser: "You're just a [bleep] dancer." She takes it well, and earns some applause, and the judges think other dancers should take criticism as well. I suppose Nigel would settle for not being asked to kiss someone's American ass.

BJ Harris goes to a performing arts school in Brooklyn, where his classmates raised money for him to come to the audition. The principal himself bought BJ his plane ticket. He does this amazing robot dance with his feet moving in little steps, with the frame of his legs a perfect rectangle. Then he looks for all the world like there's a magnet in his chest being pulled upwards. "I think it's cool. You have a good spirit. It's just cool," says Tyce, and Mary says he had moves she's never seen before, and it was like he didn't have a spine. "Can you do choreography later on? I don't know yet," she says. He squats down, swings his legs around and starts clapping with his feet. He goes through to choreography.

Courtney Galiano is from New York, and her grandparents are with her. Grandma was on line with her at four a.m., serving breakfast to the other auditioners. She wants a hot tamale train comment from Courtney. She dances a contemporary routine, is very good, and has a body put together, as Casey McCall might say, by a technician very close to god. Nigel calls it very nice, and very pretty, the camera loves her. "Cutie patootie," says Mary, and Tyce is similarly impressed. She gets a ticket to Vegas, and she runs up to hug the judges.

I don't know why they even gave Jason Looney screen time. His lipstick doesn't go well with the scruffy beard, blonde wig, purple pants and glitter shirt he's wearing. I guess we watch him prance about to "Straight Up" just so the judges can excoriate him about being everything that's wrong with dance. "Not only are you a disgrace to dancing, you're a disgrace to transvestites," says Nigel, adding that it's guys like him who make fathers afraid to let their boys dance. Which is bullshit for a couple of reasons. I mean, either this guy is a really screwed-up transgender, which are pretty few and far between anywhere and certainly no excuse to let homophobic fathers off the hook for thinking their sons are going to get all faggy if they dance. The other possibility is that this guy is just putting them on, in which case the homophobic dads also aren't his fault. And as far as wasting time? Nigel, he's only wasting the time you gave him. So it's hypocritical for the show to give the freakshow the time and then blast him for taking it. Mary and Tyce both call bullshit on this guy, and tell him to get out: "You are nothing what this show is about, and it makes me sick," says Mary.

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So You Think You Can Dance

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