With the post-event media storm of Kanye/Taylor/Beyonce “drama,” it wasn’t the totally-expected a-hole actions of Kanye during yesterday’s MTV Video Music Awards that caused me to stir in my seat. That happened during Lady Gaga’s performance as right in the middle of her spectacular spectacle it was a backup dancer who, thanks to So You Think You Can Dance is now of rock star calibar status, made me immediately jump up and giddily exclaim, “Season 4 Mark!”
Unlike the practically-guaranteed recording contract given to any top 10 American Idol contestant (those that can carry a tune, that is – Sanjaya, stick to the celeb-reality shows), the dancers on SYTYCD aren’t afforded as much opportunity to gain wide exposure, and usually never seem to have a forum bigger than the brief national tour held post-finale each year. So it’s exciting to see a contestant, especially one who had such a quirky style and stood out in several memorable pieces, have such prominent placement on a big stage like the VMAs.
Some have returned during the audition process and competition rounds to choreograph routines for subsequent seasons’ contestants (Travis and Dmitry are stellar examples of success) and some have shimmied their way over to ABC as pro partners on Dancing with the Stars (Lacey and Chelsie) but more often than not I wistfully wonder, “where are they now?” It’s most likely the nature of the profession, not having a dance equivalent of radio or iTunes to further their careers makes it tougher to follow a favorite, so to give their fledgling hoofers a boost the show should give a shout out every so often to those who have found dance employ, backup or otherwise, after finishing the competition.
Tonight’s premieres need little to no introduction from me – if you’re an avid reader of TVOYOT you’ll already know where my loyalties lie on Wednesday nights, so it’s no surprise that I’ll be watching FOX’s two-hour block of singing and dancing, So You Think You Can Dance and Glee.
First up with their inaugural fall cycle, SYTYCD returns for a sixth season with a premiere episode promising yet more thrills (and the always-entertaining spills) found during the multi-city audition process to find the Top 20 dancers.
Counting on carry-over from the massive lead-in audience of the popular dance competition, but also carrying considerable critical acclaim and massive amounts of word-of-mouth from the not one, not two but three airings of its pilot, Glee will be debuting its first new episode since that pilot initially previewed in May. The satirical high school musical series has received positive buzz from almost every major media news source and is sure to be an instant hit.
Not to begrudge those who enjoy the trainwreck that is Tyra, the 13th cycle of America’s Next Top Model will have its 2-hour premiere tonight on The CW. Trying a new gimmick this season, the cast of model wanna-bes are all under the typical 5’7″ catwalk height.
Cashing in on the powers of social networking juggernaut Twitter, FOX will be giving repeats a 21st century face-lift. Dubbed “tweet-peats” the network will be airing an encore presentation of last season’s penultimate episode of Fringe on Thursday, September 3rd at 9/8c with producers joining stars Joshua Jackson and John Noble. The following night at 9/8c they will re-air the Glee pilot, which had a preview screening in May after the American Idol season finale, with cast members Kevin McHale and Lea Michele among others.
The “tweet-peats” are being produced in coordination with Twitter; fans can sign up at Twitter.com/FRINGEonFOX and Twitter.com/GLEEonFOX to follow the event, and will be able to ask questions and reply to the cast and producers’ tweets, with select comments from the discussion carried live on FOX during East and West Coast airings.
FOX is scheduling other special telecasts leading up to its fall season premieres. On Wednesday, September 2nd, the network will screen a “director’s cut” version of the Glee pilot, with never-before-seen deleted footage. The same night, to rev up viewers for the SYTYCD inaugural fall run, a special So You Think You Can Dance: The Fifteen Best Performances Ever showcasing top performances from the past five seasons.
Actually mama really loves samba but either sexy latin flavor will do the trick, and I’m so looking forward to a bit of both this fall from dueling dance shows, Fox’s So You Think You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
While ravenous for all-new episodes of SYTYCD that just ended its summer season recently, I fell behind in viewership of DWTS during its spring cycle, due mostly to a conflict of interest with other Monday and Tuesday night shows (the DVR Gods demand a sacrifice!), but with the names of this year’s “biggest cast ever” released I find myself, although somewhat confused — Tom Delay, really? Methinks he’ll be joining the ranks of Tucker Carlson as the first trainwreck to depart rather than surprise like a Warren Sapp hoofing it all the way to the finals; it’s the teddy bear appeal, the avid granny viewer eats that up — mostly intrigued and shall make an attempt to watch even though no “star” stands out for me to put my fanship behind at present. I do, however, always anticipate rooting for some gloriously incomprehensible and/or inappropriate comment from judge Bruno. It’s worth tuning in just for that Italian imp and all the agita he must give Disney censors.
Season 9 premieres September 21st.
Meanwhile Uncle Rupie’s Fox will premiere SYTYCD‘s first fall cycle on September 9th, coupled with new darling Glee (will save more giddy musings on that one for a later post). Coming on the heels of its fifth and most successful season to date SYTYCD may not be equal to American Idol in the ratings as yet, but give it time as each year continues to build huge viewer numbers as opposed to the Idol which only seems to be slipping in the ratings. SYTYCD has also never disappointed with the levels of contestant talent, and thereby makes this competition feel more legitimate rather than one that finds pleasure in so-bad-we-have-to-watch-to-see-what-they-do-next entertertainment (aka, no Sanjayas).
Showcasing not only talented dancers but also an amazing and varied group of choreographers, SYTCD garnered 5 Emmy nominations this year adding to its 6 previous noms and 3 wins, and for those of you unimpressed by such numbers I dare you not to be affected by some of the outstanding performances over the past 5 years most recently with “This Woman’s Work” from Emmy-nominated Tyce Diorio.
Other impressive routines run the gamut in flair and emotional response, from Wade Robson’s visually-arresting gothic, undead group number “Ramalama (Bang Bang),” Mia Michael’s love story on a bench “Calling You” and a heartbreaking hip-hop in Tabitha & Napoleon (or, NappyTab)’s “Bleeding Love.”