Okay, so I’m flying up to Utah for a funeral today – and I’d like to take my mind off the intense sadness for a bit. Of course, that means one thing (well, five things, if you count ham radio, calligraphy, P.J. Hairston, and breasts): the upcoming selection on “So You Think You Can Dance”. Yes, I’ve already wasted plenty of your time on this, non-SYTYCD watchers – but it’s the finale tonight and tomorrow, and the four finalists offer an interesting look into America’s psyche.
The last few contestants were voted off by phone, and the winners will be determined the same way. I’m not sure what the “SYTYCD” voting demographic is, but it’s probably not the same nation of 13-year-old girls who sway “American Idol”. I’d guess three voting blocs: teen girls, gay men 21-48 years old, and farty dilettantes like me and the wife.*
Here’s what I’ve concluded so far:
1. Yes, my Mormon theory seemed to be proved wrong, but you never know. Randi might have been eliminated weeks ago if it weren’t for my garment-clad tribesmen in the hills of American Fork, UT.
2. “SYTYCD” voters systematically cleansed the show of all the “totally queenie gays” except Brandon. When you’ve got a dance show, and 2 of the 3 male finalists appear to be straight? I smell a hetero-bias. Ade personified African manhood, and Evan is the Norbert Leo Butz of the next generation.
Kayla, Brandon, Jeanine and Evan
3. In five seasons of the show, there’s only been one female winner, so it seems like it’s time for another one. But let’s break it down, shall we?
EVAN – You gotta hand it to him… at hobbit height, it’s hard for the guy to pull off anything in the Latin genre, and his physique reminds me of guys at the dorm. But he can surprise you with a high-flying Russian leap, and he’s got style. Plus, every girl in America wants to marry him. Hard to tell.
BRANDON – I’ve always liked him, even during Mary Murphy’s tearful pleading. But his solo to “Carmina Burana” last week was fuckin’ legendary. I don’t know how he managed to save that masterpiece until this late, but it was just brilliant, and it might put him on top.
KAYLA – Blonde “with fantastic lines” (most overused phrase on the show) does absolutely nothing for me in solo mode, but really shines when paired with a male dancer for a narrative piece. She’s the glittering white hope for the show’s producers, and pretty much always delivers.
JEANINE – My (and Tessa’s) favorite. An afterthought in the top twenty, she flings herself into each performance, and works unbelievably hard. Her face is made for the back row in a Broadway venue, and obviously has a way more demons and/or intellect than Kayla. I could watch her dance all week (and will, because we got tickets to the tour).
Now, obviously Janette should have been here, but Mia Michaels fucked up AGAIN and called Janette her favorite dancer, which led every fan of the show to vote for someone else to save them from elimination. Seriously, Mia and Tyce… positively heartbreaking choreographers, and unrelentingly shitty judges.
My thoughts? The most interesting battle is between Jeanine and Kayla. Both represent the two basic dream states of Americans: aspirational and inspirational. Kayla is the dream house, the unbelievable blonde, the body born to dance – you can aspire to be her, but you can’t be her.
Jeanine is the rags to riches, the hard-working brunette, the girl with curvy parts who made it work by the intensity of her drive – she inspires, because in some small way, she allows you to believe that you could do it too.
Kayla is a little bit Jordan, Jeanine is a little bit Hansbrough. Is America feeling aspirational or inspirational? Time will tell, my fellow reality television spazmoids!
*Tessa is not farty