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'So You Think You Can Dance': Truly a Second City perspective

August 8, 2008 |  7:53 am

I am an angry critic this morning.  No, I'm not angry with the producers of "So You Think You Can Dance," or angry at America for picking whom it did as its winner.  It's that I had to Google who the winner was, because the geniuses at WFLD FOX 32 in Chicago started the already-preempted program late and thus the announcement of the winner was cut off from my DVR.  Was that worth getting up at 7 in the morning to watch?

Well, parts of the show really were, fortunately.  Of course the "Donnnie Darko"/"Alice in Wonderland" dance from "Believe" was amazing and it was great seeing some of my favorite dances brought back for an encore, but nothing could top judge Mary Murphy's and Nigel Lythgoe's dances. First, let's see them do that on "American Idol" (and no, playing the video of Paula Abdul's latest song featuring Randy Jackson pretending to play the bass does not count).  But more than that, it was the look on Mary's and Nigel's faces as they performed that warmed me the most. They love dance, and thanks to them, I can appreciate it more too.  I knew nothing of dance beyond "Dancing with the Stars" until I began watching "So You Think You Can Dance" last season and I can say that it has significantly widened my understanding of and appreciation of the art form.

So you can imagine how disappointed I felt that I couldn't get to watch this season, which was even better than last summer's, all the way through.  Thank goodness for my colleague Stephanie Lysaght who was as up close and personal to the action as I was alienated.

Now otherwise, while I loathe overblown results shows, I didn't resent this one too much for having to get up early to watch it.  I skipped the Jonas Brothers because I'm old, and there were one or two dance encores that I thought were fine but didn't stand out in my memory as being necessary to bring back (but obviously the producers couldn't have Katee and Joshua and Mark and Twitch dance over and over again, who obviously were the regulars in the most favorite dancers.) I wasn't quite as blown away by Robert Muraine and Phillip Chbeeb's pop-off as I had hoped, possibly because it's just not in their genre to bring much of the new and the theatrical to the form, but as Muraine pointed out, it was cool just to have them there. 

In case you were wondering, the Bears, much like the Chicagoland viewership, lost last night.  And I thought it was funny that the winner of the show, Joshua Allen, a former football player, got cut in favor of a preseason NFL game.  But even if he did win and I didn't see it, I know he deserved it. 

--Claire Zulkey

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