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Destination ‘So You Think You Can Dance’: The judges show a mean streak

Los Angeles Times - CA, USA - Dan Karaty warned me that things would be different this week. We spoke backstage after last Thursday’s elimination, and Dan expressed concern that he’d been too soft on the top 20 performers.  From here on out, he warned, the judges were going to give it to them straight.

Dan wasn’t kidding. From the very first number, it was clear that seats on the "hot tamale train" were limited, and Mary Murphy wasn’t going to scream that signature scream for just anybody. If Top 20 week was the best dream you’ve ever had, Top 18 week was the alarm clock on Monday morning.

Guest judge Mia Michaels emerged first, with funky bleached hair and a no-nonsense demeanor. Mary Murphy followed, with an outfit more dominatrix than mother hen. Her leopard-print corset conveyed the attitude of the night: fierce and unforgiving.

Cat Deeley had traded in the flowery fuchsia frock of yesterweek for a black velvet number and blinged-out stilettos. Tonight, the host and judges alike meant business. “Nice dress, Cat!” observed Debbie. “We like that one.”

Chelsea Traille and Thayne Jasperson took the stage first, playing a king and queen. Their routine was naughty, strange and oddly compelling … but it wasn’t good enough for the judges. After placing the twosome on her infamous hot tamale train last week, Mary Murphy changed her tune this week, relegating Chelsea and Thayne to “the caboose.” Nigel Lythgoe even criticized their costumes, right on down to the bows on Thayne’s shoes.

Will Wingfield and Jessica King took an honest stab at displaying personality in their introductory video, but it just wasn’t there. The two are a serious pair, and any attempts at wackiness fall short.  Will’s dancing, however does not.  His hip-hop was riveting. So riveting, in fact, that when Mia told Jessica “you weren’t even on the stage to me,” she spoke for everybody in the room. “I couldn’t watch you,” Mary told Jessica, adding insult to injury. It was an awkward moment for the ages: Will grinned from ear to ear, and his heart looked about ready to explode out of his chest from all the praise.  Jessica grinned from ear to ear to keep from crying. When Cat told the audience to dial 3 for Will and Jess, Will pulled a three out of his pocket in a goofy pantomime. Jessica managed to play along without punching him.

The judges must have been high on criticism, because even between segments, they kept it up. When Tommy the warm-up guy let an audience member named Kayla take the stage to sing for Starburst, Nigel couldn’t stomach her painfully earnest rendition of "Rent." “Next!” he bellowed, just one line into her song. A stunned Kayla took her seat. The judges were out for blood, and as Nigel later announced, nobody was safe.
Source : Originally Published Los Angeles Times - CA, USA, Jun 18, 2008
Celebrities : Chelsea Traille, Thayne Jasperson, Dan Karaty, Mary Murphy
Categories : Reality shows, So You Think You Can Dance, Reality TV Stars, Celebrity News
Posted 6/18/2008 11:06:27 AM | Permalink
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