In each pulse-racing "Fear Factor" episode, contestants (sometimes solo, often paired with spouses, siblings or best friends) recruited from across the nation must decide if they have the ... See full summary »
Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star ... See full summary »
Reality television as a whole is a cesspool that collects the very worst of human behavior and emotions in a cistern and lets it fester until it creates the fertilizer for the destructive roots growing into the foundations of civilized society. There are a few exceptions. One of the major ones is the Fox series So You Think You Can Dance. All the ingredients for the cheesy talent competitions that have embedded themselves into a huge section of most stations' schedules are present- 3 judges, an impossibly photogenic host, and a bunch of attractive young people yearning to realize their dream. But that's pretty much where the similarities end. The major difference is these kids are actually talented. They dance their little hearts out every week and are an absolute delight to watch. SYTYCD is such an anticipated pleasure each and every season. There just isn't anywhere else except broadway and your local dance troupes that you can experience the joy of watching this level of dance. The choreographers have won many an Emmy for the show, and deservedly so. The complexity, story, and variety they put into each number elevates this reality show to heights far beyond the hoi polloi. The show exposes the viewer to many different types of music as well as different forms of dance, most of which one would never have exposure to. This isn't "Dancing With The Stars" where B-list celebrities try desperately to adhere to simple foxtrots and tangos- we get treated to everything from African Jazz to incredibly challenging contemporary pieces choreographed and danced by some of the best in the country. It's culture, folks. Don't think that it gets bogged down in pretentiousness, though. This show is, above all, fun. Everyone involved seems to be having a ball. The kids enjoy strutting their stuff, the choreographers love the exposure, and the judges genuinely seem to care for the kids. They also give advice that actually has to do with dancing! Not only do they seem to enjoy each other's company, there's a guest judge each week to keep the chemistry fresh. Nigel Lythgoe is such an advocate of dance and Mary Murphy, the lost Osmond, is so infectiously perky that it's impossible not to have fun along with them. Host Cat Deely is also such a fashionista half the reason to tune in each week is just to see what she's wearing. The audience enjoys it all as well- I guarantee that at least once per week you will get goosebumps from one of the numbers- and who doesn't love that? The final element that I like about SYTYCD- each season I've watched, the audience watching at home that calls in and votes have got the winner right. This isn't a show that encourages a backlash like what inspired the American Idol's "Vote For the Worst" campaign. Those of us who watch it vote for the best dancer, not just the prettiest face or the largest personality. Yes, in earlier rounds, even up to some of the final shows, a personality will get a contestant far. But unless they back that up with actual talent and effort they won't win. And that's what makes this reality show more real than most, and a real treat to watch.
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