Reality Twists and Turns
So You Think You Can Dance - Sabra and Danny by Kelsey McNeal/Fox
As Cat Deeley herself might say, "Well done, you." And by "you," I mean America, in making exactly the right call in the final
So You Think You Can Dance
voting and putting Danny and Sabra in the final two. My own speed-dialing Wednesday night went to Danny, a truly awesome dancer, but I'm at peace with Sabra winning the ultimate prize. The show was overdue a female winner, and Sabra's raw, exuberant talent (not to mention her total lack of attitude) was a marvel to behold throughout the competition.
As for Thursday's final show, props to giving Lauren and Pasha (the two evicted in Monday's pretaped show) a chance to get their well-deserved public ovation. For the most part, I had a ball watching the two-hour finale, which felt like a greatest-hits replay of the best dances of the season and a tempting promo for the national
tour (which I'm giving serious thought to attending, and I wouldn't get within miles of an
Very cool, by the way, to give the spotlight to two of the most distinctive dancers not to make it to the actual competition: clogger extraordinaire Brandon Norris (but did Cat really need to confess she'd sniffed his shoes? Gross!) and especially Brian Gaynor, the diminutive guy with the big heart whose scoliosis hasn't inhibited him from putting together one knockout routine that has won him the undying admiration of Shane Sparks and everyone else who's seen him.
The dance reprises were well chosen and mostly well executed (although with less at stake, some of the dancing wasn't as sharp as during the competition weeks). They made for a brisk two hours.
But, as you'd expect in a Fox reality finale, padding was inevitable. Which meant a Pussycat Dolls number that gave me plenty of time to load the dishwasher, a grating plug for Fox's
reality contest (an
for bands, which is wisely being relegated to Fridays in the late fall), and a ridiculous (not in the good sense) Internet cartoon of Cat and Nigel Lythgoe "dancing" that Cat teased throughout the episode while wearing her bizarre tutu getup.
They probably could have cut a montage or two, or the live performance of the "I'll Remember You" number, to give us more time to savor Sabra's victory and to give runner-up Danny a chance to bask in his own glory. Barely had Cat read Sabra's name than the credits began rolling as the confetti fell. With the group hug and all of the other end-of-show chaos, we barely got to see Sabra again until they lifted her high as the show abruptly ended.
Not a perfect score, maybe, but still, the show was grandly entertaining. As was the entire series.
Elsewhere on the reality rialto:
On Thursday night the
house chose to keep Dick, the most obnoxious player ever, over Dustin, the latest player to be brought down by foolish hubris. All together now: ick!
The smart move when Dick won Power of Veto immunity and gave it to his daughter Daniele would have been for Jessica and her crew to put up one of Dick's few allies: Jen maybe, or certainly the space-filler Zach. Regardless, the fact that anyone besides Daniele would choose to keep this loathsome creep around after a week of listening to him spew his homophobic and religion-baiting bile is beyond contempt. Strategy, schmategy. Some things go beyond the bounds of mere game-playing. But then, anyone watching
and expecting to see even a shred of anything resembling human dignity is on a fool's errand. With Daniele the new HOH (say it aloud and it's even funnier), Dick is guaranteed to still be on the show for the next two weeks. Which means I'll only be reading recaps for a while.
Finally, the issue of
's first (I'm told) do-over. This season's "restaurant wars" turned out to be a bit of a bust Wednesday night, and because there was no real winner, they're giving both teams a second chance and won't eliminate anyone until next week. Cop out! While one of the problems with this show is that we can't really know just how bad some of the food really is, could Tre's overly smoked potatoes and Brian's front-of-house meltdown really have been such huge factors that their "April" team couldn't be declared the lesser of the two evils? It felt to me like the producers are too desperately trying to keep the odious Howie in the game; he was the clear loser this week, unable to deliver an edible risotto (a restaurant staple) for a team that blew it by putting odorous vanilla candles on every table and providing a "Garage" menu way too heavy for the Florida clime.
I'm a little peeved but not all that upset, because anything that extends the
season for a week or more is OK by me. Watching it is one of my least guilty of this summer's guilty pleasures.