Sunday, 10 January 2010

SYTYCD Totty and review

Was going to post up my fave three male dancers today, but they only went and booted my #2 fave last night :(

Anyways, ballet boy Alastair (above) is my #1, and appears to have survived rather well on the first live show. He gets his favourite status with me for a combination of looks, personality and talent.

The other two I like are Drew and Robbie. Blond Robbie is the one I expect to do best though.

Chris was my #2 and left last night. Still, the exposure might get him signed as a male stripper - it happened to one of the lads on "Strictly Dance Fever", now calling himself Devon (who was he on the show? Anyone know?)

What I wasn't originally planning to do was critique the show. As I'd said yesterday, the initial programme covering the national auditions to find the final 14 was a bit hard to follow, and it irked me that the format meant they weren't actually after the best 14 per se. But it was up to the first live show to win me over. Now I must admit I missed the first half of the results show as I was watching "Celebrity Big Brother" but what I did see rather underlined the niggly feeling I'd had when watching the main show and that was that it will be another also-ran itself. In the last two years, the shiny-floor competitions that began in January on BBC One have not returned and this may be three in a row. I think the BBC have been complacent about SYTYCD because it's such a big hit in the States and they've brought back the two Brits from that version to reprise their roles here. The two big mistakes they've made though is assuming we've all followed the US version somehow (pretty sure it's not possible on Freeview) and can thus 'get' the format immediately - that's a very flawed assumption as I was completely confused when the results show seemed to bear little relation to the main show, with the 10 second solo performances surely pointless after the lines have closed? And those phoning in were voting on the couple dances earlier. As someone used to Strictly and avoids anything La Cowell does I'm also adrift without any numerical scoring - for me it leaves a vacuum that tends to encourage the judges to play up their parts - with Cisco the clown it's painfully obvious he's aiming to be a celebrity in his own right, with Louise Redknapp not far behind. I also don't get why , if they contrive to have them compete as ad hoc couples, then why don't they get voted on as those couples - again that seems to encourage the shameless personality politics angle over the joint performance seen in the main show. Just all came over as odd to me.

A little more obvious and empirical is the second mistake - the budget. As I was watching it the programme I was most reminded of was the early editions of "Top of the Pops" - when I believe it was coming live out of a church hall in Manchester. Wide shots exposed that this must have come from one of TVC's smaller studios - certainly not the one they use for Strictly, even though both need space for couples to dance as well as an audience. What audience and space they did have didn't give the right feeling of atmosphere and spectacle. The set was really quite basic by today's standards and the opening titles are unfocussed and easily forgettable. Does anyone else think Nigel Lythgoe might have had some choice words when he discovered this lukewarm support for his baby? I'm sure there's more money pumped into the US version and it's one thing I can't fault Simon Cowell on (though he does it to the point of overkill).

I'm going to give it another chance next Saturday - possibly without the influence of rum and coca-cola - but they better not pick on my fave boys. I expect it'll do OK in the ratings as ITV1 have kindly moved "Dancing On Ice" to Sundays and it had little in the way of opposition last night. However there are only five shows left in what is apparently the shortest run of SYTYCD anywhere and that's not very long to build momentum. Maybe another sign that the BBC have only invested half-heartedly, though I'm sure "Let's Dance" will be taking up three Saturdays after that and that may have been an issue (not heard when the ALW 'Dorothy' show is pencilled in for, but suspect it might be partnered with "Doctor Who" with both being re-sprays)

Anyway, you can check out the show at the link below.

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