Hello dozens of fans. Apologies for the late post - sometimes real work gets in the
In a surprise ending to the 7th season of So You Think You Can Dance, 18 year old
contemporary dancer and the most talented (in my opinion) Lauren Froderman escaped
the curse of female tween voting to beat out the gorgeous Robert Roldan and fan
favorite Kent Boyd. Lauren has proved throughout the season that she is the most
versatile dancer, capable of doing the cha cha, Tahitian, Broadway or popping and
locking with the best of them and transforming from a girl to a woman over night.
The finale results show featured a packed judges table including the usual suspects plus
ex-judge Mary Murphy, choreographers Stacy Tookey and Tyce Diorio, and producer/
director Kenny Ortega, as well as a surprise performance and ode to fallen contestant
Alex Wong by funny girl Ellen DeGeneres. Some other things happened, but you
probably all saw it. So let's recap some of my favorites of the season.
And now onto bigger and better things - we still have some outstanding season-long
questions to wrap up.
Does SYTYCD favor boys over girls?
This is a common complaint I have heard from fellow fans. There's no denying the
viewer demographics are skewed toward young females interested in young males. And
it's not a secret that judge Mia Michaels loves the boys - she says it at least once per
episode. But in the season that's been all about the boys, a girl took home the prize...
I think this probably had more to do with a split vote between Kent and Robert than
intentional endorsement of Lauren. In other words, don't let the winner of this season
distract you from the data. In 7 seasons of the show, 15 boys have made it into the top
four vs. only 13 girls. Ok, so that's not overwhelming proof. But take a look at the
graph below. Of the boys who made it into the top 4, 2/3 came in 1st or 2nd place, whereas of the girls, less than 1/3 were in 1st or 2nd place. So Kudos to Lauren for beating the odds!
Has the all star format been successful?
I have heard arguments for and against this season's format. On the one hand, the
more talented all stars certainly make their contestant partners better, especially in the
difficult styles like Ballroom. But they can also draw the viewer's eyes away from the
real contestant and prevent the dancers from forming partnerships that foster chemistry.
While I have enjoyed watching some of the best from seasons past rejoin the stage - chief
among them Pasha, Twitch and Allison - it's not clear that most fans feel the same way.
The show has been losing viewers since it premiered 5 years ago to a TV audience of 10
million. Nigel has tried a couple of feeble attempts to stem the slow bleed, all of which
have backfired - remember season 5 1/2 when the show moved to the
fall, or this season's M&M swap-out at the judges table? I think the all stars were probably seen as a way to increase viewer loyalty. But the viewership ratings below suggest, to no avail.
Season 7 has brought in all-time low numbers, averaging just 5.5 million per night.
Given the lack of a turnaround in ratings, I expect to see some more changes next
season. My guess is Mia Michaels is no longer behind the judges' table. They could
bring back Mary Murphy, but I think they'll go for some star power. Perhaps Usher or
Britney Spears, though it'll probably take the ghost of Michael Jackson to make any real
difference. Too soon?
Additionally, the format will likely return to the original one before the all stars, but perhaps they will find some more meaningful use of the time currently devoted to solos (not the dance
for the your life ones, the other ones). Maybe more group performances? There's
always the chance, with Nigel in the driver's seat on both shows, that they'll do a SYTYCD/
American Idol cross-over. But I think my head just might burst from too much talent all
at once. Only time will tell.
Well, it's been a thin slice of heaven blogging for you folks. Enjoy the 3 hours a week of
your life back.