Wednesday, August 01, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance - Week 6, Top 10 (3x16, 3x17)

Welcome to So I Finally Posted About Week 6!

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In case you wondered about the lateness of this post, I was at the Nerd Bacchanalia otherwise known as San Diego Comic Con, where I got punched by artists, got no sleep, and got sick. Given the lateness, I'm going to have to post an abbreviated entry.

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The top 10 has been interesting from a narratological perspective because of how Danny is supposedly transforming into something legendary right before our eyes. The judges haven't gone on endlessly about his flawless technique only because it's so obvious, but Danny's story arc concerns the mutually exclusive tension between performance and technique, and wherein once he stood accused of being "arrogant" (he wasn't; the far more accurate term is "aloof"), he has apparently begun to break through his emotional walls (no pun intended) and connecting with the audience.

However, Danny's emotional emergence is timed awfully conveniently -- top 10, audience voting, and the like -- too convenient and timely to be down to true chance. Nevertheless, I don't necessarily think that the judges consciously decided to coronate him precisely at the top 10 to give him enough momentum to make the final four (and beyond); instead, he's a tabula rasa onto which the judges project their hopes. Danny could be emotionally the same as before, but if the judges buy into the very narrative they're spinning -- and since they're arty types, they're exceptionally familiar with such narrative modes as the bildungsroman and are themselves quick to interpret things narrativistically -- then they're more likely to see what's not (or just barely) there, all of which illustrates how our opinions and perceptions are overdetermined by things outside of the actual dancer.

No doubt, Danny is a special dancer, and the judges treat him in a way -- both laudatory and critically -- that no other contestant -- male or female -- has been treated, but I still like Dominic more on this show. The two of them represent opposite poles on this show (though in reality, SYTYCD probably has more than two poles): Danny, pure technique embodied; Dominic, heart manifested as man.

In the context of a reality program, though, Danny's lack of charisma is a possibly fatal flaw, and because he doesn't appeal telegenically when he's not dancing, he has an air of the stone-cold professional. And while the conceit of this show is based on employment (Support yourself as a full-time dancer!), it's also an ornate and hyper-fantastic sensorium, and professional introversion doesn't play, not like Dominic's clowning. As a piece of employment hyper-fantasy, Dom's mugging might annoy some (or many), but he's actually pushing out the mundane dreariness of typical employment, or even of quotidian life itself, and trying to replace it with color, madness, joy, and headspins.

(This tension between employment reality and reality tv fantasy is also most embodied and articulated through Jessi's story, but no one remembers her now.) (Except those people who signed those petitions.)

As close as a The LOLCATDEELEY Moment of the Week as you're going to get on short notice:

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Kind of meh, so:

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Because two mehs make a lolcatdeeley, no?

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Brian Friedman sighting? Trying to keep a low profile, no doubt, hence the Unabomber disguise. Fierce!

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What does this sign say? I get the "w0000000t Sara" part, but underneath, it's a total mystery. "You're a..." something. "Adorable cutey-pie with the loveliest smiles" is the best I can come up with.

For better or for worse, SYTYCD has now met the high-concept world of unreadable heavy metal orthography.

It's her last name!

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Neil mistakes the camera for a mirror. And gets zits on his chest.

More bad news as timeliness meets life: I'm going out of town again this weekend, so my usual weekend update will be naught but a distant memory for the second week in a row.

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Indie rating: Felix Da Housecat - "Silver Screen Shower Scene"


Beckylooo said...

You're killing me, Leee. You reel me in with your brilliant combination of internet vernacular and ornate prose ("narrativistically"!?) and then you go off and get a life (if comicon can be considered such). Such a tease.

Leee said...

Life? ^_^