Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Call For Papers: So You Think You Can Dance

OK, not so much a real CFP, more like I'm asking you all to write my PCA paper on the moral structure of reality programs for me.

To wit: Who were your most hated contestants from any season, and why? The reason for your enmity can be petty or profound (e.g. "I hate Chris from the fourth season because he was such a lamestain"). I have an idea of what leads to hate, but I'd like to hear from you. (I know, it's hardly an empirical way of collecting ethnographic data anecdotal evidence, but whatever.) (I also realize that hate of contestants is kind of antithetical to SYTYCD, but we can't always help ourselves.)

As I've yet to really set fingers to keyboard to MS Word, I'm not even sure if this part of the argument will even make the final paper, but in that case, at least we'll have the bitter memories.

Indie rating: Philip Glass - "Pruit Igoe"


momo said...

Ha, you are going to get me working as your research assistant, I can tell!
I did not see season 1 or the first half of season 2, but I know that TWOP is a fount of contestant hate comments! if one (you) were to look at the contestant threads or the grassy knoll thread, you would surely find some great examples of gleeful hating.
I recall that Jessie "baby oil" girl got a lot of haters going.
Some people really worked the hate thing for Neil, calling him things like hunchy mchunchersons.
I don't develop hates but I do sometimes get mad at the haters, which inspires the "anti-haters fairness response"--if they are all hating on Josh, I must vote for him.
Does that count? Because there is secondary hating of the type "the judges are favoring so-and-so, therefore I must hate him/her," or The Chose One syndrome. Josh got some of that last year. I thought he could win it from his audition, even though I floved Mark.
An excellent case study of the dynamics of fan-hating would be the whole Will/Twitch/Mark elimination sequence. That got fairly nasty, and included many dimensions of race, classical vs street, shirtlessness. Oh OK, I do remember, I did sincerely hate Twitch's partner, what's her name, I'm blocking it out, the cute blondie who seemed so pea-brained, and who was such a spoilsport. oh yeah, Kherrington. did not like her. No, it was not because she ws cute, because I loved the other cute women contestants, it was her entitled attitude and bad manners.

Anonymous said...

I did not like Kherrington for the same reason momo didn't like her. I didn't hate Jessie (Baby Oil) so much as disliked her gimmicks. What do I hate? I hate being manipulated or having contestants pimped.

MB said...

Oh, who did I hate? I feel like I felt a LOT of hate, for various contestants, while actually watching the show, but now that it's not on I can't think of anyone. Maybe that says something about reality show hate, I dunno. I do still despise Blake from season one, for unabashedly insulting Dan Karaty. Not that I have a high opinion of Mr. Karaty's talents, really, but Blake really was being unprofessional, and he had kind of a smarmy know-it-all schtick to begin with.

Oh, it's all coming back now...BENJI! I hated that noodly mormon with a passion, possibly because the judges and audience loved him so much. And I loved Travis and Donyelle so much more, it really seemed like he only won because preteen girls were constantly hitting redial.

And I definitely, whether this is fair or not, want to root for the people of color on the show, if only because the whitey-white kids seem to get so much undeserved love. (see: Benji. also: Neil) Same goes for self-taught dancers vs. classically trained. I'm more impressed by Gev doing a decent rumba than I am by Benji "shaking" his nonexistent ass. When Gev makes mistakes they're pointed out by the ballroom experts (which there are TWO of out of three judges), but when hip hop routines come off campy and amateurish they're all, "good try, white boy! I suppose you'll never be fly!"

Margot said...

Oooh fun stuff :D Hands down agree with the force-feeding angle. I needed Will gone, and it wasn’t his fault. I loved his audition and couldn’t stop talking about it! Why does Nigel feel the need to tell us who will win??? I know you didn’t ask who do I love, but I want to say that after meeting the S4 dancers on tour and seeing how close they all are, all my S4 hate-in’ was washed away. I hear it was different for Lacey and Lauren though. Cat fight. I too say check out TWoP. I have never been, but everyone on my Mark fan site talks about it and the Grassy Knoll is legendary! I’m watching old seasons now and remembering it all, but I will say that Blake got on my last nerve. My Dan-loving ass would like to tell him to take his ego and place it up the back side. (momo, and any So Cali Mark fans - Mark and Chelsie are performing this Saturday the 7th at CSU Northridge; “Momentum” at the Plaza del Sol.)

Natalie said...

Where to begin. From S2, I didn't have anyone that I hated. It wasn't a strong season dance-wise, but it did have Allison. My favorite dancer. Season 3 was my favorite overall and since I actually liked Lauren (unlike 50% of the SYTYCD audience), I didn't have an issue with any of them. Oh wait. I forgot Jessi. She wasn't too bad while she was on the show. It was how she handled the fallout of being eliminated. She sounded off like it was such an injustice. Looking back on it, her solos were uninspired. She was definitely the worst out of all 4 seasons. Now Season 4 was a lot more personality than I bargained for. Susie was the trashiest looking contestant ever. Thank you Florida education system for that gem! Raven's pointe-work drove me up the wall. She was horrible and the judges made her out to be some classically trained genius! Jessica was too weak for me. Not because she got hurt. But because she couldn't hold her own on stage. She could have been dancing with anyone and would have paled in comparison. No stage presence. And then there's Kherington. The whining was just the start with that girl. She was too immature to be on the show. Her perspective on life was still that of a high school student. I get that she was, but I wish she would have handled things with a bit more grace.

And I look back on what I just wrote and realize I sound like I'm just trashing the girls. Ha. The girls were either my absolute favorites (see Lauren, Allison, Sabra, and Katee) or at the bottom of my list.

Jessica said...

I sort of came late to this party, but I thought I would pass it your way anyway....
I'm a hugeeee fan of the show, of the almost fangirl variety, and a poster on TWOP, so take that for what you will. (I know I should be ashamed of both those things, but I can't muster up the enthusiasm.)Anyway, I am also one of those people who can't stand it when the judges tell me who I should like or there is gratuitous pimping. The minute I feel like the judges are trying to convince me, I am totally non-plussed by those contestants. Thus, wasn't such a fan of Allison, Ivan, Will, Nick, Melody, Dom, or Sabra.

However, the only contestant in all four seasons that I could NOT stand was Lauren, for a variety of reasons. The most prominent was that whole "Misha/alternate identity" thing, which was so inappropriate and silly. Then, I perceived this attitude of smugness from her- she just radiated this "I'm better than you" energy that I just can't stand in any situation, unreality tv or not! (/rant)

See, I just got all riled up over her again. It's just a tv show, right? ;)