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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So you think you can resist?

Once every year there comes a show that kicks all other shows' boo-tay. It's not a smart show, nor a respectable show, but it is a brilliantly addictive piece of television gold. That show is "So You Think You Can Dance?"

Mock all you want and call me an idiot, but watch one episode and try to disagree. The show truly has everything and can easily point its finger at wanna-be dance shows and laugh. "Dancing with the Stars" is nothing more than washed up celebrities making fools of themselves to cheesy music while wearing drag queen garments. "Step It Up and Dance" is still on? Call it a dance show if you will, but with Jessie Spano at the helm, all I can think of is stripping does Broadway.

If you want a dance show that does reality TV brilliance to a T, "So You Think You Can Dance?" is the right show for you. Not only does it provide true talent and attractive dancers, it broadens the scope of dance to all interpretations and styles. In the past three seasons, single dances have been able to make judges shed a tear, stand up and "woo!" and feel the heat between a steamy couple. Only a select few have been invited on the "hot tamale train," but all thrive to entertain.

The show's formula is classic and just adds to the beauty of reality TV at its best. Start with a British host named Cat Deeley who says things like "jidges" (aka: judges) and add a sometimes mean British judge, a hip-hop expert and a crazy, drunk-on-life ballroom expert and you've got amazing television. Mary Murphy alone is worth tuning in for. Think drunk embarrassing aunt meets high-strung ballroom instructor.

In similar fashion to "American Idol" (the show's producers are one in the same), the show searches across America to find the nation's best dancers. Some get the ticket to Las Vegas to try to be in the ultimate Top 20 contenders, and others get the high-kicking boot. Once the Top 20 are selected, they're paired up to show America their moves. Each pair must choose a dance style randomly from a hat, learn the choreography in just a few days and perform their routine on the center stage. America votes for their favorite pairs and the bottom three couples must perform solos to "dance for their life." Ballroom dancers will be challenged to learn hip-hop, break dancers will do their best at contemporary and salsa dancers will try their skills at krumping. The one dancer who proves that yes, they can dance walks away with $250,000.

Still not convinced? Just tune in for the first episode where you get to see people at their most vulnerable - trying to dance on national television. It's the best of all worlds. You get the star performers mixed in with the mentally challenged. Those that throw down crazy moves and those that just fall down. Spandex and leotards to stripper-wear and feather boas. I'm telling you, this show has everything.

Catch the two-hour season premiere starting at 7 p.m. Thursday on FOX.

-- Sara Boyd,

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