The judges of So You Think You Can Dance revealed the top 20 dancers for season six Wednesday night and unfortunately in my humble opinion, they made 2 grave errors. First, it became clear that the panel is vying for a tapper to take the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer”. For the first time in SYTYCD history, 3 tap dancers made it to the top 20: Bianca Revels, Phillip Atmore, and Peter Sabasino. Now, I took tap for 13 years and performed tap dances countless times, and yet, I have never learned to love it. So after executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe announced that it was the “year of the tappers”, I suddenly got the urge to grab the nearest lamp and hit myself repeatedly with it. Okay, I will admit that big group tap routines can look cool especially when everyone’s taps are in sync. But when there’s a solitary tapper on stage for 3 minutes most likely performing to an obnoxious showtune and sporting an overly cheesy grin on their face, I start chucking tomatoes. It’s not my intention to diss the tappers, I’m sure they are capable dancers, seeing as they survived Vegas week aka Week from Hell and were chosen to be part of the top 20. It is my only hope that they are all eliminated early so I don’t have to watch too many bore-fest tap solos.
Second, after contemporary dancer Paula Von Oppen chose a staring role in a movie instead of her top 20 bid, ballroom dancer Ashleigh Di Lello was chosen to take her place. Ashleigh making the top 20 is also another SYTYCD first, as her husband, Ryan Di Lello made the top 20 as well, making them the first married couple to make it to the stage. I have no problem with Ryan making the top 20…he could keep his shirt on more often when he dances, but overall he’s talented. His wife on the other hand, um…no. She barely made it through Vegas week and only impressed the judges in the last round of cuts.
I’d simply like to make a plea to the SYTYCD executives: it is more important to take talent and dancers that people will actually want to watch week after week rather than anyone to make a “first” in SYTYCD history. And to the tap bunch and Mrs. Di Lello ~ I wish you well in the competition, but mark my words: you will not be there for long, and you do not have my vote.