American Idol has Norman Gentle. So You Think You Can Dance has the even more awesomely monikered Sex. Oh, how I dearly wish these two would team up for a variety show or a Vegas revue or something. Both are hysterical, although I suspect that Sex's humor is not as intentional as Norman's. But you know, sometimes unintentional humor is the best kind.
For those of you who have not followed SYTYCD
over the past seasons, Sex is the semi-lovable weirdo who looks like the lankhaired lovechild of hippie Neil from The Young Ones
and a less brawny/more scrawny Andrew WK, who unsuccessfully tries out for the show every single year. He always arrives at the auditions with his mother, which is a little bizarre and creepy...but I'm going to assume she wasn't the one who christened him "Sex." His birth certificate says his name is David Soller. But of course, "Sex" certainly is more marquee-worthy...and it makes for snappier blog headlines, too.
Some naysayers argue that Sex detracts attention from the real talent--i.e., the contestants who don't just think they can dance, but know they can. Some Sex-haters say he should just stop deludedly thinking he can dance and stop wasting the judges' time. But let's face it, a SYTYCD season without Sex would be like a season without Mary Murphy's hot-tamale scream. Without genius judge/choreographer Mia Michaels' magically tear-inducing, Emmy-winning dance routines. Without some eightpack-abbed ballroom-dancing himbo ripping off his breakaway shirt at climactic moments in order to attract the cougar vote. Without a token Schwimmer spawn in the competition. Et cetera.
So imagine my squeamish delight when Sex returned to the show last night. As he strutted the sidewalk on his way to the audition location in Seattle, other SYTYCD hopefuls freaked out as if Barack Obama or Adam Lambert or one of the Jonas Brothers had arrived on scene, crying out, "Sex is my hero!" It was obvious he was more famous than the guy who won last season--which is a bit of a shame, because season 4 champ Joshua Allen is truly amazing--but come on now, the joy of Sex cannot be denied. Nor should it be!
In a special twist last night, Sex took part in a heated dance battle. No, not
with Norman Gentle. If that had happened, my head might have exploded. But almost as amazingly, Sex--at Nigel's urging--became embroiled in a fierce dance-off with a Ukrainian newcomer, amateur jump-dancer Leonid "Wise Leo" Knyshov. Again, many viewers were probably annoyed that so much airtime was devoted to this Sex/Leo segment (complete with instant replays and sportscaster commentary), while many of the actual legitimate dancers were relegated to a "oh, by the way, these are some contestants who got through to Vegas" clip montage.
But I say there will be plenty
of time to watch genuinely rad dancing when this show gets to the top 20 competitive round. So I thoroughly enjoyed Sex and Leo's "Battle In Seattle," if only because it was highly amusing to hear a whooping Nigel yell out, "Sex! Sex!
" in an unprecedented and unexpected show of support for SYTYCD
's veteran reject:
However, by the end of the dance-off, I felt a little bad for Sex, because he was all too easily upstaged after his years of dogged and determined fame-whoring, when Leo was declared the winner of the battle. (Leo did have more stamina, I'll give him that, and his mid-air spins were
kind of impressive.) Even Nigel, the lone judge who rooted for Sex, was sympathetic, actually allowing Sex to advance to the choreography round for the first time in SYTYCD
history (albeit because he wanted to give Sex a "reality check") as some sort of consolation prize.
But despite his surprising defeat by new kid Leo and his unsurprising failure to make it past the choreography round and secure that elusive golden ticket to Vegas, Sex remained optimistic, declaring that he will audition for SYTYCD
in the future. So Sex is still my
hero, and I admit, I'm already looking forward to a Sex/Leo rematch in season 6.
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