Yes, people, it's true: So You Think You Can Dance's golden boy and Debbie Allen's protégé, the almighty Will--the guy who's been pimped by the judges more aggressively than Carly Smithson and David Archuleta ever were this season on American Idol--was voted off tonight.
On the plus side, this means Debbie can now return to SYTYCD as a guest judge (to preserve some flimsy semblance of neutrality, she had to bow out when Will was selected to compete on the show). And perhaps even more on the plus side, it seems like the public has finally spoken out against all the astonishingly blatant favoritism on SYTYCD. But on the minus side, it's a pity that Will--one of the best, if not THE best, male dancers this season--had to be the scapegoat here. He truly deserved to stay, especially after his dynamite James Brown-tribute solo last night.
But the fact is, So You Think You Can Dance has had a long history of nepotism. On season 2, both Benji Schwimmer and his cousin Heidi both made it through (Benji won; Heidi came in fourth); then on the following season, the finalists included former Tice Diorio assistant Lauren, Benji's little sister Lacey, and Danny, the adopted brother of season 2 first-runner-up Travis. Somehow this it's-all-who-you-know policy never conjured up the same kind of unbridled outrage created when the many industry-insider connections of AmIdol finalists Carly, Michael, Kristy, or David A. were uncovered, maybe because the producers weren't at all secretive about it. But I do know all this favoritism still didn't sit too well with more suspicious, skeptical viewers.
Anyway, perhaps Will--with his Debbie Allen endorsement and his salivatingly over-the-top praise from the judges week after week--was just the last straw. Maybe viewers didn't want to vote for someone who seemed to have such a surefire inside track. That might have even been why Twitch was in the bottom this week, too:
Or maybe it's just because neither Will nor Twitch took their shirts off last night. Who knows?
Whatever the reasons for tonight's results, they certainly were shocking. Twitch was so taken aback when he found out he was in the bottom two guys, he totally broke down--his hard 'hood persona completely crumbled and he literally dropped to his knees, sobbing like a lost little boy. Cat Deeley actually had to help him back on his feet, he was so upset. And my heart really went out to him. It was in that moment that I realized just how badly Twitch--who narrowly missed making the show last season--wants to win this. His reaction kind of had me rooting for him to stay over Will--because Twitch has had little pro training and therefore really needs and wants this victory, while Will could always go back to Debbie Allen.
But I think when Twitch realized he was up against the Golden Boy, he assumed he was doomed. Hence why he freaked out like that.
The one result that wasn't shocking in the least was Comfort being in the bottom again. She didn't seem too surprised, either; I highly doubt she'd even unpacked her bags from when she returned to the competition as the injured Jessica's understudy. Courtney's poor placement was a little more surprising, but she was up against Katee and Chelsea, both of whom were stunning last night, so she must have known there was some chance she'd bottom out tonight.
And so it came down to Will and Twitch...and, if you were reading this blog's second paragraph closely, then you already know Will was the one with the fewer votes. I bet the judges really wished they still had their veto power, but the public had spoken and there wasn't jack squat that Nigel and company could do about it. It was curtains for Will.
You want fame, Will? Well, fame costs. And right here's where you start paying--in sweat.
- Debbie Allen