As I excitedly prepare to watch the kickoff of the So You Think You Can Dance top 20 competitive round tonight, I'm still confused as to why this season's Brandon Bryant has become such a polarizing and "controversial" figure.
Last week when the SYTYCD top 20 were revealed, judge/choreographer Mia Michaels kind of ruined the moment for Brandon (a repeat auditioner from last season) by barking at him: "I can't take you. What you bring to the floor annoys the sh*t out of me. In Vegas, you just rubbed me the wrong way."
Lil' C was less nasty, as he is always one calm and cool cat. But he too expressed his doubts about Brandon's talent and alleged bad attitude.
Fellow judges Mary Murphy and Debbie Allen quickly jumped to Brandon's defense--Mary more vociferously, of course--and Brandon remained even cooler and calmer than Lil' C, confidently telling his detractors, "It's ON!"
But I was not as calm. I was a bit angry, actually. Why all the Brandon hate? The guy is incredible!
But then I started conspiracy-theorizing. And I started thinking...maybe this is all a clever ploy to make the judges' secret favorite a more sympathetic character with the voting audience. That way, Brandon Bryant won't end up becoming this season's Will Wingfield.
If you're a regular SYTYCD viewer, then you may remember Will. He was Debbie Allen's beloved protégé (she had to temporarily quit the show while he was competing, and she was willing to do so because she adored him so much), the season 4 golden boy, the most pimped SYTYCD contestant in the show's history, and definitely one of last season's most gifted dancers. But no matter how much Will Wingfield Kool-Aid the judges attempted to pour down the TV audience's collective throat, the public never really took that drink.
No matter no excellently and flawlessly Will danced, voters sent him to the bottom week after week. The judges rather rudely blamed this on a series of assigned partners that they claimed were not up to Will's level, and they defiantly saved him again and again. But the public kept rebelling against all the blatant favoritism on SYTYCD, and eventually where there was a Will, there was no way. Will finally went home, shockingly after only making it to seventh place.
It's a shame Will had to be the scapegoat in this case, since he truly deserved to make it to the finale last season, and it wasn't his fault that the judges loved him so unabashedly. But perhaps viewers didn't want to vote for someone who seemed to have such a surefire inside track.
Anyway, I'm thinking now maybe the SYTYCD producers don't want what happened to Will--and, come to think of it, what happened to phenomenally talented but over-pimped American Idol contestant Adam Lambert this year--to happen to Brandon this season.
So my theory is: Instead of salivatingly over-praising Brandon, and thus prompting viewers to vote for an untrained underdog like Tony Bellissimo, the judges are going to rip into poor Brandon week after week, argue over his supposed suckiness, create "controversy" where none really exists...and ultimately get viewers to pick up the phone for Brandon.
If my theory is correct, then the SYTYCD producers are geniuses...and this is going to be possibly the hottest hot-tamale season yet.
It's on, indeed.