I’m one of those hypocrites who claims to hate reality tv, despite having a terrible weakness for a few realities. I occasionally watch The Amazing Race and Survivor, I was once hooked on Big Brother Australia and Top Chef, I can´t resist the demonic magnetism of The Real World and America’s Next Top Model, and I did occasionally fall prey to Rock Of Love, Flavor Of Love, and their Charm School derivatives.
See? Total hypocrite.
Of all the numerous realities that have aired since they invaded the airwaves, there are only three that I madly love: Project Runway, Rockstar INXS, and So You Think You Can Dance. I guess I love these three shows because they showcase true talent. Yes, I know it can be argued that American Idol and its derivatives do the same, but I just don’t like it.
So You Think You Can Dance, or SYTYCD, is my latest favorite. But here’s the thing: Although I knew SYTYCD existed thanks to Dancelife (another proof of my hypocrisy) and my girly crush on Blake McGrath’s awesomeness, I refused to watch it. Why? Because of the show’s title.
Yes, let us talk about that damn title. So You Think You Can Dance? Really? For a serious talent competition, that title just doesn’t command respect at all. I guess it is better than having called it American Dancer…or Top Dancer…or Lord Of The Dance.
The second season of the US version began airing in South America 3 weeks ago and I loved it. I enrolled in Jazz classes when I was eleven and quit before completing a year because I had “body issues”, and seeing all those kids at the auditions, of all shapes, sizes, and levels of expertise, made me question my stupid reasoning way back when.
Also, there’s something fascinating about dancers’ athleticism and absolute control of every part of their bodies.
Since I’m horribly impatient, I had to look for the series online. So I ended up watching the first and fourth seasons of the US version and the first season of the Canadian version.
I have to say, the US version might have completed four seasons, but the Canadian version, with only one season completed, kicks the US version’s ass.
By this I’m not saying Canadian dancers are more talented than American dancers. The fundamental differences between these two versions of SYTYCD resides in the format itself.
The Canadian version managed to integrate more dance styles from different parts of the world in a single season than the US version has. And you can blame Canada all you want, but there’s a warmth about the Canadian version that the US version lacks.
And by watching SYTYCD Canada, I indirectly ended up discovering Pinup Saints, a great electro rock band, whose members include Nico Archambault, the winner of SYTYCD Canada.
Here are a few clips for you to sink your teeth into:
From Season 1 (US): Ashle and Blake (Argentine Tango)
From Season 4 (US): Katee and Joshua (Bollywood)
From Season 1 (Canada): Nico and Arassay (Theater)
From Season 1 (Canada): Lisa and Vincent (African Jazz)
From Season 1 (Canada): Nico and Miles (Capoeira)