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The closers: Work of Art/So You Think…

Imagine that the three top contestants on Work of Art were felled by injuries. A sad situation would have ensued. On So You Think You Can Dance, the talent was far deeper. Even though the top dancer (Alex Wong) and two close seconds (Ashley Galvan and Billy Bell) were either taken out or compromised by injuries, they left the show in good hands.

About those injuries, here’s a reasonable comment from Sara Marsh:

The intensity has doubled for the contestants this year, which is
something that the judges have regularly mentioned. Often, we hear that
it’s amazing when a dancer performs well in a new style, because last
year the dancers weren’t expected to be at the same point. There were
twice as many of them, and the learning curve was lower. Each contestant
danced half as often as they do this year.

I wonder if the new
format – picking only the top ten (or eleven, in this case) instead of
the top twenty dancers from Vegas week – is taking too great a toll on
these young dancers. Injuries like the ones Alex and Ashley sustained
are not trifling; these kinds of injuries can get in the way of a
dancer’s potential and career. (more)

Judges on both shows had problems (here and here), not that frustration with those in charge is anything new.

Gabriel Cornelius von Max – “Monkeys as Judges of Art” 1889 (via)

MonkeyGabrielCorneliusvonMax.jpgFor the finales, both sets of judges pulled themselves together and made a case that they deserve to be there.

Lauren Froderman won So You Think. Any of the top three would have been good choices.  Abdi Farah won Work of Art. By no stretch is he a stellar representative of who’s out there, off the major career track and deserving a spot. I was rooting for most of the season Miles Mendenhall but could have voted for Peregrine Honig.

It’s true Farah stepped up for the final show, pushing past his insularity and conventional aesthetics to get a toehold into the plausible. Considering the artists working across the country without any particular notice who could have delivered on the show’s premises, the original question remains: Who picked these people?


  1. Thanks..

  2. JellyBelly says:

    I don’t know why any y’all take these shows so seriously, Scarlett. All of them degrade participants and observers. Look at them long enough, you forget what art is and what it’s for.

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