So You Think You Can Dance RoundUp

Created by Nigel Lythgoe

Developed by Simon Fuller

Directed by Don Weiner

Presented by Cat Deeley (2006 – present)

Judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy

Running time Varies

Original channel Fox

Original run
July 20, 2005 – Present

O ur number one show, without equal is “So You Think You Can Dance”. While a powerful new voice on “American Idol”, an amazing circus act on “America’s Got Talent” or a great laugh at a wonderful new comic on “Last Comic Standing” are all wonderful to experience, the true talent of the individuals on this show make them seem super human. It is the only show in the group where it is clear, while these contestants may be able to sing or win “America’s Got Talent”, no person on the other shows could do what these people do.

Like American Idol, there are auditions in which the talented people perform to get a chance at the big time along with a bunch of mediocre and downright spastic talent. One contestant landing on his head trying to do a flip he should never have attempted or another seemingly mentally challenged individual that calls himself “Love” that they allow to keep coming back for the laughs and ridicule.

When it comes down to the chosen few though, the moves and steps in the dances they must learn in a few hours are phenomenal even for professionals. And many of the contestants often have to dance well out of their element. A hip hop dancer performing a Waltz or a ball room dancer dancing Jazz. Of course, there are some that are trained in all forms of dance, but some, like this year’s Twitch or Joshua shock as they seem to easily adapt to whatever dance form is thrown at them.

This show is our favorite because it involves the broadest talent, the most beautiful art and the most sensational choreography of any show on our list.

American Idol RoundUp

Created by Simon Fuller

Directed by John Pritchett (live shows), Bruce Gowers (live shows, 2002-2008), Nigel Lythgoe (audition shows), Ken Warwick (audition shows)

Presented by Ryan Seacrest, Brian Dunkleman (season 1)

Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson

Country of origin United States

Original channel FOX (repeats on Fox Reality)

Original run June 11, 2002 – Present

American Idol is America’s favorite reality show without question. And it is one of ours too, shallow as it may seem. The show is professionally presented and always draws the best performances, although many of our favorites are the botched horror shows during the early auditions.

The judges are all great at calling the show, with Simon’s honesty telling the real story most of the time. Although he has botched plenty, like last year’s final. The stages and camera work are all exceptional. And the show’s costume designers, professional accompaniment, and the presentation are exceptional, making what start off as reasonably talented amateurs into seemingly seasoned professionals by year’s end.

And who doesn’t dream of being Kelly Clarkson or David Cook or Jordin Sparks up on that stage and wowing millions, in some cases after having no exposure whatsoever? And doesn’t every contestant appear a winner, when a fourth place finisher like Chris Daughtry becomes a downright American icon pulling off hit after hit in his first year as a professional performer. Or Kellie Pickler, who got eliminated in the final ten, only to show up with a new set of breasts and a top country hit “In My Red High Heels“.

kara_dioguardiIn mid 2008, American Idol announced a new addition to the judges lineup for Season 8 that premiered in January 13, 2008. Kara DioGuardi is the fourth judge for American Idol. How she fares as a judge remains to be seen going into the actual competition.

American Idol is our number two favorite.

THE AMERICAN IDOLS:

Season 1: Kelly Clarkson, 20, from Burleson, TX

Season 2: Ruben Studdard, 25, from Birmingham, AL

Season 3: Fantasia, 19, from High Point, NC

Season 4: Carrie Underwood, 21, from Checotah, OK

Season 5: Taylor Hicks, 29, from Birmingham, AL

Season 6: Jordin Sparks, 17, from Glendale, AZ

Season 7: David Cook, 25, from Blue Springs, MO

Season 8: ????

http://foxshop.seenon.com/?v=foxshop-americanidol

Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Poll Update

August 7, 2008 UPDATE

Our SYTYCD polls indicate tonight is a BLOWOUT!!! The competition isn’t close at all!!!! The winner by a landslide is Katee. According to the polls and our own assessment, she won this year hands down, or up for that matter.

Katee is ahead 3-1 over the next closest competitor, Joshua. She is ahead 5-1 over Courtney and 6-1 over Twitch!!

When things are reasonably close we would say this competition isn’t over. This is absolutely clear, however. If Katee isn’t crowned tonight, it wasn’t the audience that made the selection!

In our Last Comic Standing Poll, Jim Tavare has more than a 2-1 advantage over Iliza, and there appears to be little doubt who takes the crown for Last Comic.

It is too early for a poll on America’s Got Talent, there is still too much noise on the show, but we will publish one as soon as it becomes plausible.

August 5, 2008 UPDATE

Katee continues to lead by a wide margin. Her 56% of the vote would guarantee a win if it weren’t for the fact we have to actually get to the final competition yet. Joshua and Twitch’s collapse in practice and later hospitalization says these folks are being driven hard for this performance.

But one wonders if Fox staged the entire event to bring attention to the show. For Joshua and Twitch to collapse at the same time is statistically nearly impossible. And all the media hype it drew surely garnered the show a huge amount of publicity from the likes of People Magazine. BAAAAA. BAAAAAA. BAAAAAA.

Whoops, guess we are guilty of being sheep just a bit too.

August 1, 2008 UPDATE:

Our polls are showing a Katee blowout once again. Joshua is garnering more respect now that he is no longer wearing tin on his grin, and after wowing the audience this past week.

The problem this week for both dancers was performing with each other. It made it difficult to separate the two leaders. Both were great, and we see them as clearly the top two barring disaster.

We will not make our prediction until the night of the face off. I am sure they are going to make it interesting.

We have not seen such a heavy favorite as Katee though. Joshua has to work that big butt into a frenzy to take this one.

PLEASE VOTE ON OUR POLL if you have not done so yet… Help us predict America’s Favorite Dancer for 2008! 🙂

July 31, 2008 UPDATE:

IIn our most recent poll, included in our article “Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Recap and Prediction: Katee and Joshua At The Bottom!!”, the bulk of our readers agree with us that Courtney and Twitch are going home. This is in stark contrast to the polls prior to the performances which had Mark and Chelsie going home.

But in neither case did anyone have Joshua or Katee going home. We hope the voters for Joshua and Katee didn’t get too complacent and allow those at risk to get more votes by fans trying to save their favorites from the axe? Who doesn’t remember the Daughtry shocker on American Idol?

Please read our latest article and vote.

And thank you to all of our viewers and pollsters!! You help us enormously with your participation and we hope you love our site too!!

July 30, 2008 UPDATE:

Turning to our polls the day of the show, Katee blew everyone away as the favorite. Mark was voted as the most likely man to get the boot by a 3-1 margin over Joshua, and close to the same margin over Twitch. Chelsie was marginally selected to get eliminated, and Courtney was close enough that it is likely not statistically significant.

But let’s not forget, it all comes down to whom they chose as a partner and what dances they draw. A bad hand could eliminate almost anyone. In fact, we think that Twitch has been way too lucky. Say tonight, he draws Chelsie and gets a Ballroom Dance. Maybe he has been practicing this, but in past weeks, he just has not been able to perform these formal style dances. So take-charge Chelsie will dance with or without him and he could look quite silly.

Mark actually has a major advantage over Twitch. He can dance more styles and can dance with any partner. There is almost no draw he could make that he would screw up. He already has proven he can dance hip hop. So unless he draws truly boring dances, he could make the finals!!

So what do we think? Mark has a slight edge over Twitch this week because of the draw. It is too close to call between Chelsie and Courtney and much of that will come down to the draw as well. Courtney is, like Mark, more diverse. We think Courtney may be able to do ballroom better than Chelsie could do hip hop. So, prior to the draw, Courtney has a slight advantage. Katee is golden. She should just get a bye week. There is no one she can’t dance with and no one she won’t look great with. Well…maybe hip hop with Twitch might be a stretch. She just doesn’t have the booty.

So Katy and Joshua, barring disaster are safe. The rest are a toss up. Man, what a cop out. But we will make bolder predictions tonight.

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July 28, 2008 UPDATE:

The polls have gone ballistic, and once again, Katee is pulling away with the lead.  Not much of a surprise there, she has been the star to date.

But there are a couple of surprises.  For one, Chelsie appears a narrow favorite to get sent packing, garnering only two votes to win and in the lead of the poll of women to be at the bottom.  If this is indicative of the way the real votes will go, Chelsie and Mark would depart.

Folks may be jumping the gun a bit though.  The competition has not taken place yet.  And we remember what happened to Twitch when he got a Ballroom Dance.  Yikes.  Mark and Joshua can pretty much dance anything, so Twitch needs a decent draw.

Twitch could also impact his partner if a Ballroom style is chosen.  It would be hard for a woman to lead him out of the abyss if he can’t pull off the dance.

If you are one of the guys, you may not care that much which partner you draw.  All women are superb.  But if I am a woman, I am hoping I only draw Twitch if I get contemporary or something close.

This will be an interesting week folks.

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July 22, 2008 UPDATE:

The polls this week showed a disinterest in the guys.  Apparently, the gals are the clear favorites this year. So far, the polls clearly show  Katee in the lead, with Chelsie giving Katee all she can handle.

It could come down to the draw on the dance this week. If Chelsie pulls dances that are in her strength, she could take the lead. If Katee does, there is little doubt who leaves the leader.

Vote folks and let us know your favorites!!! PLEASE!!

America’s Got Talent RoundUp

Created by Simon Cowell, Ken Warwick, Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Jason Raff

Presented by Jerry Springer (2007-Present), Regis Philbin(2006)

Judges Piers Morgan, David Hasselhoff, Brandy Norwood (2006), Sharon Osbourne (2007-Present)

Running time
Varies

Original channel
NBC

Original run June 21, 2006 – present

W hile America’s Got Talent is entertaining, the judges rate very low on the scale of reality show judges. Their quips are predictable, constantly repeated, and the most creative thing they contribute during a performance is the press of the buzzer during an annoying or bad performance.  If you don’t hear Hasselhoff say, “That is what this show is all about!” at least once a week, you probably missed a week.

What really makes this show entertaining are the exceptional off-beat acts we could never see anywhere. A cowboy that can lasso the audience, a magic act that dazzles like Married Magic act David and Dania that change costumes right in front of your eyes Or perhaps an Elvis impersonator that is so original and talented you would swear he may be better than Elvis himself. It would, however, be much better to stick to that theme and not make this just another place for American Idol wannabes or rejects to get another chance, so it would be better for the show to cut most singers out of the competition rather than allow every one that has even a decent voice to get to the finals. The other sickening thing about the show is the elderly and kid factor. Any kid that can sing decently or any elderly person gets special treatment, wasting spaces for real talent.

The camera work on the show is horrible. When we are watching a performance, we want to judge it ourselves. But the America’s Got Talent cameras are all over the stage, on the audience and on the judges’ faces during the middle of critical parts of many performances. The television audience doesn’t need to see Hasselhoff’s face ten times during a dance routine. And they really don’t care about his reaction until the end, if they care at all. The live audience isn’t watching his face, they are watching the performance. Why do we have to see Pierce’s ugly puss (the straight-faced British judge that is a Simon Cowell wanna be) in the middle of a potentially prize winning act? We see him enough before and after.

America's Got Talent

All that said, this is a majorly entertaining show with some of the most amazing and unique acts ever seen on television. Who can resist seeing twenty dancers all clog in step on a Las Vegas stage? Or perhaps a magician that you have never seen that stuns the audience. Or last year’s amazing victor, Terry Fator, a puppeteer of unmatched talent and an unparalleled master ventriloquist.

This show rates number 3 on our list of favorite reality shows. If they fixed the camera problem and got rid of the “too many singers” problems, it may even make it to number 2.

Season 6, Episode 8: Last Comic Standing Results

If you missed last night’s “Last Comic Standing”, don’t fret too much, because you didn’t miss much. The show was drawn and tiring. The final face-off was OK, drawing the occasional laugh, but overall, just not too funny.

Bill Bellamy, the talented host, is always energetic and a great cheerleader for the show, but he can’t carry it by himself. He needs a bit of good humor from the contestants.

If you want to see how exceptional Bill is as a talent, check this out… It is reverse racism, which I find black comics abuse, but it is funny and in good humor.

Last week, if you recall, Esther Ku and God’s Pottery were eliminated for calling out Iliza Shlesinger, who got over 60% of the vote with what seemed like a mediocre performance. Iliza drew in the audience well enough to garner votes well in excess of the differential between her and Ku. God’s Pottery came up short being too limited in their humor. They have a niche, but it is too narrow. It is akin to “Alter Boys” off broadway, amusing for a short period, but getting old really fast and leaving the audience looking for the nearest exit.

This week, though, Iliza may have shown why she won last week. This week it came down to Paul Foot, Iliza and Papa CJ. And this week, Iliza went second, not last, giving the advantage to the Indian comic, Papa CJ.

It started off with Paul Foot. You had to feel sorry for him. He seemed so nervous about his material and being on television. He got the audience laughing, but he was real slow to start. His first joke seemed to go on forever. And his best joke was that a living room is the place we go to die because we can’t hang out in the hallway or bathroom. It was humorous, but not of the quality it would take for the first person to win the face off.

Then, Iliza (who now has first name status, huge advantage) came on. The comics did not vote her into the face-off this week. She was called in by Papa CJ to get revenge on her for voting for him the week prior. Now, this is a stupid tactic. Iliza should have been avoided. She just won the week before. She was on a roll and the audience was already familiar with her. Plus…she was in her element. She is an American comic that lives in the western US totally at home in LA. This was not the time to test her again after she just sent Ku packing, who, in our opinion, is better than Papa CJ or John Foot.

Well, Iliza is clever. She used specific jokes to get the audience to identify with her. For example, she used the video game “Oregon Trail” to draw people in because she knew many would have played the game.   This got a the bulk of the audience into the act, which demonstrates that Iliza knows how to lead an audience.

What became most evident about her in this performance is how she uses her body to perform. In last week’s performance, it was not as apparent, perhaps because she did not want to play that card against Ku, who is much cuter. But in this performance, she wore a very low cut blouse and did over a dozen frontal dips for the audience to make sure she gave the best view inside.  It was her ace in the hole, her major differentiation and her best physical feature. She used it well.

Papa CJ came out last and was funny at first. But he tried too hard, centering on one black man in the audience to heckle. At first, the participant seemed to think it was funny, but after jokes about gay sexual relations with the man and a number of jokes that went too far, Papa CJ commented that if the guy didn’t like it, he didn’t care because he was from the land of the Kama Sutra and could screw him in more ways than he knew. Offensive and not funny; something that was apparent on the face of the man he heckled.

Papa CJ also made a major blunder. He not only used a lewd premise for his piece, but much of it was censored. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeep. That made it less funny and the black man he chose to heckle obviously laughed less and less during the performance making Papa look a bit the fool.

So, at the end of the day, Iliza won again. Two competitions in a row!! With over 60% of the vote!!! Now, even if her cleavage flashing helped, even if her “home team” status helped, and even if in the first week she got to go last helped…that is impressive!! She took out FOUR COMICS!!!! In TWO WEEKS!!!! Actually, she took out five because one of the acts was God’s Pottery last week, and they are a duo.

Iliza is a gal to be reckoned with. She is sexy in a subtle way, and she also has a way of drawing in the audience. The guys, who looked real nervous as Iliza did it again, likely won’t be calling her into the ring again any time soon.

Point, set, and match to Iliza…the winner by a pair. Hair? Uh…Whoops.

The Amazing Race RoundUp

Amazing Race on CBS


Created by
Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster

Presented by Phil Keoghan

Theme music composer John M. Keane
Composer(s) Mark Phillips
Erik Aho
Dan Beyer
Christopher Holden

Running time 42 minutes

Original channel CBS

Original run September 5, 2001 – present

Premise: An American multiple award-winning TV reality adventure game show; Select the team of two or four among the competitors to win $1 million grand prize.

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Continue reading The Amazing Race RoundUp

Last Comic Standing RoundUp

Created by Peter Engel

Presented by Jay Mohr (Seasons 1-3)
Anthony Clark (Season 4)
Bill Bellamy (Seasons 5-6)

Running time 60 minutes (including commercials)

Original channel NBC

Original run June 1, 2003 – present

Premise: An American reality talent competition; Select a comedian among the roster to win $250,000 grand prize, including an exclusive talent deal with NBC.

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L ast Comic Standing brings up the rear on our list of favorites. It was a big favorite of ours in the first two years, but last year they seem to be stretching the fabric of humor. Last year was a disaster, with promising talent after promising talent ignored while boring acts were consistently chosen by the judges who appeared to never laugh as they picked the people they wished to torture us with. There was one true talent in the group, Lavelle Crawford, and he made it to the finals with such hysterical lines as “Why are you breathing that heavy?” “So I can live!! What Kind of Stupid Question is That?” And did he win? No. It was a joke. I guess that is appropriate for a Comedy show though.

Funny KuThis year, they have stepped it up.  The talent appears to be much better, but the recent elimination of Esther Ku tells me that the biggest reason someone does not win in this show, and in many other reality shows involving performances, is he or she had to go first.  The last performance always always seems to garner the most votes.  And the first elimination show of this season was no exception, the first act went home while the final act garnered the most votes, when there was little difference in the quality of the performances.  In fact, I laughed more at the first.  But people’s memories are short, and that is why, as Alonzo Bodden said, we invented instant replay, “Because we can’t remember something we just saw five seconds ago.”

The show should also have more performance competition and less hype.  Allowing the contestants to vote off other contestants forcing them to go into elimination just makes it mean spirited.  I would rather see more of a face off of the talents like on American Idol.  And the viewing audience does not get to vote at all.  They leave it to the live audience, perhaps leaving their viewers a bit detached.

That said, winners like Josh Blue, Alonzo Bodden and Dat Phan have made me laugh more at a television comic than even the professionals making millions touring.  There are times I am nearly in tears laughing at this show.  So, if they continue to step up the talent, and the judges can continue to pick winners like they did this year, this could move up on our list.

Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 10 Results Recap

Hopefully, you watched last night’s elimination round of “So You Think You Can Dance”.  The show was awe inspiring, well, for the most part. The all member dance was great as usual, well choreographed and right on target with the audience.

For the men only piece, one of the judges choreographed a prize-winning set that was sheer entertainment.  How these five men can dance a complicated dance performance like this as well as they did, while rehearsing their solos and competition dances is beyond comprehension.  Nigel Lythgoe outdid himself choreographing this movement, although he admitted he did have some help.

The women’s only dance was boring and slow.  Tired makeup made the girls look drawn and unappealing, and the dance was difficult to grasp, conveying little meaning or value.

Now let’s talk about the prior night and the results of the voting…
Continue reading Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 10 Results Recap