So You Think You Can Dance: The Tiny Takeover

I grew up on a show that maybe not too many of you will remember. The show was called Candid Camera and it was sort of like Punk’d where strange stuff would happen and the camera would follow the person being tricked and hilarity ensued when the cameras caught their surprised reaction when the whole thing turned out to be a big joke. Up until today, I thought maybe that was what was going on with this new format on So You Think You Can Dance. I was wrong. I’m still holding out hope that the current situation with our race for President is a similar sort of Ashton Kutcher prank gone wrong…but anyway, moving away from politics and on to bedazzled kids dancing. Same circus, different ring.

I will admit that it wasn’t as terrible as I had anticipated but that isn’t saying too much. There wasn’t an overarching pageant feel to the show that I had feared and there were actually a few kids that might be able to pull this off. Unfortunately, there were also a lot of stage moms, some crying and begging and just a few too many cliché kid jokes for my taste. Yes, one little cherub tricked Cat Deeley into the Smell Mop Who joke. (did you get it?)

At the opener, we learned that after a few weeks of auditions, kids will be chosen to attend something called Dance Academy. If they make it through this round, they will be chosen by one of ten All-Stars who they will be paired with until the end. These details are fuzzy and probably kept that way on purpose. I still have no idea if there is voting at any point or if we’re just going to let Nigel ruin that part too. I mean, choose the winner for us. As much as I hate to support the show and recap the goings on, I do love the dancers and if there is no SYTYCD, these talented adult kids (all-stars) lose one of the best platforms to promote dance to the masses. For that reason only, I’ll keep watching. But I refuse to make fun of kids and I can’t choose winners and losers so I’ll just give my opinion on the top dancers and cut on the format week after week. Ok, that will get old. I’ll stick to the dancing as best I can.

Pick of the week:

Kida, a 13-year-old hip-hop kid from Sacramento, comes from a large family of dancers. His father passed away a few years ago from the flu and I hate that they made this poor child discuss his father’s passing for TV ratings but I did like to watch him dance. It’s almost written in stone that he will be paired with season 10 winner FikShun or Season 9 runner-up Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer. Kida has the tools to win depending on what we are voting for.

Names to notice:

I was impressed with the technical ability of 11-year-old Ballet dancer Avery. She is very young and her audition felt very mature for such a young dancer but the grace and technique were there. I could have done without her mom.

Ten-year-old Lev, who was born in France but is Russian, made for very good television. He is adorable and won over the Twitter crowd with his story of getting bullied and his crush on his young partner. His ballroom dancing seemed a little too precise for such a tiny human but I have a feeling they want him to go far. Not sure how this works with a grown all-star but we’ll have to wait and see.

Another impressive dancer with a story to tell is 13-year-old Ava who is 5′ 11″ and is teased and often cut from dance groups because of her size. I thought she was a beautiful dancer but am honestly stressed about how skinny she is. Of course, I felt like a jerk when she said she was teased for being thin. I’m not teasing, I’m worried. Apparently Ava comes from the world of Dance Moms, and I’m very unfamiliar with all that, but she will probably be around for a while. Maybe a good Robert Roldan candidate because of tallness.

There is another young dancer named Sophia who is 13 years old and has 1.4 million Instagram followers (also a Dance Moms alum I believe). We didn’t get to see much of her dancing but I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t Nigel’s play with this whole experiment. Perhaps this is nothing more than a grab at the Dance Mom’s fanbase and all of their social media followers. I have no idea. I don’t want to insult young dancers but I was in LOVE with So You Think You Can Dance. This format leaves me sad and angry (Sangry) and I want my grown-ups back. If this backfires and we lose the show altogether, that will be the worst result. I can only hope that in continuing to support it (and if I’m vocal enough) Nigel will figure out that we are only sticking around to save the show…not the format.

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