So You Think You Can Dance needs to invent some new tricks, because the old ones are getting tired.
The top 20 dancers were revealed on Thursday's episode, but we can already foresee how the path will end for at least two dancers.
Sisters Sasha and Natalie Mallory auditioned together in Atlanta, Ga., both moving on to choreography, and ultimately receiving that coveted ticket to Vegas.
They received significant coverage during last night's episode, harping on Natalie's nontraditional dancer's body next to her slender sister. During the contemporary round, Natalie was rushed to the hospital due to low blood sugar, leaving Sasha to dance alone while worrying about her sister's condition.
Natalie returned to the stage, with a prognosis of potential diabetes, and despite missing the choreography round, Nigel Lythgoe gave her a free pass.
On first glance, it seems odd that Natalie has easily flown through the competition, getting very close to making the top 20, even as standouts like Alexis Mason, Chyna Smith and Arielle Cocker, were sent home. Regardless of her body type, she just hasn't displayed anything that could justify remaining in the competition.
But on further thought, it has become clear why Natalie is still around. The producers have used this tactic before: push through mediocre dancers who will create drama. In this case, it is obvious that the two female dancers who will be vying for the last spot in the top 20 will be Sasha and Natalie. [If you want to know which makes it, check out Too Much To TiVo's top 10 girls spoiler alert.]
So You Think You Can Dance has an MO for pitting family members and friends against each other for the final spots in the competition. They did it in Season 5 with Evan and Ryan Kasprza. Ultimately, Evan made it to the top 20 and Ryan was sent packing. Ryan returned in Season 6, but this time was cut in an early round during Vegas week.
Similarly, in Season 4, the judges left roommates Katee Shean and Natalie Reid as the last two girls standing. Of course, Katee moved on, while Natalie said her tearful goodbye.
Natalie also auditioned again, but never made it back to the Green Mile.
The question is, if Natalie and Ryan were good enough to make it to the final judgment the first time, why were they cut so early on when they auditioned again?
The answer is easy -- they were never good enough to make it all the way, or at least, the producers never had any intention of considering them for a spot in the top 20 the first time around.
It seems the producers keep these fillers during the audition rounds to make for good television. This isn't to put any of these dancers down (in fact, I was really rooting for Ryan and Natalie), but if either of them came to the audition process alone the first time, they wouldn't have gotten far.
The same will most likely be true for Natalie, who (knowingly or not) is on the show to stir excitement for when her sister makes it to the top 20.
Truthfully, I hope I am wrong, because I would hate to see the producers take advantage of a girl who already has been dismissed due to her weight.
Jeanine Poggi is a financial journalist by day, TV addict by night. She started her blog, Too Much To Tivo, in April 2010 as a way to dish about her favorite shows and characters. The series currently recording on her TiVo include So You Think You Can Dance, The Big Bang Theory, Vampire Diaries, True Blood and American Idol. Jeanine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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