Don’t treat your audience like idiots

SYTYCDDear So You Think You Can Dance Australia….

Please don’t treat me like an idiot if you want me to keep watching your show.

Seriously last night’s storytelling was as contrived as they come. Very little to do with dancing, and plenty to do with confected reality television drama.

It’s a shame because the the young dancers are all really talented thought I am struggling to remember many names yet.

While Paula said “I got to see each and every one of you shine,” unfortunately I didn’t because the show is still too focussed on groups rather than individuals.

The real insult to viewers happened mid-show when the dancers were all picked by team captains schoolyard-style. But there were 6 remaining dancers who missed out on being picked for teams, who were suddenly told by Jason Gilkinson they had effectively been cut from the show. Rather than being eliminated by the judges they had been cut by their own. Levels of fairness are important in this genre. It was particularly cruel and plenty of tears flowed on stage.

While the 6 were sobbing in the hallway as the cameras rolled, Paul Abdul came out to tell them she was giving them a second chance. What the…?

Such manufactured stunts mean we get to the point where we may not believe what’s in front of us anymore.

As TIME magazine said of last year’s Homeland, “Pulling the rug out under your audience can be effective sometimes. But do it too often, and we stop believing there’s a floor underneath.”

The irony is the kids are totally talented. When they are not pushed to tears and whooping in the stalls they light up the stage.

Please have more faith in your cast and let them shine?

The final top 20 are:

Ashleigh Tavares (Jazz, 20, NSW)
Blond (Urban, 31, NSW)
Eden Petrovski (Contemporary, 20, NSW)
Chris Tsattalios (Jazz, 21, NSW)
Kathaleen Fisher (Ballroom, 19, NSW)
Jay Johns (Urban, 21, NSW)
Lauren Seymour (Urban, 22, NSW)
Joel Rasmussen (Urban, 27, QLD)
Maddie Peat (Contemporary, 19, NSW)
Jordan Turner (Contemporary, 20, NSW)
Nadiah Idris (Urban, 26, VIC)
Michael Dameski (Contemporary, 18, NSW)
Renelle Jones (Jazz, 23, QLD)
Patric Kuo (Urban, 20, NSW)
Sally Hare (Urban, 28, NSW)
Sam Malseed (Contemporary, 18, SA)
Yukino McHugh (Urban, 20, NSW)
Stephen Perez (Jazz, 21, NSW)
Zoey Black (Jazz, 23, NSW)
Thabang Baloyi (Ballroom, 21, NSW)


  1. Dance used to be a great format but TEN have destroyed it for all its worth. There are very talented dancers on this show but TEN haven’t allowed them to shine. Instead we get promos for Robbie Williams on Dance! No wonder the show is a disaster. I feel for the dancers on this show. Unfortunately this isn’t going to end well which is a shame.

  2. Isn’t this being produced by the same producer as “The Voice”

    Even still, Bickmore as host was terrible, and the non Paula judges aren’t much better, its like cobbled together so badly its laughable how bad last night’s episode was for reasons mentioned below “Fake eliminations” etc

  3. Dr.Karl Stefaknowvic

    Let’s face it, dancing minus celebs just doesn’t rate. Ten need to bite the bullet on this one and pull the plug now. They’ll take a hit but better to get out now before the mega expensive live shows start.

  4. @Chuck128 @poss – agree, Rake was spot on with its depiction of the shenigans that passes for TV talent comps these days. Ending was a bit sad tho’, couldn’t he have just spent a few days in a cave or something?

  5. Why am I not surprised. We have too many “talent” shows already where producers follow the formula and rarely produce anything new. This is also despite the sad fact that Australia just simply doesn’t have the industry to support the over abundance of singers or dancers being churned out. Sounds like this dance show is going South.

  6. I agree with Harry whoever thought it was a good idea to scrap the initial individual auditions should lose their job. Just like Idol the auditions are the best part of the show where we can learn about the contestants. The group auditions have been terrible.

  7. I too was disappointed to see SYTYCDA stoop to stupid ‘shock’ stunts.

    The bit about the diabetic dancer and then the 6 unpicked dancers being cut were too much.

    Switched over to MKR where such stunts would never occur.

    Oh looky – more gatecrashers and more bitching and more kitchen disasters and more bitching.

    No wonder it is rating through the roof.

  8. The ratings last night were awful. Obviously viewers flocked to reality shows that don’t treat them like idiots.

    Like MKR and The Block. Oh wait….

  9. I agree with you David. SYTYCD is by far the reality show I would prefer to watch, but I have been very disappointed with the way they have handled it so far. They have rushed through this opening period, and have given us extremely small chances to connect with any of the contestants. Especially when they rushed through all the Top 33’s final auditions. That was a good opportunity thrown away for attempting to make us to watch through tenplay – on the TV show we have barely met a good 15 of the Top 20 yet.
    The staged drama of cutting the unpicked 6 was too much as well. I was disappointed that they decided to do that. The airtime is better spent showcasing the passion of their contestants.

    @Redhead I’m not meaning to start any argument here, but I am tired of attempted criticism using the judges. It’s not like the judges have come out of no where, they have all had very…

  10. The question needs to be asked why would TEN commission a show about dancing? I’m just guessing but the market share of people who like watching dancing would be less than those who follow opera. This is a niche market and does not have mass appeal to a broader audience. Despite the fact that I can’t name three of the four ‘judges’ and the only one I recognise from memory (in the 80’s) was a singer not a dancer. This reeks of bad development and programming judgement yet again by the crack team at Ten. Don’t even get me started on the production standards.

  11. Such a bad production! Whoever thought it was a good idea to drop the initial auditions should be sacked! They were always the best part and got you to engage with the characters. Looks like it was produced by a real amateur, the production values are good but where is the character development?The most important element of any reality show are the characters. If I was at TEN I’d be asking the production company (was it Fremantle?) some very serious questions and insist on a new executive producer who understands how to make a reality show.

  12. Yeah, gotta say that last night’s ‘twist’ was way too far, even for reality tv. It’s such a shame, because when the focus is on the dancing it’s amazing – the ‘dance for your life’ pieces are fantastic, watching the process of working in groups is really interesting. Hoping for a much better attitude going into the ‘real’ competition episodes…

  13. Totally agree… but we all knew unequivocally that that cut meant nothing and that they would somehow reappear… nevertheless it was a cruel ploy designed to add some drama where it wasn’t needed..

  14. This is the only reality/talent show that I watch. I accept there will be a degree of manufactured drama, but too much can be off putting. I have yet to see last night episode, but I thought last week was putting up the big signposts as to their back story and who we should be rooting for.

    This show is so good purely for the dancing. These dancers, especially on the US show, really show what passion really is and I wish I had a tenth of the passion these people had for my job. No big egos here, just a great love of their craft. And what athletes – strength, stamina and ability to push through the pain barrier.

    I have to say what were the programmers thinking putting a known small audience show against two juggernauts? This decision alone has doomed the show to failure.

    I notice that Kenny didn’t make it through. A pity his “dance for your life” last week was beauty…

  15. I think the reason we haven’t seen much individual is because they needed to find out who could dance multiple genre’s so they needed to pair them up. The fake elimination of those 6 was funny but I would suspect those dancers would have got a boost from still being in it. I agree about the talented dancers! Some are pretty dam good

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