I could make this one semi-political as well. Point out the comparisons… Four contendors, only one can win. Yet they realize that supporting the whole team only makes them stronger. They do not delight when a rival messes up. Despite their talent, they are humble and willing to admit they have much to learn. All under 30, yet all very mature, very charismatic, extremely talented. Deserving contendors, all.
So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Your unlikely source for inspiring voting options.
But I’ll drop it now. For one, I’ve made this comparison before, and for another, it’s frankly tainting the program to compare it with the mess in Ottawa. So let’s just talk about it on its terms.
There are ways in which the American original is superior to this homegrown version. The host, for one — no one can match Cat Deeley’s easygoing charisma; she may be the best of host of any reality show, period. I also miss the little video recaps the US show inserts into judge’s comments when appropriate — they describe a jeté, we see said jeté. And the Canadian show has four judges instead of three. That becomes a lot of blah blah going on.
But, in more important ways, I’ve found the Canadian show to be superior.
Multi-cultural range of dance styles
The ubiquitous hip hop and contemporary are always here too, but there have also been so many other styles. Afro-jazz. House. Brazilian something or other that the two guys did in the last show. It’s really multi-cultural. And where the US show was praising itself to the skies for including one Bollywood number, these ones are inserted quite matter of factly, and regularly.
I’m not just imagining that, am I? Certainly Nico gets praised for his masculine style of dance, but there just seemed to be less “You have to be man!” lecturing going on. And Tre advising that one dancer imagine his partner as a man, if that’s what it took? Cool.
Unlike the US shows, which featured a bunch of “heart-warming” profiles of individuals (many of whom never made it very far), the Canadian shows featured primarly dancing. So much better! There is a lot of dance talent in this country. Which brings me to….
When American judge Dan Karaty commented that he worked with So You Think Can Dance all around the world, and that the Canadian program was “second to none”, I could believe it. Because really, it’s an amazing group of dancers.
Take the solos. On the US show, last season’s solos, by pretty much all contenders, were largely boring. They seemed short and pointless. The Canadians have no more time, but do so much more with it. Natalie picks a completely different style every time. Allie sticks with ballet, but does it to a wide variety of music. Early contender Dario did some of the most amazing, original dances I’ve ever seen.
And look at Miles, the “B-boy” who’s managed to make it to the top four. Probably, on technical skill, Sebastien should be the one there… But this guy has acquitted himself extremely well. To my mind, much better than Twitch, whose presence in the US top four kind of made me twitch, and Dominic the year before, much as I was pulling for him. Miles deserves his spot.
(And on a completely shallow note, holy geez, what a good-looking bunch.)
So there you have it. If you haven’t watched yet, it’s not too late to start. Finale is tonight at 9:00, and they will be redoing all the best of the season. And if that whets your appetite, on New Year’s Day, be a couch potato and watch the So You Think You Can Dance Canada marathon. All on CTV.