Film and TV

So You Think You Can Dance: Abs, Abs and More Abs

Near-nudity is pretty standard when it comes to SYTYCD, at least when it comes to the girls who tend flit about in sports bras and short-shorts. On last night's installment, though, a few of the boys bared all (including a Tahitian traditional dancer who really bared it all). The real treat, though, wasn't getting a chance to glimpse some washboard abs, but watching judges Mary Murphy's and Robin Antin's reactions, as they stared wuth hooded eyes and pursed lips. Yeah, you know the look I'm talking about.

Last night, the judges were in Salt Lake City and New York City. Don't let the Mormon propriety fool you: Utah is responsible for fostering a host of Top 20 contestants in the show's history, as well as season 3 winner Sabra Johnston. New York, meanwhile, we're not surprised to find, brought oodles of talent, weirdness and ego.

Let's recap.

Salt Lake City Sorry, SYTYCD. Packing a theater full of contestants, cranking up the music and telling them to put their damn hands up isn't going to convince us that Salt Lake City is one giant party. A for effort, though.

The guest judge here is Pussycat Doll Antin, who has a great dance vocabulary and brings a pop/music video sensibility to the panel. We've also got Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe, who's looking increasingly like he and David Bowie could play brothers in a movie.

The judges appear to be a little more serious this week (no mention of "Hot Tamale" at all tonight), but that's probably because they're on a quest to find America's Next Great Dancer and questing's serious business, OK?

Made it through:

Stepper Devon McCollough made it through the choreography round and is headed to Vegas. His partner, Micah Clark, with whom Devon charmed the judges with their lively performance, went home after the choreography round. It's like the judges just broke up their favorite band.

Sidenote: Nigel, clad in a bow tie and double-breasted sweater, refers to "Step" as "Steppin'" and I waited for seriously, like 3 minutes for him to break into "Steppin' Time!" from Mary Poppins.

Chyna Smith claimed to be "obsessed" with the show, told host Cat Deeley she was "so beautiful," then Cat made some kind of remark about wardrobe and make-up, the subtext of which was "who is this weird kid?" Chyna impressed the judges with her "star quality" and "sensuality" while actually saying very little about her routine, which was more limbs than torso: very MTV. Antin even said Chyna would be at the top of the list if the Pussycat Dolls were auditioning. Still, we get very little sense of training or versatility from Chyna, and we predict she'll probably get throttled over the course of the season.

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CAROLINE EVANS
Contact: CAROLINE EVANS