So You Think Can Dance?

Or as I’ve been calling BBC|One for the past hour and a quarter: ITV’s light entertainment before the birth of Cowell. Because that’s just what it is like. Once again, instead of progressing their own format and path in the ratings battle, the BBC have taken the format that, albeit successfully, worked for ITV’s ground breaking Pop Idol franchise and ran with ballet pumps screaming into the new decade. Unfortunately, especially this year above any other, the format of the genre has moved at a stellar pace, shaking off the unpolished perils of live TV and adding the glitz and glamour that lavish amounts of money can bring.

Which actually is a shame. The premise itself, a version of Strictly that was open to the public, is fantastic, and if done properly would have been a ratings smash. Unfortunately, the shoddy camera work, and Nigel Lythgoe hero worship reeks of imitation and, in this case, it is not the sincerest form of flattery. There is no place for flattery in the ratings wars, and a move so shoddily thought out will definitely cost them later down the line.

The contestants, a bunch of namby pampy, hareem pants wearing, public school taught wusses went by in a flash, with only a few making any lasting memories, and most of those didn’t get through, which to me, seemed like a shot in the foot. Why dedicated so much time to dancers that aren’t going to make the cut? Surely it would make more sense dedicating the short time that you have on the contestants who will have made it through. It beggars belief that something so vital to the show’s appeal (the likeable contestants) was overlooked.

Another thing which has got on my goat is the panel. Made up of stars which have been shunned by the BBC thus far: Nasty Nige, Arlene Philips and Louise Redknapp, the trio have got as much appeal as a septic toe, with charisma to follow suit. If the BBC are working from a similar template as X Factor/Pop Idol then Louise Redknapp is the Cheryl Cole/Geri Halliwell type judge. The one that connects the panel with the viewing public, but because Louise is best known for her ejection from Eternal amid claims she was white, this doesn’t quite gel. And as for Arlene Philips, the only way that Arlene Philips can connect with someone is if they’re carrying a bottle of gin. This may seem to go against common knowledge and preconceived ideas, but Arlene Philips is as appealing as Gary Glitter on the first day of school. She wasn’t dropped from Strictly because she was old, she was dropped because she’s two demi-plié short of a Nutcracker Suite.

This is definitely going to be a miss from me from now on; even Cat Deeley’s rictus grin inviting, nay, begging us to watch on won’t be cutting the mustard. The days of Deeley and Lythgoe are gone, just like this show hopefully.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1