‘SYTYCD’ Finale: Why tilt a vote that’s already won?

Thoughts about last night’s finale of So You Think You Can Dance must start with this: Melanie had 47% of the vote, compared to just 32% for runnerup Sasha. Well, then, wouldn’t this large gap between them have been evident to Nigel and the show itself for weeks before the finish? And since they already knew that Melanie would win, didn’t that tilt their presentation of Wednesday’s final performance show to make the eventual winner look even better and her closest rival even worse?

All I know is, that’s what happened. Except for disco, Melanie got to dance the kind of contemporary pieces that are her forte, while poor Sasha, instead of getting urban, edgy dances, got ill-suited ballroom styles. And you can’t slant things more than that ghastly last number with the two of them, offered as a miniature Douglas Sirk film about repressed ’50s housewives.

Melanie? No problem. No dancer on SYTYCD has ever looked more like she stepped out of the ’50s. And she got to play anguish, which is great for a girl who seems able to cry on cue.

Sasha? Exqueeze me, but repression for a black woman in the ’50s involved more than being hemmed in by white picket fences and stuffy dresses and hair styles. Do I have to say more? She just didn’t fit the part imposed on  her.

Again, it was as if the show was sending a subliminal message to viewers: Stay with your votes for Melanie and make us look good by making her look good. Sasha’s too far behind for us to bother giving her a fighting chance, so let’s all get with the program and Go Team Melanie!

Hey, I like Melanie, and I’d have picked her too — as the second-best dancer of the season  (not the “series,” a British term for what we call TV seasons which even Mary has witlessly picked up). (And note to Brits: Our TV shows air in fall, spring and summer SEASONS, which is why we use that term for their airings. The shows themselves are TV SERIES which can go on for years, while seasons are only annual. Makes more sense.)

Anyway, I’m happy for Melanie. She danced well, even without Sasha’s fierceness and toned body, and I love the short hair, even though it always has, in fact, evoked a repressed ’50s housewife, even without choreography to match.  I do think her acting is a bit overrated, but I’ll take it –she’s good enough. I just don’t think she was as good of a dancer as Sasha. And I think the show made damn sure Wednesday night that we’d feel otherwise so it could seal the deal for a contestant who’d already won, in effect, but got things tilted her way anyway in the performance finale.

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