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Will’s “So You Think You Can Dance” exit. Travesty or justice?

July 25, 2008

Were you stunned by Will Wingfield’s departure on “So You Think You Can Dance”, or did you predict a well-deserved upset?

Whether Will’s demise was a travesty or poetic justice depends on who you ask. Purists are no doubt appalled that arguably the best male dancer this season even ended up in the bottom four. Yet for fans who’ve bristled all season at the judges’ effusive gushing over renowned choreographer Debbie Allen’s protege, it may have simply turned them off Will altogether. debbie.jpg

But viewers now have the upper hand, and the votes, and Will may have been hindered by his relative lack of stage charisma compared to Twitch, Mark Kanemura and Joshua Allen.

The voter backlash may also explain why Mark is inexplicably still safe (much to his own shock — his incredulous expression was perhaps the best moment of the night).

We all love Mark (who could forget “Bleeding Love”?), but even he must have nigel1.jpgknown what he was up against: “I will not be in the bottom…” was written on his paper prop for the detention-themed hip hop routine with Comfort. Sensing the danger he was in, fans clearly heard the call and rallied.

The ever popular Twitch also seemed to have pulled off stronger performances with partner Katee Shean this week than Joshua, who fell out of his spin during the disco routine with Chelsie Hightower.

But it was Joshua who escaped unscathed by viewers and the judges. The panel ignored the mistake along with stiff transitions and mediocre dancing and raved about the performance.

Was Will’s departure a wake-up call or a hint of things to come? And with only two weeks left, who will stay on the hot-tamale train?


I do believe there was some poetic justice at play in Will’s departure. He is a formidable dancer, but he was saddled early on with a bad partner and the audience never warmed up to him. Add to this, the constant fawning over him by the judges made it all that much easier for people to dislike him. Now I am looking forward to seeing what happens next week with Joshua. Throughout the season he has been an extraordinary performer, but he was off this week and I think that while the audience forgave him this time, they may not be so kind if we have a repeat. Up until this week Joshua was my favourite to win it all, now my money is on his former partner Katee for the win.

Posted by Stella | Report as abusive

YES, I was shocked! From the very beginning Will has been clearly the best dancer. And he outdid himself on his solo, James Brown takeoff. It’s evident that the viewers and voters of this program are teeny-boppers who don’t get what is happening on this stage. The consolation is that this show has given Will the chance to show himself to the world, and he’ll surely be scooped up by someone – including Alvin Ailey Dance.


Do you realize how unfair that statement is? When Will dances can you honestly say you felt anything? He was all technique! He had no emotion, no personality, no heart. When Mark took the stage he didn’t play a character as Mary claims he BECAME who the dancer the routine called for. Mark is incredible and unique, he is not a cookie-cutter dancer. Twitch and Joshua also have so much heart and so much spirit. They dance incredibly as well and America has fallen in love with them, that is why they vote.

Posted by Sonia | Report as abusive

Did anyone else notice Will TOTALLY blowing off his solo and making up random choreography as he went along (the slow transitions..the bharatnatyam at the end…). He obviously wasn’t expecting to be in the bottom, much less voted off, but his hesitation (with an incredulous look on his face) before he started the solo had ‘arrogance’ written all over it. He does seem nice, but all that ‘greatness’ know he believed it. Oh and Mark is ADORABLE and has charisma..he has connected with the audience, which is why people vote for him. i think it will come down to katee vs joshua in the end.. the original ‘super’ couple..neither has been in the bottom yet

Posted by p | Report as abusive

I can honestly say that I felt something when Will danced. I loved him from the moment he appeared on my screen this season. From his one rolled up jogging pants, his red wool hat and that incredible statement he danced to at his audition, I felt him. Will had soul, profoundness and richness in his dancing. I even thought that the show was was unfit to have a dancer such as himself. I believed that the show would corrupt him, and maybe it has.
I despise it when people say that dancers such as himself or Danny Tidwell move with arrogance. Also, just because a dancer is not all over the camera does not mean he or she lacks personality. It amazes me that it makes them supercilious.
When it comes down to it, Will was arguably the best dancer on this season’s So You Think You Can Dance and that is probably why he didn’t win, they’re looking for America’s favorite dancer.

Posted by Helen | Report as abusive

Helen, you couldn’t be more right. The viewers and voters who actually call in are looking for America’s favorite dancer. Let’s face it, every one of the performers are soooooo talented (even Comfort who always seemed to be in danger). Although I’m sorry to see Will leave this early, I can’t really be all that shocked since I thought the last two guys standing would have been Twitch and Joshua anyway. What’s one week difference?

Posted by Shaun | Report as abusive

From Presidents to Idols to Dancers, America seems to combine ignorance and contempt for talent and skill. Will is destined to have an outstanding career and I’m sure the best choreographers are lining up to have him. He will go on, but this vote was ludicrous. Will and Twitch in the bottom two? Stupid and indefensible. He should have won the show. If this carries on, Katee will be next. Why? For having the gall to be a fabulous dancer, one of the best.

Posted by MacKenna | Report as abusive

I obviously overlooked or misread something, just disregard that P.S. part lol. Anyways, I can honestly say I felt something when Will danced. That’s why I liked him so much. Technique is not a huge deciding factor for who I like. I enjoy all the dancers for what they all bring, but it was just Will for me. I like who he seems to be and how he danced. I can’t believe I have to speak about Will’s dancing is past tense now *sigh* lol.
Will’s personality reminds me of myself. That’s why him being quiet, focused, and more reserved never bothered me or made me think he was arrogant, not to say that he’s not, but I never got that impression from the show.

Posted by huh | Report as abusive

I knew there was a reason I never watched reality TV before this show. My girlfriend roped me into the show and I’ll admit I’ve gotten into it. It’s just typical that someone as talented as Will gets the boot. I remember now why I despise reality TV: because the people who vote are pretty much idiots.

He was clearly head and shoulders above everyone else, and the fact that he could even be in the bottom two, much less voted off at this stage, is laughable.

Posted by Epsilon | Report as abusive

I believe, as I’m sure many others, that Will was clearly the best dancer on the show, and that people didn’t vote for him because they assumed he would win. I did. I didn’t vote. He and Danny Tidwell are the most beautiful dancers I’ve ever seen. I ASSUMED HE WOULD WIN. People just voted to keep some other great dancers in that they liked and knew wouldn’t make it to the top. IT BACKFIRED. God forgive us. Will deserved to win. I am so sad. And yet, the other dances are truly formidable. The talent this year is absolutely incredible. BUT I LONG FOR WILL. I pray he heals and does well. Again, HE DESERVED TO WIN. Thanks.


I think will was cut due to a technical error or on purpose by the studio. I called to vote at 11:30 pm (lines are suppose to be open for two hours) and the line was busy. There is no way that the line should have been busy at that time if the line wasn’t flooded with voters.

Posted by Brad Lutes | Report as abusive

mark is a joke , we all know it. To vote Will off instead of Mark is clearly ridiculous. Teeny bopper girlsvoting and here posting. Can you honestly say Mark even deserves to be I’m the top 20?

Posted by dan | Report as abusive

I was very dissapointed with Will leaving. Shocked when I knew that it would either be Will or Twitch. At this point the competition becomes a popularity contest and to me this is bad. It was nice when the judges still had a say in the elimination. Even though Mark is still very talented, he was the weakest of the 4. I do believe that Hawaii has his back and is sending votes like crazy. I also believe that Will was hindered by being in the bottom so many times due what’s her name.

Posted by Carlos | Report as abusive

Will was by far the greatest dancer in this competition. It is a complete disgrace to see him leave. He deserved to WIN. If anyone can honestly say that someone like Mark is a better dancer than Will, then that person obviously need their vision checked. Sure, Mark had maybe one good performance (Bleeding Love), but by no means does that triumph Will’s countless successes. My only hope now is that some order is restored on that show and Katee wins. This is completely ridiculous.

Posted by atsirk | Report as abusive

Unfortunatly SYTYCD has become just like most things in our society, a popularity contest. Comfort staying for as long as she did and Will leaving is a testament to this. Will danced like a man…strong, confident and with feeling, voting him off was obsurd!!! The message they are sending is smile, be fake get on stage jump around and that makes you good dancer. Not the technique, talent, stage presence, and versatility. They should change the name of the show to So You Think You Can Sort Of Dance.

Lastly, has Mark every demonstrated one technical element in any of is solos?!

Posted by Leslie Hatchard | Report as abusive

Sadly there is no reason for me to watch this show. Will is (hands down) the best dancer of this season. But America voted and he went home. Mark cant hold a candlestick to any of the other dancers including the girls. This reminds me of the first season of American Idol where kelly clarkson or whatever beat out tamyra gray. Come on people I know you dont think kelly sings better? Anyway these shows are bogus…And it proves true talent is still overlooked.

Posted by TMH | Report as abusive

Will was indeed the best dancer, and Mark has by far the most quirky charisma. Unfortunately, leaving it to “America” without professional rigor explains so much about what is wrong with this country, and how utterly bovine we can be with patriarchal manipulation. Danny Tidwell was pure grace, and I sincerely hope all three have far more success professionally than what would be garnered with recognition here. There is no less heart in the rigor of training. What Danny and Will bring to dance could not be touched by any other male dancers in either season. One would think that Will returning in the finale will remind everyone that his talent conveyed on stage is a transcendent distillation of true and pure spirit. He has earned the accolade through rigor we can’t imagine, that most assuredly surpasses hip hop.


I said early on that Will danced like someone in the Ailey company, so I was amused when some of the judges said the same thing.
Without feeling? His pas de deux brought tears to my eyes, quite literally, and his James Brown take made me want to jump and shout.
I agree that Joshua is more charismatic, but he doesn’t come close in technique. And to prefer Will over Mark (I agree, he had that one great dance and that was it) is absurd.
I think the competition will be much lesser without him.
Will and Katee were magnificently well matched, and I hope Katee is the winner at this point. On a side note, my vote for most charismatic female dancer was probably Chelsie, which is why it baffled me that her duets with Joshua were so lackluster … I had figured they were made for each other. But I think with her beauty and acting skills (and legs) that Hollywood will be colling soon.

Posted by Mikel Norwitz | Report as abusive

If this show was about who the BEST Dancer is, Will would have been the clear winner though he would have to continue to be at his best to stave off Twitch & Joshua. But this show is very much a popularity contest and there are just too many imature and inane fools out there who can’t see the small differences in talent at the top level. The judging should be left to the panel of experts for the top 10 – otherwise the US looks pretty stupid to the rest of the world.

Posted by Genesis1951 | Report as abusive

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