Entertainment behind the scenes
Mia Michaels gets claws out on “So You Think You Can Dance”
Ballet dancer Alex Wong’s surprising hip-hop routine with all-star tWitch may have brought the house down on Wednesday’s episode of “So You Think You Can Dance”, but it was judge Mia Michaels’ sharp tongue that had fans talking the day after.
Michaels, the outspoken Emmy-winning choreographer on the panel, gave tap dancer Melinda Sullivan a dressing down that included cutting remarks over her pigeon toes and lack of fluidity in her salsa routine. But the lowest blow came when Michaels told the 22-year old tapper that the panel should have sent her home last week.
“We made a mistake letting Cristina go”, Michaels told her, referring to ballroom dancer Cristina Santana, who the judges chose to send home last week while keeping Sullivan. And Adam Shankman agreed.
Fans on the “SYTYCD” official website were outraged. “SHAME ON THEM” said one writer on a busy thread on www.dance.community.fox.com. “To tell a dancer that they made a mistake last week in not getting rid of her is absolutely unconscionable….Constructive criticism is one thing, but this was just plain mean.”
“I am an adamant fan of the show and have never seen the judges be so cruel, catty, and unprofessional”, said another writer. Others called on Michaels and producer Nigel Lythgoe to make a public apology.
“It felt like Mia Michaels just couldn’t stop herself from saying it, and she should have, no matter how true it was,” commented Salon.com blogger Christine Mathias.
Sullivan got high marks for taking the verbal attack on live national television with stoicism. But will she win enough public sympathy to stay out of the bottom three, and almost certain elimination on Thursday?
Simon Cowell ushered in a refreshing new era of honesty mixed with biting sarcasm in his time on “American Idol”. But where should the line be drawn between public humiliation and criticism on talent shows like “American Idol”, “America’s Got Talent” and “So You Think You Can Dance”?