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Dancing on the Grassy Knoll


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#1

GoodThings

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 10:39 AM

Here's a place for all of the conspiracy theorists to set up shop. If you think the producers manipulate the partners, dances, and results - you'll love it here.

So, I guess the first topic is: Ricky. Discuss....
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#2

Fuzzymuffin

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 10:41 AM

I think the pairing, costuming and lighting were a device by TPTB to make sure he and Ashlee were the ones going home.
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#3

MarkC99

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 11:48 AM

The lighting and costuming for almost everyone was terrible, but the pairing was definitely questionable.

With a few exceptions, almost all the pairings this season seem to be about making viewers think the female is propping up the male. They made this very clear with what they said to Kameron, Neil, and also by having Danny dance a jive with Anya.

Lauren is a nauseatingly blatant TCO, so much so that I'm hoping she's a decoy.
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#4

knitting girl

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 11:54 AM

I feel like the producres wanted to eliminate a pair, any pair, so the other couples could have another week to connect. Ashlee was by far the worst in her solo among the women, so Ricky got hosed. I didn't particularly care for him, but he really got the short end of the stick here, imo.
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#5

souja

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 12:17 PM

Nigel had better stop pushing Lauren or he's going to have another Jordin Sparks on his hands.
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#6

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 1:17 PM

Maybe Nigel learned his lesson last season when his chosen one, Allison, didn't make the top 4. My theory is that he has chosen Lauren to be his decoy and his true chosen one is someone else.

I personally think Jessi is the real chosen one, as she was the girl given the only guy with partner experience. If she and Pasha keep pulling partner dances from the rigged hat of doom, then I'll really believe she's the true chosen one.
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#7

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 1:55 PM

Since a contemporary dancer won season 1 and a ballroom dancer season 2, I figure they'd like a hip hop dancer to win this year. And a girl, of course. That means Lauren, Jessi, and Sara are the chosen stock, so to speak. I have a feeling they want Sara to win. Nigel already tipped his hat to her ability to pick up three different types of choreography in the Wade Robson routine, complimenting her for being a b-girl in the top 20 not just well-versed in her own style. The show's also downplayed her training in other styles (although I'm not sure how extensive they actually are.)

It's a much more subtle compliment than the one he gave to Lauren, which will surely backfire on her. People who didn't like Allison last year will be wary of her, and Allison's fans, like me, seem to be giving responses of the "Hell no" variety.
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#8

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 1:58 PM

I DO NOT understand the Lauren adulation. Yes, she's a great dancer, but she isn't an Allison. Allison nailed every dance style. Lauren hasn't.
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#9

Mmm... Free Goo

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 2:00 PM

I agree that Sara might be the chosen one. They definitely want both female and hip-hop/breaking representation in the winner's circle. While Lauren and Jessi do hip-hop, on this show at least they've been promoted more as contemporary dancers judging by the auditions/solos they've done, while they highlight the b-girl aspect with Sara. It may be just because I like her so much, but I think she could be like a dance equavilent of Kelly Clarkson circa season 1 of American Idol. She does what she does well, she's pretty but seems down to earth and not as "threatening" and not very focused on being 'sexy' as much that seems to hurt some women in the votes. Plus, they gave her that awesome Wade Robson routine that they probably knew would be a showstopper.

Edited by Mmm... Free Goo, Jun 15, 2007 @ 2:01 PM.

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#10

souja

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 2:02 PM

Very true. Pimping someone early usually sets them up to fall somewhere mid-season.

On Jessi, she's a great performer, but very limited IMO. I just don't think she has the goods to win it all, regardless of the pimping and propping she might receive. Plus, her age is going to factor in her voting numbers in the upcoming weeks.

Another possible TCO scenario could involve Jaimie. They've been suspiciously flying her under the radar so far. Like Travis last year, they could be setting her up for a strong finish by getting her weaker areas (hip-hop, ballroom) out of the way first and saving some killer Wade and Mia routines for her near the end. Although Travis didn't quite win it all, he did make up some serious ground on the unexpected runaway Benji train. Nigel said the final votes were very close and I believe if the season had gone just one week longer, Travis would have overtaken Benji and won.
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#11

Hyper Critical

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 5:09 PM

Nigel said the final votes were very close

He did? Color me all kinds of surprised.

I think they can only do so much to try to steer this competition, because it's heavily favored for a guy to win every.single.time. Seems to me it's just the way it always is with dance.
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#12

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 5:58 PM

Ricky was sent home because his partner's solo dance stunk. Pure and simple.

Also, Ricky is a better dancer than Neil (who's dancing with Lauren, the woman I hope is the fake "chosen one" as I can't stand her) and may be just as good a dancer as Danny in his own style.

I still think they should have eliminated D'trix instead and repartnered Ricky, _or_ they should have not eliminated anyone for three weeks, then sent three couples home at once.

Then we'd have a far better idea of who is doing what, and could've avoided sending Ricky home. (Last year, Erin and Stanislav both got hosed in the first round. You'd think the producers would know better, but perhaps they do this just to manufacture tension.)
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#13

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 6:01 PM

Plus, her age is going to factor in her voting numbers in the upcoming weeks.

Huh? Isn't she only 25? Heidi was 24 and Donyelle 26 and they made top 4.
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#14

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 6:06 PM

There have been two instances that I have heard about where people from the top 4 discounted the "close vote" theory-at least in how we imagined it. You know how they never ranked people-like heidi you are a third runner up? It's cause Donyelle was the first runner up and Travis was second runner up. And that they were behind by a long shot from Benji. Now this may sound hard to believe, but it makes sense.

Donyelle never was in the bottom two. Travis had been a couple of times.

Notice how in the top 6 week of elimination, they would NOT reveal the order of people who were safe or not. They did that again with finals.

The reason could be that the season was clearly being polarized into a "performer" vs. "technician" contest viewers wise and both sides were passionate. And to keep both sides happy, they set up a fake "showdown" between travis and benji, the personifications of both sides-if you watch the editing and how they presented things with the top 10 on, they definitely(tptb) presented a image of travis gradually gaining steam and making him seem like a real contender.

It makes sense-benji was a polarizing front runner. Travis was a perfect foil. A Benjelle top 2 could have been just overkill and really alienated the techie demographic. So, I actually believe this, even though during the season I really thought Travis could possibly take this too....and it worked-look how many votes they got in at the end....like 16 million or something crazy....Benji really was completely dominating the show, they needed to give him a worthy opponent, even if they somewhat manufactured the whole situation. DOnyelle wouldn't have cut the mustard, especially with their partnership.

Edited by halojones79, Jun 15, 2007 @ 6:13 PM.

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#15

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 6:42 PM

I definitely agree with that it would seem odd that Donyelle who had just as many rabid fans (I being one of those who dialed 1 hr for each on two phones as the season was ending. did not vote in final 40) as Benji would be third. they definitely needed a bigger climax than benjelle and sense they knew Benji was ahead by a lot they started promoting Travis for the pros and downing Donyelle for the same reason. It just got unusual how they quickly turned on her. I am positive that she was always #2 behind Benji in votes since the individual voting started. they mentioned top six was in no particular order, but never said so or anything in top 4.
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#16

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 7:28 PM

There have been two instances that I have heard about where people from the top 4 discounted the "close vote" theory-at least in how we imagined it. You know how they never ranked people-like heidi you are a third runner up? It's cause Donyelle was the first runner up and Travis was second runner up. And that they were behind by a long shot from Benji. Now this may sound hard to believe, but it makes sense.


Last year DialIdol had Travis and Benji very close with a sizable gap between them and Donyelle and then Heidi was close behind her. DialIdol is completely independent from Fox and has no reason to alter their results. They have never been wrong on a finale. I am not a DialIdol fanatic, but I do think that their predictions can be interesting.

This is not really the thread for me though. I don't believe in the concept of The Chosen One. I think the judges just have opinions like everybody else and they honestly evaluate each dancer according to their tastes. I believe the disclaimer at the end of the show in that dances are randomly assigned. So ,yes, the hat is for TV purposes (although I think they seemed to have dropped that from the show), but at some point off camera, dance style are randomly drawn or given to the dancers. I believe that pairings are chosen for a variety of reasons that serve no agenda besides what will make for good television and good dancing. The pairings are not designed to favor or to hurt any particular dancer.

Whew. Glad to have that off my chest. This is probably my first and last post in the Grassy Knoll.
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#17

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 7:32 PM

I think it's fun to speculate, but that it's far less likely that TPTB are doing as many machinations on this show than on American Idol. On AI, they have to sign the winner to a record label and make money off them, so they're very adamant about picking the person they think will sell the most and depimping anyone who they consider 'unmarketable'. With SYTYCD, after the finale their hands are clean, so it's not as big of a deal. As long as the winners have at least a base level of talent, and preferably a variety of dance specialties to keep people interested in watching or auditioning, it's ok.
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#18

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 7:59 PM

I totally understand, I do know the chain of communication though for one of these instances goes from someone I know directly to a top 4 person who answered this question. So, that's why I believe this take-you don't know me from heck though so I don't blame you-ha!

As for chosen ones-there are no chosen ones. This is a business to me, and that will always be the underlying motivation for anything -whatever works ratings wise and public appeal wise will be the "chosen" thing. And that can change from hour to hour. They are trying to create and maintain a successful show. Whatever that is, is what Nigel will hawk in the end. I don't think what went down in season 2 for instance is anything personal-it's about business.
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#19

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 9:17 PM

>>Nigel said the final votes were very close<<

He did? Color me all kinds of surprised.


IIRC, even Dialidol.com called Benji 1st, but Travis 1st/2nd. So yeah it was no surprise to me Benji won, but it wasn't a landslide. Donyelle was clearly in 3rd according to that site, so unless the site is rigged by Fox, which I'm certainly open to considering....

I don't for one minute believe those dances are randomly picked, not since S1 anyway.

On to the Ricky catastrophe: Since Mia liked both Ricky and Ashlee so much, is it possible that she secretly offered them some kind of contract to work with her, and then set up some sort of deal with the other jidges to save another lyrical dancer down the road? Danny perhaps?

I'm plagued by conspiracy theories everywhere I look in life, but my theories themselves are often plagued with holes. Teehee.

Edited by WelcomeStranger, Jun 15, 2007 @ 9:22 PM.

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#20

MarkC99

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 9:48 PM

I definitely agree with that it would seem odd that Donyelle who had just as many rabid fans


She had rabid fans because of her partnership with Benji. When she was away from him, and when she was so hobbled by injuries, I wasn't surprised that she started to lose support. Travis was only in the bottom a few times, and had a very good run those last few weeks.

On to the Ricky catastrophe:


I know some people think there was some conspiracy against Ricky, that they had to get rid of him because he would have been such a threat, but I think that's more hypothetical than based on anything he ever brought to the competition. I think the judges were never overly fond of him (aside from Mia) and since they prefer the hip-hoppers this season, and they weren't impressed by Ricky's solo, they decided to get rid of him. They can get rid of the other two guys soon enough.
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#21

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 9:53 PM

Wow! My first post and it's to disagree. *Sigh* Humble beginnings? I think not. Hi Mark! How are you? I strongly disagree Donyelle had fans just because she was with Benji. Many actually liked her from her audition, like I did. I stayed with her until the end, despite the toe injury. I enjoyed her because she was a good dancer and she was very entertaining and it wasn't because of Benji. If anything I like Benji because of Donyelle. I even voted for her a few times and I live in the Bahamas.
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#22

Fuzzymuffin

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 11:03 PM

I've read a couple of opinions that the reason Nigel reacted the way he did to some of the male dancers was rampant homophobia. Is there any conspiracy to hide the sexual orientation of dancers, to eliminate any that would agree to hiding their preference for the same sex. Or, is the homophobia limited to getting rid of "effeminate" dancers during auditions?
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#23

4GED

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Posted Jun 15, 2007 @ 11:18 PM

She had rabid fans because of her partnership with Benji. When she was away from him, and when she was so hobbled by injuries, I wasn't surprised that she started to lose support. Travis was only in the bottom a few times, and had a very good run those last few weeks.



I have to dissagre with you on that, this is comming from someone who loved benji as a result of Donyelle because he was my least fave dancer going into top 20. Donyelle many fans if not she would have been gone in top 10, 8, 6 she remained till the end. many fans of hers either did not vote for benji in final four or voted for him because they were sure travis was going to be to close in vote to Benji. look at the survival game on this board and see how many people on here preffered her to Benji. I know it only represents a small portion of the voters but, If her fans were leaving her she would not have made it that far. many people say allison saved Ivan in terms of votes but umm did he not stay longer than her? I still believe most of their pre 10 votes came fromhis voting block. And beside it was said that the person who said Donyelle had the second most votes was Benji, something he found out from people working on the show after his win when he was being swept off to NY.
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#24

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 12:05 AM

Wow! My first post and it's to disagree. *Sigh* Humble beginnings? I think not. Hi Mark! How are you? I strongly disagree Donyelle had fans just because she was with Benji.


I didn't say she had no fans until Benji. I said she didn't have rabid fans. I know she had fans, but I didn't notice the huge interest in her until after the Benji pairing. The same is probably true for Benji, he didn't become the big name until after their pairing. He didn't have the same physical decline she had, and men always seem to get more votes than women on this show, which meant he could win. I do think a lot of Benji fans kept voting for her after the partners split up, because they knew Benji wasn't in danger. Meanwhile, Martha had few fans, Allison had a relatively small fan base, and Natalie was so badly injured and so guilt-ridden about staying longer than Allison - not surprised they all left before Donyelle.

look at the survival game on this board and see how many people on here preffered her to Benji.


If the survival game is accurate, then Artem should have won the first season.

I've read a couple of opinions that the reason Nigel reacted the way he did to some of the male dancers was rampant homophobia. Is there any conspiracy to hide the sexual orientation of dancers, to eliminate any that would agree to hiding their preference for the same sex.


There have been rumors about several male dancers (Travis, Blake, Nick), and of those three, only Nick has come out since the show ended. The others have kept quiet. Nigel also kept a gay singer on American Idol (Jim Verraros) from coming out during his season.
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#25

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 12:29 AM

There have been rumors about several male dancers (Travis, Blake, Nick), and of those three, only Nick has come out since the show ended. The others have kept quiet. Nigel also kept a gay singer on American Idol (Jim Verraros) from coming out during his season.


There are also rumors that Nigel was dead set against Clay Aiken winning American Idol despite his being far ahead in votes most of the season because he believed that he was gay. Though IMO that kind of thing is even dumber in this show, because while unfortunately there are people out there that won't support a gay singer, I don't think anybody in the dance world wouldn't be accepting.
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#26

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 1:41 AM

Though IMO that kind of thing is even dumber in this show, because while unfortunately there are people out there that won't support a gay singer, I don't think anybody in the dance world wouldn't be accepting.


Some of the decisions to stay closeted during and after the show may come from aspirations of fame outside of the dance world. For why they stay closeted while on the show, aside from the idea that women won't vote for men who are gay (which many people think is an absolute), the other is probably Nigel's own fear of the gay label. He danced for years and he probably had to deal with people who assumed he was gay. He's probably very worried about making sure people don't see the dance world (and his part in it) as gay. That's part of why this show is so downright uncomfortable with any hint of effeminacy in men.
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#27

souja

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 3:50 AM

Plus, her age is going to factor in her voting numbers in the upcoming weeks.

Huh? Isn't she only 25? Heidi was 24 and Donyelle 26 and they made top 4.

Ok, I take that back! Statement redacted!
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#28

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 4:32 AM

Is there any conspiracy to hide the sexual orientation of dancers, to eliminate any that would agree to hiding their preference for the same sex.


I don't know if it's a conspiracy, exactly, but I sense a definate bias toward hetero- men (or at least good fakers). I don't claim to know the sexual orientation of all (or any, really) the dancers, but when you get judges literally chastising male dancers to be more "into" their female partners it's seems obvious they want straight dancers.

The chemistry thing seems like a huge excuse to me. I think chemistry has very little to do with actual sexual attraction to your partner, and more with performance, and skilled interpretation of the choreography. Danny and Anya oozed chemistry, even though Danny gives off a gay (but not effeminate) vibe IMO. I saw very little chemistry between Pasha and Jessi, but the judges didn't mention it because Pasha is overtly masculine. The judges only mention "chemistry" or lack-there-of when a male dancer is coming off a little gay.

It might not be homophobia, because it's true that a major component of the show's demographic is young girls who tend to vote for the dreamiest guy, not neccessarily the best dancer:) I just feel like it could be handled a lot better, if it needs to be addressed at all. It would be nice for a mainstream show like this one to acknowledge that there are real live gay people in the world, and they're not weird or scary or whatever. Also, that it's not the most awful thing in the whole wide world to be mistaken for gay when you are, in fact, straight (Nigel, I'm looking at you).
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#29

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 6:26 AM

I definitely think Nigel has his favorites and tries to help them out in subtle ways. Why is it there are 4 hiphop/breaker type people this year: Dominic, Cedric, Hok and Sara, when in previous years there have only been 1 or 2? Nigel knows that fans love to see hip hop dancing. He wants to keep hip hop dancers as long as possible for ratings, both because people like to see their tricks and because he can use the underdog storyline with them. However, these dancers tend to be one-dimensional, so he has to try to help them along with giving them a good partner, or making sure they draw a Shane Sparks routine that week. I just think it's more than a coincidence that Hok and Cedric got hip hop, Sara got "pop jazz" which isn't hip hop but is more her style than ballroom or lyrical, and Dominic got disco (can't help everyone or that will look too suspicious).

At the same time, Nigel is still a dance purist and ultimately wants a lyrical or ballroom person to win the show. Hence, cutting Musa just before America starts voting directly.

I just don't know the justification for pairing Ricky with Ashlee in the first place. I don't think that height difference can be overcome, especially when they are doing a dance where they are close together most of the time. If THEY had drawn hip hop, the height difference wouldn't have seemed as extreme. Ashlee could have been paired with Danny, who is tall (I think, though my only benchmark is what they look like standing next to Cat Deeley. LOL). And then Anya could have been paired with Ricky. Or did they come to this pairing because they paired everyone else first and they were the only ones left over? Or maybe Nigel decided, "well here are Mia's favorites so let's put them together and they'll fail eventually and I can rid of her two pets at the same time (maybe not week 1 but in the early weeks). <cue evil Mr. Burns laugh>"

For those wondering about the need for the knoll thread, I am remembering there was controversy when Nick won. I can't really remember the specifics, only that I really didn't think Nick was as good as some of the other dancers and I didn't think he was that popular. I think there is plenty to talk about, just with partner assignments, dance assignments, performance order, and judges comments influencing the vote.
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#30

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Posted Jun 16, 2007 @ 8:27 AM

Good post, tinangel:

It might not be homophobia, because it's true that a major component of the show's demographic is young girls who tend to vote for the dreamiest guy, not necessarily the best dancer:)

I'd have to add that there are supposedly significant numbers of male viewers who vote for the "hottest" girl, not necessarily the best dancer, too! But I wanted to pick up on your hesitancy to use the term homophobia in this context. Some people use the term heterosexist which speaks to the way that heterosexuality is argued to be the best identity/normal sexual orientation, rather than directly saying that being homosexual or bisexual or any other sexual orientation is wrong. Which, of course, heterosexism does by default; for most of us, however, it is a much more subtle approach to how bias operates and it's both harder to understand the consequences of a positive, "in favor of" argument, rather than a negative, "I'm against this" argument and easier to believe that we are actually being bias-free.

I also think this explains how someone can be LGBT and still be heterosexist: being a dancer who is gay (and very happy, comfortable, and out with that identity), for example, and still feeling strongly that one must collude with the idea that the chemistry they have with their partners is/should be based on the level of sexual attraction that they have towards them--rather than the erotic high that comes from dancing with someone that you are in sync with. Allowing people to believe you are straight both on and off the dance floor; agreeing to portray "masculinity" if you are male or "femininity" if you are female; implying that you are sexually attracted to your dance partner; all of these strategies work--because we viewers like to fantasize ourselves into the dancers arms, and because it's what (most) dancers have always done to get steady work in this industry.

(I should say though, that homoeroticism can be at work, too, and performers that are comfortable with allowing their performing bodies to be used by straight, gay, or queer viewers all at once can have an edge! But us gay folk are used to having healthy fantasies about our dancers regardless of someone's actual or perceived sexual orientation--such is the legacy of living in a heterosexist, homophobic society...)

For me, that was what bothered me about Nigel's comments about Neil and his dance partner. I don't know the sexual orientation of the dancers, either, but it irked me that Neil was asked to find sexual interest in his partner as a way to find "chemistry" as if that heterosexual interest would do the trick. As frustrating as Nigel (and other judges as well) can be around this issue, I also know that many of us buy into these ideas about gender and sexuality as we watch the majority of the audiences support heterosexism by votes or argue that that's what they need to do do to get a job or make suggestions about "chemistry" or even by 'shipping contestants.

I don't buy into this being a conspiracy theory, though, or even, really, a conscious push on Nigel's part to reward straight dancers/partnerships. I think heterosexism is the way that so many of us operate in our everyday lives and social spaces and workplaces and faith communities that the message that straight is better just seems "normal". I also don't think the judges particularly care what these dancers are doing in their personal sex lives--they just want straight performances from them while they're on the SYTYCD stage. In fact, I sometimes think that the judges make these comments as part of their attempts to train young dancers in what they will need to move forward in their careers; they see this as friendly advice (although, of course, not always given in a friendly way).

As someone who works in media and education, among other things, I think it is possible to do this differently, and still be successful as a television spectacle--but you have to be very very conscious of what you do and say, and really, set some different visions of our society as your goal.

Edited by moonmarked, Jun 16, 2007 @ 8:38 AM.

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