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S2 Winner - Benji Schwimmer: Season 2 Winner


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#301

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Posted Jun 18, 2012 @ 9:53 PM

Actually when I heard that choreography part I thought yeah that seems likely and why the choreography was more original back then. It was because the choreographers weren't trying for emmys and the contestants were reworking everything. If reworking is done now, the contestants are called out-like what happened with S7 Kent in the Disco.

And Benji's crush kind of felt like Travis but he at least implied the contestant had left so that left out Travis. But I guess he didn't want people assuming it was Travis at first.

#302

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Posted Jun 19, 2012 @ 7:05 PM

I always thought Benji was a fantastic dancer and entertainer. I hope he eventually realizes that he wasn't inferior to anyone that season. It's good to hear that he is now in a happier place in his personal life.

#303

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Posted Jun 21, 2012 @ 12:18 PM

Even though Benji was one of the dancers that hadn't come to terms with his sexuality in real life as well as repressing it on TV, it strikes me that just about all of the gay male dancers on the show inhabit that hetero role. The contestant who seems to have been the most open about her sexuality is probably Sasha, and I think there are double standards there with respect to what Nigel and company feel they can stomach (old fashioned girl on girl is hot, boys together is not). Think of all of the times they played up the duo of Mel/Sasha this past season. It's because they were awesome and IMO the two best dancers, but for some reason Sasha's homosexuality was not as threatening to the production gang. I doubt Travis and Benji would have received a similiar edit.

Nigel has been very vocal about his preference for masculine male dancers, and while I think I have always taken his point, somehow those turned into dialogues about "obviously gay" men. I imagine that would be really hard to deal with if you were in the closet surrounded by men who were openly gay, but also deemed attractive enough to appeal to rabid teenage girls (Travis got Beiber levels of devotion for being considered hot). I've always thought Benji was gay, dorky too, in fact I think he hides his insecurities behind that adorkable facade. Anyway, I'm glad he is trying to live a more honest life for himself and I'm sure as he matures he will stop letting these SYTYCD years define him so. That friggin SYTYCD chip on the shoulder that so many of the contestants carry for years afterwards, whether they win or not apparently, seems pretty burdensome.

Edited by IHeartDVR, Jun 21, 2012 @ 12:21 PM.


#304

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Posted Jun 21, 2012 @ 3:35 PM

Nigel claims he has never told any dancer not to be open about their sexuality while on the show but I don't know if I believe him. He's talked about his preference for masculinity in male dancers pretty much every season so you can't really blame any of the dancers for listening to that and taking it to heart. I also think the fact that the voting audience is so heavily female plays a part in how out these dancers are on the show as well. I can name so many of these dancers that I know are gay for a fact. They've been very open about their sexuality after the show just not while they are competing. And Benji has said that he thinks that it's at least 80% save for the hip-hop and ballroom guys. I still see a lot of delusional fangirls out there that still don't believe that the likes of Mark Kanemura, Travis Wall, Billy Bell, and Alex Wong are not straight and continue to ship them with various female dancers they see them with. I always crack up at that. I imagine Benji coming out must have blown just as many of their minds as well.

#305

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Posted Jun 22, 2012 @ 1:35 AM

Well, Travis is openly gay but it's also pretty common knowledge that Billy, Alex, and Mark are gay as well.

I also thought the same about Kent as well. I hate to "group" people but about 80% of the male jazz/contemporary dancers are gay or at least bi. It's a rash generalization, but it's true.

#306

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Posted Jun 22, 2012 @ 8:35 PM

So the crush *was* Travis and Benji was faking us out in the podcast? Or perhaps Travis is just the most recognizable name Benji could drop in the Advocate interview. Maybe there are plans for a Tranji reunion on Travis's show.

I still see a lot of delusional fangirls out there that still don't believe that the likes of Mark Kanemura, Travis Wall, Billy Bell, and Alex Wong are not straight

Hey, Danny Tidwell was married to a dude and some still wouldn't believe.

#307

musica

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Posted Jun 23, 2012 @ 7:38 AM

As a viewer, I do not really care about their sexuality(?)--but maybe I am exception not rule. I think the nature of show business is to sort of fan the flames of fantasy to a certain extent?

I did read a recent article about Alex more because I was wondering how he was doing after his injuries, and in it he say he is not gay, but maybe he do not want to admit it or do not realize it? Or maybe the nature of the business for him to live a double life? I think he want to act and sing, so maybe he is trying to be more marketable in his mind at least. I do not know about the rest of these dancers, but perhaps the reason why some fans do not believe about Alex is that he deny it himself, so it's really not the fault of his fans believing what he say.

The sad story about Benji is how he was sort of in the middle(?)--trying to be true to his faith while at the same time being true to himself. Is like he was struggling so much, and now he is starting all over again for real. And just by looking at some of this interview because for me it was too long to watch the whole thing, it is like he is trying to find his niche even among the gay community. He do not want to be perceived a certain way, and he want his life to be a certain way for example.

I guess really, this is not so much different than heterosexual community: we are all trying find our way somehow. I just think faith and church is where some of us see solace and answers. And to me for somebody like Benji where his faith is so important.. it is just sad irony it was his faith in his church that was also causing him so much distress.

Edited by musica, Jun 23, 2012 @ 7:51 AM.


#308

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Posted Jun 24, 2012 @ 2:20 PM

I'm just now getting the time to watch all the vids and things, and I haven't been able to pull myself away all afternoon. Thanks, mquincy, for the supplemental OUT interview link.

During their season, I was a Travis fan all the way, but never did I "hate" Benji. He had way too much it-factor and he danced with pure heart and joy. One of my favorite memories of that season was the mostly-forgotten "Just Jazz" piece Benji did with Natalie on Top 10 week. Even Brian Friedman was complimenting Benji out the wazzoo for his improved techinque after that performance too.

#309

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 1:11 PM

Was Mia the choreographer he worked with at the Edge?


From his description of her style it was pretty obviously Sonya.

#310

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 2:23 PM

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I have no doubt that it was the contemporary people who didn't care for him. The Travis clique especially. I remember Travis' best-friend Nick Lazzarini being really nasty about the Schwimmers on his Myspace page around that time. And Travis doesn't seem to have much respect for anybody who isn't in his genre and/or isn't a close friend of his in some way. Benji was his direct rival that season right up until the finale, which he lost. Then his brother and friend Jaime were competing against Benji's sister the following year so it wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that Travis and his clique were doing any of that shit at the time.


I have no problem believing that Travis was the ring leader in the group being nasty to Benji. I have been saying this for awhile, but Travis and Nick are very cliquish and alienating if you're not in their special group of Contemporary friends. Travis has made cloudy statements for years that I have always felt were aimed towards Benji. Don't get me started on Nick. Ugh. He's a legend in his own mind. He has such a nasty character. I can only imagine what their reality show will further reveal about these two and if the camera will catch them shit talking people.

I'm proud that Benji finally came out and was able to feel supported by his family. I never bought his girl crush meme that he would do on the show. I think this show and other reality competitive shows that rely on voting, make gay individuals feel the need to keep closeted. Teenage girls love shipping them with other contestants, so that they can feel like it's them. Although, you now have the new breed of females that are in denial about these men being gay and will still ship them anyway! I hate labeling the dance world, but I've known so many males that are gay. Especially, in the contemporary/ballet field. I don't think it matters when they're dancing. Benji did a hell of a job partnering with Donyelle and creating a chemistry. Mark oozes chemistry with females when he dances with them as well. Chemistry isn't always sexual. It's about connecting with your partner on some level for that minute and half and making it believable. I thought Benji did an excellent job of doing just that.

#311

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 2:41 PM

I have no problem believing that Travis was the ring leader in the group being nasty to Benji. I have been saying this for awhile, but Travis and Nick are very cliquish and alienating if you're not in their special group of Contemporary friends. Travis has made cloudy statements for years that I have always felt were aimed towards Benji. Don't get me started on Nick. Ugh. He's a legend in his own mind. He has such a nasty character. I can only imagine what their reality show will further reveal about these two and if the camera will catch them shit talking people.


I think a lot of the tension between the Travis clique (and I also found Nick to be the nastiest and most vocal) and the Schwimmers was defused by Lacey. I don't know if people will recall, but a lot of the negativity directed at Benji was inherited by Lacey, but she actually became friends with Danny during her season and later on Travis and Nick. When Nick was interviewed by one of the dance websites a couple of years ago, we asked about the feud and Nick said it was fueled by what friends of Travis and Danny had perceived to be the "campaigning" for the Schwimmers that went on during their runs. He claimed he no longer had a problem with them and said he and Lacey were friends. Not sure if all that still stands as it was a while ago, but at some point the hatchet was buried.

I have no doubt that being outside of the Travis clique has to be an uncomfortable place to be. Ivan got his fair share of derision for whatever happened that broke up his friendship with Travis. At this point, Travis is basically the Taylor Swift of SYTYCD; Benji was the Jonas brother, Ivan was John Mayer, and so on and so forth.

#312

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 5:11 PM

When Nick was interviewed by one of the dance websites a couple of years ago, we asked about the feud and Nick said it was fueled by what friends of Travis and Danny had perceived to be the "campaigning" for the Schwimmers that went on during their runs.


Oh the irony! Campaigning on Benji's behalf is what he claims caused the turmoil? Like the campaigning Travis, Nick and their circle did for Melanie last season? Jacob in season 6? Btw, Melanie used to be an assistant for Nick. They're so hypocritical. Now this season we'll have to endure them campaigning for Alexa as well, I'm betting. I'm glad Lacey was the bigger person and diffused an ugly situation. Too bad Travis and company didn't learn from it.

#313

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Posted Jul 6, 2012 @ 5:26 PM

Oh the irony! Campaigning on Benji's behalf is what he claims caused the turmoil? Like the campaigning Travis, Nick and their circle did for Melanie last season?

Nick is definitely a hypocrite and full of shit where that is concerned. I don't remember the Schwimmers or anyone associated with them bashing contestants during or after their runs. Nick and his friends are the ones who made that whole rivalry nasty and they've continued to be classless after the fact. This is why I have no problem believing that it was Travis and/or friends who gave Benji such a hard time on tour. One of the things that has always annoyed me about Nick and Travis is that they are such nepotists and not the least bit discreet about it. I know a lot of dancers/choreographers play favorites but they take it to a whole other level. Travis hires his friends and only his friends for every one of his big dance projects. I just read that interview he did for his new show where he talks about the fact that he held open auditions for his company, hundreds of dancers came out and he boasted that he knew he was just going to hire his friends anyway. WTF? Why would you waste all those dancers time if you already knew you were going to hire the same damn people you've been working with for years anyway. It annoys me to no end that he's the big breakout star of this show and not the Benji's or Janette's or Ellenore's whose choreography is far better anyway.

#314

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Posted Jul 7, 2012 @ 1:24 PM

Benji's mom was very active online during seasons 2 & 3, campaigning not only for her own offspring but also vociferously against the Wall/Tidwell gang. She also had some really unpleasant things to say about Sabra's win.

#315

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Posted Jul 9, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Benji's mom was very active online during seasons 2 & 3, campaigning not only for her own offspring but also vociferously against the Wall/Tidwell gang. She also had some really unpleasant things to say about Sabra's win.


I never really followed the online campaigning much in Season 2, but in Season 3 I saw a lot of the pro Lacey stuff from Benji's mom. It was mostly pumping Lacey up and very specific to her participation on the show, definitely overly obsessive and very dance mom-ish.

The tone changed some when the Travis clique chimed in because they felt the Schwimmers would steamroll Danny Tidwell with plenty of help from production since they were still stinging from Travis' loss. What sticks out in my mind was a post from Nick that he eventually removed likely due to the backlash from fans of the show. It not only excoriated Lacey (he suggested she was a great "performer" in the tawdry sense of the word), but also took the show to task for seemingly prefering Lauren Gottlieb over Jaimie Goodwin. It made both camps look like a gang of hissing cats, but really made Nick look like a tool for criticizing the Schwimmers and then launching a much more malicious attack against them and other contestants that season. Because I saw that post with my own eyes, I believe everything Benji says about the cattiness and backstage shenanigans. I'm sure the Schwimmers aren't innocent, they are after all overzealous with verbal diahrrea, but I'm sure Benji was not the most popular guy behind the scenes.

#316

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Posted Jul 9, 2012 @ 3:45 PM

It's hard for me to take as a serious issue a mom campaigning for her children. Yes, her writing came across like a 12 year old's and she was obnoxious, but she was still a mom rooting for her children. I'd like to believe everyone involved can ignore parents believing their kids are the best ever and no one else holds a candle to them.

However, I don't think friends and dancers have the same excuse--especially someone like Nick who'd been through the show himself. There was just no excuse for the immaturity of his vitriol.

On the other hand, I was very impressed by Benji's ability to be objective in his commentary on the show. When Lacey and Kameron had their horrible Dan Karaty hip hop, he said that they should be in the bottom three. Lacey didn't even dance poorly--she danced the heck out of the crap she was given. But Benji was fair about it. I also don't recall Benji denying Danny's excellence.

#317

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Posted Jul 12, 2012 @ 11:19 PM

I have no problem believing that Travis was the ring leader in the group being nasty to Benji. I have been saying this for awhile, but Travis and Nick are very cliquish and alienating if you're not in their special group of Contemporary friends.


There is no objective voice about what happened back then. And considering whatever went down was mainly among a group of teenagers or very young adults in a high pressure, very heady atmosphere, I'm sure they all had some bad moments. It doesn't necessarily reflect on who they were, or especially who they are today. But I doubt Travis was all that vicious if, as Benji claims, Benji was crushing on him.

And yes, I do hold it against parents who think their darlings are the best and nobody else counts. It's a revolting attitude and it's truly pathetic to be launching silly public campaigns. I would be more inclined to cut someone slack based on age, like Nick. Not that he wasn't a twit, but that he didn't know better at the time. A middle-aged person should have acquired some sense and decorum.

#318

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Posted Jul 14, 2012 @ 2:55 PM

I didn't know about Nick's anti Benji posts and I'm glad that I didn't as it would have spoiled the experience. To this day season 2 is still my favorite but it is sad to hear of all the nastiness in the background. Good for Benji for coming out but he has a long road ahead and it's sad when anyone has that much self hatred. It's going to take years for him go get rid of all the baggage that he has and I wish him well.

#319

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Posted Sep 13, 2012 @ 1:50 AM

But I doubt Travis was all that vicious if, as Benji claims, Benji was crushing on him.

Even just in general, sadly the one does not preclude the other. People can have crushes on people who are actively not nice to them. Much less someone who might have a lot of self-hatred for having a crush on a guy. So not saying that it's definitive that Travis was part of the clique that were asshats to Benji, just that I don't think that Benji having admitted to crushing on Travis, precludes it happening.

Edited by WedgeOfSpite, Sep 13, 2012 @ 1:52 AM.


#320

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Posted Oct 11, 2012 @ 2:07 AM

Travis's response in an interview when asked about Benji's coming out a few months ago. Anyway, seems like they're nominally in touch with each other, if Travis really did text him.

What did you think of Benji Schwimmer, fellow contestant on the first season of So You Think You Can Dance, coming out recently? When I heard, I texted him right away to say, Im so proud of you. Hes coming out of a church; I never had to deal with any of that. To take that step to come out and not only that, but speak about what his church says about it Im so proud of him, because its about time he did it, and I wanted him to do it for so long. I think if everyone came out of the closet these days, the world would be so much better.

Did you know he was gay when you were competing against each other? I mean, come on! You know when you know. I knew on the show, and we briefly touched on it while we were on tour.



#321

kiches

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Posted Feb 16, 2013 @ 8:40 PM

I went to see Wicked last week in San Francisco and in my program I noticed Ben Susak was playing Chistery!

#322

geej

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 1:37 AM

not sure where else to post this, but i noticed that Mandy Moore is the chorreographer for the (great) movie Silver Lining. I kept trying to see if any of the other dancers might have come from SYTYCD. anyone notice?