Friday, September 18, 2009

"So You Think You Can Dance" Tries Going Gay Again... And Does MUCH Better. Willem de Vries & Jacob Jason: "There's A World Of Same-Sex Dancers!"

So in this week's audition episode, same sex ballroom dance couple Jacob Jason and Willem de Vries auditioned for Mia Michaels, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe.

The camera spent arguably more time on the judges than it did in showing the emotional and smouldering audition dance, but that was okay - Nigel and Mary and Mia were frozen in place, careful not to squirm, or roll their eyes, or make ANY offensive gesture or remark.

And that's good. They're in the spotlight, and they know it. "So You Think You Can Dance" is a big show, with a lot of people watching, and Nigel and Mary (and the other judge - I think it was Mia - they pulled the video from youtube) didn't do themselves or the show any favors last season (just this summer) when they fidgeted and rolled their eyes during a two guy couple audition, and Nigel told the guys that he thought seeing them dance together would "probably alienate" a lot of the show's viewers.

This time round, Nigel said:

"Thank you for showing me that same-sex ballroom dancing can be very strong and very good."

Mia even teared up, complimenting their courage. And Mary said nice things as well.

For a show that's arguably one of the gayest things on TV (Adam Shankman as a judge, Ellen DeGeneres as a guest judge last season, all those GLBTQ choreographers and dancers and the audience... Hello!) it's nice to see they're being more respectful.

Sure, they had to get brow-beaten for their homophobia first, but they learned that it's not cool to put down us Gays.

And yes, that is progress.

Sweetest moment? The other auditioners in the theater, cheering for Jacob and Willem when they finished their routine.

"So You Think You Can Dance: Season 6" - They've got me back as a fan.

And both Jacob and Willem made it through choreography to Las Vegas - we'll be watching and cheering them on! (And, just so the judges know - we'll be watching them, too.)


PS- The photo is from this Reuters article.


Jill Murray said...

That's good to hear. It makes ME squirm every time they tell a guy he's not dancing "manly" enough, and that you have to dance like a MAN, etc... as if everyone is supposed to agree on the one set of traits that all men are meant to embody- aggressively promoting binary gender definitions, essentially. That's not helping anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, but I do think it's rooted in homophobia, and I find it outrageous that they can get away with it so blatantly on network TV, just because they're ostensibly trying to popularize "good" dance for a largely non-dancing audience. I stopped watching, but maybe I'll give it another chance if they're going to cut that out.

Sara W.E. said...

It's so frustrating when celebrities behave BADLY on tv... and they do it so often! So I'm incredibly glad to read your post. And even gladder to know that we as an audience can inform the 'standards' of what we watch.