“To a Daisy of a Mom”: Elizabeth’s thank-you-for-letting-me-be-in-show-biz card to her mother
Elizabeth nails her Big Idea interview, despite being forced to sit through the “THRUST IT!” scene from Showgirls and a giant-hair-bow clips from Saved By the Bell. She talks about surviving her hideously difficult experience and sticks up for Showgirls, which she admits was “public humiliation on a national level”–but which she defends as one of MGM’s top-20-grossing films of all time.
Check out AfterElton’s revealing interview with Nigel. Michael Jensen, the interviewer, didn’t hold back:
AfterElton.com: What’s your response to the criticism that neither American Idol nor So You Think You Can Dance has ever included any out gay contestants?
Nigel Lythgoe: You mean homosexual guys who have come out? We’ve never thought about it, to be honest. I don’t actually go around and say, “Excuse me are you gay or are you straight?” It isn’t a question that we ask.
AE But it would come up.
NL: No it wouldn’t. I’m never worried if anybody’s gay. What I don’t like on the dance show, to be frank, is effeminate boys that mince around the stage. I don’t care if they’re gay or straight. That’s got nothing to do with it for me.
AE: Why don’t you like the effeminate [dancers]?
NL: Because they need to be very strong. . . You need to look stronger than the girl you’re dancing with. . .So if you mince about the stage, you’re not doing what the choreographer is asking you to do.
Michael Jensen’s take: “[D]espite Nigel’s belief that a contestant’s sexuality doesn’t come up on his shows, us gay folks know that of course it comes up all the time. It’s just that with straight people, they don’t realize they are doing it. It’s called heterosexual privilege and any time we point it out, we’re being ‘difficult’ and ‘politically correct.'”
Jensen is right, of course, but SYTYCD strenuously avoids telling us about the personal lives of its contestants. What’s more irritating, to me, is Nigel’s anti-effeminate stance, which smacks of deeply entrenched homophobia.
Nigel is licking his chops, waiting for Comfort to wind up in the Bottom 3. From an interview in the LA Times: “I think Comfort has been very dull in the last couple of weeks. It could be her injury. I don’t know what it is, but very dull. And tonight was just a few ripples. Didn’t really dance.”
Nancy’s behavior last week was abominable. Leaving aside the issues of her tough love rehearsal tactics and her accusations of snobbery, let’s consider her condescending remarks to Elizabeth (5:00).
That clip makes me seethe, but O’Meara fans (…crickets) could put together a reasonable defense: she’s on camera, she doesn’t have time to choose her words carefully, she feels strongly about the dancers, and maybe she snapped without meaning to (“Chill for a second, Elizabeth”). What’s truly unforgivable, though, is Nancy’s blog entry this week:
“As far as Elizabeth, she’s the host and that’s what she should stick to. She wasn’t with Vincent, Jerry and me during the rehearsals. She wasn’t involved in the process. Her opinion wasn’t something I was interested in. It went in one ear and out the other.”
This isn’t TV; it’s a blog. It’s hurtful words that will live forever on the world wide intrawebs. You can explain away a bitchy moment caught on film, but you can’t excuse a disrespectful jab put into writing.
Beyond that, the content of the entry is just as offensive as was Nancy’s behavior on-camera. Elizabeth is the host, yes, but she has a seat at the judges’ table. She gets to weigh in, give feedback, and help decide who goes home each week. Nancy may not like it, but that’s the setup.
Insightful criticism of O’Meara from the TWoP forum:
“In the rehearsal, she responded to the people who came to her for emotional needs and that is extremely unprofessional. Perhaps she was picking on Cody for being “cold” because he didn’t suck up to her or let her destroy him emotionally, but treated her like a colleague.
“Maybe he should have mugged and smirked, but that’s not him. He seems like a quiet, reserved guy. There’s nothing more annoying than someone bugging you to “be yourself” when they really mean “be like me”.”
They love Elizabeth just as much as we do, although they’re “disappointed she’s never walked up to the dancers to ice their nipples for a performance.”
In this blog entry, Nancy O’Meara mentions the shoot location: “I loved watching this episode. I had no idea they learned the choreography on the roof top — so Hollywood!”
So far, so normal. But then, with no transition…
“I recently ran into a fellow choreographer at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, and he told me he was a big fan of Taylor Swift, and that he’d asked his agent to contact her manager because he would love to work with her because, once again, he was a big fan.
Gulp! Bad move. If I conducted any of my rehearsals with any of my clients and acted like a fan I don’t think I would have much of a career.”
Eh? I’m genuinely perplexed. First, what does this have to do with the show? Second, what is she getting at? I think the idea is that to win clients, you must act like a confident professional with a service to offer, rather than like a starstruck fan. Right? I’m just guessing, here.