July 20, 2005 10:20 PM by Joe Blackmon
In the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance, Nigel Lythgoe proves that Simon Cowell isn’t the only Brit with a sharp tongue. In addition to his usual producer role, Nigel Lythgoe takes on judging duties for Fox’s new dance competition. Nigel sets the tone early by telling lifeguard and dance contestant Jason Maschi, “If you lifesave like you dance, then there are going to be a lot of people drowning in the Atlantic Ocean.”
Nigel then follows it up by telling dance contestant Candice Latham, “You spin very well, but so does my wife’s tumble dryer.” Perhaps, Nigel’s best zinger comes after a rather heavy contestant named Eugene Gaskin Jr. says he has a dancer deep inside him, and Nigel asks, “How many dancers are deep inside?” (Eugene handles the rejection with such grace and dignity though, he could very well become the William Hung of So You Think You Can Dance?)
Another memorable confrontation comes when Nigel tells Anthony Bryant that he is not making it through even though he is one of the better dancers because he needs “boy dancers to be strong and masculine.” A shocked Anthony later complains that “no ones ever told me that I look feminine when I dance with a ribbon.”
Just like with American Idol, the early focus seems to be more on the bad dancers than the good dancers. However, there are a couple dancers that impress the judges and make it through to Hollywood. Some of the the names of the dancers who made it through from New York and Chicago are Cheryl Texiera, Erin Pettigrev, Kamilah Barrett, Ashley Dawson, Melissa Vella, Brandon Jones, Maricza Valentin, Ashley Purl, Andrea Savelli, Nicholas Gates, and Lisa Deschaaf.