Reality Check: What It Takes to Succeed on 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Published June 15, 2007

| FoxNews.com

Certain families gravitate toward reality shows — Rita from last year's "Survivor" was, for instance, the sister of Nick from season two of "Project Runway" — but no show seems to keep it more in the family than "So You Think You Can Dance."

The tremendously talented Danny Tidwell, who came off as ridiculously obnoxious last week but seemed 100 percent more appealing this week (probably because he danced more and talked less) is the adopted brother of last year's runner-up, Travis Wall.

In case we forget this fact — and it's the kind of thing that's not difficult to remember — the judges and host remind us of this at every opportunity.

Then there's Lacey Schwimmer, who isn't related to the guy from "Friends" but is the sister of last year's winner, Benji.

Not only did Benji cheer loudly for his sis from the audience in a way that suggests there's no such thing as sibling rivalry in their home, but he also hit the stage for a crowd-pleasing and cheeky performance that finished with his pants down.

While both of these kids are inarguably good and hardly the recipients of Tori Spelling-type nepotism — particularly Danny, with his gleaming waxed chest and seeming ability to pirouette until the end of time — you've got to admit that keeping it in the family adds drama and drama makes reality shows go round.

Benji wasn't the only one who benefited from stripping. Removing clothes, in fact, seems to be strongly encouraged on "So You Think You Can Dance" in a way it's not on, say, the Super Bowl halftime show.

Not only did Benji's trou drop win him both applause and praise, but a similar move also saved the fate of Dominic Sandoval, a guy with a put-on, cocky demeanor.

When three of the 10 couples were informed that they'd received the fewest number of votes on Thursday night's show, each of the dancers were given the chance to perform solos to try to save themselves.

Dominic did his usual series of spectacular breakdancing moves, and then somehow ended up with his shirt in his hands.

While watching him stand there afterward trying to cover his nipples was a bit unnerving, judge Nigel Lithgow declared the shirt removal evidence of his "wonderful personality" and explained that it kept him in the competition.

This meant that appealingly wacky Ricky Palomino — whom judge Mia Michaels had declared her favorite male dancer — had to go.

It's worth noting that praise from Michaels seems to be the kiss of death; after seeing Ricky's partner Ashlee Langas perform last week, she passionately declared that "if there's a heaven, that's how they dance there." Ashlee was, of course, also eliminated on Thursday night.

Being a favorite? Dancing how they must in heaven? Sorry, kids. Stripping or being related to the right people is obviously the way to go.

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her first novel, "Party Girl," is in stores now.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/06/15/reality-check-what-it-takes-to-succeed-on-so-think-can-dance