Some TV shows feature an array of talent so overwhelming that it's almost painful, while others are painful because they grant airtime to people with seemingly no abilities whatsoever. And then there are those that feature the talent-free but are nonetheless a sheer pleasure to watch.
"So You Think You Can Dance" falls squarely into the first category. It's really not an exaggeration to say that every person on the show is able to do things with his or her body that seem far beyond human capabilities.
The fact that we then must watch these amazing folks squirm as Nigel announces that they haven't come far enough or that their solos simply aren't up to par feels almost as ridiculous as host Cat Deeley's insistence on forcing the audience to say the word "judges" in every episode.
This week, Anya and Hok were the innocent victims and, to add insult to injury, this means they don't get to go on tour with the rest of the cast. Hok — an Asian Legolas who sends the girls in the audience into such obsessive screaming fits that it's unfathomable that they didn't vote him into safety — seemed to accept his fate calmly, while Anya appeared devastated.
Over on "America's Got Talent," meanwhile, the primarily talentless performers seemed quite nonplussed by the lackadaisical reactions of the judges to their acts.
A magician named Kevin James (not the "King of Queens" actor, though there is a resemblance) declared that "people will be talking about this tomorrow" before doing a set of magic that seemed slightly less impressive than one you might see from a 10-year-old during show-and-tell.
When Piers X'd him, though, he seemed only mildly affected. And Sideswipe, a group of men who shirtlessly flip and dance, appeared similarly indifferent to the less-than-thoroughly enthusiastic response they received.
And then there's good old Paula Abdul, whose abilities seem less and less notable with each passing week of her reality show, if only because we continue to discover people working under her and are led to wonder if the woman does anything herself. This week's episode brought the revelation that she has a "consultant" named Billy who plans her speeches and interviews.
I'm not saying that Abdul is entirely talent-free. She has an amazing ability to show the camera the tackiest things you never knew stores could get away with selling when she goes shopping. She knows how to identify her most enthusiastic superfans in a crowd. And she's better at milking a moment for drama than every actor on every soap opera combined.
Still, is it right that she gets to go on being televised while Hok does not? I'd have to say that's a straight-up no.