Mia Michaels Out As Judge On So You Think You Can Dance. Thank God.
It's not just American Idol that's been shaking up the judges' panel. On Nigel Lythgoe's other Fox reality show, So You Think You Can Dance, they've been hitting puree on the panel for a few seasons now. First they installed director/Miley Cyrus sex device Adam Shankman in the third judges' chair that had previously been free-floating. Then they booted shrieking Mary Murphy for choreographer Michaels. But now, according to E!, Michaels is dunzo and Murphy is returning, and in my opinion, that's a good thing.
I can understand the impulse that led to giving Murphy the boot and welcoming Michaels onto the dais. Murphy had gotten a little rote with her shrieks and her various trains and tickets and whatnot, and Michaels is brilliant choreographer with two Emmys to her name and a terrific style that was readily accessible to the general public while still being edgy. But as a judge, Mia Michaels was a hot buttered mess.
Far too often, when asked to judge a dance, she could only call it either "genius" or offer some vague critique, saying it needed more "uumph" or "skkkrrunchh" or whatever nutty piece of onomatopoeia that caught her attention that day. But far worse was her tendency to go after a dancer personally, far beyond any type of professional dance critique. The apotheosis of this was when, in the most recent season, she told dancer Melinda that the judges had sent home the wrong person last week, and it should have been Melinda that went home. That wasn't constructive, informative or educational; it was just straight-up bitchy. And while I won't go so far as to call her a racist, Michaels appears to have a continual problem with otherwise innocuous black male dancers whom she declares to have "an attitude," like Season 3 Danny, Season 5 Brandon, or Season 7 AdeChike.
Sadly, Michaels is leaving not just the judges' panel but the show in general, which means no more wonderful pieces like "The Bench" and "Running" with Adele. But if that means I don't have to listen to any more venomous barbed asides masquerading as helpful instructions, then I'm all for it. Hey, we still have Wade Robson!