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‘So You Think You Can Dance’: In Which We Actually Find Ourselves Yearning for Simon Cowell

Last night's judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Mia Michaels, and Shane Sparks. Courtesy of FOX

The tryout episodes of So You Think You Can Dance are consistently among the least engrossing because they focus on the judges instead of the dancers. And since none of these experts possesses the smirking callousness of Simon Cowell or the weepy ingratiation of Paula Abdul, they’re really not much to watch. Last night, there were simply too many close-up shots of judges solemnly uttering the words “No” or “Yes.” (Toward whom? With regard to what? Sometimes, we didn't even know!) Furthermore, if producer Nigel Lythgoe expresses surprise about one contestant’s prosthetic arm again, she’ll be completely justified in ripping off the fake limb and throwing it at his head posthaste. Tonight's show should be better. As the twenty finalists are declared, we’ll see some needy-greedy personalities and some routines in their entirety — we hope by B-boys whose life-saving moves are the program’s greatest thrills. Up until now, it’s basically been short clips and short commentary, leaving us shortchanged. —Drew Pisarra