TV Column: Lisa de Moraes on 'So You Think You Can Dance'

By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, October 2, 2009

Fox network has issued still shots of a female contestant on "So You Think You Can Dance" that refute claims by the Panty Patrol blog that the woman was not wearing any underwear during the nanosecond she was seen on the show's Tuesday episode wriggling around the floor in happiness after being told she had made it through to the next round of the competition.

The still shots, issued exclusively Thursday to The TV Column, are from the actual broadcast, Fox says. On the show, the dancer is identified only as "#22036." In the pictures, the woman's flesh-tone dancing briefs are clearly evident.

The extremely brief glimpse of the allegedly pantiless dancer's nether region on Tuesday's episode had attracted the attention of vagina vultures who troll TV for such footage so they can slow it down, blow it up and post the results online. "Crotch Flash!" Perez Hilton screamed on his site Wednesday, spewing praise in the general direction of the person who'd sent him the slo-mo'd, blown-up footage, while Hollywood Reporter, a trade paper, noted that journalists were poring over the images "like they were the Zapruder film."

Show judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe then confirmed our suspicion that the smartest part of Nigel Lythgoe is his hair, when he decided it would be a really good idea to josh that "the show was always designed to expose talent, but not in this way!"

Presumably, someone at Fox then gave Lythgoe a thorough working-over -- or maybe just showed him the same still shots Fox released to The TV Column -- because when he next emerged it was to deliver a revised version of his original thought:

"I am shocked that people think that poor dancer was not wearing panties. The show is about exposing talent -- nothing else."

That happened around the same time a Fox rep issued the network's official statement on the flap:

"The footage in last night's 'So You Think You Can Dance' was reviewed thoroughly by the network's Broadcast Standards & Practices prior to air and it was separately confirmed with the dancer that she was wearing flesh-toned dance gear."

But while the press was deeply engrossed in the wrigglings of poor #22036 (contestants are not named this early in this competition series), viewers did not seem as interested.

Fewer than 7 million people watched the show the next night, which, while up from Tuesday's 5 million viewers, was by no means a record for the dance competition show. This edition's debut, on Sept. 9, had attracted approximately the same crowd.

'Jon & Kate': TLC Minus 10?

TLC had to shutter shooting of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" after receiving a cease-and-desist order from "Jon."

Jon Gosselin has also filed papers putting the brakes on his divorce from Kate Gosselin and has flown to Los Angeles to appear on various TV programs to talk about how the show is harming his children and why he wants to reconcile with his wife. TLC had announced it was breaking up with Jon and renaming its hit reality series "Kate Plus 8," but that Jon would be seen on the show from time to time to honor the terms of his "exclusive contract" with TLC.

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