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Don't need no hateration, holleration

  • Jun. 5th, 2009 at 1:38 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I haven't seen last night's So You Think You Can Dance yet, but I was curious enough about who made it into the Top 20 to go to the SYTYCD website. Based on the auditions, it seemed possible that half of the dancers who made it into the competition this year would be people of color, but then on Wednesday night it looked like they were sending a high rate of people of color -- especially women of color -- home during Vegas week. Based on the FOX SYTYCD blog, I'm tentatively guessing that the numbers didn't quite reach 50%, but are still eight or nine out of twenty?

For future reference & comparison, here's part of a comment that I left in one of [personal profile] oyceter 's posts last year:

I watched season 3 of SYTYCD for the first time this year, and tried to keep track of the proportion of people of color at each stage of the competition, to see if they were eliminated at a higher rate than white contestants. What I found was that at every stage, about 30-35% of the dancers (plus or minus 5%) were people of color, suggesting that they weren't more likely to get cut. And then of course, there were two people of color in the final four, and (awesomely!) Sabra won with Danny as runner up.

This year, things seemed to follow a similar pattern for the first half of the season, though the percentage of people of color was a bit higher on average -- maybe 35-40%. [After that point, people of color made up 6 of the top 8, 4 of the top 6, and ultimately took the top 3 slots.]

I don't know how this compares to other competition reality shows like American Idol, but in [personal profile] oyceter 's words, "it's so much easier seeing non-stereotyped POC on SYTYCD than it is on most network tv shows."

And of course these numbers don't even begin to capture SYTYCD's complex racial and cultural issues -- but at least they suggest that the positive trends from the last couple of seasons will continue this year.