Wednesday, September 01, 2010


It's occurred to me a few times that the UFC and So You Think You Can Dance have followed bizarrely parallel paths:
  • Both started as hybrid formats where specialists in one area competed against specialists from another, with neither necessarily having any familiarity with the other's form (boxing vs. karate, hip-hop vs. ballet, etc.); as a performance it could be ugly, but its unpredictability was part of its charm.
  • Both were quickly dominated by specialists whose training made them particularly adaptable in countering/performing the styles of others (jiu-jitsu and contemporary)
  • Both have evolved (?) to a point where particular specialities have taken a back-seat to a broad-based training in multiple disciplines (the single-specialty folks are a rarity, and are pretty much doomed to fail - the boxer on the last UFC card, the breaker in the last season of SYTYCD); the athletes are undoubtedly better, but they're characterized by a sameness that has eliminated a lot of the fun and all of the novelty.

No comments: