It was dancus interruptus


This was the television equivalent of coitus interruptus.

Tonight's "So You Think You Can Dance" gave us Kent Boyd, the farm kid from Botkins, Ohio. He was marveling at his pairing with Courtney Galiano, a city kid from New York.

"She doesn't care -- lets you touch her wherever you want," Kent said, in his best Botkins bumpkin persona. Soon, they were sliding into a sensuous routine, bodies blending lithely, when ...

Well, like a librarian turning the lights on just as things get interesting, my local station cut into the show for a storm report. This surprised me, mainly because it had just finished an hour-plus storm  break, a few minutes earlier.

Those of you who watched the show in Lansing, Mich., know what I mean. It was sort of, "So You'd Think I Could Watch." All I can say for sure is that Alex Wong did great Fosse, Cristina Santana did a spirited Gypsy routine and Adechike Torbert did a sweetly romantic number. The others were covered with storm clouds.

If you watched it somewhere else, please let me know what elsehappened. How were the other dancers? Did Kent consummate his relationship onstage? As a former small-towner myself, I was rooting for him.

 

"Beekman Boys" -- a sort of fabulous life on the farm


OK, lots of people still aren't familiar with Planet Green, a well-meaning digital-cable channel. But how often do you get to meet a guy who's a poet, author, ad man and former drag queen, now a gay farmer with his own TV show? Here's the story I sent to papers; you can catch new rounds of "Beekman Boys" at 9 p.m. Wednesdays:


By MIKE HUGHES

In a burst of understatement, Josh
Kilmer-Purcell said: “I've had a lot of drastic career changes.”

Indeed. He started college as a
hotel-restaurant major and left as a poet. He became an advertising
man, an author and … well, a drag queen with goldfish swimming in
see-through breasts.

Now he's a cable-TV star and a
gentleman farmer who knows little about farming. “Googling is a
great friend to new farmers,” said Brent Ridge, who is his partner
in life and on a new cable show.

“The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” on the
Planet Green channel, has been dubbed a “gay 'Green Acres.'” At
it's core are two guys with little in common. “Opposites always
attract,” Ridge said.

He's a precise sort, with a medical
degree, an MBA and math skills. By comparison, Kilmer-Purcell
switched majors after his first college math test.

And there's another giant difference:
“I have a fear of clowns and drag queens,” Ridge said.

After they'd dated for a couple months,
Kilmer-Purcell gently broke the news: Until recently, he'd been
Aquadisiac, the drag queen with the goldfish breasts.

Yes, that was a drastic life changes.

Kilmer-Purcell was in 3rd
grade when his family moved from New York to Oconomowoc, a Wisconsin
town of 10,000. His dad worked in sales; the family lived in a
suburbia, surrounded by corn fields.

“I always had a feeling that the farm
people were more fun,” he said. “They had the animals and the hay
piles to jump into.”

He went to Michigan State University,
took a math test and switched to creative writing. After graduating
in 1991, he moved to New York and became Aquadisiac, a fact that was
readily accepted by his co-workers in advertising. (“New York is a
very creative place.”) He wrote a best-selling book about his
experience. He also met Ridge – then the vice-president for Martha
Stewart's company.

Three years ago, they bought the
Beekman manor near Sharon Springs, NY., thinking of it as a weekend
retreat. A week later, Kilmer-Purcell said, they got a handwritten
note from a man “who had lost his farm and he had a month to find a
home for his 80 goats and asked if he could be our caretaker.”

That's the guy now known as Farmer
John. With his help and a lot of Googling, the farm now has goats,
pigs and more. The guys sell everything from goat-milk soap to crafts
created by neighbors.

And now “The Fabulous Beekman Boys”
has a 10-week season that follows a year of farming. Ridge – a
full-time farmer now – stays home to run the place. Kilmer-Purcell
keeps his ad job and returns on weekends. He leaps between city and
country, forever experiencing drastic career changes.

– Cable: “The Fabulous Beekman
Boys,” 9 p.m. Wednesdays; the first episode was June 16. That's on Planet Green; one of
the Discovery channels, it's generally available via digital cable or
satellite

– Books: Josh Kilmer-Purcell wrote “I
Am Not Myself These Days,” “Candy Everybody Wants” and now “The
Bucolic Plague”

– Internet: beekman1802.com

 

 

Watch something Sunday (please)


Summers used to be kind of simple for TV columnists. People would schedule a lot of reruns and a few odd summer shows. We'd write something about how there should be more new shows in the summer; then we'd go to the beach and sing and dance with girls in bikinis.

(I'm not entirely sure about that last part. Sometimes, my memories mingle with the movies I've seen.)

And then something strange happened: TV people actually did what we told them; they scheduled lots -- LOTS -- of summer shows. Suddenly, we had to do a lot more.

How much more? For the Sunday, June 20 column -- just hit the "TV column" thing above -- I watched 14-and-a-half  hours of new shows.

Anyway, you'll see all of them in that Sunday column -- plus the series finale of "Tudors," which should have been there.

Please watch something in there. A lot of people (TV columnists, mostly) are working harder this year.

"Dance": This year, the guys rule


"Our boys are so, so strong," Nigel Lythgoe said during Wednesday's round of "So You Think You Can Dance."

Tonight, we learned that the viewers agree. Consider:

-- The judges had picked six guys for the final 11. When viewers voted after Wednesday's show, all six escaped the bottom.

-- Judges picked five women for the finals; viewers promptly plunked the majority of them into the bottom three.

It was Alexie Agdeppa who was sent home. Judges had said she was just being cute, instead of capturing the emotion of the piece; still, Nigel Lythgoe said, "people vote for cute."

Sorry Nigel, wrong show. On "American Idol," cute gets votes; just ask Jasmine Trias, David Archuletta, Ramiele Malubay or, of course, Sanjaya Malakar. On "Dance," cute gets sent home.

(Cute, incidentally, can also get you a great video. I thought the Justin Bieber video that debuted tonight, with Usher in support, was beautifully made.)

This year's men are extraordinary: Alex Wong is a magnificent ballet talent whose performance Wednesday was triumphant. Billy Bell arrived as an acclaimed contemporary dancer; Kent Boyd -- a raw kid from a farm -- suggests early Billy. Jose Ruiz is a brilliant B-boy, a great swirl of fun. Robert Roldan is big and impressive; Adechike Torbert is sunny.

These guys are, indeed, "so so strong." It will be a fun summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One word for "Dance" tonight -- Hallelujah


Here's a tip to remember when you become a contestant on "American Idol" or "So You Think You Can Dance": Make sure you do something that involves Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah."

One year on "Idol," that song propelled Jason Castro from also-run to contender. Another year, it nudged Lee DeWyze toward the championship. And now it has brought a "Dance" triumph.

Sonya Tayek composed a gorgeous piece to that song. Alex Wong -- a former Miami Ballet soloist -- danced it beautifully with his "all-star" partner, Allison. Two of the judges gave it a standing ovation; the third (Nigel Lythgoe) told the people involved: "You have just set a new standard for 'So You Think You Can Dance.'"

It was a great moment. Wong and Billy Bell -- the two people who would have been on the show earlier, except that circumstances intervened -- are major contenders.

Come to think of it, "Hallelujah" should find a way to be in all reality competitions. Cook to it, build to it, model to it; this song seems to make people better. A few of my other comments; please add yours:

1) I thought there was a lot of beauty to Ashley Galvan's number, too. Judges were hard on her, granting only that she's "a very special little bunny," but I thought there was lyrical splendor to the piece.

2) Lythgoe was having a bad-pun night, including "beauty and the weave." This from the guy who once triumphed with "what a difference Ade makes."

3) Lythgoe also made a soccer reference. We knew there was a danger of this, once we started letting Brits into the country.

4) Some of the other top moments were turbo-charged. Bell was particularly good in what he called an "insanely fast" piece.

5) Please remind Cat Deeley to never (that's NEVER) wear her hair up. With it down, she's beautiful; with it up, she's just one step away from Victoria Beckham, two baby steps from Skeletor.

6) Speaking of hair, remember when Tayek was being typecast as an odd-looking person who choreographed odd-looking hip-hop pieces? Not any more. Tayek -- a Wayne State University alumna from Detroit -- has shown she can also create warm beauty.

7) It was a good night overall, boosted by the new notion of an all-star withy each contestant. The only problem is deciding who will be in the bottom three. I'll guess it will be Melinda Sullivan, Adechika Torbert and Cristina Santana. None of them really deserve to be sent home; neither did anyone else.