"Dance": Must we be happy, happy, happy?


OK, this whole happy-happy-happy thing has gone too far.

It was pleasant at first, to see the "American Idol" judges being so cheerful. I sort of believed them, because it was an exceptionally good year for contestants.

But now that has spilled over to "So You Think You Can Dance," the best of the network summer shows. Judges keep praising everyone, all the time. That peaked tonight, when the judges couldn't get themselves to eject anyone.

The two, of course, are linked. Simon Lythgoe -- the founder, producer and chief judge of "Dance" -- was one of the original "Idol" producers; he left for a while, but returned to be in charge this year.

And there was Lythgoe, praising profusely and saying a decision was impossible. He even asked two guys to dance again -- then said he still couldn't decide. Next week, he said, four dancers will go home instead of the usual two.

Let's hope so. Competition still needs winning and losing; judges need to have varying levels of praise or criticism. Happy-happy-happy soon turns dull-dull-dull.