As a newcomer to the summer phenomenon called So You Think You Can Dance, I've learned a few things. The biggest one is a lesson familiar from American Idol: it's not just about the dancing--personality counts too. Katee got a memorable edit in the audition phase and was portrayed (even if it wasn't so) as the last one added to the final 20. Twitch, good as he is, would likely not have stuck in people's minds as readily had he decided to go by his real name of Stephen. Courtney is gorgeous. And Joshua? Well, he's just plain excellent and should probably win. OK, sometimes it is just about the dancing.
But you don't get champions on shows like this without a whole lotta waitin' first. So in tonight's season finale (Fox, 8 PM), we will get a thoroughly random appearance by the Jonas Brothers, as well as some folks from Cirque du Soleil performing a piece called "Homage to the Rabbits." Right up Nigel's alley, I'm guessing. If you have other things to do tonight, you can flip over at 9:56 and watch the winner being announced. Mary Murphy, you tried to destroy it over the last several weeks, but my hearing is still intact!
Big Brother 10 (CBS, 8 PM): Credit has to be given to the producers for Tuesday's episode, which was so entertaining from end to end that it was almost like watching a different show. Tonight, either Jessie or Memphis will walk the plank. I can't say I like Jessie that much, but he stirs things up in there and that's really all that matters.
Last Comic Standing (NBC, 8 PM): This may be the only reality show in history where the season finale is shorter than most of the run of the mill episodes have been. You subject us to two hours of these mediocrities all summer long, and then crown a champ in just 90 minutes? Prior to the announcement of the winner (like I said last time, probably Louis or Iliza), we'll get a performance from last season's winner, Jon Reep. And if you didn't remember that Jon Reep was last season's winner, that might not be a good sign for this season's winner.
The Bill Engvall Show (TBS, 8:30 PM and 9 PM): Season finale: at 8:30, Lauren gets a job in order to earn spending money, and Paul asks the boys to take care of his iguanas while he is out of town. At 9, Susan goes all out to help Lauren with her prom, and Trent sets out to become an Internet celebrity. Let me know how that works for you, Trent.
America's Got Talent (NBC, 9:30 PM): The Vegas callbacks continue as the cut to 40 is made. I assumed that this would be where some of the people put through because the judges didn't have the heart or courage to dispatch them before a studio audience would get eliminated behind the scenes, but no: that four year-old girl is still around. Don't make me start hating little girls, AGT.
My Boys (TBS, 9:30 PM): The season finale, and it's finally time for Bobby's wedding--or maybe not, since this is a sitcom and everything. P.J. tries to reconcile Bobby with his brother before the ceremony, while Mike nurses his obsession over Maggie. Jordana Spiro needs to pop up on more shows while My Boys is on break. She's too cute to be off my TV screen for long.
Burn Notice (USA, 10 PM): Michael's new client is trapped in a gang that is planning a jewelry heist, forcing him to join in so that he can destroy the gang in the process. I think one reason this show works in the summer is that it's a real masculine counterpoint to most of the cable competition out there.
Flashpoint (CBS, 10 PM): Could it be this modest Canadian import and not Swingtown that ends up being CBS's scripted survivor from this summer? Last week's episode snuck into the Top Ten in the ratings. Tonight, the team arrives on the scene of a bank robbery that has developed into a hostage crisis, and find that the person holding the hostages sounds like a different person than the original profile indicated.
Hopkins (ABC, 10 PM): ABC decided we weren't getting enough blood 'n guts, so they decided to extend Hopkins one extra week. Tonight, an ER doctor and a patient get flirty, a transplant surgeon works to save a man who needs a new liver, and staffers are curious about surgery that a girl adopted from China has had in the past.
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (Bravo, 10 PM): Kathy works at playing matchmaker for an actress friend. Does she know any men who date women? Also, the unlikely Kathy/Steve Wozniak relationship gets tested when the pair co-host an event on behalf of the Humane Society.
Reality Bites Back (Comedy Central, 10:30 PM): Aside from being almost as raunchy as South Park, this really is the funniest show of the summer. Tonight, "Almost American Gladiators" has the comedians impersonating illegal border crossers in athletic competition.