Hyphen TV: Mike Chang, Fleet-Footed Dance Ninja

October 11, 2011

Rachael Lampa sings with support on The Sing-Off


The obvious episode to discuss is last week's Glee episode, entitled "Asian F" (which is, as we all know, an A-). For once we got to see a whole lot of Mike Chang, who received the aforementioned Asian F and ended up sitting next to his dad Mike Chang, Sr (played by Keong Sim), who believes his son to be under the spell of drugs and Tina for some reason has to explain an "Asian F" to Principal Figgins. Guys? South Asians are Asians too. And they know all about the Asian F. You can check out the scene right here, where we also learn what words Mike's grandmother knows in English (hint: one rhymes with Barvard).

Ever the good son, Mike promises to raise his humiliating Chem grade, but not before indulging in his true passion. Which is dance, obviously. But did you know that Mike can magically sing now, too? He's only been featured (um, not exactly showing off "singing talent"), but now he not only got to have a solo dance session (where he removed a shirt layer and imagined his dad and Tina in the room with him), but he also got to show off his new singin' skills in his audition for the part of Riff in the school's production of West Wide Story. In what is just a slight twist to this very, very old "but I don't WANT to be a doctor!" story, it turns out that Mike's mom (played by Tamlin Tomita) also gave up her dreams when she was young -- and she also wanted to be a dancer! Guess mom will explain it all to dad, and things will be okay enough that we don't need to check in with Mike again (he got the part, by the way). Nothing terribly earth-shattering here, but hey, what were we expecting from a highly popular (and ever more erratically scripted) teen sitcom?

Mike Chang is crazy AND cool

Another Asian American young'un just trying to follow her artistic dream is sweet 15-year-old Ellona Santiago on The X-Factor. After making it through the grueling week of boot camp (that's Vegas week for you Idol viewers), it was heartbreaking to see her get cut, but then pretty amazing to see her get a second chance: as part of a newly formed group. Good luck, Ellona! You totally got the best judge's house (Paula's). Hope she gets a chance to dish somewhere down the line.

Oh, and did you notice that So You Think You Can Dance alum (and Gaga backup dancer) Mark Kanemura was one of the dance instructors during boot camp? That guy is EVERYwhere.

Over on Top Chef: Just Desserts, Sally landed in the top two on both the Quickfire (donuts!) and elimination (chocolate!) challenges, but missed the win both times. Don't worry Sally, it's only the last challenge that really counts. Also, I don't exactly know what "chocolate sphere with a manjari caramel mousse and spiced caramel cram with passion fruit gelee" are, but I WANT it all.

"I got my spatula riiiight here."

Anya is still kicking butt on Project Runway, taking yet another win with her dress that was inspired by a raven. The judges absolutely gushed over how much they loved the look ("Fashion forward!" "Cool!" "Edgy!" "My favorite outfit you have produced so far!"), and Heidi named her the "clear" winner. Girl also won $20,000 and a Marie Claire advertorial. Anya's on FIYAH. I'm actually worried that she's doing a little too well during the season (see my note to Sally above), but I look forward to seeing her prove me wrong at fashion week.

I will never understand how she makes these clothes. But I'm going with it.

Not doing so hot are our girls on Survivor. At Savaii, Elyse is falling further and further under suspicion for being too close to team leader Ozzy, and several tribe members are ready to take her out to weaken their unofficial captain. On Upolu, Edna got a very unflattering edit that showed her annoying all of her tribemates with her incessant questions and chatter. To add to her humiliation, her interrogations and tribemates' interviews about her nosiness immediately followed Edna's explanation of how important one's social game is on Survivor. Ouch. They both made it through last week, but they're both definitely in the danger zone.

I neglected to mention previously that The Collective on The Sing-Off includes member Rachael Lampa, whose father is Filipino. The Collective made it through this week (though they landed in the bottom two), as did the Dartmouth Aires, who, not that I'm bragging yet again about my alma mater, got a standing ovation from Sara Bareilles and Shawn Stockman for their performance of "Pinball Wizard." Aw yeah, guys.

And even though she's no longer on America's Next Top Model All Stars, there's plenty more of Sheena Sakai to be seen. Check out her interview with Rich of FourFour right here.


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.