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Picks and Pans Main: TV

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So You Think You Can Dance

FOX, Season Finale Aug. 12, 8 p.m. ET/PT |


The seventh season of summer’s best reality show started out with all the bright promise of a freshly unwrapped popsicle: judge Mia Michaels-equal parts cutting and kooky-was in; a roundup of fan favorites (a special welcome back to season 4’s rare bird in flight, Mark) returned as “all-stars”; and in balletic Alex Wong the show had possibly its best contender ever. Then Alex severed his Achilles in week four-soon followed by two more injured contestants-and “the curse of season 7,” to quote our dear host, that tall drink of lemonade Cat Deeley, should have melted much of the fun. But between Cat’s batty wardrobe, the dancers’ killer talent and the memories of Alex’s hip-hop routine (we’ll always have YouTube), SYTYCD has remained a cool summer treat.

Hair Battle Spectacular

Oxygen, Aug. 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT |


This campy new series kicks off by asking contestants to create a sky-scraping, neck-breaking updo. Inspired by a cocktail. Into which the drink can then be poured directly into the model’s hair. What’s not to love? At one point, host Brooke Burns turns up wearing what appears to be a dead terrier on her head before intoning the so-bad-it’s-good catchphrase “Prepare for the hair!” And then there’s judge Derek J., a legend in the “fantasy hair” world who calls out one contestant for allowing a wig seam to show. His indignation (“You thought that was okay?”) is so genuine, it actually manages to snip through the absurdity for a brief moment. Then it’s back to that woeful terrier.