I'm not going to lie, I fear change... especially when it involves my favorite reality shows. When Nigel Lythgoe (a.k.a. @dizzyfeet) announced via Twitter last week that there were alterations afoot at So You Think You Can Dance, beginning with a smaller final group and only one person getting eliminated per week, I immediately started to panic. What would the non-eliminated partner do, dance solo? Well, now it's been revealed that they're bringing back all-stars who will be partnering with the Top 10. However, I'm still quite wary about what the show will look like when it returns in May. Here's why:
It might just seem like DWTS
There is already a popular show about folks being paired with pros and it's called Dancing With the Stars (and, actually, the less popular Dance Your Ass Off, as well). Sure. the contestants on SYTYCD will have more experience going in, but one of the great things about this show has always been watching a couple try to succeed in styles that were completely unfamiliar to them.
Too many similarly styled dancers
If there's a Top 10 instead of a top 20, I worry that the diversity of talent may be missing and that we'll end up with nothing but contemporary or lyrical jazz dancers and perhaps a token hip-hop or ballroom dancer in the finals. That would be a shame because some of the most entertaining dancers have been the ones that came out of the typical trained dancer category.
Too many judges
The producers also announced that Mia Michaels will return to choreograph and to judge, and I'm so excited about that. Really, I love her crazy little self. But with Adam Shankman being promoted last year to full-time permanent judge, that would mean that Mia -- or even, dare I hope, Debbie Allen -- will be the guest fourth judge. If I've learned one thing from American Idol, it's that a fourth judge is rarely relevant. On the plus side, Nigel might finally give up the Paula Abdul chair.
So You Think You Can Dance is a show that is based on viewer participation, and the viewers for this show are nothing if not vocal about who their favorite dancers are. While I sort of love the idea of seeing familiar faces again, there are some "all-stars" that I might consider overrated and others who I'd be clamoring to see again. If it's a personal favorite, then that could sway me to vote for whoever is partnered with them... regardless if they deserve it. I know it isn't fair but I also know that I'm not the only one who would vote with their allegiances. It's like how people would vote for anyone doing a Travis Wall choreographed routine. It would seem wrong not to if you'd voted for him in the past.
Limiting new styles of dance
One of the other great things about having two contestants paired together was that they could pick a crazy style out of the hat, from Bollywood to Krump to Pas de Deux to Russian folk dancing. While the last one was a terrible idea, the others have greatly added to the value of the show. While there have been a few past dancers who claim Krump as their expertise and there was that one ballerina girl, none of them are pros at Bollywood. The show's prided itself on introducing new styles of dance to both the contestants and the viewers, so we'd hate to see that change.
Overall, most of the announced changes seem unnecessary to me and just sound like change for change's sake. The things that bother me most about the show, such as the fall season overload (even I can't handle too much of this good thing) and the finale with far too many contestants, haven't been addressed yet. Will there be two seasons? Hard to say. And Nigel and TPTB haven't revealed if the finale will include two or three dancers yet. Of course, I'll watch no matter what happens, and I am glad that some of my former faves will be gainfully employed, but I just hope that the show doesn't lose its charm along the way.
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