Monday, March 29, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 7 - A Change is a Comin'

For the past few days, executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe has been slowly revealing some major changes via his Twitter account for the upcoming seventh season of So You Think You Can Dance. The major bomb dropped today when Nigel announced that the new crop of dancers would not be partnering with each other, rather with a group of SYTYCD "All-Star" alumni, each a specialist in a particular genre.

Before we get to what all these changes mean, let's break down what you need to know about SYTYCD Season 7:
  • Instead of a Top 20, Season 7 will feature a Top 10.
  • Only one dancer will be eliminated each week.
  • Less than 4 dancers will compete in the finale (that number will be determined by another change Nigel has in the works).
  • The dancers will not randomly choose their genre, rather they will randomly choose one of the "All-Star" partners, thus performing in whichever genre that dancer specializes
  • America will vote for their favorite dancer out of the Top 10 (All-Stars are not judged), one of the bottom 3 will be sent home
  • Mary Murphy will not only be on the judging panel, but will also be choreographing
  • Mia Michaels will return!!!
Though some are claiming these changes indicate our favorite dancing show has finally "jumped the shark," I applaud Nigel and his team for recognizing that things needed to be shaken up, and this time not just with a larger stage. It's generally accepted that Season 6, though it had it's wonderful moments, was a weak season - the fall season created too many scheduling conflicts (World Series), there wasn't enough distance from Season 5, the choreography often felt forced and uninspired, etc etc etc. Certainly, there are many aspects of the old format that will be missed - the growth of a wonderful partnership (Joshua/Katee, Jakob/Ashleigh, Brandon/Janette), the large scale group numbers - but overall I think this is a great step for the program.

Of course, the question now becomes - who are the All-Stars? I had been hoping for an all-star season, and this seems like a great way to bring back some of our favorite dancers. Nigel will be slowly revealing the group, who will be selected from across all six previous seasons, over the next coming weeks. Will Danny, Brandon, Travis or Jakob be selected for the "All-Star Male Contemporary"? More importantly - who are they going to bring back as a female hip hop All-Star? And can we all just sing a loud "HALLELUJAH!!!" for the triumphant return of Mia Michaels?

Season 7 returns to FOX with a 2 hour premiere on Thursday, May 27 @ 8/7c.

UPDATE: Travis Wall will not be one of the All-Star dancers. As just announced on Twitter, he has (thankfully) been asked back to choreograph. Hopefully we can get many more wonderful routines like this one!
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