Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SYTYCD Loses Its Results Night... Now What?

Our beloved So You Think You Can Dance is ever-changing: the addition of All-Stars, a new stage and rotating celebrity judges have all been a part of the evolving landscape of the summer dance competition. And now, a new change is on the horizon as SYTYCD enters its ninth season: no results show.

A few theories on this odd development after the jump...

The two-night format of reality competition shows has been the go-to way of doing things for almost a decade. American Idol, X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars and SYTYCD (among others) have Night #1 of performances, then Night #2 when they announce America's votes from the night before. From a networks point of view, there's not much cost in producing a results night and the ratings being brought in mean big bucks from advertisers. Essentially, it's a no brainer. That is, until recently.

With the growth of DVR, viewers can just as easily record the results night and fast forward to the elimination at the end, skipping over the guest performances, group numbers and irritating fluff. A half-hour results night was quick and to the point... but now all the shows have an hour-long segment that can essentially be whittled down to 5-10 minutes. And with SYTYCD's decreasing ratings, it seems as if FOX is trying out a new way of doing things.

There are many parts of the SYTYCD results night I will miss. The group numbers are always a highlight, and often we are treated to exciting live performances from other dance companies and the occasional pop star (though the ear-shattering performance by The Veronicas a few seasons ago has me thankful we might not be subjected to those anymore). But there's nothing we can do about that now... let's not live in the past.

What could the new SYTYCD look like?

Well, the obvious answer is that the judges can decide at the end of the one night who is going home. They've already done that to a lesser extent (the first few rounds), and often that eliminates the possibility of a true talent being shipped off in place of a flashy contemporary dancer whose weeks are numbered anyway. Assuming the finale will have two parts, America could jump back in for the final vote and decide on the winner. Might viewers lose some interest when the decision is taken out of their hands for most of the season? Maybe, but shows like Top Chef and Project Runway seem to do just fine making the decisions themselves.

If the producers decide to keep America's vote, the results/elimination could be announced at the beginning of the next week, thus making preparations nearly impossible for the new batch of routines, or wait until the end of the next week's show and have the Bottom 2 from the previous week in danger, which would really mess with how we evaluate a dancer's growth throughout the season.

Could the show do a live vote? Open the lines for 5 minutes while commercials air and leave it at that? It would certainly get me to watch live instead of on my DVR—no time for a late night vote!—but that's a pretty tall order to accurately tally that number of votes in that short amount of time, especially when you take different time zones into consideration. Yikes... we should probably scratch this option.

What this all boils down to is that Uncle Nigel and the rest of the SYTYCD producers have a lot of work ahead of them to figure out the future of the show. Ultimately, I am thrilled that we are getting yet another season of this amazing program, no matter what format it's in.

What do you think about all of this, dear readers? How would you solve the lack of a results night? Should America still vote? And will you still be tuning in this May?

[Image Source: FOX] 
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