So You Think You Can Dance is starting to morph into Dancing With The Stars. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe announced some big changes to his show, the biggest being that there will be no more pairings with fellow contestants - each contestant will be performing with an "all-star" partner from a previous SYTYCD season each week. That all-star will be a specialist in a certain genre of dance, and the contestants . The "All-Star Pool" will be named, one-by-one, over the next several weeks, presumably over Nigel Lythgoe's Twitter @dizzyfeet. All six seasons will be represented.
The other changes that go along with this new rule are that there will be no Top 20 - just a Top 10, the competitors will change partners every week, and one dancer will be eliminated each week instead of two. Less than four people will compete in the finale (pssst ... six was WAY too many last year, Nigel).
So do you like the changes? I think I'm mostly on board. I especially like the partner switching. I was not fond of keeping partners all the way through to the Top 10. That meant that people could coast to the Top 10 if they had a popular partner and then promptly get cut as soon as voting went individually (Hi, Martha, Ryan, Kameron and Randi!). As much as I loved watching power couples like Katee and Joshua and Brandon and Janette dance together for weeks, I also enjoyed seeing the show mix it up. One of the best parts of the early eliminations for me were seeing new partnerships.
The one thing that I kind of have an issue with is the pairing with all-stars. I do like the idea of bringing back some of my favorites, but it's could be hard for viewers to distinguish voting for your old favorite vs. voting for the new contestant. Or not voting for a new contestant because you can't stand his/her partner (Hi, Misha Chan!). The good thing is that the all-star doesn't go away if their partner does, so people who might vote with their nostalgic hearts won't have to power-vote to keep their favorite alumni on the show.
They should have at least 10 all-stars in the pool, and they need to be specialists, so there should be a good mix of dancers. SYTYCDism has heard that winners will not be part of the pool. So with that in mind, I'm hoping for:
S1: Kamilah (hip-hop)
S2: Heidi (ballroom), Allison (contemporary), Dmitry (ballroom)
S3: Danny (contemporary), Pasha*/Anya (ballroom)
S4: Twitch* (hip-hop), Katee (contemporary)
S5: Brandon (contemporary), Janette (Salsa)
S6: Jakob (contemporary), Ellenore (jazz)
Also confirmed - Kathryn from S6 (contemporary/Broadway).
I'm not sure what they're going to do with genres like disco. Maybe pull people who did really well on their disco dances, like Neil or Brandon? And they'll need to find more Broadway people outside of Evan to handle that genre. They'll probably use versatile dancers like Katee and Brandon, who pretty much slayed every genre, to fill in a lot of holes. I think the lack of ballroom dancers across all six seasons pretty much assures us of getting at least one DiLello return appearance. Great. Can we have Karen or Heidi instead?