SYTYCD has received a complete restructuring adopting a format similar to Dancing With The Stars with 10 contestants competing each season, only 1 contestant eliminated each week, and introducing professional partners called the All-Stars, which are top contestants from the previous 6 seasons of Dance. Sound fascinating? Scared to death about the future of SYTYCD? Confused as all hell? Read on…

A couple of weeks ago, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance exec producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe took to Twitter to tease that some “shocking changes” were coming to the best dance competition show on TV. All week Nigel Lythgoe has held all Dance lovers in the palm of his hands as he announced drastic changes (one each day for the past week via his Twitter account @dizzyfeet) on the upcoming season that will change the very being of Dance as we know it. At first, the changes piece by piece didn’t seem to make any sense (how can only 1 dancer be eliminated each week, that would leave a dancer partnerless every other week?!) but once all the pieces were put together I saw a whole new vision for Dance, of how even more amazing Dance can be.

Here are his series of tweets from the first change announced to the last:
1.    First rule change. Only one dancer will leave the competition each week and not two. Many more changes to come by the end of this week.
2.    Another rule change for SYTYCD this coming Season. The partners will change every single week.
3.    This Season will not have a top 20. The pieces are falling into place. More tomorrow.
4.    CHANGE-The competitors will no longer choose their genres of dance. I’ll explain everything before the SYTYCD Press Conference on Monday!
5.    No top 20! No choosing genres! Only one goes home each week CHANGE – Less than 4 compete in the Finale! Fox reveals all the changes tomorrow
THE FINAL CHANGE THAT EXPLAINS IT ALL:
•    We are forming a ‘dance-pool’ of your favorite dancers from previous Seasons to act as partners for this year’s top 10.
•    The dancers will change partners each week picked from an ‘All-Star Pool.’ Each ‘All-star’ will be a specialist in specific genres of dance.
•    I will be naming the “All-Star Pool,” one by one, across the next couple of weeks. They will be chosen from all 6 Seasons.
•    Only the competitors will be judged not the “All-Stars.” America votes for their favorite and one of the bottom three dancers will go home.

Not what you expected but you totally love it right? Oh Nigel you are sneaky but brilliant (if this was your idea)! I could never imagine my favorite dance competition on TV ever NEEDING a complete makeover but the judges and the producers caught onto some of the frustrating things about the competition that I always assumed to be inevitable due to the format, which it is…That is why they completely restructured the competition to allow only the most talented contestants partner with the best dancers. I’m really excited about these changes, which will really level the playing field (so nobody has an unfair advantage or disadvantage due to his or her partner) and force everyone to stand on their own merit. The introduction of the All-Stars also allows the contestants to get better acquainted with the genre they are assigned that week because they will be rehearsing with a professional partner in that genre.

Today he also announced the first member of the All-Stars: “I am thrilled that representing the various dance genres of Popping, Locking, Krump etc in the All-Stars Dance-Pool from Season 4 is TWITCH.” The conniving Nigel Lythgoe will also make us sweat it out to find out the entire All-Stars Lineup as he drops a name each day on his Twitter account. Brandon Bryant and Jakob are must-haves on my wish list.

The amusing thing is that in the new Dance, the professionals are called the “Stars” because as contestants on previous seasons they have developed followings and they have fans that want to see them dance after their season is over. It is a completely accurate title as is seen by some pros in DWTS who are more famous than their D-list “star” partner. The clear difference between the new SYTYCD and DWTS? Aside from the fact that SYTYCD challenges contestants to tackle a wide assortment of dance genres, SYTYCD is gonna kill it with the talent, its going to be absurdly good. Some of you may watch DWTS to see Kate Gosselin completely bomb her jive and have an on-screen meltdown (not that this doesn’t provide quality reality entertainment) but I like to see some high-quality dancing from a supposed dance competition.

Now here’s my question, who is going to choreograph? Given the DWTS format similarities, does the introduction of the All-Stars mean that as professionals in their respective genre they choreograph the dances or do we still have our veteran choreographers who are celebrities in their own right – Wade Robson, Sonya Tayeh, Nappy-Tabs, Tyce, Mia Michaels (fingers crossed she comes back, please!), Louis Van Amstel, Laurie Ann Gibson aka the cool tough chick that does the pop-jazz and screams all the time? Last season the show seemed to be scrambling to get enough decent choreographers and quite a few fell short of the SYTYCD standard. But the quality of great choreography wasn’t the only thing lacking last season…

Methinks that after a blatant deficiency of talent on the lackluster season 6 (the fall mistake), during which they allowed some people into the Top 20 simply because they needed to fill the slot and not because they actually had a chance (the poor guy who replaced contemporary phenom Billy Bell), the judges may have encountered a similar shortage during season 7 auditions and didn’t feel the quality of the Top 20 would’ve been up to par. The quality of the talent on Dance has been steadily increasing every year and dancers in the past 3 seasons have really pushed the envelope. It is understandable to imagine that as these brilliant dancers have been raising the bar, it is difficult for other dancers to compete side by side with them because they are so evidently on completely different levels (picture Jakob and the incredibly annoying and mediocre Mollee).

I applaud Nigel & Co. for the restructuring because that means that we will see an even higher caliber of dance than ever before. As a fan, I miss my favorite contestants from previous seasons and I get really excited to see them dancing on another show, in a movie, or on Broadway! The new season of Dance will certainly attract a lot of long-time viewers who may have lost interest but would love to see their favorite dancers perform as part of the All-Stars. Best reality competition show ever? Pretty much.

So there you have it, the new SYTYCD, what do ya think? Are you, like me, more excited about the All-Stars than the regular contestants? Who is at the top of your All-Star wish list?

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