So You Think You Can Dance in Season 9: One Episode Per Week, but Two Winners!

cat deeley nigel lythgoe mary murphy“Hold your breath,” says Nigel Lythgoe of So You Think You Can Dance‘s upcoming ninth season. “It’s going to be a very fast ride.”

Indeed, with Fox putting the kibosh on the reality competition’s results-show telecast, executive producer and judge Lythgoe has had to make a number of changes to the SYTYCD format. Here’s what to expect when the show returns next Thursday (May 24, 8/7c on Fox):

Two winners are better than one? | “Girls dance totally differently than guys,” says Lythgoe, pointing out the apples-vs.-oranges vibe that’s pervaded most SYTYCD finales. By naming a male winner and a female winner in Season 9, Lythgoe hopes to avoid that problem — and perhaps give viewers twice as many reasons to celebrate when the season ends.

Every routine will essentially be a “dance for your life” scenario | As in previous seasons, the bottom two or three dancers will perform before the judges’ panel, with the experts deciding who stays and who goes. But without a designated results show, how exactly will it work? Lythgoe says that Episode 1 will be a standard performance show. The following week, for Episode 2, all of the Season 9 dancers will perform again, but they might get some bad news during their critiques. “We might end up saying, this routine wasn’t your best, and that’s unfortunate, because based on America’s vote last week, you are in the Bottom 3,” Lythgoe explains. The reason that info will be held until after a routine is because “we don’t want the [at-risk] contestants to be panicking [when they dance].” At the end of Episode 2, the judges will weigh the at-risk dancers’ performances for the two-week period, then decide who goes home. Lythgoe says that if he and his fellow panelists need more information, they reserve the right to ask the dancers to perform solos. “We need to be as flexible as possible,” he reasons.

The dancers’ fates are in good hands | Lythgoe urges calm among SYTYCD fans who rail against the judges having the final say on eliminations. “America’s favorites should never end up in front of us anyway,” he notes. “And Mary and I are good at weighing everything up. We know these kids. We’ve lived with them from their first auditions.”

Judges’ feedback may get trimmed before any actual dancing | Lythgoe says he intends to keep the opening group number, a guest dance act, and some solo routines in the mix, all while packing in the week’s routines and eliminations — in a 120-minute package. And what about long-winded panelist Lil’ C? “He’ll have to make up shorter words,” jokes Lythgoe.

Expect some new and familiar faces in the mix | “We’re looking at three or four new choreographers,” Lythgoe offers. And, he says, keep an eye out for an act called the Ninja Twins. “They’re a couple of falmboyant young men,” he says with a chuckle. “They’re definitely entertaining.” Plus, he adds, he’s hoping to bring back some of Season 8’s more popular guest judges, including Christina Applegate, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Kristin Chenoweth, to name a few.

Excited about the changes in store for Season 9? Sound off in the comments. And for all my SYTYCD news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. tjj50 says:

    Fox is annoying me overall. First they cancel the results show and then move the Performance show to the day the results show aired. Are they trying to kill this show? Regardless, I will be watching, and am looking forward to seeing how the changes play out since they have “cut the fat” so to speak.

    • KevyB says:

      If they plan on keeping Lil C as a judge, then they haven’t cut enough fat. And that goes double for Tyce. Sitting through their babbling is the worst thing on the show!

      • Carolyn says:

        So agree with you about Lil C and Tyce. While I have great respect for Lil C as a dancer and choreographer, I cannot stand him as a judge. And Tyce just needs to go away; far, far away.

  2. Reena says:

    As long as the show is back that’s all that matters to me seems like it will be a nice change and I’m glad they are figuring out a way to still include a group dance

  3. Dancing_Nancies says:

    I’m really going to miss the results shows. I always look forward to the group numbers… those have been some of my favorites. (Wade Robinson’s Ramalama Bang Bang is right up there!) I guess they’ll still have some, but cramming it all into one show, I can’t help but think the quality or difficulty level might suffer just because there’s a limit to how many routines a dancer can learn in one week. Always love this show, though, and looking forward to it starting up again!

  4. Joe says:

    It is BEYOND RIDICULOUS that the Results show was cancelled to make way for not one but two stupid dating shows. Fox is sucking the life out of one of the better reality competitions out there. sad part is that I think they are doing it on purpose.

    • Lana says:

      I totally agree with you Joe. I am not happy about not having a results show and I think that we won’t get to know and see as much dancing as we are used to. This is my very favorite reality show and I think Fox is trying to ruin it. All for some stupid dating shows, The Choice and what ever the other one is. Trust me I won’t even check them out even if Cat is one of the Hosts. Of course I don’t watch the Batchelor and so on so its not hard not to watch these. Then they cancel Finder, Fox is really sucking big time!

    • Ashley says:

      Agree with u 100% joe. How stupid to cut the results show of one of the best shoes on fox to make room for trash instead of art. What’s wrong with them?

      • kris littlefield says:

        Hi Ashley, I agree 100%. That dating show was ridiculous. I think all the regular channels are trying to self-destruct.

  5. david7118 says:

    I like the changes. I don’t mind letting the judges decide who goes home. On a show like American Idol it’s easy to hear if someone sang flat or sharp even if the judges don’t point it out. If you don’t know dance it’s much more difficult for the general public to see all the subtleties that make a dance good or great (i.e. toes pointed, hands in correct position, etc.).

    • sarah says:

      In the past, the judges WERE still the ones to decide who was sent home. For the first few weeks they take the bottom 3 and make them dance a solo and then the judges decide who goes and this is the same thing it just means we have no results show on Thursdays.

    • Shaun says:

      Too bad they avoid saying constructive things and pointing out specific flaws.It’s like a circus now,the judges are running the asylum!!

      • Gisele Glen says:

        i think you may have this post mixed up with one from american idol the judges that do not say constructive things are over there :)

      • ladyhelix says:

        The best thing about SYTYCD – for me – is that the judges do have very specific, constructive comments about the dancing and the performance.

    • Cindy l says:

      Your right, I don’t know the technical aspects. However, I do know which one pulls me in and takes me on a wave of emotions through the dance. You can have everything correct and still be flat and boring.

  6. Emma says:

    Not sure how I feel about two winners all of a sudden, but I definitely think the performance shows are going to be too rushed/packed. The dances already seemed like they were too short, so I can’t imagine how they’ll be now. I also can’t believe Fox thinks dating shows will get better ratings than the results show but whatever. I’ll still watch of course

    • stierwalt says:

      Problem with male and female winners. The best two in season 8 were both women. You could have a co-winner actually be only the third best–favorite– dancer. Or it could be like season 7. Lauren would have been the winner halfway through the season because all the women were gone by then.

  7. elr says:

    I agree with all the above commenters. Fox really is toying with the SYTYCD audience and if they were going to get rid of a results show, why not American Idol’s. I hope these new dating shows fail miserably.

    • cjinsd says:

      I always enjoyed the SYTYCD results shows, but American Idol’s are a suckfest. Fox gets it wrong again…what a surprise.

      • jeanny says:

        Totally agree. SYTYCD was one of the few reality competition shows where the results show has a point, unlike Idol where everything is all decided so there’s five minutes of show and 40-something minutes of filler. I liked the group numbers, the “dance for you life” solos and the guest dance performers, there was substance to it. I can’t help but feel cramming everything into 1 show is going to result in a drop in quality.

  8. Rodan says:

    I think the elimination of the results show is a test to see if the methodology would work with Idol and X-Factor. Fox has to realize that these competition shows (X-Factor, Voice, Idol, AGT, Dancing w/Stars, SYTYCD) can’t all survive without trimming some of the fat. 3-4 hours per week per show, it has gotten insane.

  9. Seena Heath says:

    SYTYCD is the best reality show on TV. If Fox executives had any brains the would have dumped X Factor, the show just plain sucks. We want the result show back Fox.

    • Kay Bauer says:

      Amen – dump X-Factor, or get contestants who don’t act like immature spoiled little brats (oh, that’s right — that’s what they are!) Judges were obnoxious and fake. Total waste of time. I watchd sporadically — enough o have an informed opinion, but probably won’t watch this year.

    • Kris Littlefield says:

      I agree 150%………….X-Factor is awful…..

  10. sarah says:

    I am not sure if I like this format. Yes the results shows were fillers at times but I liked that, now they will make the dancers dance MORE as they will be preforming routines and not know if they are sent home so for the ones sent home the week of rehearsals are going to be a waste.

  11. NJ says:

    I tend to skip a bunch of stuff in the results shows anyway (how long can it take to let us know who’s going home?) so this is good news to me!

  12. Shaun says:

    The judges are crackpots….they’ve giving up the illusion of judging and it became praise at all cost and standing ovations like every time 1 dancer they like does the simplest thing.I blame it on not having alternating judges and a lack of hired talent.

  13. Erika says:

    They are doing the America’s best dance crew format and I don’t see anything wrong with that. The dancers aren’t wasting their time rehearsing a routine that they don’t get to perform. Nigel very clearly states that eliminations happen after the rehearsed performances are over with so no one is wasting their time.

  14. Megan says:

    I am so glad they are keeping the group dance! Honestly, I never watched the whole results show anyway; just watched the beginning group number and then the last 5 minutes to see who got kicked off. Seeing as the show’s still on at least once a week and they are still keeping those two aspects, I’m totally okay with it! It does make me slightly nervous for a Season 10, but I guess I shouldn’t worry about that just yet, haha.

  15. ladyhelix says:

    SYTYCD is my absolute FAVORITE show on TV!! I’ll miss seeing it twice a week – but I’m so glad it’s still on!!

  16. Jill says:

    SYTYCD has the best results show from any competition show. Sad that They’ve cut it. It’s the only result show I watched. The rest I tune in for the last 10 minutes to see who leaves

  17. jiji33 says:

    slezak, idology with skylar? and hollie?

  18. darque says:

    I’m glad for the changes honestly…. mostly.
    The results shows were way too long and boring. One hour was completely unneeded as Canada had shown it can be done in 30-minutes and be better.

    With SYTYCD Canada closing its doors dur to high costs, cutting the results show should keep the US version around a while hopefully.

    Not sure about the two winners thing honestly. I guess on one level it will be better. There have been many years that you could almost tell that the men were dominant or the women were dominant and this way that aspect is removed. Each gender will be comoeting against itself so there will be tension even if one gender is obviously weaker this year.

    That said, if one winner is obviously weaker than the other it will be a bit of a joke tohave dual winners!

  19. Interested_Fan says:

    All I have to say, is please have a Season 10!!!

  20. Cheri says:

    I am excited about the changes. But will certainly miss the All Star routines from last season.

  21. syb says:

    Sounds good to me. Results shows are so much filler. I like the format. Wish they’d try it on Idol.

  22. kris littlefield says:

    I’m sad to see the results show gone also. SYTYCD is the best reality show on TV. I’m not thrilled about the Voice or X Factor. X Factors a joke. I can guarantee I won’t watch it with Brittany Spears on it and they ruined Americas Got Talent when they hired Howard Stern. Even the previews you can see that the show is now all about him. I guess we should be thankful that we have cable…there are always Law and Order re-runs (LOL)

  23. Elizabeth Sill says:

    Isn’t it obvious? Fox has caused the push to one episode per week bc everyone has been watching episodes past online and now they want to restrict our viewership by 8 DAYS for those of us unfortunate to work 12 hr nights and can’t tune in live. It forces you to own dish or cable in order to see the episode online before the next one airs! Complete BS and makes me not want to watch the show or any show on Fox though I’ve watched it from day one. Shame on you FOX! And shame on those who have been afflicted by corporate greed.

  24. Mayr Beth says:

    SO relieved guest dancers will still be on as well as a group dance — yay! Two winners is interesting!

  25. Susan Young says:

    I can’t believe they eliminated the results shows—which were also a chance to see really great dance groups and performers….now it will all feel rushed, and that is really sad…this was one of the best shows on tv all summer, and now it’s cut in half……FOX really messed this up, what a shame……

  26. Ash says:

    I love this show and most of the Dance routines, but as an Indian and an Indian dancer I hate Nakul and what he makes the dancers do!

    Firstly Indian dancers do not hop like rabbits all over the stage and its not always so fast.. Secondly he totally confuses the entire Art form, we do not mix pure Indian classical dance such as Kathak and Bharatanatyam and call it “Bollywood” and Nakul that dumb arse talks about offending half the world?? His offending it with his obnoxious dance moves! Indian forms of dance are gracefull and take years of training and practise.

    It really makes my stomach sick when the judges praise him and say he did an awesome job! Judges catch a damn wake up if you want to promote Indian dancing!

    I seriously hate Nakul!!!!