So You Think You Can Dance Responds to Fan Outrage, Changes Season 10 Results Format

SYTYCD-Format-ChangeSo You Think You Can Dance‘s Season 10 nightmare is over — and only took 48 hours and a tidal wave of fan outrage to make it happen.

RELATED | So You Think You Can Dance Recap: First, Cuts!

The controversy began during Tuesday night’s telecast, when head judge Nigel Lythgoe began the episode by announcing the six dancers at risk for elimination based on America’s votes from the previous week. He then sent two of them to immediate safety, asked the remaining four to dance for their lives, and promptly cut Carlos Garland and Brittany Cherry from the competition.

Problem was, Carlos and Brittany were then asked to go backstage, compose themselves and return later in the broadcast to perform routines with their respective partners. Fans promptly took to Twitter blasting the move, saying that not only did it put a damper on the entire broadcast to kick it off with brutal cuts, but it also might penalize partners of eliminated dancers, particularly if the week’s evictees weren’t able to tap into their competitive spirits with nothing on the line.

Executive producer and head judge Nigel Lythgoe took to Twitter yesterday to announce a format tweak that addresses viewer complaints. “We’re taking your advice by revealing America’s vote in the beginning and judging at the end. I hope it will inspire the bottom 4? Thank you,” he wrote.

To put it another way, Lythgoe will announce the Bottom 6 vote-getters at the start of Tuesday’s broadcast and immediately send two of them to safety. CORRECTION: The Bottom 4 contestants will then perform their “Dance For Your Life” solos, before the telecast proceeds with couples’ routines featuring all 18 dancers. At the end of the show, the judges will deliberate, and the show will end with two of the at-risk dancers going home — similar to the format used in Season 9 (SYTYCD‘s first year without a designated results show.)

Are you happy Lythgoe & Co. listened to viewers? Or did you like the top-of-episode eliminations? Take out poll below, then sound off in the comments!

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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65 Comments
  1. a says:

    Good. The change seemed so obviously wrong and extremely unnecessary.

  2. Amanda says:

    Much better choice! It just seemed very cruel to cut them at the start. Especially when Carlos pulled out an AMAZING dance routine with Mariah that I feel could have potentially saved him over Jade.

    • Agreed, when I watched their routines throught the night I was like, are you serious? Carlos was so much better than Jade it made me sick.

      • Yes, Carlos was the superior dancer. Jade had to be “saved” twice in Vegas; how long will the judges keep saving him?

      • The Beach says:

        Nigel seems to think that keeping untrained animators or whatever they’re called over some trained and far superior dancers will pull in the younger he craves. I doubt that will be the case. Last year this happened also when several much better dancers were cut instead of Nige/fan favorite Cyrus. I didn’t like it then and still don’t.

        • eileen says:

          But note the competition is to win the title of America’s FAVORITE dancer, not America’s BEST dancer… Being a fan favorite is what the competition is about..

          • Lori says:

            You are correct! It is about being America’s favorite, BUT if he’s in the bottom, clearly America isn’t voting for him. It’s one thing when a less “talented” dancer gets through week-to-week on America’s vote. It’s another thing when the judges continue to save dancers (who did not get enough votes to be saved) that aren’t performing as well because of some reason like appealing to target demos.

        • MC says:

          ITA. The animators often get too much attention. I don’t think Cyrus was anywhere close to the best dancer last season, but he nearly won. People say it’s about choosing your favorite, but imo both dancers in the finale should be among the very best of the season.

        • E Mockingjay says:

          @The Beach
          Finally someone agrees with me!!!! That’s what I’ve been saying this whole time! It annoyed the crap out of me when Nigel kept giving Cyrus special treatment last season, and they’re doing the same thing to Jade and Blu-Print this season! Just because they’re animators doesn’t mean they’re the best dancers in the world.

        • Sheilalala says:

          The show has averaged 4-5 million viewers a week for years (down from 10 million is 2005) to where we lost the results show. Last year they had the ‘Cyrus Effect’ ie, untrained dancer that there was no chance in hell would make it…..and actually did” that boosted ratings up to 6 million a week for the first time in over 5 years.

          That’s why we have 4 ‘untrained’ dancers this year. They have to consider ratings or we have no show to b*tch about..

          • Midori says:

            I rather have no show. How is the keeping of the untrained helping the ratings? They aren’t, still around 4 million and a 1.2 demo. That is cancelation numbers.

          • Sheilalala says:

            I would rather have a show, and I’m glad they are doing everything they can to boost ratings and keep it on the air-even if it means there are 4 ‘untrained’ dancers out of 18 spectacular ones. Now if they keep saving Jade week after week I might feel differently…

          • Sheilalala says:

            Not to mention that this is week 2 of competition-give it a chance for god’s sake.

    • Temperence says:

      And Mariah was in jeopardy despite being a hundred times the overall dancer than either of the animators? Bizarre. Carlos and Mariah proved they deserved top 10 slots, and poor Carlos went home!

  3. Misti says:

    This makes SO MUCH more sense! Thanks for listening, Nigel & Co. :)

    • avril_lee says:

      Agreed, but still not perfect. I think the dancers deserve more than two seconds notice to pull off a solo worthy of dancing for their lives… being in the bottom probably doesn’t really sink in for them until well after they’ve performed their solos.

      • scooby says:

        Every dancer is told to prepare a solo, it’s not a surprise. It’s rather cocky to assume they won’t need it. Some of them just wing it (and have a natural skill for that), but nothing’s stopping’em from having one ready. If you’re not in the bottom for awhile, you’ll luck out and just keep the solo in your back pocket just in case. For a perennial bottom 3 vote getter, it gets harder. New solo after new solo every week? Yuck. It’s hard to keep impressing. The solos are difficult for the ballroom performers. I wish there was a way to deal with that. They’re used to tricks involving a partner so other soloists look like their work is more complex.

        • Jan1 says:

          But the ballroom dancers have the advantage in every single other dance because they are used to partnering.

  4. Nigel is so out of touch with “good ideas.” How he even thought beginning of show eliminations would work is beyond me.

  5. Jacob says:

    This is EXACTLY how it should be done. And, maybe even interspersing the Dance For Your Life solos throughout the show might be nice too, reminiscent of top 10 weeks. Thanks Nigel! Now, if only you’d listened to fan complaints during Idol…

  6. Sam says:

    I could actually understand the rationale for the beginning-of-show eliminations, in that it removed the “downer” aspect from the end of the show right before people had to get on the phone to vote. But it resulted in putting a damper on the whole show, which ends up being worse. Glad to see that they saw the folly of their ways.

  7. Midori says:

    This is/was no controversy, everyone agreed it was stupid. Poor Carlos looked like he was crying the whole time, and then had to support his partner. The judges attitude at the time was “You can handle it right, just like the real world”. In what job on this world would someone be fired from a production and then be asked to dance 30 minutes later? None!

    • Usually if they fire you you are expected to leave immediately or they escort you out, and that’s only when they don’t wait until the end of your shift to give you the news. Also when you are leaving a job in the real world there’s a thing we call “short timer syndrome” ,where the employee is no longer doing the best job because his heart just isn’t in it anymore especially if there is nothing at stake. Having said this I think the dancers pulled up their boot straps and did an excellent job. Shocked by the results, they are fantastic dancers.

    • Aaron says:

      That may be, but these are also dancers that may potentially be on a tour after being voted off so they should remain professional – it looks good for them, and helps develop their reputation as a “professional”. Sorry, but I thought it was an interesting twist and helped build character.

    • Julie says:

      Actually most dance companies tell you they are not renewing your contract before it actually expires. This allows you to go out and audition before you lose your job. It’s not quite the same as having to go out and immediately perform, but it’s the same sort of dancing for a job you no longer have. That being sad, I hated the new format and I’m glad they’re changing it.

  8. JCK says:

    Couldn’t they set Nigel up with a Roller dealership in Beverly Hills and get him away from show biz?

  9. Larry says:

    This is so much better. At least the show doesn’t begin with a downer. It gives a chance for a dancer to lay it all on the line in their performance later that night knowing they are being judged immediately at the same time. I don’t know why the producers didn’t think of this in the first place. It could had prevented the awkwardness for the dancers involved -the judges having to make flimsy excuses during their critiques of the routines and the discomfort the viewers had watching. It was the absolute worst decsion to getting rid of contestants. I’m happy with the conclusion but still can’t forget how last week was ruined.

  10. Ariel says:

    I think I might be one of the only ones who liked the change. The votes are on last week’s work. I hated how it was done last year. IT was too confusing. You couldn’t even remember what the people did last week once they had done their new dance. At least it is better than last year. I am happy that they will tell us the B4 at the beginning of the show. I think that will appease all the viewers. We will see recaps of last week’s dances. We will see who was in the bottom. And then they will do their new dances. The judges will most likely already know who they are going to cut. But they won’t announce it till the end of the show.

  11. Linda says:

    I’m glad they they are changing it, but it seems unfair to the two dancers who went home last week. Would the results have been the same if they had been given the chance to dance their routines before elimination? After watching Carlos and Brittany dance, I have to think the decision would have been different. But at least they listened to the fans..

  12. MK says:

    I still think the change is wrong. Either he should wait til the end to send two back to safety or just do the eliminations at the end of the show. Totally ridiculous, IMO. Plus…still annoyed the first one to go is a ballroom female. Is there another female ballroom left?

  13. Barb says:

    Why they went the early eliminations is beyond me but at least they are changing it for next week. Of course they tried to make the States different from other countries that have their version and failed miserably.

  14. AMRG says:

    I guess I am confused by the goal of the show. If the goal is to truly let “America decide its favorite dancer” as Nigel always points out, then the “dance for your life” and judge participation are moot. Therefore, basing the decision of who stays/goes 100% on just the previous week’s performances makes sense.

    However, once the judges get involved, then doesn’t it make sense to have them judge everything they know about the dancers, including that night’s performances as well as those of the previous week? Just confused as to how the judges actually determine who goes and if, with the new approach, that particular evening’s performances will be factored in as well as the dances for their lives.

    • Midori says:

      This is very true and has been an increasing issue to the show.

      America votes, those votes are half thrown out and the judges all talk together well before the “dance for your life” solos, making the whole thing pointless.

      They should just get rid of the judges say completely, besides maybe have a judges save, and let America vote people off completely. It’s something they should have tried this season because the ratings of falling so badly.

      • Isabel says:

        See I don’t agree. I like that the judges make decisions as they have kept in low vote getting dancers that have gone on to do very well (i.e, Danny Tidwell Season 3). If we did not have solos we would not have been able to see how truly gifted this young man was. He ended up coming 2nd and was in the bottom a number of times. Losing the judges would make it too like AI and often the results there drive me crazy. Some of us no matter how much we enjoy someone are simply not going to spend hours voting. I send votes as I want to support my favourites but refuse to spend more than 10 minutes doing so. Some younger folks have the time to vote for hours. Many of us don’t. I have always liked the limited vote option per person. It seems a more balanced way and yet you still get a sense of how popular these dancers are this way too.

    • Isabel says:

      America does select their favourite dancers (top vote receivers and thus safe) and from this the bottom 6 dancers. The dancers that receive the lowest votes do end up in the bottom 6. The judges then choose which of these dancers is ousted and the others are saved. The favourite dancers are the ones that are not in the bottom 6. From the top 10 or top 6 as it has been from time to time (changes each season it seems these days) the dancers receiving the least amount of votes is then ousted without any interference from the judges. As for how the judges decide we have been told they look at many things in determining who stays and who goes including attitude/efforts in practice, thoughts from the choreographers, votes, solos at times and current work. We have not seen a lot of these dancers so typically I am OK with their choices although have been confused at times (ie Alexa Anderson last season and Carlos when looking at the footage we have been shown thus far of Jade). Apparently Nigel felt that two better contemporary dancers remained in the group and this factored into their decision this week. If Jade does not improve though this week and ends up in the bottom group again I highly doubt he will make it another week. I would use Nigel’s reasoning on this……you have two other HH/animator style dancers left and they weren’t in the B4 last week and save for BluPrint who also was not good this week did pretty well outside their style once.

  15. Kathleen says:

    Its still too bad that Carlos wont get the opportunity for this change. he was clearly better than Jade.

  16. Marc says:

    kinda unfair for the first 2 dancers to get the boot. they have better solos and performances that night. WTH nigel.

  17. sarah says:

    For the dancers frame of mind it will be better. It will still be nerve racking for the dancers in the bottom 4. I am sure it will not change the minds of the judges as they will still choose before the show who they will send home.

  18. Danni Nordvall says:

    I am of the opinion that saving two at the top of the show is not fair. I feel that choice should be made after the solos and the current weeks dances.

  19. Mindy says:

    Better, but still not good enough. The dancers in the bottom will be put into an unfair situation. More attention will be on them and their partners than other dancers. They will go into the competition with a different mindset.

    They need to go back to last year’s format. Let everyone dance, then announce the bottom 3 and eliminations at the end. That way all the dancers are on equal footing throughout the night.

  20. PFitzDC says:

    Even though I’m dubious that it will have any effect on the “judges'” decision (I think their minds are made up before the start of the show EVERY year….), I am very happy that it won’t be such an awkward downer to do the cuts at the beginning anymore. That was horrible to absolutely everyone involved, except perhaps Nigel.

    That said, I agree with those who either want to duplicate last year’s format completely OR not do any saves at the beginning…make all 6 dance for their lives, and they will be dancing for their lives again with their partners.

    But I’ll take what I can get.

  21. RoG says:

    This show wouldn’t exist without Nigel and his staunch advocacy for dance. I for one am appreciative of him for that reason. It is obvious that he loves this show… all the bashing going on is a little nutso.

    • BabyFirefly says:

      I completely agree.

    • Jan1 says:

      I agree.

    • Lana says:

      RoG, I have said that several times here. This show is Nigel’s baby and I am very thankful to him for my very favorite show as I love dancing as much as he does and I am not a professional dancer. In my eyes he can do no wrong on this show, but he did with this and then he immediately fixed it and actually took a very good idea that came from dozens of fans and used it. Once again he can do no wrong. I hope he continues to fight for the life of this show as I don’t want to lose this show no matter how many of the fans get mad at him. Nigel you aren’t all those ugly things that are said about you at least for SYTYCD. lol

    • Kate says:

      I LOVE this show and would miss it terribly. I did think this particular way of handing the cuts wasn’t well thought out, so we’ll see how it goes now. I will miss Carlos, too – he was a beautiful dancer.

  22. waffles says:

    They need to bring back the results show the next night.

    • Jill says:

      I agree. It is the best results show out of most of the competition shows

      • BabyFirefly says:

        I agree as well, but I was under the impression that cutting the elimination show was the alternative to canceling the show. The ratings keep going down and at this point I’m grateful it’s still around. I really miss having the show on twice a week though.

  23. Jill says:

    With how well online viewing goes, why don’t they film the elimination & put it online on Wednesday & not have the bottom go through all of that.

  24. Joyce B says:

    I’m so glad they’re going back to the eliminations at the end. However, I hope the judges will take into consideration how all of the dancers do that night before making a decision. I don’t know why they even danced for their lives last week, it was obvious the decisions were already made. I’d like to see even more thought put into it. But at least it’s a start.

  25. luli303 says:

    I still think last year’s format was better than this. The “dance for your life” needs to be at the end as well. The nerves would still be a problem.

  26. Kenneth Schaeffer says:

    Stop your complaints. Stop watching the show if you hate it. Just stop. I have been watching the show since season 2. I have enjoyed every season and love to see who pops up as back ups for my fave stars. On other TV shows(Glee), and in the movies. I have my faves from the past(Travis, Mark, Kent, Twitch, Sahsa, Eleanore, Melanie, Pasha). The choreographers(Travis, Pasha, Tyce, Mandy, Mia, Sonya, Christopher, Spencer). The Judges, Mary, Nigel, Adam) and Cat who I adore. So just enjoy the show. This show has done more for dancers that any other shows. I am a Fan, I want to thank FOX, Nigel and everyone associated with the show. It makes me look forward to summer even more! OH! by the way it makes me so mad to see the Emmy Awards ignore Cat every year. Who ever is in the voting group for Host you need to just give it to her she has proved her self for years. Now just give it to her GEESH!

    • Dee Too says:

      The complaints serve as constructive criticism to keep the show alive. Producers DO listen, and if there is an overwhelming complaint, as in this case, of course they want to fix the problem. I’ve been watching since season one. The show has never been perfect, but I haven’t ever turned it off in disgust until this episode. After the eliminations at the top of the hour and the first raunchy routine, I’d had enough. I came back the following week and found the eliminations not as bad and the new choreographers refreshing (although I do like the “old” choreographers as well).

  27. -A says:

    I felt bad for the dancers that got eliminated due to the cocky format. So glad Nigel actually listened to us for once.

  28. S. says:

    Does this mean now Nigel will listen to viewers and stop the burlesque type dancing (pole dancing of last season) and go back to the artistic dances from previous seasons?
    I feel bad that young girls audition for this show saying that they have been watching, and their style is “sexy” and they hope “Nigel likes it.”

  29. ssass says:

    I am done with this show. They lost another viewer. They dumb down the choreography for those that can’t dance and then save them week after week. It doesn’t matter if Jade ends up in the bottom week after week. He clearly cannot dance but Nigel will continue to save him in the hopes of saving the show from being yanked off the air (it’s all about the demographic they are trying to reach). I’m out.

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