So You Think You Can Dance Renewed for Season 12 — With a Twist!

So You Think You Can Dance Ratings

The Hot Tamale train is still chugging along — woooohooo!

Fox has renewed So You Think You Can Dance for Season 12 — but the show is getting a face lift, of sorts, before it returns in summer 2015. (TVLine’s 2015 Renewal Scorecard has been updated to reflect the news.)

The Emmy-nominated reality staple will pit stage dancers against street dancers for its upcoming installment, Fox announced today.

Here’s how producers are describing the new format: “Throughout the auditions, the dancers who advance will be placed into two teams – the stage dancers, featuring those trained in styles such as contemporary, ballet, jazz or tap; and the street dancers, hopefuls skilled in hip-hop, animation or breaking. As the auditions continue, the judges, along with each team’s All-Star Mentor, will eliminate dancers until only the Top 20 – 10 Street Dancers and 10 Stage Dancers – remain. When the competition goes ‘live,’ the Top 20 will be challenged weekly to perform a variety of styles, working with world-renowned choreographers. One dancer from each genre will be eliminated each week leading up to the Season Finale. Who will win… a dancer from the stage or the street? Find out when So You Think You Can Dance returns in summer 2015.”

So You Think You Can Dance is a rare jewel,” said Simon Andreae, Fox’s executive vice president for alternative entertainment, in announcing the renewal. “It combines high art with mass entertainment in a seamless, sophisticated and hugely satisfying way.” He added the network is hoping the new street-vs-stage twist will bring the show “up to date” and “introduce a whole new set of rooting opportunities.”

Excited about SYTYCD‘s renewal? Any initial thoughts about the change to the format? 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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282 Comments
  1. espy88 says:

    Oh thank god…Nigel Lythgoe freaked out a lot of people with his ominous tweet.

  2. Brandy says:

    I was so excited…until I read about the facelift. Why try to fix what isn’t broken? I don’t want ten hip hop dancers in the top 20!

    • Hayes says:

      That was my first thought. The facelift is unnecessary.

    • Wordsmith says:

      On the other hand, it’s also a little less fun when only one hip-hop competitor makes it through to the top 20, like this past season.

    • AJ says:

      It is broken. Have you seen the ratings!

    • addie says:

      This past season was one of the lowest seasons it’s had, obviously something did need to be fixed. If they actually bring in some new choreographers, that would work even better!

      • MyBallerine says:

        New choreographers? Have you seen the ones they already have? They definitively don’t need a change about that! ^^

      • Tanya says:

        They brought it a few new ones this past season! They were all great and brought something different

      • dsm says:

        As much as I hate to admit, they actually need a complete change at the Judges Table. Look, I like Mary and Nigel, but those two do not bring in any “new” blood in the all-important 18-34 demo rating! And half of the “Celebrities” judging are awful!

        • Becca says:

          I agree.
          I could not watch last year because I just could not listen to Mary yell through the show. Hate hate hate her hot tamale train in the ‘nails on the chalkboard’ voice!

        • Marc Sepeda says:

          Mary really needs to be retired. I agree wholeheartedly that the judging panel needs a reboot.

          • Nathan says:

            I agree with this wholeheartedly. Mary needs to go, replace her with a retired ballet dancer (no one with the free time to do it comes to mind atm…), because God knows they need a professional opinion on ballet technique. Loved Misty Copeland this season but she’s still at it, and getting her own show I hear.

            Maybe keep Nigel, he’s funny sometimes, and the occasional twitter wars are hilarious. Besides, he’s quick getting to the point judging the performance which never gets old.

            Reboot welcome, as long as I still have SYTYCD, I’m all for whatever production comes up with to convince the network to keep it.

    • Bryce says:

      It’s broken in that it’s boring. Every season I pay attention to the top 20, top 18, top 4, and top 2. I watch the episodes in the middle, but I watch them very passively.

    • Temperance says:

      That’s neither a ‘facelift’ or an ‘update’. I’m glad the show was renewed, but why? Hip-hop is OK for a little spice, but, well, that’s all it is.

    • Kandice says:

      I so agree. You can only watch but so much hip hop. I think this is going to send the show in the wrong direction.

  3. MDEP says:

    Great news! I was nervous about the twist, but it seems interesting.

  4. Jason Paul says:

    Will be different but glad it’s coming back!

  5. David says:

    Sounds nearly exactly the same format, once you hit the top 20. If they want to facelift the show, why not retire the fossils (Nigel and Mary) and don’t get me wrong, i would not like that, i love them. and the rotating seat… i’m just sayin.

    • Alison says:

      Because Nigel is the Executive Producer.

      • Wild child says:

        He was also the executive producer of American Idol but they booted him and was Frank Darabont was also the EP of the Walking Dead and though the show was doing really well in the ratings he got fired. Point being EP’s get booted all the time. It’s the network and the studios that have the ultimate power. Might I add I really believe that show needs new blood at the judging table. Nigel & Mary have got to go.

  6. Wordsmith says:

    I think teams is just as an effective way to break things down as boys vs. girls. Curious to see how this will affect the gender makeup of the top 20, and how they will pair the competitors.
    I imagine they may have to do a whole lot more guy-guy and girl-girl routines with the new format, which I totally support.

  7. cjinsd says:

    Yippee! It would be a shame to lose a great show like this…the best reality show.

  8. Christine says:

    i love the show, but really don’t understand why they have the rotating judges that have no dance background coming in to judge a dance competition. while figure skating is one thing, it is not actual dance to me, and actors just learn the routines for whatever movie or show they are doing , they aren’t professional trained from a young age. i think they need to incorporate more of the dance world professionals like they did this season with the prima ballerina (forgot her name) and the soloist from the joffre. that would be a “facelift” worth seeing as many of the contestants aspire to be like these professionals. street vs. stage is interesting sure, but not all that feasible. entertaining yes, but again with what end?

    • damonT says:

      Jenna Elfman and Christina Applegate are both trained dancers and offer a lot of great insight. The other actors are highly entertaining and maybe are there to offer the “average man” view of the dancers? I don’t know anything about dance, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the beauty of the art form. I loved the “pros” they had on the panel this year also. I think mixing it up is a great way to keep lots of people engaged.

    • Philisa says:

      I completely agree with you! That Ballerina knew all the right lingo, compared to Christina Applegate, (whom I love as an actress mind you) who continually just continually told the dancers and choreographers to “shut their face”. I would love to see people who have “made it” in their chosen genre educating others in the same genre.

    • I agree with you Christine. Non dance judges have nothing to add to the conversation. Am thinking the show was told they had to make a change to stay on the air.

    • James says:

      As far as I can recall, Jesse Tyler Ferguson is also a trained dancer.

    • Ann says:

      What I don’t think people realize is that the rotating judges DO have dance experience!! The show is smarter than that! Maybe update yourself on the guest judges before you say something like that.

      • Mike says:

        Carlie Rae Jepson?? Seriously?? She had a cute song, but she couldn’t offer a critique to save her life. That being said, there have been some good guest judges who have added to the show.

    • Very well put! I totally agree.

    • Mike says:

      I’d love to see some of the all stars come back as guest judges. They know dance and they know what it’s like to be a contestant.

  9. Jenks says:

    This sounds like a great way to shake things up. I’m just happy the show is coming back.

  10. I love SYTYCD. We don’t need to mess with it. This feels like they are handicapping the top 20 and I don’t need affirmative action to pick my favorite dancer.

    • Gallavich Shipper says:

      The last season was dull as hell. I like the fact that street dancers will be kept for the long haul. Then maybe the ratings won’t keep falling endlessly. This show has decided to adapt and survive and I hope it works. The sneer of ‘affirmative action’ implies you don’t think black dancers deserve to be there. The ratings suggest your way of thinking is losing the show viewers.

      • Ray says:

        Who said anything about black dancers? Race has nothing to do with this. I think the OP just doesn’t want street dance forced down our throats. They’re retooling the show to ensure weaker dancers who would’ve been weeded out now have guaranteed slots in the finals.

        • theo says:

          Soo those of us who are forced to contemporary dancer after contemporary dancer twirl on stage have to sit and look pretty, but when the show actually tries to – I don’t know – DIVERSIFY itself it’s all of a sudden forced upon unwanted? First, you’re ignorant point blank. Second, race kinda does have something to do with it. How many winners have we had that weren’t white? How many street dancers have been given the boot due to biased judging? How many contemporary dancers have won the competition vs non contemporary dancers? Have an arena of seats. Third, being a street dancer doesn’t make you a weaker dancer. Ballet/Jazz/Contemporary dancers when you boil it down are all ballet dancers with a baby pinch of flair….That’s it…No originality, it’s the usual coupe turn into an endless myriad of a la seconde turns. Throw in a grand jete here, a firebird leap there and pretty little leg extension to top it all off. It’s the same thing over, and over and over. The only exceptional contemporary dancers that caught my attention in SYTYCD history were Sasha and Jasmine Harper because they actually excelled in other styles. So, yeah the show did need a face lift.

          • T stubbs says:

            Um, lots of non whites have won. Do you watch it? Fik-shun, Russel Ferguson, Joshua Allen, Sabra Johnson, Chehon Wespi Tschopp (yes real name)

          • A.J. says:

            That is a hyperbole, isn’t it? Because as far as I know ANY sort of dance is incredibly challenging, and it takes a whole lot more than an extra nice set of feet to get through. Ballet is not modern, is not contemporary, ect. You really should try not being so reductive with your dismissal of beautiful work. I love street dancing as much as anyone, but I don’t believe anyone forces you to do anything. It’s sort of narrow of you to dismiss a dancer who excels in their craft if they are weaker in others. I would never dismiss Twitch because his broadway is so-so. If you don’t like it, fine. But you should raise up what you do instead of dissing what you don’t.

          • Ozma says:

            Not sure why I can never see my posts, except for maybe they’re too long…
            going to break it up then.
            I’ve watched SYTYCD since the beginning.
            While I think keeping things diverse is great, if you mean as far of differeing types of people making up the top 20 – I feel it’s actually been quite diverse.

            In fact, of all 11 seasons there has been:
            22 people who are persons of color/minorities who have made it to the finale (depending on how they see themselves I suppose, it might be 20 or 21)
            7 of the 22 won
            13/15 have either not been hip hop dancers, or they represented another style in addition to hip-hop
            4 of the 7 winners were not hip hop dancers. (Sabra, Jeanine, Chehon and Ricky).
            (again, or less depending on how they classify themselves)…

          • Ozma says:

            (pt 2)
            …If you’re looking at diversity of styles, I believe 12 have been represented amongst 11 seasons of finalists (Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Hip hop, Breakdance, Animation, Krump, Broadway, Tap, Ballroom, Latin, Swing) with winners representing 6.

            Yes, some genres are over represented, but it has always been, to me, about who truly is the most versatile dancer.
            (I’d like to specify that that is what I look for. Others vote for the dancer that is their favorite, not necessarily the best of most versatile… and they are allowed to vote however they want.)
            As long as the top 20 are chosen both based on skill and versatility- then I’ll be happy to watch.
            I just hope they actually have the dancers doing something different each week.

          • Ray says:

            You call me ignorant, but your inability to differentiate between ballet, jazz and contemporary dancers says it at all. Not worth arguing with someone who has such limited understanding of dance.

            Perhaps I shouldn’t generalize, but most street dancers that have been on the show have not been able to expand their repertoire beyond their limited skill set. On the other hand, classically trained dancers have had a mixed bag of results with street styles; some have fared well and others failed miserably. That being said, if this show is to diversify–why should it only be limited to street dancers being guaranteed slots in the finals? Why not pull from the vast world of Indian classical dance–Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi. I’d like to see the ballet, tap, contemporary and street dancers all try their hand at those styles. They’re each incredibly unique and difficult.

          • manny says:

            I agree what makes them think contemporary is the only dance that deserves attention and it is about race every black doesn’t make it far because you have white racist people voting that dont understand dance you cant tell me that there are no black people that cant dance every dance I have see the winners do when it comes to hip hop they are terrible but the hip hop dancers can do the contemporary routines this show is so fake and sucks you should be able to do any dance if you can dance like jasmine sasha and lot more blacks but they lost to winners that wasn’t a well rounded dancer stiff and looked like they were lost in routines

        • kevin says:

          You know the connotation of affirmative action, so you also know what is implied by the term. Who does affirmative action benefit the most. Why was the reason it was eliminated? Please. Like calling Obama a monkey, then saying it isn’t racist.

        • Antonio Dennis says:

          true!

        • Mac Yari says:

          to basicly settle everything i do not think race has anything to do with it and also has anyone forgot about ricky ubeda, rudy a. and nick from s11 though nicksort of weakens my arguement the last time i checked Cuban is not considered white. i think the two of you are getting mixed up with race and style most pple typically generalize whites w/contemporary and people of color w/hip hop or street dancing and i hope this settles your heated debate about completely irrelevant topic to what the show is about, THE VALUE OF DANCE

    • Alcan says:

      Now, that last comment about affirmative action is letting your real colors show, and it’s not very appealing! TGE mix of various races comes a cross more in the Dance genre than any other in this world! We all all ignorant of something in our lives but that was just a STUPID remark to make!

  11. addie says:

    Sounds like a good change! I hope it really does work because this show was really, really, really good at one point and it does help people see different styles of dance and everything.

  12. Steph Lunday says:

    they need to stop fixing what isnt broken.

  13. Drew says:

    They need to change the choreography as well. I see three options: New choreographers to keep things fresh… Dances exclusively choreographed by former contestants… or make the choreography part of the competition, with a new prize added for America’s favorite choreographer.
    They also need to stop telling us some sappy sob story about what each dance means before we see it, because I spend most of the time trying to figure out how these dances represent anything they just said. If the dance can’t tell the story on its own, the story is pointless anyway.

  14. Melinda O'Brien says:

    SYTYCD has always been a contest of the best sort; it’s been a contest where the contestants literally cheer for one another and care for one another. I feel like FOX is wanting to make it just another back-stabbing reality show. If they do, I won’t watch. I have LOVED this show because of it’s ability to build the dancers up through constructive criticism. It has NEVER been a we vs. them type of show. I’m just not sure I’m going to like this.

  15. Tammy says:

    I guess it’s better than nothing at all. I don’t see the need for the changes.

  16. Not so sure about that new format but glad it is coming back.

  17. I had almost given up hope that FOX would renew the show. Not sure how I feel about the street dancers pitted against stage dancers. We shall see. At least there is a SYTYCD.

  18. ktbanks says:

    So….basically what it’s always been with more guaranteed slots for street dancers. I’ll take it! I’ve been freaking out about this since Nigel’s tweet this weekend…I was SO worried! Great news!

  19. Erica says:

    THANK THE TV GODS!! However, It doesn’t need a facelift, it needs new cheoreographers. As much as I love many that are in rotation, it’s time to bring in new talent. Give the other amazing talent out there a chance.

  20. Never thought it needed a facelift. This show has extraordinary content. The judging is the most professional of any show on television. The production values are top shelf. It’s my favorite show, just keep renewing it!

  21. Farrel Freeman says:

    I love the format of the show
    And am sorry they feel the need to change it. It is one of the best shows on TV …. Why change something that is already great?

  22. Sorry – but if it ain’t broke – why mess with it? Too much “street” = not enough classic dance.

  23. Bummer on the format change – it is no longer America’s favorite dancer – Sigh – why do they always screw up a good thing. I loved this show as it was and do not like the forced teams and eliminations from each team – sad.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    HORRIBLE idea! The reason this show has such a following is because everyone is advanced because they are the best and they are who we want to see!

  25. Chefgirl says:

    Ah well, we all know about those street dancers – like Russell, who would get such an uncomfortable look on his face when Nigel fawned over him as being “untrained” – Russell who was majoring in dance at an arts college.

  26. Kraley says:

    I don’t like the idea of the facelift. I love that 20 extremely talented dancers are able to show America their craft. I like the hip hop routines, but don’t think an us vs them mentality is a great idea. One of the things I really love abt this show is that everyone is cheering for each other. They are a team.
    Also, PLEASE let us buy past seasons of SYTYCD.

    • Mooshki says:

      That will never happen because the music rights would cost them a fortune. The only way they could do it would be to use alternate music, which would be a big mess.

  27. Cathy says:

    I’m not sure about this new format. I liked it a lot the way it was! As my grandfather used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fox it!” It wasn’t broke!

  28. Luvsdancin says:

    Blech, no street dancers, that’s when I fast forward! I can’t stand them. Why, why do they change a really good thing?? So glad you’re comin back, but bring on the stage dancers! Love you Nigel and Mary!!

  29. Lori says:

    Please put this on two times a year. Once a year isn’t enough! My favorite show.

  30. Kim says:

    No!!!! Leave it alone! Switch out the choreographers or do new styles like Ballet or Tap. Really challenge them!

  31. Lori says:

    This should be on twice a year. Best show out there. I love it.

  32. Cheryl says:

    I’m never in favor of us vs them. I have enjoyed watching young people with unlike training or background build positive relations with each other. I never miss a show, but last season was a letdown. I blame the choreography and wish it could return to a 2 night schedule.

  33. Merle says:

    I love this show and will be very sad if you pull it

  34. kellytraz says:

    When I read that the show was being renewed I was like: “YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!” and then when I read the format change I was like: “What the crap?”

    I feel like it could potentially work, because some seasons there are obvious winners and the trained dancers sometimes over power the number of street dancers, but what happens when they have to eliminate a trained dancer each week who could be better than the majority of the street dancers, but has to be eliminated because of the new format?

    Also, are there still couples? how will that work out?

    I feel like what they should have done to change the format would have been to make it a bit more personal. On dancing with the stars they show a lot of behind the scenes, like who likes who, who isn’t getting along, etc. that could increase ratings.

    Also, they could do mimick some of the ideas that DWTS does of having them have themed weeks that involve the dancers creating part of the dances themselves, like when they do “My most memorable year” on DWTS.

    IDK. I agree they needed a format change, butttt…not this one.

    • Kstar says:

      I hear you, but the show has never been about the “best” dancer. And while I think that too many street dancers could make the show odd, the perfect technical dancers they get every year almost make the show boring because there is nothing to criticize.The judges either gush about their talent or nitpick. It might be nice to see some dancers who can’t do everything perfect when it comes to mixing styles.

      I agree that having themed weeks and involving the dancers in the choreography would freshen things up. Great ideas!

  35. Leezah Bergmann says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the horrible changes you are planning on making to what I consider one of the best shows on television!! It’s almost like the show did get cancelled after all!!!

  36. Phyllis says:

    I’m excited. Can’t wait for the new season and the format?! DVR is ready and set

  37. Mecky Lang says:

    I agree something needs to change. I’m just not sure this is the change it needed. I’ve always loved the show, and couldn’t wait to see the opening number. However, this past season only one opening number really grabbed me and took me on a journey “Bang Bang” Top 10. I still can’t wait for the new season to start. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s a good season.

  38. Tara Nelson says:

    Isn’t all dance art? I mean seriously we have had so many talented dancers that started out stage or “street” and be able to overcome and learn all, so why separate them out? Doesn’t make sense and I’m not sure I’m down with this “facelift”

  39. Deena Smith says:

    I wish they wouldn’t mess with a good thing. The format was so good before! I’m worried that they are going to mess it up.

  40. Kstar says:

    I think the best way to give the show a facelift is to break away from the male-female pairings. I would love to see more trios, same-sex dance partners, or even group numbers that are judged. I also think that the judges just talk too much. The repeat themselves all the time, here is so much gushing, and they try to be clever and funny. It’s fine to a degree, but I would rather see more behind the scenes stuff or more about these kids as people. It is about the contestants, not the judges.

  41. Dawn Perez says:

    Ive watched since this show began,and I just love it. I don’t know how the new format will work, and I think you shouldn’t fix what’s not broken., but I will still watch!

  42. Heather sharpe says:

    I love the show but I did have to stop watching as the amount of judges was overwhelming. I also find Mary Nurphy to be so annoying with hot tamale train and her high pitched voice. The dancing is serious but she brings down the seriousness and beauty of it all!

  43. Bob says:

    If that’s what it took to get the show renewed, then OK. I understand the need to get ratings. I do enjoy the street dancers who can learn the other styles. My own preference would be to return to the format where there was one male and one female winner.

  44. Emma McAlister says:

    I am a young dancer, and I am very disappointed by this new format. I want to watch this show to see the dancers that a truly the best of the best. By having an equal number of untrained dancers and dancers who have been training their whole life to have this opportunity, it makes the chances of an amazing trained dancer getting on the show even slimmer. I believe that the best dancers should be on the show. Period. This new system is unfair, because I want to watch quality dancing. Although I support some untrained dancers being on the show because it is truly incredible to see their improvement, the incredible choreography by the people on the show is going to go to waste due to dancer who are just incapable of being at that level because of lack of training. This is my favorite TV show, and it will be very disappointing to see a change like this.

    • Drew says:

      Street dancers train too. And they’re usually far less boring than the ones who have been dancing in a classroom their whole lives.

    • Teresa says:

      Street dancers train too, and the good ones train a lot. I never understood why the show doesn’t take a classically trained dancer and let them compete at breaking. Seems totally rigged and unfair that street dancers are all grouped under hip hop- and then hip hop becomes the studio version of hip hop.

  45. cazual girl says:

    Oh NOOOOO!!!!!! This is my FAVORITE show. Please oh please don’t change it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Kris peeler says:

    Excited for ten hip hop and ten stage dancers. As a hip hop dancer in most styles, to show the world that street dance is more then just kids fooling around, it is an art in our eyes. Now we can show it to the world on one of the greatest stages of all.

  47. Naomi Rhoads says:

    Fox executives should get out of the way and give Nigel Lythgoe total freedom to organize SYTYCD as he thinks best. Lythgoe has produced the BEST reality/competition show by far….but the earlier seasons were better than before FOX started tampering with it and limiting it to once a week rather than twice.

  48. Robert short sircuit Wilson says:

    See you there :)

  49. Carmen Cortez says:

    Im so happy,i love this show, its good for came back. ..Tkssd

  50. Kim says:

    Yes! My whole family loves SYTYCD!