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'So You Think You Can Dance': Dancers to pair with all-stars in Season 7

March 29, 2010 | 12:53 pm

NLythgoe_Singles_01-016_lyv2F_2More big changes are afoot at "So You Think You Can Dance," ones that are sure to especially excite diehard "SYTYCD" fans as well as those who perhaps lost interest sometime after Season 4.

A few days ago, Maria Elena Fernandez reported on executive producer Nigel Lythgoe's announcements on tweaks the show is making for Season 7.  Today, on a conference call he revealed even more intriguing news: that not only are the dancers changing partners each week, they won't even be dancing with one another, except for the finale.

A team of "SYTYCD" "all-stars" will be brought on board, "some of our favorite dancers from across all six seasons." Instead of the contestants choosing genres out of the hat, they'll select a photo of one of the all-stars and that will dictate their dance for the week. Each all-star will represent a genre in which he or she has dominated on the show. "For instance," said Lythgoe, "If you were to pick Fred Astaire, you'd see that you're going to do a fox trot that week."  

Some other tidbits were also revealed on the call and on the FOX press release:

-- This year, the competition is the toughest it has ever been as the judges will pick only 10 dancers (five guys and five girls) from the thousands who audition to compete for the title of America’s favorite dancer.

-- Being the tease that he is, Lythgoe declined to reveal the all-stars' names at this time, but promised to leak them out gradually via his Twitter feed, @DizzyFeet. Lythgoe did clarify that the all-stars will not be judged on their performances nor will they critique their partners' dancing.

-- Contrary to some rumors, Mary Murphy will be returning this season, this time as a choreographer and as a judge, which means that she will not sit on the panel permanently. The same goes for fan favorite choreographer Mia Michaels. Lythgoe said that the panel of judges will by and large rotate every week, including former judges such as Debbie Allen, Lil C and Tyce Diorio, allowing for an occasional four-person panel.

-- Those who are waiting for the Season 6 tour will have to wait some more. The tour never got off the ground due to a shortage of venues and bad travel weather, so Lythgoe revealed that this opens up the possibility of a future tour including all-stars and Season 6 and Season 7 contestants.

As for why these changes are occurring now, Lythgoe simply said, "I don't believe in letting things get stale, and I don't believe in allowing audience knowing exactly what's going to happen and be bored by it." 

I for one wish some other shows would take this cue. (Cough. "American Idol.")

The two-hour Season 7 premiere airs May 27 on FOX. 

-- Claire Zulkey (follow me at on Twitter @Zulkey)

Photo: "So You Think You Can Dance " executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe. Credit: FOX
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