So You Think You Think You Can Dance – Nigel Lythgoe Defends Results Twist

Last night’s So You Think You Can Dance featured a twist. The results were revealed at the top of the show, and the eliminated dancers HAD TO PERFORM anyway! What made the situation even more awkward, both contestants, Carlos Garland and Brittany Cherry were paired up with dancers who weren’t going home. Basically, dancers still in the game had to rely on the professionalism and emotional toughness of dancers who have just heard pretty terrible news.

The SYTYCD twitterverse pretty much EXPLODED as fans voiced their displeasure with the so-called “twist.” Executive producer, and judge, Nigel Lythgoe became immediately defensive…and confusing.

Oh Nigel. You base your decisions on who to eliminate (At this point in the competition, fan votes determine the bottom 6. The judges decide who goes home) on whatever is convenient at the time.

Yes, Brittany and Carlos took the stage after their eliminations with grace and class. But as we have seen from American Idol and other competition reality shows, every competitor has a different reaction when they are cut loose. These dancers, in many cases are ONLY TEENAGERS. It’s a lot to expect them to keep it together at all times.

No. Eliminations at the top of the show are way worse. It sets a negative and cruel tone.

Uhm. What? Of course they are subjective. What’s your point? You can announce the bottom 3 girls/guys at the top of the show, but save the elimination for the end.

Nigel. Are you losing your mind? You ARE a judge, AND the executive producer! Of course you have the final say. Just own up to the fact that your little twist was a bomb. Fix it and move on.

How do you feel about the new twist? Take the Poll:

  • http://anibundel.wordpress.com/ anibundel

    Ok, I get what Nigel was thinking when he moved this to the beginning. Because last year the dancers danced like they were going to go on and then Surprise! they didn’t. Audiences felt robbed that they had planned to vote for a performance that was then ineligible.

    Putting the elimination at the beginning solved that, plus made it so the eliminated dancers got a “goodbye” dance out. The results were uneven though. Brittany danced like her heart wasn’t in it, and left BluPrint high and dry in a genre he was already uncomfortable with. Carlos, on the other hand, gave it his all, and his performance was heightened emotionally with the knowledge this was his last time, and he was doing everything to save Mariah, who had only survived by the grace of the judges.

    But I don’t think it worked either. i like the idea of a split announcement, personally. Announce the bottom six at the top of the show. Then everyone dances. The judges then use that evening performance (or pretend to) to help them determine who stays and who solos and who goes home at the end of the show. That way the audience knows who is in danger before they plan who to vote for, and who goes home isn’t a total surprise, plus we have an extra “dancing for their lives” injected into the duets as well as the solos.

  • hayes

    Slezak brings up a valid point with putting the results at the top of the show – there is a risk that the eliminated dancers phone it in during their performance and screwing over their partners. There is also a chance that both eliminees are paired up. If so, what are they going to do? Skip them altogether? It’s okay to be influenced by that night’s performances before making the cut. After all, America does choose the bottom three, but the judges still make the final cut. There’s nothing wrong with eliminating someone based on that week’s and the previous week’s performances.

  • usedtobelucy

    Well, it is show business. And in show business you do have to learn that, yes, the show much go on.

    I see pluses and minuses with having the elimination at either end of the show. Once they eliminate the results shows, there aren’t really any great alternatives.

    Since these guys aspire to dance for a living, I think they just need to view it as an audition, in which they’re proving to the people who may hire them — and they *are* watching — that they will give it their all on stage, no matter what. After all, this whole show *is* their big audition, plain and simple. That’s why they’re on it, and they’ll never have a chance for a general audition like this again. So they might as well take the chance they get to prove that, not only can they dance, they are really troupers, too. I know they’re teenagers, but, frankly, most dancers’ careers don’t last much beyond being teenagers. You do have to grow up fast in the dance world, if you’re going to have a career of much length, for most people, anyway.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Honestly, I had no problem with this format, though I do agree that a split version, with bottom 6 at the beginning, then announcing those leaving at the end would be fine. I just really hated the way it was done last year.

  • lizland

    I would like them to announce the bottom at the beginning, but have them perform and not announce the exiting contestants until the end. I never really like the solos, as often a dancer is in a discipline that doesn’t play well to a short solo. It seems pointless to the final decision. This way, their performance serves as their last chance to impress and they can bag the solo.

  • Karen C

    A possible solution is to simply let the contestants know who will be eliminated after the vote, but announce it at the beginning of the show. They can even pretape the solo rounds in front of the judges, and make their selection then. This would take away some of the drama, but would avoid them having to dance after they are eliminated.
    It really does ruin the flow of these shows to not have a result show.

  • Kariann Hart

    Good post! I am so disappointed they have eliminated the Results Show. Everything seems so uneven. Like Fox doesn’t have a half an hour to allow a separate Results show. Final cuts should be announced at the end of the show. Come on Nigel, have a heart!

  • hcpoirot

    Its really prove that Nigel did not had a heart and only want to boost the rating with try all kind of changes (though this one is really cruel) .

    Guess what, it did not work. Most of us hate this twist and the rating keep sliding down.

  • usedtobelucy

    Honestly, though, is this really a reason not to watch the show?

    Seems to me that the show’s about dance. It’s one of the very very few places where you even get to see dance at all, of this quality. One of even fewer places where you can see it of this quality and this *variety.* So it seems to me that people who aren’t watching it aren’t watching it because they really care about dance very much. (which, of course, we knew …. America care about dance (or any art?) very much? We know that’s not the case.)

    Can’t see this having the least thing to do with ratings (especially since the ratings slide occurred long before this ever happened.)

  • Sq

    For ten years we have been “trained” by reality shows – including SYTYCD that the vote off is the “big finish” followed by a tearful farewell and best wishes for the future…. to put that at the top of the show is just not very bright – views feel let down, we’ll never know what performances they could have offered had they not been eliminated, emotions overshadow skill. It feels like a desperation ploy. The biggest problem for SYTYCD is it’s own success – in the first few years we could see the growth of the dancers as they improved each week – now only the hip hop dancers :”improve” and that worked for a few years but now it’s the same old.

    Some twists that might work – pair the dancers with singers and do that live. Add some challenges – (like they do in the cooking shows) – show us the dancers learning one move – show us what it looks like new, then middle of practice and then in performance – find ways to keep it fresh without manipulating the audience.

  • ladymctech

    You think Nigel would have learned a few lessons at Idol about cruelty and unnecessary twists. Oh well, sometimes you just cannot teach the old dog new tricks.

  • usedtobelucy

    Well, I can see your point about the audience finding this “cruel.” After all, the stupid audiences of the singing contests start yelling Boooooo!!!! the minute a judge gives the hint of a vapor of a whisp of a criticism of a bunch of people who are looking to attain professional *stardom* in one of the toughest — if not the toughest — of all businesses.

    But in the typical life of a dancer, I doubt that it registers anywhere near the “cruel” meter.

    That said, it’s a tv show, and they need to think about regular audiences.

    Maybe they were thinking of it the way I do — that the relatively small audience that watches this show anyway tend to be people involved enough in the arts that, like Nigel and company, the idea that having them dance after being cut was any crueler than any of the other billions of difficult things dancers go through in this world.

    I’m taken completely surprised by the audience outrage over this, so I’m not surprised that it wouldn’t have occurred to Nigel.

  • usedtobelucy

    How do you see a ratings ploy in this? I can’t imagine that they thought they would boost ratings with it — after all, ratings come from *suspense,* not from knowing the outcome at the beginning of the something.

    Seems to me the idea probably just came from trying to streamline things, in this difficult situation where they’re forced not to have a results show.

  • Bokhi

    Nigel, I don’t know if my first MSG was posted.
    Please, please use Michael Jackson’s ” Smooth Criminal ”
    For opening dance. Please please I am dying to see all the contestants
    Dancing MJ’s music.
    You are the best !!!!