Tuesday, October 26, 2010

U.S. So You Think You Can Dance getting another overhaul, Mary Murphy says

from thestar.com:

October 25, 2010

Cassandra Szklarski

Mary Murphy says more changes are afoot for the U.S. So You Think You Can Dance.

So You Think You Can Dance will undergo another format overhaul in the U.S. after disappointing ratings over the summer, says Mary Murphy, the high-octane ballroom expert who until last season was a judge on the U.S. series.

Murphy, who also guest-judged the Canadian version of the dance competition, says last season's decision to incorporate all-star dancers into weekly routines did not entirely resonate with audiences.

“Ratings did drop in the States this last season and so they're going to make changes,” Murphy said backstage at So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which crowned ballroom dancer Denys Drozdyuk the winner on Sunday.

“We’re probably going back to the way that we used to do it and they're going to keep the all-stars as well, so they're going to do half of the show the way it used to be done and the later half of the show with the all-stars. How that's going to work out, exactly, I’m not sure yet because does that mean we increase the season if we start off with 20 dancers? Or we may be kicking more dancers off than one couple at a time. So it'll be very interesting to see how that plays.”

The Canadian show maintained the original format in which 20 hopefuls (22 in the case of Season 3) are split into 10 pairs to tackle different dance styles every week, with two eliminations a week until a winner is chosen from the top four.

Last spring, series creator Nigel Lythgoe announced a Top 10 instead of a Top 20 for the U.S. show, one weekly elimination instead of two, and a pool of ex-SYTYCD all-stars to serve as partners.

Murphy says she felt the change took away some of the drama that emerges when novice dancers tackle a genre they're unfamiliar with.

“Everybody knew they had somebody that was a pro in that division, someone that they can go home and practise with, and know that they know what they're talking about,” she said.

“When you get two different styles together and then they draw another style that they know nothing of, we're all sitting at home and we're sitting there as judges going, ‘Oh my gosh, this might be a train wreck!’ . . . But when they do it halfway good you're, like, all fired up over it. We didn't have that this season.”

Fox has ordered an eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance, and auditions began earlier this month in California.

Auditions for Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada begin Nov. 6 in Saint John, N.B.

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