Mia Michaels to leave 'SYTYCD'? Relax. Everything will be okay.

Mia-Michaels_lIf you’re as staunch a So You Think You Can Dance fan as I am, you’ve heard the news by now: Mia Michaels took her her Twitter to maybe-sort of announce that she will be leaving the show. (Nigel Lythoe wishes her the best.)

Shock and awe, right?

Yes, it is surprising news. Yes, if true, she certainly will be missed. Yet I can’t help but think that SYTYCD would do just fine without the contemporary choreographer. Don’t get me wrong: Mia’s bench dance remains one of the most beautiful routines ever to grace the small screen. And there are other SYTYCD choreographers I’d much rather see part ways with the show. (Cough, Tyce! Cough!) But Mia seemed to have been missing her spark over the past year. Take her top two numbers from last season: Randi and Evan’s butt dance was undeniably cute, but it lacked that certain substance that the choreographer is famous for incorporating into her numbers. And I’d argue that it was Kayla and Küpono’s performance that elevated the addiction dance to great heights, rather than the actual dance in itself.

Couple that with the fact that plenty of viewers were turned off by her anti-Brandon attitude last season — which seemed to be a ploy for airtime — and I’d wager that a good number of SYTYCD fans will be happy to wave goodbye to the choreographer. But, at the same time, perhaps she’ll be missed even more precisely for this reason. Love her or hate her, a polarizing force on any show is a good way to draw viewers in. And, as my colleague and fellow SYTYCD junkie Adam B. Vary notes, the show’s contestants feed off of Mia’s passion (and many have auditioned purely for the chance to work with the choreographer): “I’d put Wade Robson in her company if he was anywhere near as prolific as her, and more importantly, I think the dancers on the show look forward to the chance of working with her more than anyone else,” Adam said earlier today.

But SYTYCD boasts enough stellar choreographers to make up for the possible absence of Mia. Wade, though he doesn’t choreograph nearly as often as Mia, consistently delivers fun numbers that still manage to be water cooler fodder. (“Ruby Blue,” anyone?) Sonya Tayeh boasts the quirkiness of Mia, without all the drama. And Shane Sparks and NapTab always help dancers illuminate the stage. But if the show is looking for another contemporary choreographer to fill Mia’s void — I’m not always totally behind Mandy Moore’s routines — they’ve got plenty to choose from. Why not hire Canadian choreographer Stacey Tookey? Or heck, even season 2 alum Travis Wall, the most appropriate replacement for Mia.

Either way, Mia’s exit would definitely shake up the show. But tell me, PopWatchers, do you think that’s a good or bad thing?

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • Nee Nee

    WHAT?!?! I hadn’t hear (not a Tweeter). When is she leaving? The Brandon hate (though, I almost understood some of her frustration with him in the beginning), and the lack of any really memorable moments from her last season, aside – she WILL BE MISSED. It doesn’t matter what her last dance looked like, I still get excited when I hear that a couple is performing a Mia Michaels routine. Wade Robson is great, but he hardly ever choreographs for SYTYCD anymore. Travis Wall would be a good/exciting replacement. Stacey Tookey is ok. But I will miss Mia.

    • Vance

      I read somewhere (E!?) that Mia has hinted that part of the reason she is leaving is because the way she was edited with the Brandon diss and that all his cocky ego attitude and rolleyes back to judges were edited out to fit his Top 20 Story arc. Which I totally believe considering how arrogant he was in the S4 auditions. He couldn’t have changed THAT much? And I think Mia called him out on it and was portrayed as mean and uncalled for when she probably did it right.

      And Mia has been SOOO much nicer and eloquent guest judging SYTYCD Canada and her choreo for the Top 3 girls was splendid. So she’s still got it, maybe she just needs the right dancers (She called the Top 4 Girls in Canada the best Top 4 Girls ever!)

      • heidi

        I agree! I have voted for Tara Jean almost a hundred times and Vincent about twenty, they were amazing tonight but really so were Everett and Jamie Ray. My favorite dancer was Tara Jean followed closely by Melanie. I was disappointed she didn’t make it. I think if the final four could have been anyone (guy or girl) it would have been Melanie, Jamie Ray, TareJean and Vincent

        I know most people won’t know who I am talking about but its been a great season and Mia among others loved it. She was joyful and fun and encouraging to the dancers in Canada. THere is something about the vibe there which seems to free her. I’d love if she kept working with them!

  • elena

    I’m still in love with Travis’ heart-necklace dance this season. He’s the best replacement for Mia, definitely, but he won’t be her clone. But still, Mia’s “ba-cha-cha” description of her choreography and making people cry will be missed…

    • Tamara

      I love that dance too, Elena, and really hope to see more from Travis! I concur wholeheartedly.

    • SaraK

      That necklace dance was perfection! I hope we will a lot more of Travis choreographing this season.

  • jlm

    I’d rather see Tyce leave the show – he is so annoying. But there are a lot of other choreographers that I wish we saw more dances from – Wade, Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall …
    I believe last season there weren’t that many “memorable dances” it was kind of boring for me.

    • heidi

      There are a few canadian choreographers who would be great on the american show – Luthor Brown for hip hop, Stacey Tookey of course, and Sean Cheeseman has really knocked it out of the park with every number he choreographed this season.

  • Deb

    I saw this over at eonline (sorry!). Although Mia is passionate, I was not thrilled with her dis of Brandon, over and over. If Wade did more I’d be thrilled. I can watch him dance for hours (but alas, only get to see him in Ramalamba and showing some steps…)

  • Kate

    I thought last night showed what is going on, Mia was the famous making people cry and requiring perfection, but she is becoming more yoga instructor like and I think once she saw the scariness of Laurie Ann who could take over her scare the contestant role, she was at peace that a suitable replacement has been found.

  • Monica

    WTF… Mia can’t leave and the show should fight to keep her. This is insane – no one will be able to replace her, unless you the SECOND BEST Contemporary choreograher waiting in the wings.
    I adore the show and watch it weekly – but this would be a hard pill to swallow.

  • Nate

    If you saw the interview she did with the LA Times, apparently the “Mia vs. Brandon” was edited hardcore to cut out the fact that he was being rude to the choreographers. And as much as Stacey Tookey has turned out some great routines for SYTYCDC this season, she’s not a Mia replacement. If anything, move Tyce strictly into contemporary, where he seems to be a stronger choreographer, and bring in Sean Cheeseman from Canada to do Broadway & Jazz, because he has been truly stellar this season.

    • real critic

      i just read that interview in the times, and once again, mia proves herself as a poser. she says that the fourth season had so many stars and go on to list kherington payne as one of them. i loved kherington, but i hope that people remember how AWFUL mia was to kherington and tore her up in every review she gave her. prolly because mia is overweight and miserable and kherington WAS a star about to burst on the scene. mia did it again: tried to back peddle when she realizes she is wrong in the first place. absolutely disgusting

      • Rella

        That “tearing up” she gave Kherrington was something we performers call constructive criticism. It is a part of the business and I, personally, would rather get honest criticism than sugar coated comments that don’t push me to excel.

    • Tuzo

      That’s not a bad idea moving Tyce off of Broadway and bringing in Sean Cheeseman. Tyce’s Broadway pieces always seem to fail — even when good dancers are dancing the piece. Plus Sean Cheeseman seems like he can do no wrong right now. I would be up for that. Or bring in Stacey Tookey to replace Mia and then replace Tyce with Sean Cheeseman. That works a bit better for me. :)

  • Aprilcot26

    I love Mia, but if she MUST leave I think Travis is the most worthy replacement. I would also like to see Wade more often…his work on the show is fantastic!

  • Taylor

    I love and dislike Mia. Just like the contestants I get excited to see what she has up her sleeve. I am not always a fan of her superior attitude, but the woman knows her contemporary dancing! I don’t think you can replace her. Travis would be the closest you could probably get (I do adore Travis and loved his heart necklace routine) but Mia is Mia. She is one of a kind. DON’T GO MIA!

    • orville

      My feelings exactly. I love her choreography (she’s the most constitantly brilliant one on the show in my opinion), but the attitude on the judges’ table was too much a lot of the time. Maybe a season away will be good for both the show and her, and she’ll come back over the summer with more insanely good routines.

  • Yesenia

    I do think she is an amazing choreographer but I have no problem seeing new people in the mix. I have been disappointed by Tyce’s diva attitude which seems to have just started this past season. I think the show is an amazing showcase for new talent- dancers and choreographers, and it would be nice to see someone else get a chance. I have a feeling Mia isn’t totally through just yet tho.

  • js

    I agree with Kate. Let’s see some new choreographers worked into the line up. I’m sure she’ll be back next season. This “fall” season could have been one of the resons she’s not going to be on SYTYCD…timing. She’ll be missed but we’ll be fine.

  • Felicha Sitgraves

    OMG, I love Mia and she will be greatly missed. I get so excited to hear and name and to see what faboulous routines she will come up with. The passion is unmatched and although I will continue to watch I dont think they can find someone to fill her shoes.

    • laurirose

      There’s no way SYTYCD can ever replace Mia as either as choreographer or as a judge..

      I doubt she’ll be back next season or anytime in the future, except maybe to be a guest.. which would be wonderful but i’m not going to hold my breath..

      wonder why she’s leaving, and if it takes place immediately? wouldn’t she be contracted at least to finish this current season??

  • Chris

    Yes, the show will be fine without her, but Mia is in no ways replaceable. It’s not just her choreography either. It’s her combination of brutal yet constructive honesty and genuine, almost maternal, love for the dancers. No one else has that. She brings a level of artistic credibility to the show that will be hard to compensate for.

    • Nancy

      well said Chris—I never ever found Mia cruel, just honest in her opinion and her love of art. I will miss her.

  • Lauren nyc

    I think this is terrible! I don’t always agree with her, but she does amazing choreography! Also, I like that when she is judging she tells it like it is and points out flaws that only a choreographer would see- I never notice that stuff and appreciate the insight- others are a bit too nice sometimes…

  • Cat Fan

    I don’t like Mia. Her head couldn’t fit through the stage door anymore. Her recent routines were weak and her reviews unintelligible. Good-bye & good riddance.

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