If 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?