'So You Think You Can Dance' bringing back all-star dancers as partners! Yes! Mostly!

sytycd-winnersImage Credit: FoxTalk about putting the spring back in your step. All last week, So You Think You Can Dance exec producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe teased out some bold changes for the Fox show’s seventh season via Twitter: Only one contestant goes home per week! The dancing partners change every week! There will be no Top 20! Less than four dancers compete in the finale!

Today, Nigel and Fox finally announced the reason for all these big-time changes: Instead of dancing with each other, the season’s top 10 contestants will dance with a rotating, as-yet-unannounced all-star roster of SYTYCD alumni. Boom.

What does this mean? Well, in the YAY! column, it gives the show a desperately needed booster shot of new energy precisely when it was beginning to look and feel kinda tired and creaky. Long-time SYTYCD fans can delight in the return of old favorites — I’m personally pulling for the return of season 2’s Ivan, season 3’s Pasha, season 4’s Katee, and season 5’s Janette. And with only 10 contestants matched each week with a highly talented partner, the caliber of dancing in general by all rights should Grand Jeté over all previous six seasons. (Hat tip to fellow SYTYCD expert Kate Ward for the ballet reference.)

In the hrmmmm column, however… I’m left wondering if the show is stealing away one of its essential delights: Watching a partnership blossom between two untested dancers, like Ivan and Allison on season 2, Katee and Joshua on season 4, or Ashleigh and Jakob on last fall’s wobbly season 6. And in a funny way, SYTYCD has now positioned itself as a kind of inverse of its rival Dancing With the Stars — the experts are the stars now, making it that much harder for the contestants to grab that spotlight.

Still, all told, these changes have me far more keyed-up for the next season of SYTYCD this summer (which premieres Thursday, May 27) than I am for the uninspired dirge that’s quickly taking hold of sister show American Idol. But what say you, P-Dubs? Do all these changes make you keen again for So You Think You Can Dance? And which SYTYCD alums do you most want to see return?

Comments (213 total) Add your comment
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  • amanda

    Please let this mean we’ll see Danny Tidwell again.

    • Rachel K

      Agree!! I miss Danny, where has he been? I would also LOVE to see Mark from Season 4. He’s my absolute favorite of all the seasons. I’m a tad worried about the new format though. I immediately caught the DWTS vibe as well and that makes me nervous as I loathe that show. But who am i kidding? I’m in no matter what because SYTYCD rocks my socks (go bow-er-sox!!)

      • Jeffrey

        Mark was wicked awesome. But I doubt you’ll see him. Somebody else apparently thought he was pretty great too. Lady Gaga now has him as one of her main dancers!

      • BP

        IVAN!!! ARTEM!! TRAVIS!! DANNY!! ALLISON!! i might die.

      • Q

        That is awesome news about Mark! Good for him, I’ll bet he ROCKS.

      • Tiny Little Lady

        Mark was also one of Carrie Underwood’s dancers on her Christmas special last December! He was great and stood out because all the other dancers had on black shirts or vests and Mark had on a white shirt.

    • Vance

      Danny was a great soloist but the WORST partner. He was so selfish in his dancing. Anyways, he’s busy on Broadway right now in Memphis the Musical (where he almost dropped his partner the night I saw him. His partner looked PISSED).

      • Tarc

        And if you could see that, then the partner wasn’t very professional. Perhaps she needs to be dropped a few times to correct her attitude…

      • Martha

        I don’t know, I think Lacey would disagree with you – their samba is still one of the best SYTYCD routines in 6 seasons.

      • anon

        After hitting the top 10, Danny looked fantastic with Lacey, Sara, Sabra, and Lauren. Calling him the “worst partner” is pretty unfair.

    • JP

      OMG he’s soo hott!!!!

    • Dee

      I agree! Danny’s my favorite, and I haven’t seen him since his season!

    • ChristineOH

      LOVE Danny!!!

    • old john

      As long as Cat Deeley is back I could care less about the dancers.

      I do hope Mia Michaels returns.

      • nattie

        Mia WILL come back

      • clotel

        Cat Deeley is the one that I wish would not come back

    • Dannycing

      Danny, Katee, Kayla, Brandon, Will Nick and should do a number – preferably choreographed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson

  • wtfnyc


    • Sam

      Travis HAS to be one of them!

      • jga

        Travis should continue the choreograph. As much as I love his dancing, he shines so much brighter on the other side.

      • Annie

        With any luck Travis will choreograph Danny!

      • orville

        Oh, that would be all sorts of awesome Annie!

      • Gina

        Travis tweeted that he will not be one of the all-star dancers because he will be returning to season 7 of SYTYCD as a choreographer. So :) and :(

  • Maire

    i don’t know if i like all these changes. what do you me no top 20?? and i’m excited to see past contestants back on the show, but not in a regular capacity unless they are the choreographers. they’ve had their chance as dancers already. it’s ok for them to rotate dancers, but it should be with the other contestants, not with all stars every single week.
    they should go back to the old stage most importantly. the intimate feel of the show is gone.

    • Maire

      i meant “what do you mean no top 20″.
      sorry about that

    • Amanda

      From what I took away from the article- there will be a top 10 and 10 all-stars. So instead of 20 unknowns, there will only be 10 who will rotate through all-star partners.

    • llevinso

      Yeah, I’m not really a fan of this change either. I love the idea of getting to see the old dancers, but not every single week dancing with the new contestants. I will miss seeing new partnerships. That’s one of the things I LOVE about the show. If they want to bring them back they should be choreographers or have special dances for or with all-stars or something. Those would be like added bonuses. But don’t get rid of the new partnerships!

  • Vikki Sixx

    Anything will be better than that joke they called season 6.

    • Q

      Agree, they need to change SOMETHING at this point, even if they decide not to stick with it long term.

  • melissa

    Hopefully Jakob, Janette, and Jeanine are showing up!

    • BP

      and if there is a god in heaven there will be no benji.

      • Renee-FL

        Boo!!! Love Benji and Lacey!!!

    • Jamey

      I hope Kayla comes back – I loved her!

    • Gayle

      I loved Jakob. He was an excellent partner – helped the ladies shine!

    • arianna

      yes they were amazing and i would like to see them again…….especially janene

  • JustSomeGuy

    Please tell me they make someone dance with all-time great audition dork, Sexx. I love that guy.

  • David

    Is this why Lacey wasn’t on this year’s DWTS? Makes me wonder.

    • BSF

      david i hope so! cause i miss her from dwts already.

  • scorpiochick16

    come on Twitch!!! he was the best contestant ever!

    • BP


    • Heather

      He was just confirmed! I am so giddy!!

  • L Boogie

    SO EXCITED!!!! I’ve been thinking recently I don’t understand why we never hear from past contestants. Has anyone heard from Danny or Sabra since she won? Occasionally they will have a piece but not enough follow up. I would love to see Twitch, Danny, Lacey, Jeanine

    • wendylynn

      I got to talk to Twitch once and he told me Sabra is teaching.

  • kt

    I want to see Jakob, Jeanine, Katee, and Joshua. I’m Janette will make it since they’ll need some ballroom experts amid all of the mass of contemporary dancers who we all love. And Travis Wall shouldn’t dance….he’s too treasured as a choreographer now on the show (especially if Mia Michaels doesn’t come back). But this makes me more excited for the new season, despite not knowing how this will impact the spotlight on the new contestants…we’ll just have to watch and see!

    • Sarah D

      Okay how about this. One Show Dance from Travis, then off the Choreographing with him!

  • js

    I love the idea of seeing old faves again, but it would seem to me that the voting won’t really reflect the contestant – people will be voting for their favorite “pro” instead of looking at the new contestants.

    • Q

      You know, I give the voters a little more credit than that. Not much more, but a little more. It’s not like the “pro” would be getting voted off.

      • llevinso

        I don’t. How else do you explain Evan making the Top 4? I can totally see people voting for their favorite all-star instead of the actual contestants.

  • elena

    I’m loving this idea. Not forever, not permanently, but as a one season thing I think I like it. I skipped out on SYTYCD: Fall Craptastic Edition, so here’s hoping they’ll go back to their little stage and bring back some people that I love to see dance, like Twitch. Or Joshua. Or Sabra! Bring back Sabra.

    • Chris

      I’m with you. Just for one season.

    • Annie

      Ew. Anyone but Sabra!

      • elena


      • wendylynn

        What the heck was wrong with Sabra?! If you’re going to be so mean – you should explain yourself. You apparently know more than the judges – who adored her dancing.

      • clotel

        ew anyone but sabra? Why are you watching SYTYCD? With that remark you just passed, it shows you know nothing about dancing. Sabra was a good dancer or she would not have won SYTYCD, believe me. Personal feelings have no place in judging a person’s talent.

    • llevinso

      Okay, I could see it if they’re doing it just for ONE season. They could call it the special Guest All-Star Season or something. But please don’t keep this up. Getting rid of the special partnerships is a mistake for the long term. Watching those bonds form is a great part of the show.

  • Karilynn

    Travis, Twitch, Melanie, and Heidi!

    • Sabrina

      Who’s Melanie??

      • BP

        Season 1 runner up? maybe?

      • Maggie

        did you mean MELODY? runner-up during S1 and nick’s best friend?

  • Jenny


  • Alia

    This could be interesting, or it could be awful. Either way, I hope it’s just for this season. I like seeing the contestants dance with each other, and I’d rather have a top 20 than a top 10.

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