SYTYCD judges get more power; Mary Murphy choreographing, won’t be full-time judge; Mia Michaels will return

As part of the shake-up for season seven of So You Think You Can Dance, former chroeographer and guest judge Mia Michaels will return to the show after quitting last fall following the pre-taped audition rounds, and the judges will actually get more power, eliminating contestants all the way until the finale, when viewers will select the winner from the top two or three.

Meanwhile, in addition to the return of Mia Michaels, Nigel Lythgoe told reporters that regular judge Mary Murphy will stop screaming and choreograph routines for the contestants, too, which means she won’t be a permanent judge.

The changes to the show’s format have made its final round resemble a lesser dance competition, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, since now 10 contestants will be paired with all-star dancers and be eliminated one at a time.

But the show is retaining and actually improving the one aspect of its format that I liked best: allowing judges to make elimination decisions. “America will decide the bottom three — as usual — then the judges will get the three of them to dance and make the decision up until the finale, then of course it’s in America’s hands,” Nigel Lythgoe told reporters this morning, according to Reality TV World.

That alleviates my only concern, which is that the show would turn into even more of a popularity contest; this actually improves on the old format, as viewer votes have less power now.

On the call, Lythgoe credited Fox VP of reality Mike Darnell with the idea of bringing back all-star dancers, who will randomly be paired with a different finalist each week.

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ adding all-stars, other format changes [Reality TV World]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.