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]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.