So You Think You Can Dance‘s seventh, Mary Murphy-less season starts its conclusion tonight, and after getting a makeover that led to fewer viewers every week, its executive producer has essentially admitted the changes haven’t worked and will be undone when the show returns next summer.
“I will look to next season whether we start with 20 dancers again, bring it down to ten and then introduce the All Stars, and get rid of two [dancers per week]. I want to get it right for the audience, but at the same time, I don’t want to let down dance, and this season the dance situation has really been tremendous,” Nigel told Entertainment Weekly. (Nigel also tried to blunt expectations that Kent Boyd would automatically win, saying he “hasn’t won [the vote] every week. … It’s all too close to call.”)
The most obvious change I think needs to be made has to do with the judges. I’d start changing the changes by going back to the season five-style judging panel, which means Mary Murphy needs to return. I understand that not everyone loves her and her screaming, but are Mia Michaels and Adam Shankman better? Not a chance. I don’t like watching them, and having Adam as the third judge means no (or few) guest judges, which has also negatively impacted this season. Adam and Mia just aren’t good judges compared to Mary, and lack her warmth and humanity even if they bawl sometimes; look no further than the episode when Mia snapped at Adechike. Even her apology made it clear that her style is very different when she talked about her “tough love.”
In The Daily Beast today, I examine the changes and try to understand what went wrong. It’s admirable that the show attempted to liven things up, and the dancing has, for the most part, still been spectacular. But it’s hard to deny that something’s missing, and I think her initials are MM.