SYTYCD will have two winners: one with a penis and one with a vagina

There’s another major change coming to So You Think You Can Dance this summer, besides its new once-a-week schedule and longer season: there will be two winners, one male and one female.

“Girls dance totally differently than guys,” Nigel told TVLine, which says that Nigel was “pointing out the apples-vs.-oranges vibe that’s pervaded most SYTYCD finales. By naming a male winner and a female winner in Season 9, Lythgoe hopes to avoid that problem.”

What problem? The only problem is that Nigel Lythgoe does not understand is that sex does not dictate everything about one’s behavior or physicality. As the show has demonstrated season after season, women “dance totally differently” than other women, just as there’s a lot of diversity in the way men dance. It’s not about their genitalia, it’s about who they are as performers, their training, and their genre and style.

This attitude shouldn’t be a surprise, because Nigel has made his sex and gender issues very clear over the years; he hates “effeminate boys that mince around the stage” and that he panicked when two men danced together.

Anyway, I think having two winners is interesting, even if they’re choosing them based on such arbitrary reasons (it’s conceivable that at least one of the two winners won’t be the best dancer as a result). In the interview, Nigel also explained how the having one two-hour episode per week will work: Results of the previous week’s viewer vote will be revealed toward the end of the episode, and the judges will based their decision on that night’s performance and the previous week’s performance.

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.