SYTYCD changes: Justin Bieber, one winner, viewer eliminations

Several changes are coming to So You Think You Can Dance this season after it was surprisingly renewed despite having aged badly these past few seasons.

Nigel Lythgoe talked to reporters Monday on a conference call, and revealed that the show will hand over control of voting to viewers at the top 10, and only one winner will be selected, not a best male and female dancer. “We’ve been quite lenient in the past and said, ‘Which is your favorite male, which is your favorite female,’ but we’re going to make America choose,” Lythgoe said.

From the top 20 to top 10, the bottom three will be up for elimination. After that, “the judges are going to drop out all together this season, and the lowest vote will go home,” he said.

Meanwhile, the dance crews that were cast will not be part of the main competition. Instead, during the audition episodes, viewers will vote on which of two crews they’d like to see perform on the live shows.

The dance crew segments will “be presented by Justin Bieber,” Lythgoe revealed. Yes, Justin Bieber, who it turns out is “a huge So You Think You Can Dance fan. Obviously he watched it in Canada and here in America, loves it and is going to be presenting that part of the show.” Bieber’s segment was shot in Cannes, of course.

As to the one-night-a-week format that SYTYCD adopted the past two seasons and that has since been adopted by other shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Nigel has strong feelings: “I don’t like it. I’ve never liked it, but I totally understand again if we’re not getting the viewers for that show why they would cut it.”

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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.