So You Think You Can Dance has been given another reprieve: SYTYCD season 14 will return this summer, as the show has been surprisingly renewed by Fox. Unsurprisingly, however, it has decided to dump last season’s twist of having kid contestants.
In its desperation, last year the show got in on the kid trend, casting kids ages 8 to 13, and added a kid judge. Ratings plummeted. Its finale was watched by a series low of 2.27 million viewers, less than half of the audience of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, and less than a quarter of the audience of Dancing with the Stars, which debuted at the same time SYTYCD had its finale.
But for season 14 SYTYCD is returning to its millennials-only casting: contestants will have to be age 18 to 30. It will, however, retain the same format for the competition, with the top 10 partnering with returning all-stars.
In the press release, Nigel Lythgoe acknowledges his stubbornness that sent the show into a stagnation death spiral—wait, never mind. Actually he pretends that they’re not abandoning a failed format but instead:
“…giving our loyal fan base what they’ve been asking for. We’ve decided to go back to basics by bringing the best of our past formats together for an exciting new summer featuring accomplished adult competitors partnered with fan-favorite All-Star dancers. And, of course, as in past seasons, there will be new surprises which are sure to wow our viewers.”
Nigel’s tweet about the renewal was a bit more honest, saying, “SYTYCD is finally re-commissioned…” He also thanked fans for their support.
The show is not visiting different cities for auditions; instead, any aspiring contestant has to upload videos to sytycdauditions.com by Feb. 19, and if the show is interested in a person, Fox says that “producers will reach out to schedule the contestant for an in-person audition in one of the two audition cities: New York (March 4-6) or Los Angeles (March 17-19).”
Update: Paula Abdul won’t be judging. She tweeted, “Since I’ll be on the #TotalPackageTour I won’t be at the #SYTYCD judges table-BUT-I’ll be DVRing every episode & watching from the tour bus!”