Fox’s hit series So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) Season 8 got off to a good start with 9 million viewers, but shortly into the show the numbers dropped off. Is it from more TV competition or are the fans turned off for some reason? There have been changes including switching many of the choreographers and adjusting the format of the show. For many dancers the choreography can either make or break them despite their training and talent. The fans clearly prefer hip hop, jazz and contemporary to the other dance styles including Broadway and ballroom. They also have preferences with choreographers including NappyTabs, Mia Michaels, Sonya Tayeh, Tyce Diorio and talented newcomer former dancer in Season 2, Travis Wall.
The loss of Mia Michaels has been felt already even though there is Stacey Tookey, Dee Caspary and Travis Wall. Mia Michaels’ routines left lasting impressions whether they were serious or humorous. Her routines are referred to as “Bench,” “Door,” “Addiction” “Butt,” “Angels,” “Hometown Glory,” “Princes,” “Bed” and her fans instantly understand the references. Other choreographers have produced memorable Emmy nominated or Emmy winning choreography, but they haven’t made quite the impact as Michaels’ work. After a withdrawal from Season 6, some controversy in Season 7, Michaels moved on to other ventures. She is currently choreographing the upcoming movie Rock of Ages starring Tom Cruise.
Update: SYTYCD 8 Despite growing pains dancers still shine
Dallas’ hip hop dancer Chris Koehl and his contemporary dance partner Ashley Rich struggled two weeks in a row following good routines by Christopher Scott (hip hop) and a cool Broadway piece “Mr. Jailer” by Spencer Liff. The following week they received Sonya Tayeh jazz choreographed to Telepathe, an electronic band from Brooklyn. Telepathe’s “Lights Go Down (District 78 remix)” music and the choreography did not sit well with the judges or audience. It was a no brainer that this couple would end up in the bottom three. However the judges spared them. Miranda Maleski and Robert Taylor Jr. were sent home after their Tyce Diorio Broadway number also failed to move the fans.
The following week Chris Koehl and Ashley Rich again drew a very unlucky hand with Liz Lira’s Salsa to Tito Puente’s “Mambo Beat.” Ashley was by far the stronger dancer. Chris’ seemed so unfamiliar with Latin rhythms that his performance was gallant but weak. Fans not only knew they would be in the bottom three, they guessed correctly that they would be out. Another truly bad draw for a very strong and popular couple Sasha Mallory and Alexander Fost performed a hip hop number “To the Moon” by Miguel choreographed by Shaun Evaristo. The simple choreography and the cutesy storyline looked like SYTYCD from years ago. In fact the judges remarks were harsh even suggesting it was Hip Hop 101.
What seems to be missing this season is the media sensation Alex Wong. Wong is the gifted ballet dancer who bested one of the best hip hop dancers in the business, Twitch, in their NappyTabs number. The SYTYCD video of “Outta Your Mind” has well over 4 million views. This number does not count all the duplicate videos that are throughout the Internet. Fans are waiting and hoping for the same magic and praying their favorites get the right choreography in the best category. There are many viewers that would like to have Mia Michaels back, but SYTYCD still has an array of interesting choreographers.
More SYTYCD News: Kathryn McCormick the beauty and gifted dancer from Season 6 just landed a lead role in Step Up 4. Kathryn McCormick was one of the finalists and a standout during her time on SYTYCD.
Photos of Michaels’ work