'So You Think You Can Dance' Shaking Things Up For Season Nine

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe talks to MTV News about why 'SYTYCD' will benefit from its new one-show format.

The show that started the dance, dance revolution is back for its ninth season. "So You Think You Can Dance" will premiere Thursday night (May 24) to a bevy of changes that will certainly spice up the veteran reality show and bring forth a new cast of physically gifted creatures ready to pull at America's heartstrings.

While the show has always aired twice a week, with a performance episode one night and a results show the next, this time around, they're merging the performance and results into one concise event. Whether it's a result of diminishing ratings over its nine-year tenure or the over-saturation of talent competitions, "SYTYCD" will be the first reality series to air once a week.

"Well, you know, once you've got one decision to make, 'You're going home,' it's very difficult to stretch that over an hour and with some shows we're even stretching it over two hours! So, it's much easier now to, sort of, get it all into one show," executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe told MTV News at the Fox Upfronts [May 14].

But Lythgoe assures us the episodes will still consist of the usual elements: a group routine, solos, appearances by all-stars and a visiting dance act. "Maybe even a dancing dog, who knows?" Lythgoe joked.

From the look of the first teasers for the show, the talent level is at its peak. Lythgoe praises the increased creativity he is seeing with new contestants and always speaks highly of the show's reputed choreographers. Although there is no mention of this season's selected choreographers on Fox's website, many of the recurring fan favorites include Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo (hip-hop), Sonya Tayeh (contemporary) and Tyce Diorio (Broadway), to name a few.

"What I'm seeing is some really interesting hip-hop this year," Lythgoe said of this year's auditions. "Animation is really coming in; popping ... now, we're finding other areas to pop."

If this season is anything like past, viewers will be enthralled by the passion of young dancers aspiring to make their dreams come true by pushing themselves to their physical and emotional limits. Perhaps "SYTYCD" host Cat Deeley put it best: "The thing about dancers is they're a certain breed. You don't do it to become rich and famous, you don't do it to have a really long career or to be the star, you do it because you can't imagine your life not doing it."

What do you think of the new format for "So You Think You Can Dance"? Leave your comment below!