2012 started out not so well for dance fans, when news hit that FOX had cancelled the results show for the upcoming 9th season of ‘So You Think You Can Dance‘. Executive producer and resident judge, Nigel Lythgoe tweeted the news on Sunday, which came as a shock to fans. FOX has yet to release an official statement on the news.
For many, the news of SYTYCD’s results show being cut is seen as being a step in the right direction for reality competition TV. We’ve all complained at one point or another how other reality shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ have unnecessarily long and drawn-out results shows. ‘American Idol‘ especially, is the biggest culprit of tediously long results shows, when the results of who gets sent home can/is announced in the last 5 minutes of the show. The rest of the hour is all filler with a painful group performance by the contestants, shameless promotion of a Ford vehicle, a guest performance, and the aforementioned drawn out results with countless repeatings of “Dim the lights!” and “We’ll find out…after the break!” This is not to say that ‘Dancing With the Stars‘ is any better, as instead of shameless promotion, they feature increasingly lame “comedic” filler segments, along with the usual guest performances. Both shows could use, at the very least, a cut in the results show length from one hour to a half-hour. Actually, I remember when Idol used to have half-hour results shows and at some point, they decided to increase it to one hour.
Personally, I never had a problem with SYTYCD results shows. They had a formula that worked and it didn’t feel like the results were being dragged on. Show starts with a group performance, cue opening title sequence, we find out the bottom 3 couples, special performance from the dance world, contestants dance for their lives, judges deliberate while musical guest performance takes place, find out who gets sent home – all that in one hour, doesn’t seem so bad. Now with the news that the results show is cancelled, there’s going to be some big changes to accommodate the situation. Sure, results shows aren’t particularly necessary seeing as how shows like ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’, ‘The Sing-Off’ and ‘The Voice’ have all made due with being on once a week. Let’s also not forget that SYTYCD in its first season didn’t have a results show, and because season 6 aired during the fall, the first 3 weeks of competition also didn’t feature a results show, with the judges determining the bottom 3 and who got sent home in the same episode. If SYTYCD adopts a similar format to ABDC, which is sort of what they did for the first few weeks of season 6, then it’s not so bad.
Like I said, I never really had a problem with the SYTYCD results shows. The thing I probably hate most about no results show for SYTYCD is that we probably won’t get the group routine. The group routine was my favourite part of the results shows, and a lot of them have become so memorable. Can you imagine if they never started doing results shows in season 2? We might not have gotten “Ramalama” or “Calle Ocho” in season 5 or “El Fuego” in season 8 – those were damn good group routines. Granted, season 8 started incorporating some more group routines during the performance shows, in lieu of another couple routine, but it’s just not the same. The results show group performance was sort of free of a dance style restriction. Sure, sometimes they did fall under certain styles, but you look at “Calle Ocho” which was a hip-hop/ballroom fusion and “Ramalama” was certainly like nothing else we’d seen on the show and to this day, is arguably the best group routine the show’s ever done.
Yes, the news that the results show is being cancelled comes with lots of pros and cons. My biggest gripe with this news, which not a lot of people are really considering, is that SYTYCD is a SUMMER show. As it is, there aren’t a lot of options as to what to watch during the summer. I don’t see why FOX feels the need to cancel an hour of programming in the form of the SYTYCD results show, when they probably don’t have anything else to air. If they do have something else, it’s probably another reality show of some form. So why cut SYTYCD to one night? If this was the regular TV season, it make sense to cut an hour or a half-hour of a results show, so they have room for other shows, that way long hiatuses aren’t necessary. Yes, I get that Idol has the highest number of viewers of any show. But how fair is it to, say fans of ‘Fringe’ which in its first season was put on hiatus for 2 months because of Idol? No freshman series should ever have that long of a hiatus, seeing as how many are still trying to get viewers (or in the case of Fringe, 4 seasons later, still looking for viewers in order to stay on the air). And yet, ‘Glee’ had to endure a 4-month hiatus in its first season as well, even though it was a hit and already had viewers.
At the end of the day, none of this really makes sense to me. Results shows may not be completely necessary, but we’re talking the summer TV season, in which case, I will gladly take an extra hour of SYTYCD over a re-run or some other stupid reality show the network tries to get me to watch.