It’s a year of change for Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, which premieres tonight with a two-hour episode that chronicles auditions in New York and Dallas. The biggest difference in the show’s ninth (!) season is that there will only be one installment per week. That is, the “results hour” — historically airing on Thursday evenings — has been jettisoned completely, with just a Wednesday night episode every week, even during the early audition rounds.
Host Cat Deeley says the change is for the better. “I always felt a bit like, Oh, God, how much further can I drag this out?” she says, laughing. “We amalgamate the results show into the performance show. Now the audience is going to know who’s in danger at the top of the show. It adds another layer of jeopardy to it. For the audience, that makes it that much more interesting.” Always a ham, Deeley jokes that it’ll be a feat for her to fit what had typically been three hours of television into two. “It’s worth watching,” she says, “just to see if I manage to do it. I’m going to do a bit of a hope and a prayer — and fingers crossed — and keep that thing moving.”
Other changes this year include the fact that one female and one male dancer will be crowned winner; and after the pool is whittled down to the Top 10, each finalist will be joined by a SYTYCD all-star dancer, each of whom is an expert in either ballroom, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, or jazz. Before that, like usual, the Top 20 will be paired amongst each other, with two contestants eliminated each week.