After dancing through the summer on the Fox airwaves in Season 5, So You Think You Can Dance? returned for a back-to-back Season 6 debut on September 16 to kick off a new run to find America’s favorite dancer. Although Season 5 saw a number of surprises and comebacks from dancers who dug deep to hone their performing skills, Season 6 is shaping up to be a reliable dose of dancing heat to get viewers through the chilly months of fall.
With So You Think You Can Dance? back in the Fox schedule after a brief summer break, we managed to snag two minutes with popular judge Nigel Lythgoe to find out what’s in store for So You Think You Can Dance Season 6.
THE DEADBOLT: What made you decide to go with a fall season?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Well, it wasn’t our decision. We were asked by Fox if we would swap. I guess their reasoning is, they wanted to lead into Glee. They felt both programs were complimentary to each other and I would’ve thought they would also want to free up their summer for other experimental shows. We’ve got a solid core audience, or I believe we have, and that transferring that into the fall would be good enough.
My fear of course is [that] we’re going to be ping-ponging around the schedule, sort of based around baseball, and we may get lost in there. All that we can do is turn out the best shows we can do and rely on an audience that follows us around the schedule, and keep our fingers crossed.
THE DEADBOLT: What is it that you look for in a dancer, and does that apply across every type of dance?
LYTHGOE: The biggest thing that I look for in any performer, so I won’t just class it as a dancer, is charisma, without question. I don’t think technical ability is enough. And it appears from the history of So You Think You Can Dance? that I’m right, because they haven’t always been the best dancers that have won.
Danny Tidwell was far above everybody that’s been on the show, came second to Sabra, and probably Travis Wall was a better dancer than Benji Schwimmer. Benji had the better personality. Brandon I would’ve thought was probably the best dancer last season. But goodness me, Jeanine came through in the finale and certainly took it away from him.
So that’s why we also call it America’s Favorite Dancer and not America’s Best Dancer. So the first and foremost quality, to answer your question properly, charisma is what I look for.