OK, guys. We're at T-minus 148 days until Summer 2015, the unofficial premiere date for "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 12!
Yes, it's a long way off. Luckily, though, the fine folks at FOX have been generous with the teasers, releasing little bits of news to keep us all happy. For instance, you already know this season will operate a little differently—separating the dancers into two camps, "street" and "stage," for the preliminary rounds. And you already know that the auditions for Season 12 kick off today in NYC (come say hi—we'll be there!). But late last week, "SYT" producers announced some news:
The judges for Season 12 will include Nigel Lythgoe (natch), Paula Abdul (!!!) and Jason Derulo:
Photoshop is a wondrous invention, amirite? (original images: Adam Rose/FOX)
Abdul is a clear replacement for Mary Murphy. (We'll miss you, Hot Tamale Train conductor!) Abdul was first a guest judge on "SYTYCD" Season 10, and has since been the lead judge on "So You Think You Can Dance Australia." But more than that, she's a dancer, through and through. From her days as a L.A. Laker Girl to choreographing for artists like Janet Jackson to starring in her own classic videos, Abdul has the background it takes to recognize star power in the next generation of dancers.
Abdul (left) showing Janet Jackson a thing or two (via thatgrapejuice.net)
Derulo comes from an entirely different world: songwriting. He's crafted lyrics for lots of artists, including Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Diddy and Sean Kingston. He's also racked up some impressive accolades himself: "Wiggle,” featuring Snoop Dogg, is Derulo's eighth song to reach the Top 10 on the Top 40 list, and he's been nominated for numerous MTV Music Video Awards and Teen Choice Awards. You might remember Derulo's appearance on "SYTYCD" Season 11 as a guest judge and musical guest—he and Snoop performed "Wiggle."
Derulo performing "Wiggle" on "SYT" Season 11 (Adam Rose/Fox)
Apparently Derulo's joke-filled guest-judging stint made a big impression on Lythgoe, who in a press release said, "Jason’s insight, humor and creativity will add a new perspective to the panel that we haven’t had before.” And while we can't argue with that, truth be told, we're a little sad the third permanent judging spot didn't go to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, aka The World's Best Guest Judge. Here's hoping JTF drops in for an episode or two.
What do you think about the new judges? Let us know in the comments.
The dance community is a powerful force—and it's pretty awesome to see that force harnessed to support important causes, like the battle against cancer. Nonprofit organization Dancers Against Cancer (not to be confused with the equally wonderful Dance Against Cancer team) just released a compelling PSA featuring some of the world's most famous dancers, aiming to raise awareness about the cause in the lead-up to the charity's Industry Dance Awards this summer.
Featuring Derek and Julianne Hough, Paula Abdul, Chita Rivera and Vanessa Hudgens, as well as young dancers Ruby Kaufman, Chloe Frank and Ahna Rasmussen, the video includes a series of powerful mantras: "Cancer will not overcome us." "Our dance community is making a difference." "Together, we will fight this disease." "Pain is real, but so is hope." (Hudgens' participation is especially moving—she lost her father to cancer earlier this year.)
Derek Hough for Dancers Against Cancer (screenshot via people.com)
So far, Dancers Against Cancer has raised $500,000 to help dancers, dance teachers and dance families affected by the disease. Get inspired by the video below, and then learn more about how you can support the organization.
Oh Paula, what is that outfit?! (Adam Rose/FOX)
Before we get to the good stuff, a few observations:
- Nigel actually listens to viewer feedback! We all hated learning which dancers were heading home at the beginning of last week's episode (and then painfully watching them dance their routines), so they switched up the format. This week we learned who's leaving the competition at the end of the episode.
- Jade tore his meniscus, has to have surgery and won't be able to dance for 3-4 months. BUMMER.
- Paula Abdul (in neon lace?!) was at the head of the judges' table in Nigel's seat this week. But since he waited 10 seasons for her, I guess that makes sense. Erin Andrews also made her "So You Think You Can Dance" judging debut this week and is now on my list of favorite guest judges.
- Cat Deeley was looking smokin'!
Now, here are my Top 5 Moments:
1. The opening number. I loved Christopher Scott and Sonya Tayeh's choreo (Cat said it right—they really are the dream team!), but mostly I just wanted to play on the volcano set. Anyone else want to jump into the foam pit? My only complaint is that the number was about a minute too short—give me more!
2. Amy and Fik-Shun's Paso Doble. I loved Jean-Marc Genereux's Matrix-y take on the ballroom style, and Amy and Fik-Shun looked strong and technical doing it. Fik-Shun was a great partner (he handled all those crazy lifts like a pro!) and Amy, unsurprisingly, more than held her own.
3. Jasmine Harper and Aaron's Broadway routine. Oooh, I love me a little Spencer Liff! As usual, his choreo and concept did not disappoint. Plus, how cute are Jasmine and Aaron together? They have great chemistry and it makes them a blast to watch.
4. Jenna and Tucker's hip-hop (or "jazz-hip") routine. I was thrilled to see one of our favorite up-and-coming power couples Keone and Mari Madrid making their choreographic debut on the show. The moves were subtle and intricate, yet totally hard-hitting. And Tucker and Jenna looked pretty darn great sailing through the routine. But someone please tell me, what in the world was Jenna's costume? Yikes.
5. Malece's contemporary routine (with all-star Marko filling in for Jade). Sonya's on fire! This routine was one of her best yet. And, Malece! I feel like she really turned a corner this week. This was some of the most technical dancing I've seen Malece do so far. I think she's going to be one of those dancers who really comes out of her shell and improves insane amounts over the course of the show.
Since Jade had to pull out of the competition on his own, the judges only had to send a female dancer home this week. I was sad to see Jasmine Mason go, but I have no doubt we'll see her doing amazing things soon. Can't you totally picture her on tour with Beyoncé?
Be sure to tune in next week for more "SYTYCD" action. And in the meantime, don’t forget to enter our “SYTYCD” finale sweepstakes contest—you could win a trip to the Season 10 finale!