SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Man Nigel Lythgoe Apologizes for Lying, Critiques Alexie and Spills on More Changes To Come - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Man Nigel Lythgoe Apologizes for Lying, Critiques Alexie and Spills on More Changes To Come

June 18, 2010 by  

Long headline.

I know.

I’m sorry, but I had a relatively lengthy backstage interview with my favorite SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE man, Mr. Nigel Lythgoe, after Thursday (June 17) night’s elimination show, and we talked about many, many things.

You can see most of them in the video below, but first, a quick overview:

Nigel followed up his Twitter apology — for tricking me into thinking either Billy Bell or Alex Wong hadn’t made the Top 10 — with an in-person ‘I’m sorry’ and I decided to let him off the hook, especially since I’m so pumped up about this season. Frankly, I think the changes he’s brought to the show are working, given the skill level we’re already seeing displayed. But Nigel feels they actually made several mistakes during the season’s first competition episode on Wednesday night.

On his list of complaints? The all-stars peace’ing out post-performance.

“I hate the all-stars leaving the stage when they’re finished [dancing],” he said. “I want them standing there [next to their Top 11 dance partner while the judges’ comment]. I think America’s wise enough to know that you’re not voting for the all-star, you’re voting for the [Top 11] dancer, so there’s no reason [the all-star shouldn’t stay on stage], I don’t think it would confuse anybody that the all-star is there. And [then] they can support their partner.”

So, kids, expect to see that change in effect as of next week.

Watch the clip for more on that, plus Nigel’s advice to eliminee Alexie. He’s also talking about several of the other contestants including Cristina, Kent, Alex and Robert… and, yes, I do raise the subject of how very strong the boys are this season… so take a look to hear what he has to say about that…

I should’ve fought a little harder for Jarrell Robinson.

Because I really loved watching him perform, in fact.

But it’s hard to argue with Nigel!

Anyhoo, I have to be up in a few hours for my one-on-one dance lesson with Alexie — yep, that’s happening, please come back to GMMR to see how it goes — so I’m calling it a night, kids.

But if you want to keep this discussion going, comment me…
Follow GMMR and KorbiGirl on Twitter, and Facebook too, for all your up-to-the-minute TV news and commentary.


41 Responses to “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Man Nigel Lythgoe Apologizes for Lying, Critiques Alexie and Spills on More Changes To Come”

  1. Kath (GMMR) on June 18th, 2010 8:18 am

    SO full of win!

    So glad Nigel is going to be addressing the issues with the All Stars. It just felt awkward to have them walk off the stage like that when they are so integral to the performance.

  2. Margaret on June 18th, 2010 8:59 am

    Actually, I didn’t mind that they walked off stage because they weren’t competing, the judges comments are for the competitors – not the all-stars. For me, they should have at least done some kind of interview with the all-stars to let us know what they have been up to since they competed. Maybe give them some time on the results show. They do deserve to be acknowledged but they aren’t competing.

    So how do they decide which all-star leaves now that someone is voted off? (Sorry didn’t watch the video because I’m at work – no sound on work computers!)

  3. Melissa on June 18th, 2010 9:07 am

    Can’t watch the video at work, but I’m glad they’ll be keeping the all stars on stage. Love this show!

  4. Ducky on June 18th, 2010 9:54 am

    Awesome interview from Nigel. He loves him some Korbi!

  5. seels on June 18th, 2010 10:18 am

    I’ve been kind of “meh” on the all-stars, so I actually didn’t like the way the judges kind of gushed over them last week during the exhibition episode. I was glad when this week they walked off the stage with a nice wave to some genuine applause. I think if the All-stars are standing next to the contestants, the judges will waste live airtime (well, not waste…just spend) talking about them and how fabulous they are. Are they fabulous? Yes, as I am learning. They are mostly all new to me, but I have been so impressed. And they genuinely all seem very supportive of each dancer they are working with, which is really great to see. I don’t think they need more airtime, though. I do really like the idea mentioned by Margaret of featuring the All-stars during the results show. Those always need some time filler stuff and I think a dance number featuring them, or with interviews of them seems like a great idea. Like Nigel said, America will know the difference. But, to me, that’s not the issue at hand. The main issue is that the contestants deserve most of the comments from the judges.

    It was only week one of competition, so we’ll see, I guess. But to me, for example, the judges seemed to talk more about Kathryn than Adechike after his dance. When the judges also spend time complimenting the (well deserved) choreographers, and now also the all-stars, it’s like the contestants are getting 1/3 of the critiques/comments.

    What i do love about the all-star idea is that each non-all star dancer is judged by what he or she brings to the routine. When the contestants were partnered up with one another, if one had a bad night, then the other dancer suffered sometimes. But it doesn’t look like the all-stars will have bad nights.

    @Margaret, I didn’t even think about all stars being voted off (or however that will work). Is that happening? My sister and I were talking, and we were wondering if they are only going to dance in the All-stars styles or specialties.

    Glad to see Nigel address the issue of the camera work. Is the show actually filmed live? As in between 8-10 PM EST, etc? (With a delay of a minute or so, I’m sure). It seemed to me that the producer, or camera people were kind of editorial in their camera work, particularly in the opening sequence, where each dancer is introduced. I think one girl wasn’t even shown, while the camera stayed on another dancer moving back to his spot. And as far as the number of close-ups, vs. theater-wide shots for each dancer…
    I don’t know, it seemed kind of biased, so i wasn’t sure if it was just a matter of inadvertant misses, or if it is indeed not live action, and close ups are given to particular dancers at particular moments on purpose. But it sounds like maybe it was just some disorganization, and not trying to sway the voters in any particular direction.

    Thanks for the post, Korbi. It’s fun to talk about the show!

  6. Dawn on June 18th, 2010 11:08 am

    I liked having the all-star walk off too. There dancing isn’t being critiqued and we’re not voting for them so they shouldn’t be there. I really hope they don’t start clowning around when the numbers are read and holding up their fingers like the contestants do.

    I think this change is really happening because of the all girl bottom three. Nigel is hoping that having the all-star boys standing alongside the girls will encourage more votes for the girls.

    I don’t think all-stars are ever kicked off, they just go back to the “pool” every week. I would love if all-stars got to dance either big group routines or small group specialty routines on the results show.

  7. Randi on June 18th, 2010 12:39 pm

    I hope that what Seels said isn’t true that the dancers will only dance in each all-stars specialty. I think that may not be the case because Courtney definitely wasn’t an afrojazz specialist but it could be considered close to jazz which overlaps with contemporary.

    That could seriously hurt the chances of Bollywood and I LOVE Bollywood. It’s usually some of my favorite dancing on the show!

  8. James on June 18th, 2010 12:47 pm

    I don’t like the all-star inclusion. The focus should be on the new dancers. The dynamic between the new dancers dancing with each other is going to be lost now. Is it just me or is it more like Dancing with the Stars now? Not too happy about that.

  9. Katie on June 18th, 2010 12:49 pm

    Unlike Nigel, I really don’t trust America not to vote for their favorite all-star instead of for the contestant. I really appreciated the fact that the all-star left the stage. America is still in love with many of these all-stars. We pick up the phone when we’re emotionally moved, so we’re VERY likely to vote for an all-star instead of a contestant.

    I agree with some of the other comments about the potential for post-performance feedback to center too much on the all-stars’ performances instead of on the contestants’.

    I hope, if they do have the all-star stand next to the contestant for critique, that 1) the judges can reign in their comments and focus on the contestants, and 2) the all-star leaves the stage or steps aside while the number is given for people to call.

  10. James Sleep on June 18th, 2010 12:55 pm

    I have always loved watching the dances and hearing the music without any other sounds. At least that is how I remember it. This year it seems that while I am trying to get into the music and watch the dance I am inundated with screams of “Yay Johnny” “Go Laura Go” and so on. It is very distracting and takes quite a lot away from the experience. I remember the “Addiction” dance and the “Cancer” dance where, in each case, I could feel the movement through my eyes and ears and feel the emotion. Now I am so distracted I cannot enjoy that feel………….. It’s like watching a highly suspenseful movie and hearing people screaming comments around the theater during the moments of quiet…………

  11. Suzanne on June 18th, 2010 12:57 pm

    I didn’t like the All Stars leaving either.

    One more change that I WISH they would make – is to stop showing audience heads in the shots! One camera angle they do (and they do it often during each performance) shows the audience heads standing in the way of the stage. It’s so annoying. If I wanted to have audience members blocking my view, I would have gone to the show! But I’m sitting at home wanting nothing but a clear view of the dance.

    Maybe you can tell Nigel that at your next interview 😉

  12. Shelley on June 18th, 2010 1:13 pm

    What I hate is the sound editing which leaves in all the screaming. This is not a rock concert, it’s dance, and dance is something usually done to music, and you can’t hear the music for all the screaming from the audience.

    It was a big problem a season or so ago, and then last fall I thought it had been fixed, but now it’s worse than ever. I also think it could possibly be distracting for the dancers. I’d hate for someone to miss a lift because someone screamed just as they were doing it. Almost any place they go professionally after the show there probably won’t be screaming as they dance, so I see no way that it can be considered helpful.

  13. Terri on June 18th, 2010 1:37 pm

    I like most of the all-stars. I found that I wanted to vote for somebody based on who their partner was – I wonder how they chose some of the all-stars? The way that they made over Katie a couple of seasons ago and she is not one of the all-stars. I love Courtney and her personality and glad that they had her come back.

  14. Emma on June 18th, 2010 1:52 pm

    Great to see you here Korbi!

    I really like the All Star format, and I think the performances this week were fantastic. I do wish that the guys weren’t that far ahead of the girls — I’d rather have a more even competition — but whatever.

    And I’m also glad that the All Stars are going to stand next to the contestants during judging. They do it on DWTS, and no one gets confused. I can’t wait to see how this season plays out. Alex ftw!

  15. Krisana on June 18th, 2010 2:03 pm

    I love the new format this season with the all-stars, just hate that only 10 dancers made it. There were a few that I really would have liked to see compete. How did they choose the all-stars? Would love to have seen Chelsie, Russell, and Joshua.

  16. georgia on June 18th, 2010 2:23 pm

    They finally do something sensible and now they are going to mess it up. I still had to make an effort to concentrate on who was the contestant instead of just enjoying the dancing like I did before. SInce I have had no real time to bond with the contestants……felt nothing about who was voted off…….. Read a book during the program yesterday. Still bummed about this format and feel robbed of part of the journey.
    ALL STARS!…..STARS OF WHAT! they didn’t win(star) in anything!

    I think the last thing they want to do is be like DWTS!

  17. mike on June 18th, 2010 2:27 pm

    I am not liking this new format, it is almost like watching dancing with the stars. I like the all-stars but i just think that its not right that they are on the show. What i liked the most about so you think you can dance in the past seasons that you got to see the contestants grow as a couple till the top 10, i just don’t know why it had to change it wasn’t broke.

  18. Emily on June 18th, 2010 2:30 pm

    I HATE the new format! The All-Stars had thier chance. Give another 20 people the chance to shine, espeically considering they were SO TALENTED this year. Besides, for the most part, these All-Stars aren’t the best of the best of past seasons, they seem to be the ones who weren’t contractually obligated to other/better things.

  19. alice1810 on June 18th, 2010 2:33 pm

    Dammit, was hoping the all stars would continue to leave the stage, then we would avoid Dominic playing up to the cameras ><

  20. Lauren on June 18th, 2010 2:38 pm

    This season has been great so far. And I enjoy the changes…but I wish the opening number on results night included the All-Stars as well..

  21. Jennifer on June 18th, 2010 3:03 pm

    Not sure how I feel about the all-stars staying or leaving…we’ll see how it goes. As much as I love seeing some of the all-stars again, I’m disappointed that some of the would-be top 20 didn’t make it in order to include them. Hopefully, they will audition again next year and make it.

    But the SOUND…oh, the sound! It is awful! Constant screaming and shouting is drowning out the music and distracting from the emotion of some of the pieces. I am so glad to see other comments on this! I hope that they will get that fixed soon!

  22. Karen on June 18th, 2010 3:58 pm

    I love the new format, it gives the new people an equal chance instead of being brought down by a weak partner. An I imagine they can learn alot from the star during their rehersals also. But I agree with those that think they should leave the stage. Judging just the new dancers is what we should focus on. The idea to have a dance routine by the stars on elimination night is an excellent idea. I really missed the chance to see the last two season of stars go on tour. I hope that this season will go on tour. I hope they put in the best routines of the season using the new dancers and the stars they were paired with. And then maybe add some of the routines from the last two seasons. Anyway, back to the show. Can someone pleeeeeeeaaassssse make all those girls quite squealing while the couples are dancing? It seems they yell for no apparent reason sometimes. it is very very distracting. One thing i did notice is that there wasn’t any booing on Wednesday. I don’t know if that was intentional, or they all just agreed with the judges. i wish the audience would be told not to boo when the judges are talking. That is the whole premise of the show, after all.

  23. Stacie on June 18th, 2010 5:05 pm

    Okay, so I feel like the new format has become much like DWTS and I’m not sure what I think? I like the All-Stars, and love seeing them perform, BUT I really miss watching the couples grow together (as mentioned above). There are definitely pro’s and con’s to the format…yes, a dancer doesn’t get shut-out because his/her partner had a bad night which directly effected them, HOWEVER, now they are dancing with a professional (in the professional’s genre) so it seems less “intimate”. Maybe it would have been a good choice to use the professionals once it got to the top 10 and still vote of 1 girl and 1 guy each week? Hmmmm…

  24. Cin City on June 18th, 2010 5:17 pm

    Brutle. The proverbial “allstars” are not all stars….they are the losers that didn’t make it on previous episodes! I think its sad that they brought back people who have already had a chance to shine.

    And I think Nigel’s comments about Alexi are short lived. Give the girl a chance, yeah she’s “cutsie” but she has great talent and great technique. The other two girls were much less comparable. This season is definitely not living up to previous expectations of episodes. Sad sad sad.

  25. jcf on June 18th, 2010 8:14 pm

    I think it was a BRILLIANT idea that the AS walk off after his/her performance. We need to concentrate and focus on the contestant- after all, it is his/her COMPETITION. A quick hug and word from AS to contestant should be fine. It is SO UNFAIR to the contestant to have the AS be mentioned during the critique.

  26. Carol on June 18th, 2010 8:24 pm

    I love this show and have never missed an episode. I was so excited that it was time for it again and I won’t stop watching it, but I believe I like it better when there is a top 20. As others have said; you get to watch a couple grow together and there are always “saves” if someone’s partner gets them in the bottom 3.
    Since this season can’t be changed I would rather see the all-stars on the result show. A group dance for them or whatever, but don’t take the shine away from the contestants other than the dance routine.
    I am not a dancer, but when the tap dancer was doing her routine with partner I could see all that was wrong. I couldn’t believe she stayed.
    I think I have said the same things as others have said. I am just so hoping that their ratings are not affected to the point that the show doesn’t return. The show is about the kids.. the contestants.. not the choreographer.. not the all stars, etc. I watch American Idol and this has always been one of my complaints. Too many judges talking too long. It about the kids and the awesome talent they have to give.

  27. Anna on June 18th, 2010 9:06 pm

    I have to admit that Nigel was certainly feeling the pressure from the last two seasons. In my opinion, the last two seasons didn’t live up to par with the ones prior to them. Don’t get me wrong, I stayed up and watched every minute of it. However, rather than dying for Wednesdays to come earlier, SYTYCD’s last few seasons were just something to watch. I can understand why Nigel and the behind-the-scenes people of SYTYCD decided to change up the format. This season has it’s pros and cons as mentioned above, but the factor is that I am dying to watch SYTYCD every Wednesdays again. I am loving that, you know. In addition, the All-Stars had their chance and I was mad when they were already introduced in the season’s opener a few weeks ago. I like the idea of them walking backstage; it’s fine if they mention them in the results show or something. NIGEL, please don’t conform to only your opinion of the show… You have to listen to the people at home and reason it out yourself. Do what is right for the contestants right now.
    Also, when I read the headline to this article, I was in a frantic. I am waiting for him to bring back the old stage. The new stage just swallows the dancers and they can’t dance as big as before.

  28. Chris on June 18th, 2010 9:54 pm

    I kind of thought it strange to see the AS walk of the stage. However, I agree that the critique needs to be focused on the competitor, and having the AS walk off helps assure that this happens. There are times when I already think the judges are spending more time applauding the choreographers then thet are crtitiquing the dancers.

    I would like to see the AS perform as a group, with or without the competitors on the results show. Too often the results show is focused more on marketing a musical artist’s latest CD release and less on demonstrating incredible dance.

  29. Connie on June 18th, 2010 10:01 pm

    I also miss the top 20 part of what the judges brought up is that by the time the contestants are to the top 10 (11) they have had weeks to learn and grow and that time has been taken, I would rather have it the old way and where is Dominick???????????????? He was one of the all stars and was on last week but not this week. What happened??? and as they are now short another girl how will they partner with guy all stars, it might be akward for two guys to say ballroom dance with one another??? just curious how they are going to work that out???

  30. Gwen on June 18th, 2010 11:37 pm

    I agree with the poster above who commented that the last two seasons were a bit of a let-down. I think Season 2 and Season 3 spoiled me – in my opinion those two seasons had the most talented dancers, the best performers and outstanding choreography. Season 4 had great dancers but the choreography wasn’t as good as previous years and I was really put out with the pimping of Joshua, Katee and Will.

    As for the All-Stars – so happy to see them. And they are certainly not “losers”.

    I like this format – think about it: can you name the first four or five dancers voted off in season 3? season 4? Those extra dancers were basically “fodder”. They never had a chance and I think Nigel knew it when they were chosen. With the All-Stars dancing with the contestants it kind of even the playing field. I just pray to God that if Dom is one of the AS he doesn’t try to steal the attention away from his partner. I find him incredibly off-putting and annoying.

    Anyway, looking forward to the rest of this season. There’s no one I have fallen in love with the way I loved Benji, Travis, Allison, Danny, Mark, and Lacey – but they are a talented bunch. Let’s just hope the camera work improves and the choreography gets more interesting.

  31. Lara on June 19th, 2010 12:22 am

    I liked the old format. I also liked the old set. It’s more difficult to connect to the performance since this new set was introduced. Previously, I’d have goosebumps, chills or (eg: Cancer) be reduced to tears. I can see that the judges and the audience are responding to performances this way – Nigel even commented about a performance this week being the best SYTYCD performance ever. I disagree. The technique is brillant, but there is little emotional connection for the television audience.

    As for the all-stars, it’s nice to see them again, but I agree that the focus needs to be this season’s dancers. I like that they left the stage. It’s respectful to the current dancers who should be the focus of the show.

  32. kimmie on June 19th, 2010 2:08 am

    My whole family spends more time screaming at the TV to hold the camera still than we do enjoying the dancing. The stage is distracting & gives the show a cold feeling. It feels like the dancers are just going through the motions – no chemistry, no depth – and I think a lot of it is the way it’s presented to the TV audience. Once again Hollywood takes a great show & finds ways to ruin it.

  33. barb on June 19th, 2010 7:34 am

    I dont like the all stars being on the show at all They had their time This is supposed to be for the new ones

  34. Kath (GMMR) on June 19th, 2010 8:01 am

    @Connie – This past week there were 11 dancers and 12 all stars. The contestants pick out of a hat and get paired with an all star. Dom was the off man out this week. This week there will be 2 all stars on the sidelines. I don’t think they show us the “picking out the hat” part anymore because the producers want some control over who gets what.

  35. Kevin on June 19th, 2010 10:36 am

    I’m throwing my votes into this in case SYTYCD decision makers read these comments.

    Mia back: HUGE win. But she needs to do a few numbers this year too

    Flexibility in number of dancers: HUGE win. I love that the producers show flexibility in “top 10” type situations. Keep that flexibility – make it 11 or 12 or whatever number you want. Why pick 20 when you only have 12 great contestants, and why pick 10 when you have 14 great choices. I don’t care what number you decide for a season – just make it a great contest.

    All Star Format: Hate it. Nothing against the all-stars, but I want to see the JOURNEY and magical moments of discovery of these new dancers. I understand the PROS, but the CONS directly attack the heart of the show. Yes, directly attack.

    Stage: It’s far too big. Takes away from the TV audience’s up close and personal feel, which might just be related to…

    The Camera Work: Horrible this year. You missed a contestant Intro shot??? The new director needs to pull it together fast because this is the wost camera work I’ve ever seen on this show.

    I realize the old format had issues and impacted good dancers due to partnering, but you have to find another solution. Even if you get superior dancing, the ratings will drop because the at home audience is not connected to the dancer’s journey anymore.

  36. Jenn on June 19th, 2010 8:41 pm

    I’m glad the all stars have been leaving the stage after the performance. It leaves the critiques to be about the dancers (good and bad). I don’t like the change of them standing there, but I guess we’ll see.

  37. Bill on June 19th, 2010 10:21 pm

    What happened to Mary Murphy being a judge?

  38. bb on June 19th, 2010 10:29 pm

    This is my first time reading your blog and, I confess, I didn’t expect much. Instead, that was a really helpful, insightful, honest interview. Thank you so much. I think you’re doing a real service for those of us who watch the show and feel emotionally invested in it (as silly as that is!). Fantastic job. I look forward to watching more interviews. Cheers!

  39. maya on June 21st, 2010 9:51 pm

    Last season they changed the stage and really made the show hard to watch, I was hoping they would fix that this season. No such luck.
    I can’t make it through the first routine with out yelling at the tv, wishing they would stop moving the darned cameras.
    All dances are choreographed to be seen from the center of the house!
    NOT off the the sides or the back of the stage, or the worst is the swirling around the dancers.
    This is doing a real disservice to the choreographers, and the dancers(we can’t see them dance!) and to us the veiwers.
    I like the top 10 all-star format. It has really raised the bar talent wise.

  40. Audrey on June 22nd, 2010 10:50 am

    I am totally NOT loving the format this year. I don’t understand the reason for having the All-Stars. While I really like all of them, the All-Stars seem superfluous to me and actually take away from the competition rather than add anything to it. They do the dance and then disappear like phantoms. Plus, they are all MUCH better dancers than the contestants and I catch myself watching them instead of the contestants. I don’t think that was what the producers intended. I agree that now it’s too much like DWTS, which I don’t particularly like.

    I also HATE that there were only 11 dancers this year instead of 20! And what’s up with the one extra boy?? There was certainly another talented enough girl that they could have added to make it even between the boys and the girls. I miss seeing the dancers develop as the season progresses. This new format makes it seem like we’ve started in the middle of the season, but the dancers haven’t had a chance to perfect their dancing yet, and the All-Stars are outshining them by miles. The only change I like is that the judges are eliminating the top ten based upon their talent as dancers, rather than the viewers based upon popularity.

    My daughter, her best friend and I all watched the show together and we agreed that we DO NOT like this new format.

    Note to Producers: DON’T FIX WHAT’S NOT BROKEN!!!!!

  41. Kristan on June 23rd, 2010 12:46 pm

    I too find the camera work to be horrific! The reason I tune in is to watch the dancers DANCE, not to see how how many angles some cameraman thinks I should see the dancers from! We miss half of the moves because the cameraman is spinning around the dancers or shooting them from the side or from the back or zooming in or panning out …. enough is enough!!! This is a Dance Competition! Let us see the dancers as though we have the best seats in the house….. Front and Center!