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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

'So You Think You Can Dance' Is Working Hard To Make Season 17 Happen

Updated: May 15, 2020

Season 17 of So You Think You Can Dance came to a screeching halt when the first phase of auditions was canceled in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on all TV production, but that doesn't mean the show isn't working behind the scenes to, hopefully, make it happen later this year.

SYTYCD producers made sure to collect video auditions from every dancer who wanted to be a part of Season 17. While video auditions don't merit the same exciting live element of performance, it's still a viable way to find talent in unprecedented times.

The show hopes to film in August, but everything is uncertain due to California regulations mandated by Governor Gavin Newsom. The number of cases and death has to go down before he will give Hollywood the green light. Nigel Lythgoe gave Dance Spirit magazine some insight on the two plans the show has in place, depending on the COVID-19 situation. "But we don't know how many people will be allowed in the studio, and how many live shows we can do, if any at all," he said. "It's difficult to project what's going to happen in August, but we can keep preparing for it now." The show is having dancers learn a routine in 48 hours, film it and send it back to producers as a part of their audition. Think of it as a technology-based Academy round — same process, just a different way of delivering it. Dance Dish can also exclusively confirm that contestant interviews with their families have begun as well as asking contestants to film some home videos. The normally glossy packages that give a dancer's history and tell their story will be done by Zoom, for now. Some of the names included in this first interview round are pretty familiar to dance fans, so it could be an exciting season if they make the show. As for Plan B, this is a path SYTYCD would rather not have to take. Yet it's smart to have a strategy in place... just in case. "I love audience participation and want to keep that alive. So if we can't have our normal competition, another option is to put our past seasons in competition with each other, and have viewers vote on their all-time favorite dancers and dances," he revealed. "There's a lot you can do in editing with 16 seasons worth of material." While many would rather not pit seasons against each other, Lythgoe probably wants to keep the voting element in play. The show has already lost a Top 20, result shows and live shows, it's better to keep as many parts of a show moving. That way, when things return to normal, so does the So You Think You Can Dance we know and love.

Before you go, click here for our recent interview with Season 6 SYTYCD finalist and All-Star Kathryn McCormick.


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