No, instead, we have some partner and elimination shakeups. Previously on SYTYCD, they started with the Top 10 Girls and Top 10 Guys. One girl and one guy were eliminated each week.
Change #1: Only one dancer is eliminated each week.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. The rule "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," comes to mind, despite its grammatical woes.
If only one person is eliminated every week, there's an odd number of people left - is one trio going to perform? Group routines are fairly regular on this show, but I find this odd and it seems like it would uneven the playing field.
Moreover, my fear with this change is that the female dancers will suffer a disadvantage: the main audience for SYTYCD is young girls, who, let's face it, have a tendency to vote for young hot guys. So potentially, this season's finale could be filled with Neils and Pashas and Dannys, when in reality the Katees, Laceys, and Ellenores deserve just as much love.
As this season's American Idol can attest: sometimes America does not get it right, and it's usually at the hands of young girls with multiple cell phones and e-mail accounts, with determination in spades. (No offense to such young ladies. I'm sure, despite their preposterous reality-show voting habits, that they are lovely people. I hope.) Talent-based popular-vote reality competitions are supposed to be able to proclaim, "The right (wo)man won!" And while that may be true in the end, it's inevitable that there are truly talented contestants who get eliminated too soon for very nebulous reasons.
Change #2: Partnerships will be changed every week.
Previously on SYTYCD, two dancers were partnered up at the beginning of the season and danced together for five weeks (or until one was eliminated, whichever came first). Then, when it was narrowed down to the Top 10, each dancer would be partnered with someone new each week. It worked well when there were "It" couples and amazing pairings (think Season 4: Katee and Joshua, Mark and Chelsie, and the self-proclaimed "Twitchington").
However, some seasons just don't have amazing pairings and we have to sit through five weeks of chemistry-less dancing before things get switched up (think, Season 5, Brandon and Janette notwithstanding). I think the value of finding amazing partnerships exceeds the need to stick with a couple for the first few weeks. Do you have chemistry? Nope? Okay, let's move on! I think we can find the likeable and better dancers faster this way. Plus, no one will get carried through on their partner's merit if a pairing is particularly lopsided.
Apparently there's one more change to still come through the pipeline. With any luck, it'll be one (or, God-willing, three) of three things:
1) fewer pervy comments from Mr. Lythgoe himself
2) a special microphone for Mary Murphy that neutralizes her ear-piercing shrieking
3) Mia Michaels comes back
Yes, all three would be welcome. ALSO THE OLD STAGE. Y'know, the one where the giant space and jumbotron don't totally overwhelm the dancing?
But as long as there's good dancing and an endearing Cat Deeley perched atop it, I'll be okay.