5 Ways 'So You Think You Can Dance' Elimination Format Affects Your Favorite Dancer
5 Ways 'So You Think You Can Dance' Elimination Format Affects Your Favorite Dancer
Kim Stempel
Kim Stempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
So You Think You Can Dance threw the dancers and viewers a curve ball with a new elimination format.  Surprise! This format had the bottom three male and female dancers revealed at the top of the show, and the judges then saved one male and female dancer. The others danced for their lives, before the judges announced that Brittany Cherry and Carlos Garland were cut from the show. Brittany and Carlos still had to perform with their partners for their weekly routine, which was not awkward at all!

The fan reaction was loud and swift, and the following week judge Nigel Lythgoe announced another change in the So You Think You Can Dance elimination format. That week, the bottom three girls and guys were revealed, and the bottom three female dancers had to dance for their lives at the beginning of the show. Jade Zuberi had to withdraw from the competition due to a torn meniscus, so no male dancers were sent home.

After performing their solos, Jasmine Mason, Alexis Juliano and Jenna Johnson went on to dance with their partners. The judges announced, at the end of the show, that Jasmine Mason would be going home. So how do these format changes affect your favorite dancer? Read on to find out.

1. The Cruelest Cut Comes Early (and Then You Still Have to Dance)

I felt for Brittany Cherry and Carlos Garland because they had to dance with their partners even though they had been eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance. This brings up an interesting point. In the case of Carlos Garland, who danced a beautiful Stacey Tookey contemporary piece with his partner Mariah Spears, his dancing was amazing. Would the judges have chosen to keep him if they had seen the partnered routine before the elimination?  It is certainly possible that his dance with Mariah could have saved him. I salute Brittany and Carlos for their professionalism and nerves of steel. It was uncomfortable for them, for their partners, for the audience, and for the viewers. Thankfully Nigel Lythgoe took note of the public's displeasure and changed the format to solos at the beginning, and eliminations at the end of the show.

2. From Extra Pressure Comes Dancing Excellence

If a dancer has to perform their solo before their partnered dance, it could be beneficial. If a dancer knows that they are facing elimination, it could spur them on to a stronger performance. It's as if the dancer has two chances to dance for their So You Think You Can Dance lives and impress the judges. Sometimes added pressure can bring out the best in a performer.

SYTYCD Interview: Jasmine Mason on Her Elimination and What's Next>>>

3. Too Much Pressure Can Lead to a Stumble

And sometimes the added pressure can just be too much. Does knowing that they are in danger of being eliminated cause their dancing to suffer? Is it just too much added pressure to dance in front of America knowing that you are potentially on the way out? I'm not sure about this, and I think it depends on the dancer.

4. What If Their Partner Is Bad (and Not In a Good Way)

How much does a dancer's performance influence their partner's potential elimination? In the case of Carlos Garland and Brittany Cherry, if they had decided to give a sub-par performance because they were both already eliminated, it could have doomed their partners. To their credit, they both performed very well. I do think that if a dancer does not perform well, it can negatively impact their partner. This is the case whether solos are at the beginning or the end of the program. It is just a fact of life on So You Think You Can Dance.

5. Only You Can Save Your Favorite Dancer

Does your vote actually have the power to save your favorite dancer? Yes, it does. The timing of the solos and eliminations doesn't matter if your favorite dancer does not get enough votes to stay out of the bottom six dancers. If a dancer must dance for their lives, they are in danger of being cut by the judges. So what is America looking for in a dancer? The short answer is technical ability and personality. If a dancer can entertain or move the audience, the chances are good that they will be in the competition for quite a while.

SYTYCD Predictions: Which Top 16 Dancers are Safe?>>>

What does So You Think You Can Dance have in store for us next? Will the elimination format revert back to solos and eliminations at the end of the show like last season, or will it stay as it is now? Tune it to find out!

So You Think You Can Dance airs Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX

Want to add So You Think You Can Dance and all your favorite shows to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.

(Image courtesy of FOX)