Billy Sits Out and Nobody Goes Home: What's Going On, 'SYTYCD'?
Billy Sits Out and Nobody Goes Home: What's Going On, 'SYTYCD'?
The point of the new rules for this season of So You Think You Can Dance, of course, was to kick everything up a notch. Ten finalists (well, eleven) instead of twenty, plus twelve All-Stars as partners, equals tougher competition -- and while we've had qualms about whether it'd work, for the most part things have gone pretty well.

Well, at least until the injuries started coming in. They're not really new to SYTYCD (they happen!) but having two of the year's better dancers leave because of serious injuries -- Alex Wong because of a ruptured Achilles tendon, and the following week, Ashley Galvan because of a rib injury -- isn't exactly going down well. And then this week, Billy Bell had to sit out because of a bum knee.

Billy's case, of course, was better than the first two: doctors said he could dance, but he decided to sit this week out so the injury won't be aggravated. Still, it floats questions about how hard this season has been for the dancers. Interviewed last night by a local Fox affiliate in his hometown, Billy confirmed that the rehearsals--sometimes reaching ten hours a day-- have been pretty grueling. "We're so tired and it's so hard on us emotionally," he said, adding that having fewer dancers this season mean they do more work. Imagine: this week each finalist had to do two partner routines, a solo and the group performance.

So is it the new SYTYCD format that's pushing every finalist to the brink? Perhaps. And I guess that while Cat Deeley quips about "the curse of season 7," the show's producers are panicking with how the show has become (quoting Miss Deeley again) "a battle of survival." Hopefully they're finding ways to stem these injuries, although with the finale looming closer I don't see things slowing down.

And then there was this week's elimination. Oh--wait, a minute. What elimination?

Billy's decision to sit out this week despite being well enough to dance has seriously confused SYTYCD this season. Nigel Lythgoe's rationale for not eliminating anyone goes something like this: since Jose Ruiz and Robert Roldan worked their butts off this week, and Billy got to rest, it's fair to not eliminate anyone this week; better that everyone start fresh next week. Theories that Billy tried to avoid the stepping routine--and the fact that he sat out despite being able to dance--leave me feeling skeptical about Nigel's decision. Plus, I think Billy is becoming a bit overrated now.

And then there's Jose, who hasn't been doing well the past few weeks. Nigel, in fact, thought he wasn't growing in genres other than B-Boying--and, as almost all of us believe, feels he should've gone home. I still don't know why they're keeping him. The judges been a bit protective of him the past few weeks and now, just when it looks obvious that he's gone as far as he could go, he gets another week.

I actually enjoy the new format, but all these injuries and fluctuations are making 'SYTYCD' an unsatisfying watch. It seems the judges are just making up these rules as they go along, because they don't know what else to do this week.

(Image courtesy of Fox)