The hit dancing reality competition So You Think You Can Dance returns for its third season.
From the creators of Idols and the producers of American Bandstand, So You Think You Can Dance showcases dancers skilled in everything from ballroom to ballet and salsa to hip-hop
Thousands compete in auditions across America to make the final Top 20, which comprises 10 male and 10 female dancers who compete to be named the most versatile dancer in America.
At the nationwide casting call, dancers first compete to impress the judges with their own moves and then with choreographed routines. Those who survive the auditions are invited to a Las Vegas callback where they are put through their paces by the country’s top choreographers, each with their own unique style.
Only the best 20 dancers move forward to the studio shows where they learn challenging routines and dance them each week to impress the panel of judges and the viewers at home.
Each week, the dancers are matched with partners and the dances they must perfect are literally drawn out of a hat. Those couples whom the viewers at home decide have performed the weakest are put up for elimination by the panel of judges.
Each week, two dancers - one male and one female - are eliminated by the panel until only the final four remain – but only one of them will be crowned the winner and receive a cash prize of $250,000 and a contract to perform in a top Las Vegas show.
In this season’s premiere episode, dancers - some talented, some not - meet in New York to compete to be named America’s favourite dancer. Then Los Angeles, Chicago, and finally Atlanta follow with their auditions.
For a full list of all the times for every episode, click here.
The show is hosted by Cat Deeley.
After travelling around the country looking for the best dancers, producers invite 500 of the most talented to attend casting sessions in major cities across the nation.
At the casting sessions, each dancer must perform their own routine in front of a panel of judges, who then decide immediately who is good enough to continue.
Those chosen to stay work on a routine as a group, and after a further round of eliminations followed by a choreographed routine with a partner, the final 50 are selected to move on to the Dance Boot Camp.
At the Dance Boot Camp, each of the dancers is put through their paces by 5 choreographers, who take them through a variety of dance styles, from Hip Hop, to the Flamenco.
At the end of the camp, the group is immediately cut down, 20 of whom will be chosen to move forward to the studio shows after one-to-one interviews with the choreographers. This group is then cut down to a final 10.
Each studio show is structured the same way. As contestants are eliminated the remaining participants are randomly paired together, and the dances they need to perform the following week are drawn from a hat.
We follow each couple as they learn their routine by a top choreographer, before performing that routine in front of the panel of choreographers, and a live studio audience.
Once all the couples have performed, the panel identify the 3 weakest couples (or in later shows, 2 weakest couples) to go up for elimination by the public who vote for their favourites to stay.
Each dancer has an opportunity to encourage voters to keep them in the competition by dancing a solo routine for 45 seconds immediately before the phone lines are opened.
Each week, one guy and one girl is eliminated until only 4 dancers remain.
After performing for the last time, all 4 dancers are put to the public vote and it is the public who decide the final winner.
Dance styles featured on the show include jazz, contemporary, pop, modern, American jive, swing, disco, hip hop, krumping, paso doble, quickstep, lyrical, Broadway, Viennese waltz, smooth waltz, Argentine tango, mambo, cha cha, Cuban rumba, and salsa.
There are three judges on each show, one of whom is always producer Nigel Lythgoe, the other choregrapher Mary Murphy. The other judges are a rotation of professional dancers and choreographers.