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April 24, 2014

Judges Talk Snogging and Slip-Ups at 'So You Think You Can Dance' Premiere Party

by Sharon Knolle, posted May 28th 2010 8:28PM
Host Cat Deeley talked about who's kissing who among the dancers and Adam Shankman accused producer Nigel Lythgoe of "snogging some lady in a bathroom" during the premiere party of season seven of 'So You Think You Can Dance.'

Lythgoe, Shankman, Deely and returning judge/choreographer Mia Michaels turned out Thursday night at the Trousdale Lounge in West Hollywood to celebrate the premiere.

Shankman, who's recovering from ACL surgery, climbed on top of a booth to announce that the show was about to kick off, now that "our gorgeous host" Deeley was done doing interviews and signing autographs outside.

"Guys, I want to say thank you to my co-judges and the man who started it all, who's probably off snogging some lady in a bathroom, Nigel Lythgoe," Shankman shouted as the familiar strains of the 'Dance' theme song filled the lounge.

We caught up with not just the host and judges, but choreographer Tyce Diorio about what we can expect this season, especially now that the performances will be live.

Cat Deeley
How does the performance night now being live change your job?
I can't wait. I used to do a show live back in England that was three hours live, every single week, and I did that for eight years. So, basically, anything that happened, whether it was Slash talking very inappropriately about groupies or me falling over and slipping, has happened at some stage or another, so I'm kind of cool with it. I think that when the adrenaline kicks in, it's going to be really fun. But for the audience at home, it's going to be super fun, because they'll get to see all those moments that they've just been missing. It's like we're invited into their living room twice and week and it's good for them to be able to see those moments when things go wrong and how do we pick ourselves up and get on with it? I think that's what they'll find really charming about this kids this year too.

What does it mean for Mia to come back, for you?
It's divine. I think she's just amazing. She's just the most brilliant choreographer and she was born to do that. She's held in such high esteem that no matter what she says to the dancer, even if it's really tough criticism, it will be instructive.

This is a reunion season with Mia and the All Stars coming back. Does that make it even more fun to go to work?
Oh my goodness, yeah. We did a press shoot the other day and literally everyone was laughing and joking and chatting away to each other. I thought, "All we need is a margarita and this is a party." It was so much fun. The dancers from the previous seasons, they're like my babies for a bit, and then I send them off into the big wide world, and then they're back. And it's like, "Cut the crap. Tell me exactly what's going on." And they tell me, "This is who I'm kissing and this is how I feel about that."

So are we going to hear about the kissing as well?
Kissing? There's always kissing on the show. I'll always throw my arms around everybody and give them a smooch.

Adam Shankman
What did you think of this year's crop of contestants?
When we get to the finalists, I think they're super human. They're extreme dancers.

How has having the show changed the dance industry?
We have household names of dancers and choreographers. That's never been part of our culture, since the 1950s, when we had the Gene Kellys. So it's made it really lovely and accepted and possible and masculine. It's just been great.

Do you hang out with the other judges?
Yes, when we can. But I honestly have nine other jobs. It's a little much! Put it this way, thank God for Blackberry.

What's the mood going into this season?
Joy. Pure excitement. Because it feels very fresh and very new.

You had a few back-to-back seasons.
Yeah, I think that was hard because we burned out.

So now you're rejuvenated?
Oh yeah. I made three movies, produced the Oscars... Oh yeah, lots of downtime.

Nigel Lythgoe
Which is the one aspect that's changing that'll have the most impact this season: Live performance, the All Stars or having Mia Michaels back?
The live performance scares the hell out of me. It really does. Because if things go wrong for them, I feel terrible. People call it great television when things go wrong, but when you're the producer, it's not. The one thing that I've really enjoyed is going around to the homes and telling them [if they're in or out]. We've thought about this, do we really want to go round to their homes and say no? Well, yes, because they're with their family and they're going to get the support they need. And if it's yes, goodness me, the whole roof comes off the house.

As the body of contestants shrink, will the All Stars also dwindle?
No, the twelve All Stars will sit there. It's the luck of who you pull out of the hat.

Is there anything set in place so you won't get, say, tWitch each week?
You can't get the same partner each week. So if you get tWitch this week, tWitch's picture will not be in the hat that for you to pick out the following week.

Tyce Diorio
Which change this coming season is going to affect your choreographer the most?
All three. I'm excited about the All Stars being coupled with contestants. It just makes a different ingredient.

Does that mean the choreography will be tougher?
Yeah, you can go tougher. You can get more challenging. But I usually make my choreography pretty challenging and athletic.

How do you plan to top yourself?
I don't. I want to do things that inspire me and that I feel passionate about from the music, from the concept to the wardrobe and styling, and then the quality of the movement and the message I want to send out. I don't think about awards or topping myself or any of that. If you're being true to who you are, that's the first peak.

You get handed the dance and everything else is up to you?
We pick the music. We do our edits. It's our idea how to direct the piece, the color of the lights, everything.

Now that it's live, how does that change it up?
There's just more pressure. If there's a slip or a fumble, you're seeing it.

What'll be your mood now on performance night?
Dancers are trained to deliver on the spot in a live performance on stage, even in theater, so they'll be comfortable. It'll be a great difference for the audience watching at home, because they'll get to experience a different energy. And they'll get a raw, unplugged look at everybody. So that's the exciting part.

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