Expect talent and emotion, but don't expect huge changes for So You Think You Can Dance Season 10.
Although this is a landmark season for Fox's reality dance competition show, which kicks off its special two-night premiere Tuesday at 8/7c, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe doesn't want to mess with the winning formula that got them this far. "We don't need to [change]. The dancers bring the changes," he says. "The dancers are the ones that create the magic for this series, not the format. It's the talent. And again, this season, Season 10, the talent is magnificent."
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It's unclear, therefore, whether So You Think You Can Dance will revert back to its usual two-night performance and elimination format or continue with the combined one-night format of Season 9. Similarly, Fox has yet to announce which all-stars will return to pair up with this season's lucky finalists.
But focus on the format or familiar faces isn't what the show is all about, and former contestant, frequent all-star and first-time guest judge Stephen "tWitch" Boss sums up the emotional impact of the show. "You never get tired of falling in love with a new person and watching their growth through the weeks of going through a show," he says. "You can't beat that."
Check out 10 things we can expect from So You Think You Can Dance's 10th season:
1. New blood on the audition judges panel Mainstays Lythgoe and Mary Murphy return for the audition rounds, as will veteran guest judges Adam Shankman and Modern Family's bow-tied Jesse Tyler Ferguson. New guest judges include Wayne Brady, Oscar nominee Minnie Driver and tWitch himself. "I'm bringing a viewpoint from being on the stage and going through the exact same thing," he says. "It was my first time judging. It was very inspiring and it was also nerve-wracking because for some reason I felt like I was auditioning again, but watching everybody give it their all and really just put everything out there for their love of dance was really incredible."
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2. Hip rolling "This new hip-hop style that they have in Detroit called the hip roll was all new to us," Murphy says. "It's like belly dancing, Tahitian dancing and a whole lot of shirts gone and some hip-hop. I certainly did enjoy myself." tWitch adds, "It was done by dudes, a bunch of dudes with their shirts off... And I am comfortable enough in my manhood to say it was mesmerizing."
3. Fairy-tale romance Even though we don't know for certain which all-stars will participate this season, it's a no-brainer that the show will bring back tWitch and Season 2 finalist Allison Holker for something -- either a paired dance routine or retrospective montage or giggly confessional. Why? The pair got engaged in January when tWitch proposed to her during a commercial shoot. "I am recently engaged to this awesome guy you might know named tWitch," Holker says. "I would have never met tWitch if it were not for this show, so the show brought me great dance, great friends and the love of my life." If Mia Michaels choreographs a routine for them, have your hankies ready.
4. Gone with the Wind 2? Last year's finale kicked off the an epic production that put the dancers in the eye of the storm on stage thanks to the collaboration of choreographers Christopher Scott and Sonya Tayeh. Wind machines, swirling lights and incredible muscle control gave the appearance of the dancers fighting off gale-force winds. "One of my favorite routines of all time was the opening of our finale last year," Lythgoe says. "I want to put them together again this year and see what they come up with."
5. Dance dad! "There were definitely moments that did [make me emotional]," host Cat Deeley says about the auditions. "There's a really cute moment between a girl and her father, and the father brought the girl up on his own. He was like a total dance dad and took her to dance lessons and ended up falling in love with her dance instructor and marrying. Now they're all like one big, giant family, and he takes her everywhere. ... They kind of really stuck together through thick and thin, and then the outcome of it all was so lovely."
6. "Gangnam Style" No, Psy isn't coming to the So You Think You Can Dance stage... yet. But who knows what can happen once the live shows begin? Meanwhile, during the auditions, there's a raucous moment when tWitch, Murphy and Lythgoe perform the Korean pop superstar's signature moves with a lady who appears to be the relative of a hopeful. "Hey, sexy lady!"
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7. Hot Tamale Train back in the station "If you want to hear the Hot Tamale Train these days, it is way different than what you had to do to get on the train in Season 2, let me tell you," Murphy says about the highest, sexiest honor she can bestow upon a dancer. "It doesn't come out of my mouth very often, but it has to be special. There are some dancers that will definitely be on the train this year, I can tell you that."
8. Mary says a bad word One of those Hot Tamale Train moments during the auditions is so overwhelmingly amazing, it causes the Queen of Scream to drop the F-bomb -- or at least that's what we gather from context since the word is well-bleeped out. It's still a family show, after all!
9. Animation domination Season 9's runner-up Cyrus Spencer was completely untrained, but his "animation" style of dance wowed with its micro-controlled movements, and it's not the last we'll see of that unique genre. "I do think Cyrus has been incredibly inspirational to dancers," Lythgoe says. "We have quite a number of animators this season who are quite brilliant."
10. Judging chemistry Long before The Voice ever hit the tube, So You Think You Could Dance brought camaraderie and humor to the judges' panel. "The audience will see ... ridiculous banter between the judges," tWitch promises.
Are you psyched for the show's return? Which all-stars do you want to see back?
So You Think You Can Dance debuts with a special two-night premiere on Tuesday at 8/7c and Wednesday at 9/8c on Fox.