Time for a shake-up. So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation—the 13th season of the Fox reality hit—has dropped the age requirement and will feature only dancers who are 8 to 13 years old. Host Cat Deeley freaked when she heard about it.
“I had two immediate concerns: that our show would turn pageant-y and weird, and that the talent might not be all that great,” she says. “I didn’t want to have to tell the audience, ‘Now be nice. Remember, little Johnny is only 8.’” But, Deeley admits, “I was dead wrong. This is the best thing to happen to our show in years.”
Executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe goes one better: “Two of the young people we found are among the best dancers in the show’s history, and one young lady gave the finest audition I have ever seen—and I do mean ever,” he says. “The standards are ridiculously high.”
Expect lots of tough love from Lythgoe and fellow judges Jason Derulo and Paula Abdul. “None of us will be a Simon Cowell going, ‘You’ll never be a dancer! Go sue your dance teacher!’” says Lythgoe. “But we will be honest, and we won’t sugarcoat. Most of these kids already do competitions. They know not everybody wins.”
So You Think You Can Dance, Season Premiere, Monday, May 30, 8/7c, Fox.