The premise of SYTYCD, which was created by Simon Fuller (the same producer of American Idol) and Nigel Lythgoe and produced by Dick Clark Productions and 19 Entertainment, is to find America’s next big dance star.
Dancers from around the country flock to the auditions, hoping for one of the coveted spots on the show. These dancers have a wide variety of specialties, including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, break dancing, ballroom, salsa and more.
Contestants from this large variety of backgrounds are chosen to compete weekly, as they are given a new style of dance to learn --- and master --- before performing in front of the judges and a massive TV audience. The dancers are all competing for the $250,000 jackpot and bragging rights as “America’s Favorite Dancer.”
In the current format, dancers participate in an initial audition and then go on to Las Vegas (similar to Idol). Then, they move on to televised competition, where those that make the top 20 dance with the same partner until they reach the top 10. At this point, they pick their partner’s name --- and the dance they will do that week -- from a hat. The top 10 dancers also perform solo, giving viewers a chance to vote on their individual talent. In the season finale, the final two guys and the final two girls dance together. Then, the judges choose their favorite dance and the contestants perform it.
This show has spin-offs in countries around the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Israel, Poland, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Turkey, Malaysia, Norway and South Africa.
Past show winners include Nick Lazzarini, Joshua Allen, Sabra Johnson and Benji Schwimmer.