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So You Think You Can Dance is an American dance reality show and competition that broadcast on the Fox Network and on CTV in Canada.

The series premiered on July 20, 2005 and has a similar premise to the American Idol series of singing competitions, with nationwide auditions leading to the discovery of the next big star. The show was created by Idol's Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and is produced by 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions. A mixture of contestants is chosen for the show, ranging from unknown street dancers to winners of national championships. All contestants have to work their way through a rigorous audition process, and then over the course of the show they are assigned different dance styles and partners each week, to test their versatility.

It was the #1 rated show in summer 2006 for adults aged 18-49, and on July 24, 2006, while still in production of its second season, it was renewed for its third season. In August 2006, it was also announced that there are now spinoff versions of the show in New Zealand, Turkey, Israel, and Norway, with several other countries in the works.

Many dance styles have been featured on the show, including 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 which is always producer Nigel Lythgoe. The other two judges are a rotation of professional dancers and choreographers. The judges that have appeared on the show are Dan Karaty, Mary Murphy, Shane Sparks, Brian Friedman, Ron Montez, Doriana Sanchez, Nu Stylz (Olisa Thompson & Cicely Bradley), Jean Marc Genereux and Mia Michaels.
The early rounds include multiple bad auditions, in the same vein as Idol, with a majority of dancers getting cut by the judges immediately. There are several intermediate rounds of cuts before the final rounds, which include an equal number of male and female competitors.
The format is somewhat similar to that of ABC's Dance Fever, a short-lived 2003 reality show.

Changes from the first season to the second season

Partnerships and styles
In the finals of the first season, the contestants were partnered up and given a dance style, both chosen by a random draw each week. From the rounds of final 14 to final 10, the top vote-getter among the bottom 6 (later bottom 4) dancers was allowed to choose which person they did not want to partner with.

For the first five weeks of the second season finals, the partnerships were permanent (unless one half of a couple was eliminated). As with the first season, dance styles were assigned randomly. Once the top 10 dancers were chosen, the previous couples were dissolved. New partnerships and dance styles are assigned randomly each week, as in the first season. Couples perform two dances together on each show, and each individual dancer also performs a solo.

In the second season, the show began airing two nights a week. Like American Idol, there was a live performance show and a results show.

In the first season, the judges chose three couples as the worst of the week, and those six dancers went into an individual dance-off voted on by the viewers. One male and one female contestant were then removed from the competition based on the audience vote.
For the second season, the voting was changed significantly. During the first five weeks of the finals, instead of voting for individuals, the viewers voted for their favorite couple(s) on performance night. On the results show, the three couples that received the least number of votes were revealed. The six dancers that made up those couples then became eligible for removal by a decision of the judges. One male and one female contestant were removed each week. Although the solo dance-off still occurred, this change significantly reduced its importance, as Lythgoe explicitly stated on the show that the judges' decisions are based on the "entire audition process", not just what occurs in a given week. The dance-off still had some influence on the judges, however, as Lythgoe at times castigated dancers for their poor solo performances, and on one occasion, stated that dancer Ivan Koumaev was kept on the show partly because of his exceptional solo.
After the first five weeks of the finals, the voting changed again to a different format. The public votes on individual dancers, and the male and female lowest vote-getters are eliminated each week. In this part of the competition, the judges do not have any direct control of the elimination process.

Season 1
The first season was hosted by Lauren S�nchez.
The winner of the final show aired on October 5, 2005 was Nick Lazzarini, who received over 37.6% of the vote. Lazzarini won $100,000 and the use of an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City for one year. Melody Lacayanga was named runner-up.

Season 2
The show premiered on May 25, 2006, leading audiences through the audition process. Cat Deeley became the new host. The top 20 finalists were revealed on June 8, and the winner, "America's Favorite Dancer," was announced on August 16, 2006, Benji Schwimmer, after 16 million votes were collected for the season finale.
There were several changes to the show's format in the second season (see above). New styles of dance were introduced, and the prize for the second season was increased from $100,000 to also include a new car and a one-year contract to perform in C�line Dion's show in Las Vegas.

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