Nigel Lythgoe: We go from morning till night. I don’t do the initial audition. I just do the one where we see hundreds. We start at 9 in the morning, and we finish, sometimes, at 1 the next morning. It really depends on how good they are and how good they are at talking [about] how interesting they are.
Zap2it: What dance trends are you seeing?
Nigel Lythgoe: Animation is coming through very strongly. It is basically a bit of everything in hip-hop. Imagine frames of animation cells you combine. … It is quite brilliant to watch against the music. Jookin from Memphis is great. The boys work on their toes in their sneakers. It was made famous by Little Buck.
Zap2it: Do you see very different styles in other countries with “SYTYCD”?
Nigel Lythgoe: When I was in South Africa during “So You Think You Can Dance South Africa,” a young man said he had a new dance, “pantsula.” [I said] “Can you show it to me?” And it was the Charleston! How derivative all forms of dance are becoming, and they are still developing.
Zap2it: What changes do you see in the contestants over the seasons?
Nigel Lythgoe: It has to be remembered I am not just making this show for dance aficionados; I am making it for family entertainment. It is very female skewed. At the same time more and more guys are going, “I want to be able to do it.” It has become so much more athletic.