Nigel Lythgoe (right) is good natured and friendly, but he can also crush a dancer's dream in no time flat! As executive producer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance, he demands the absolute best from every person who hits his stage – which is why we love him. 

Nigel sits down with's Screening Room to discuss the new season.  
Stephanie Snipes: The audition process seemed more painful this season than last. Did it feel that way to you? 

Nigel Lythgoe: No, I don’t think so. Each season that bar gets raised, and last season it got raised a long way because [Joshua and Twitch] had no formal training and they came in first and second, and that whole group raised itself ... and really trained hard. [They] really became very adept at anything that was thrown at them, and we want to kind of keep that high standard. ... People see that there’s dancers that haven’t had the formal training, and everyone thinks, "Oh, I can do that if they do it." ... They can’t. They need a little more than just a passion to do it; they’ve got to have something called talent! We’re not one of these silly little reality shows that just make people’s dreams come true, you know. Somebody said to me the other day, "Everybody wants to be Susan Boyle" ... I thought it’s a great line, they do, they just think we’ve come along, stick a pair of tap shoes on and hop around the stage. Doesn’t work like that.


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