Even though the Season 6 auditions are on the air now, they actually took place during the thick of Season 5.
Cat Deeley, Nigel Lythgoe, and Mary Murphy recall how difficult it was to work on two seasons at once, but they also mention how it was also helpful to audition new dancers during a current season.
How hectic was it trying to juggle Season 5’s schedule with Season 6’s hometown auditions?
There were times where it was very much insane because we’d finish a live studio show on a Thursday, I’d do the hat pick for the next week, and I’d have my suitcases there at the studio. We’d get on a plane and we’d fly to one place and change planes and we’d fly to another place. We would land in the morning, go to the hotel, have a shower, go straight to the line, and then do three days back-to-back of auditions. Then we’d fly back on Monday, so it was kind of insane. I did do a thing where, the one day I was actually at home, I woke up one morning at 5 o’clock and I was like [gasp] and I had one of those moments where I sat up in bed and I was like, “Oh my God! Where am I? Have I missed the plane? Where should I be?” So it was definitely a thing where we very much felt like we were on the road because it’s two different mentalities. When you’re in the studio it is one thing, and then when you’re on the road it’s another. It’s difficult to mix those two different focuses together. It’s very much two different hats as a host.
It was really difficult. I started running out of things to say towards the end. I ended up going, “Wow, I love the way your leg is attached to your body. Wow, look! You have two arms.” It was really hard, but what it did was it helped us keep the bar raised high because we could compare everyone that we were seeing with the people we were actually dealing with on Season 5, and that means that you really can keep it at the level it was at.
It was fun. It kept me going the whole time. I had no down time, and the fact that I could be so fresh in Season 5, I knew exactly what I was looking for. It took less time at the audition cities because we’re so sure about what is happening right now that it gave me clarity.