Substitute Dancers

Dancing is an extremely physically challenging art form that takes its toll on a dancer’s body. Because of this there can be unexpected injuries that keep a dancer from performing … yet the show must go on.

In preparation for the Top 8 Performances, injuries forced two dancers (a Contestant and an All-Star) to sit out the show and substitute dancers were called in to save the day. First, when Billy Bell and All-Star Allison Holker were rehearsing Spencer Liff’s Broadway choreography, Allison’s pre-existing rib injury worsened and she had to step out of the dance and get medical attention. Since she couldn’t participate, the show called on another SYTYCD superstar, Katee Shean, who was Season 4′s top girl. Then, when contestant Alex Wong was rehearsing the night before the show he injured himself. And with a plaster cast on his foot and the possibility of a ruptured Achilles tendon, the doctors ordered the ballet dancer to sit out from tonight’s show until they get the MRI results back so choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan’s assistant, Marla, stepped in.

You can only wonder what the intense pressure must feel like to step in at the last minute to perform on LIVE TELEVISION in front of millions. We fans are certainly grateful when they do.


79 comments on “Substitute Dancers“

  1. Kelly - wrote:

    I have been watching SYTYCD since day one and NEVER miss an episode. It is truly an amazing show with every bit of heart and soul one could hope for. I think Mia Michaels is an amazing choreographer!
    However, I strongly feel that she negatively impacts and changes the dynamics of the judging panel.
    The integrity of the show has been jeopardized with flagrant cruelty rather than constructive criticism. This gives the judging portion of the show a Jerry Springer feel. Even Mia’s on air apologies come with a condescending tone. Again, she is a brilliant choreographer and truly wish that Mia would stay in the area that she is truly gifted.
    Mary Murphy’s heart, respect and class is deeply missed at this point!!!

    7/9/2010 6:52 AM UTC

  2. Maxx - wrote:

    In the words of Tyce, if you can’t do the job, Mia, ‘you’ve got to go’. You’re beyond controversial. Your comments are a true representation of your inner self. Ugly,demeaning, and irresponsible. It’s one thing to berate and slam a performer in private, but on the national stage and live? c’mon lady, you of all people should know better.

    7/9/2010 7:27 AM UTC

  3. fan of alex - wrote:

    I am really sorry to see Alex goes, as he is such a powerful, and verstail performer. One of the reason I am watching the show is because of hime. In my mind, I would think he could be in the top 2. But unfortunately, incident do happend, and they always happend for a reason. Hope this incident doesn’t discourage Alex to go on.

    I wish the best for him and hope to see him perform again soon.

    7/9/2010 7:49 AM UTC

  4. Nancy - wrote:

    Nigel said last night that Alex would be back next season. Is that as an all star or will he be able compete. He was a great dancer and I think he could have won the competition.

    7/9/2010 7:58 AM UTC

  5. Alisha - wrote:

    I really hope Alex fully recovers. And when he does, please SYTYCD, let him automatically be in next year’s Top 10. PLEASE! He is an amazing dancer and I want to see him win!

    7/9/2010 8:19 AM UTC

  6. Tbrooksnola - wrote:

    I hope Mia could see and feel the pain in Adecheke’s (sp) eyes last night when the show recapped what she said on Wed nite. My heart broke for him. Yes, Alex is amazing and will be greatly missed. I loved loved loved his dance with Twitch. But to take away from what Adecheke is putting in there and down play how much is heart is in it is disgusting. He is working is butt off just as much as her “favorites” are. I can see his passion and tender heart through my television screen and I am always impressed with his performances. If I could say one thing to Adecheke it would be, ” I know she is a judge and her opinion is going to determine your place on the show, but please do not let her take anything away for you”. Do your best and make her eat her words!” You are amazing, just as amazing as Alex and Kent and Billy and Jose! I love your goofiness. You bring alot your to dances. Keep pushing forward. I am pulling for you kid!

    7/9/2010 8:37 AM UTC

  7. jansumi - wrote:

    I absolutely love the show – Bravo Nigel – Dizzy Feet, Twyla, National Dance Day – wow wow wow wow. So much to say:
    First, light & healing to Alex. Injuries always part of a dancer’s journey, but this one is really tough, and I can’t help wondering – if dancers so highly trained are being injured, is the pressure on this show beyond reasonable.
    I also wonder – Billy in the bottom is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve liked the new format, but if having fewer people to vote for is actually contributing to that, then it’s not working. Also seems the judges’ excitement when seeing such extraordinary talent is reinforcing their desire to teach & develop but causing them to forget their comments are affecting votes. And as a teacher Mia could make her points much more elegantly & constructively.

    7/9/2010 8:51 AM UTC

  8. Mary Kay - wrote:

    Lost all respect for Mia Michaels. Aside from her obvious professional talent, she has taken the lead role from Simon Cowell in the cruelty category. How sad for Adechike to suffer that humiliation before all the viewers and contestants. She is so full of herself she will in time turn us away from having to endure her obnoxiousness.. The show would do well without her…. I too would rather hear Mary with her squeals. . how long is Mia’s contract?

    7/9/2010 9:45 AM UTC

  9. StaySea - wrote:

    First let me admit that I am not a dancer but in the several seasons that I have watched this show I have learned that usually the judges know what they are talking about…until now. I have to agree with others that the uneven judging of Jose and Adecheke and to an extent, Kent, is becoming ridiculous. Jose can do what Jose can do, but from ballroom to Ballywood to jazz, he cannot keep up with the others on the show. It is obvious that Jose is a judge favorite and Adecheke is not and that Kent is just one goofy face from falling out of favor. I know this is America’s favorite dancer, not the BEST dancer, but it no longer seems to be about talent, but personality even for the judges.

    7/9/2010 10:03 AM UTC

  10. Sara - wrote:

    My best wishes to Alex, he is such a great dancer and a brave person. I really hope that he gets better soon and continues to inspire us all with his out this world dancing. I was tearing up so badly when they announced the extent of his injury because as an ex athlete I know how frustrating and impotent you feel when you’re body gives up on you like this. I know that the love of his colleagues, friends and fans will help him through physical therapy.
    Having sad that, I want Mary Murphy back on the panel, rotating judges and Mia Michaels just doing coreography.

    7/9/2010 10:13 AM UTC

  11. Mary Kay - wrote:

    Love the show! Lost respect for Mia Michaels. Aside from her obvious professional talent, she achieved the top award for very cruel behaviour. How sad for Adechike to suffer the humiliation before viewers and other contestants. He showed more class than Ms. Michaels. We could well deprive ourselves from the show if she is not reigned in. Give us back Mary, even with her predictable squeals which hurt no one.

    7/9/2010 10:24 AM UTC

  12. donna - wrote:

    Get rid of Mia Michaels.

    7/9/2010 10:30 AM UTC

  13. V - wrote:

    Ms. Michaels.

    A teacher knows there is a fine line between critique and crushing critism. I think you got away with that line when you were harsh to Brandon. But, my concern is that you, as a teacher, have forgotten with critique you are suppose to give specific advice to improve. You don’t just snap mean things. Apology was given but I don’t really accept the excuse of ‘as a teacher, blah blah blah.” It’s not about you Mia. It’s about how a teacher protects the souls of their students while pushing them to greater greatness.

    As far as Alex…I will miss him.

    I just want to comment that he putting him in the bottom 3 is what you producers at SYTYCD should have done with Ashleigh last season.

    I’m still offended at how SYTYCD treated Molly over an injury last year. Ashleigh got to kick someone out without being an automatic bottom 3. The way they handled this with Alex was much better. But I do hope SYTYCD is helping Molly get started in her carreer because they certainly blew it on the fairness scale.

    I am watching this year and am enjoying the allstars. I do wish there were more contestants. Like 20 contestants/20 allstars.

    Will there be a road show this year? Perhaps combined with the season sixers? I would definitely go this year even if I had to use the restroom during Ashlies performances. The season sixers got gyped in many ways. The ashlie debacule and not being able to to the road show…

    7/9/2010 11:23 AM UTC

  14. Gloria - wrote:

    What is your problem?
    I am so disappointed in your comments to Adecheke. That comment struck him to the core. Credit to him, He took your insensative remark like a gentleman. True constructive critism is part of regime but you were totally out of line. I once admired ypu. It was so obvious that you and theother judges decided the winner. Koodos to Kat for sticking up for her contestants.

    7/9/2010 12:22 PM UTC

  15. Jody - wrote:

    ATTENTION: NIGEL! My family has loved So You Think You Can Dance from Season 1. The positive spirit of your show has created millions of fans. Mia Michael may be a talented choreographer, but she is the most negative, OBNOXIOUS person we have ever seen. Her apologies mean nothing. From her self-created vocabulary to her acerbic comments that slaughter these hard-working young dancers, she makes watching our favorite show unbearable. PLEASE get rid of her. (and tell her to take a good look at herself in the mirror!)

    7/9/2010 3:17 PM UTC

  16. RandR88 - wrote:

    It was awesome seeing Katee back on the stage. She’s one of my all-time favs!

    7/10/2010 10:47 AM UTC

  17. RandR88 - wrote:

    Also, while I see a lot of people upset at Mia (I’ve already said enough in other posts), no one is calling out high and mighty Nigel for kicking Adéchiké when he was down…does no one recall how he piggy-backed on Mia’s comments and said that Adéchiké could either just “stand there and look upset” or take it to heart? – all the poor kid was doing is STANDING THERE. Nigel, if someone put you on display and someone was allowed to passionately insult your ridiculous taste in haircuts in front of millions of people, would you not betray a few emotions through your eyeballs? Give me a freakin’ break! I am usually right on board with Nigel’s critiques but he really stepped in it with that one.

    7/10/2010 10:55 AM UTC

  18. JAug - wrote:

    I agree with everyone who has posted there comment. I do not see the cuteness in Jose’s routines. I think it is a joke. I see that he is good in his own style of dancing, but everything else. NO, NO, NO, NO. He’s aweful. Then, when dancers like Adechike perform he gets criticism. Nothing he does is satisfactory and he’s clealy a way better dancer than Jose. Its come to a point I dont even want to hear the judges comments. Mia Micheals I love you, I respect your talents, even after the mean comments you are still my favorite choreographer. Be fair judges. This show is about dancing and growing. Giving Jose the praises over the past shows is not helping him grow. He is remaining just ok because he is not getting the critique’s that he needs to get better. This show this season gets 1 star for me.

    7/11/2010 4:48 PM UTC

  19. BUDance - wrote:

    I am very disappointed in the judges this season. First I don’t like the new format with the same three judges every week. One good thing that they changed was Mary, she always had a level head and gave her negative critique in a nice way. Also I liked the fact that they had a different chorographer be a judge each week, this allowed a different view other than the same three each week. Having the same three judges has allowed favoritism go on that I have seen since the first week. I think they have been hard on Kent, AdeChike, and Lauren and have let others flaws slide by like when Robert messed up three times on 7/7/10. They didn’t even mention that he missed catching his partner and her but hit the floor. Instead they gave him great praise. Mia was so disrespectful to AdeChike when she gave him a harsh review, said she missed Alex in the routine, and then said she gave Jose a better review because he just has so much heart. She is an adult, she needs to act like it and choose her words better. This season is really disappointing me, I haven’t been able to connect to one dancer yet because of the new format, it is taking the dancers longer to get comfortable performing because they are changing partners every week. The judges have made me very upset to the point that I don’t like to listen to their comments, I mute it. I couldn’t believe they got rid of Christina over Melinda and had the nerve to say they got rid of the wrong one, how rude was that to both Christina and Melinda. I hope they bring back Mary before the season is over, they have amazing dancers but it is quite boring so far.

    7/12/2010 11:58 AM UTC

  20. KLD - wrote:

    I have debated on commenting for a long time now. I have been a staunch SYTYCD fan since day 1. I grew up in the Theaters because my mother worked front of house. I am older than all but Nigel. Here are my thoughts on Mia from last week. If you are going to offer an apology you do not add “but” because that negates the apology completely. So very dissappointed in Mia’s comments. Mia, you are a judge, you can not continue to praise some in the vein that you do. I competed in Ballroom. The adjudicators are not “supposed” to play favorites. You do it so openly it is like fixing a race because too many people listen to you and assume you are correct. It is a shame. Love Adam, although Adam, you seem to let Mia drive your comments. I liked you better when you stood on your own. Mary was loud but did not play favorites as much. AdeChike did not deserve the comments that were given. It was not constructive which is what it should be. The comparisons to Alex were not right either. Each of the remaining dancers is there because they are special. José is this years’ Domenic (who I pulled for and kept every copy on myDVR to rewatch) I think José will continue to grow. I pray that AdeChike can be toughskinned to Mia’s harsh words. He is an amazing dancer.

    Mia….do your job. Your work is wonderful but I am really disliking your personality and your judging skills each week. Since I do not know you personally I can’t say anymore.

    Nigel, I don’t find you to be arrogant just a well bred Englishmen. Some American’s find your well bred comments to be arrogant when I fell they are not.

    I love the pairing of the wonderful All Stars dancers. Kudos for the concept and carrying through with it.

    7/12/2010 12:36 PM UTC

  21. LISA - wrote:


    7/14/2010 6:25 PM UTC

  22. LISA - wrote:



    7/14/2010 6:44 PM UTC

  23. LISA - wrote:

    I DID THIS ALREADY!!!!! TWICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7/14/2010 6:47 PM UTC

  24. Cathy - wrote:

    SYTYCD is my favorite show, hands down. But, I have to wonder why there are an increasing number of injuries with each season. Do the choreographers endanger the dancers by expecting too much too soon? Are the dancers pushing themselves beyond physical limitation to gain recognition? Do the cameras make them careless? I think the SYTYCD producers are responsible for these injuries, which can kill careers before they’ve started. I applaud the talent, creativity and passion that make this show great — but please, be careful!

    (Health and Recovery for Alex and Ashley!)

    7/16/2010 3:38 AM UTC

  25. Lauryi - wrote:

    I think the show has pushed these young dancers too far! Sure, accidents/injuries can happen but it says something that two dancers have had to quit the show in 2 weeks due to serious injuries. Alex’s injury could ruin his dancing career. It’s not worth it to see the “tricks” that seem de rigueur in every dance now. Fans would be just as happy to see dances that remain reasonably safe. If another injury occurs this season, I will have to stop watching. I can’t support a show that treats its dancers this way.

    7/19/2010 7:31 AM UTC

  26. Jyinxy - wrote:

    I have been an avid viewer and fan of the show since day 1 of season 1 and for the first time since that day i am utterly and truly disappointed in a dancer. I can not begin to name the many dancers who have unfortunately gotten injured and had to leave the show, I can not begin to describe as a former dancer myself to have seen how each and everyone of these talented artists would have done anything to be allowed to get onto that stage and dance their hearts out. However, this season has seemed to change all of that… I cannot seem to shake myself awake from the fact that Billy Bell refused to dance even after the drs. released him. I think there is a very good possibility that he was “afraid” he could not pull off the steppin routine. I also think he will have a very unfair advantage going into next weeks competition, I do understand the position that the judges are in, but i really think that Billy’s heart is not in this 100% and i do not think he deserves to be there as much as the others who have danced and fought since Vegas week to get where he finds himself at today.

    7/23/2010 6:11 AM UTC

  27. Beth - wrote:

    I am such a fan of this show. I can not begin to tell you how disappointed I am that Billy Bell got to remain on the show. He should’ve been eliminated when he refused to dance even after his doctor’s cleared him. Now he is rested while the other dancers are not. Very unfair. Send him home next week along with Jose. Jose should’ve been let go weeks ago. Is he still on because he’s “cute”? How can the judges say Robert hasn’t grown? Geez…Robert is an excellent dancer and deserves to be where he is. At least he’s not claiming an injury so he doesn’t have to dance.

    7/23/2010 11:22 AM UTC

  28. Caroline - wrote:

    I have been a faithful viewer since season 2. I would even go as far as saying SYTYCD is my favorite show. Not any more. I am not the type to post blogs, but i feel so compelled to do so now. What is going on? I feel I am being lied to this season. something strange and maybe even nefarious is going on.
    I too am disappointed in Billy choosing not to perform last week. But, I have to wonder why he did this. It most be very difficult for those dancers, who are being judged so harshly, to endure the praises of Jose for his smile, his personality, and his commitment. . Not just the judges comments are not fair, but so is the choreography. Billy has yet to have a memorable routine. His jaguar was amazing dancing, however, the performance was lacking because his warrior partner appeared more of tree. There was no masculine power in that routine, which made the jaguar appear a bit silly. Sonya, were you given the task to create a routine for Jose without dancing , last week? If so, you did an excellent job. Which brings to why I posted on this blog, “Substitute Dancers”. Where was Jose in the opening routine last week? Am i the only one who noticed he wasn’t there? why wasn’t he there? Why was nothing mentioned on the show? Did he have an injury? Oh, that couldn’t have been. He performed a solo that show. Did he have an unfair advantage with his solo, because he got to rest? Or, is it simply he just doesn’t have the skill to do it. i have no idea of the answers to these questions. Because, I can not trust the producers , the judges or even the choreographers any more. I do not like to be lied to. If the show doesn’t find a way to repair it’s integrity, they have lost one fan. I am so sorry to say because I truly loved the show . Jose , I feel sorry for you, because the show has made a spectacle of you and you are truly an amazing B boy.

    7/26/2010 7:52 AM UTC

  29. Caroline - wrote:

    thank you SYTYCD. I finally got what I wanted most in this show, this season. A memorable routine from Billy. Thank you Billy I loved it. Adam said to Billy , “You were born tonight”. Close Adam, but I think he was actually let out of his constraints. Seeing this caliber of performance is why I watch the show. Please give us quality dancers and quality choreography and let us choose our favorites. Also, thank you for Jose’s routines. I feel he was given good choreography that exhibited his level of talent without attempting to hide his lack of training. It was an enjoyable performers. Thank you judges for your believable critics. OK, your attempt to fix the show last night may have feel just a bit short. I don’t think I can believe the pulled groin answer. How was he able to perform his solo later in the show. However, I don’t think I will dwell on that. Billy’s performance ( and that alone) may be what will keep me watching the show. The hope of experiencing that kind of performance is why I am a fan. I just wish he had been released earlier. I am afraid this praise of Billy has led some to think I only am a Billy fan. I have enjoyed most of the performances. I just felt Billy and Adecheke were being held back and others lifted to high. Oh, and by the way, Mia I like you. I appreciate your passion and I suppose you have learned a valuable lesson on how to be a Judge.

    7/29/2010 7:47 AM UTC

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