THE Emmy Award-winning global television phenomenon that captivated Australians for three years is set to have more breathtaking performances and spectacular moments as contestants compete to become the country’s favourite dancer in the return of So You Think You Can Dance Australia.

The Logie-Award winning local series will feature host Carrie Bickmore, and judges Paula Abdul, Jason Gilkison, Aaron Cash and Shannon Holtzapffel. Abdul is an internationally-renowned choreographer, dancer and performer, as well as being a Grammy Award winner.

The combination of Bickmore as host and Abdul as the queen of the judging panel brings some familiarity with the old SYTYCD. Both this format and the previous one had international talent on the panel and a home-grown treasured host. But this time around, the star power has been beefed up.

Abdul’s formidable reputation is matched by Bickmore’s huge popularity on Channel 10’s The Project.

A familiar name from the last series is Jason Gilkison, a respected choreographer who worked on the US edition and locally.

He helped nurture local community favourite Rhys Borbidge into runner’s up during the show’s debut season, and has been involved ever since – showcasing over 100 pieces of work over 10 seasons.

Gilkison sat down with the Star Observer on the cusp of the new series, which commences this Sunday night, to talk about his fellow judges, the talent pool and what this season has to offer.

His long term involvement in the series PoMverPseaagsem1eant that all of the judges were familiar to him.

“On more than one night we were up until 3am talking about the show and the contestants. We are really close and that is different to other series I have worked on,”he said.

“We really have clicked but it has been tough for a completely different reason. The hiatus has let some amazing talent rise to the top. Now that the format is known, the contestants are far more across the different genres. They have been practicing the differences and it is a much stronger group,” he added.

Gilkison would not be drawn on whether the quality of the choreographer made a difference, in response to a question that when he was choreographing in the old series the contestants tended to do better. He chose to focus on the existing choreographers, saying: “We have some of the world’s best in each genres and some surprises coming. In my area of ballroom dancing, I was blown away.”

The reality of a show when contestants get knocked out each week meant some talent would have to try their luck again next year. And Gilkison had some friendly advice to those contestants: “To anyone who missed out, I really do hope you try again next year as the talent really is extraordinary and we hope to see you back.”

INFO: So You Think You Can Dance Australia premieres on Channel 10 on Sunday, February 9 at 6:30pm.

The official website is here.




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