Mainstay Mia Michaels has exited "So You Think You Can Dance" just days before the live eliminations for Season 6 begin on Fox. Michaels has been choreographing dance numbers for the contestants since the reality competition series debuted four years ago. She won an Emmy in 2007 for her second season contemporary routine set to the Celine Dion song "Calling You."
Michaels had first contended for the choreography Emmy Award in 2003 for her work on the Dion special "Opening Night: Live in Las Vegas." She lost that race to the "Stars on Ice" team. This year she was an Emmy nominee for another "So You Think You Can Dance" contemporary routine. This one was set to "Mercy" by Duffy and performed by Stephen Boss and top female dancer Katee Shean.
Michaels lost to fellow "SYTYCD" choreographer Tyce Diorio -- who devised the contemporary dance set to "Silence" performed by William Wingfield and Jessica King -- and Tony champ Rob Ashford ("Thoroughly Modern Millie"), who won his first Emmy for choreographing the Oscars.
Also in the running this year from "SYTYCD" were Dmitry Chaplin for his staging of a tango for Season 4 champ Joshua Allen and Chelsie Hightower to "A Los Amigos," and husband and wife choreographers Napoleon D'umo and Tabitha D'umo, who contended for their hip-hop moves for Hightower and Mark Kanemura performing to "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis.
In a statement, "SYTYCD" producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe said, "We are thrilled to have given a talent such as Mia Michaels a platform to create Emmy Award-winning choreography. During the auditions this season she has helped choose the best, most diverse top 20 we have ever had. She knows that she is always welcome to return later this season or next. She’s chosen to move on to new challenges, and we will continue to support her and wish her all the best."
Photo credit: ATAS