'So You Think You Can Dance' attempting Michael Jackson tribute
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/29/2009
Nigel Lythgoe is enlisting the help of American Idol judge Paula Abdul and a few So You Think You Can Dance choreographers to help organize a Michael Jackson tribute in an upcoming episode of the dance-themed Fox reality series.
The So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer first reached out to Abdul via Twitter on Friday -- the day after Jackson passed away after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest in his home.
"Will you choreograph an MJ tribute for us this week?" asked Lythgoe in the Twitter message before subsequently posting again to enlist the help of others in persuading Abdul.
"People please use Twitter-Power [to ask Abdul] to choreograph a Michael Jackson tribute on SYTYCD."
Abdul responded later in the day with her own Twitter message.
"Have your people call my people Nigel and let's do it!" she wrote.
"I would get my people to call yours," responded Lythgoe later Friday night. "But I have 2 issues. 1. I don't know who your people are? 2. I haven't got any people?"
Lythgoe was accessing his Twitter account from Arizona, where he's currently holding auditions for So You Think You Can Dance's sixth season -- which is currently slated to air this fall.
"At the same time as auditioning we're trying to put together a major tribute to him Michael's music works in every dance genre for the show,"he posted Sunday morning, acknowledging that a few So You Think You Can Dance choreographers were joining the effort.
"[Mia Michaels] has chosen the song she likes, we've spoken to [Wade Robson]. I've left messages for Paula. I've spoken to [Shane Sparks]. We have to make this happen!!"
However later on Sunday a problem arose with the rights to Jackson's music.
"There is a problem clearing Michael's music at the moment. We are trying to make contact with Sony to get clearance," he posted. "If we can make this 'special' happen it is thanks to many of you 'Tweeters' out there who all had the same idea. 'Twitter-Power' is awesome!"
Despite sounding somewhat optimistic, Lythgoe tempered enthusiasm with another post.
"Don't get carried away everyone," he wrote. "It won't be the NEXT show these things take time to organize, clear and choreograph. I'll keep you posted."
Not everyone reading Lythgoe's messages were apparently excited, as somebody called the attempt at organizing a special "opportunistic."
"To the guy who called the idea of the 'Special' "opportunistic." you're an @#*hole," posted Lythgoe on Sunday.