20 Most Common "So You Think You Can Dance" Judge Phrases

With Season 10 ending next week, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used phrases that the SYTYCD judges use, and what they really mean.

1. “That’s bucc!”

Meaning: A phrase used by judge/krump choreographer Lil C, used to describe something that was done well. Ex: “That contemporary routine was bucc!” or “This buffalo chicken salad is bucc!” etc.

ID: 1588256

2. “I don’t mean to be a creepy old man, but…”

Meaning: Used by Judge Nigel Lythgoe, it means he is a creepy old man who wants to sleep with you.

ID: 1589422

3. “That was… SO GOOD!”

Meaning: Commonly used by Adam Shankman when overreacting to a dance that the audience at home is usually like, “Really?” about.

ID: 1588294

4. “You’re on the HOT TAMALE TRAIN!”

Meaning: Mary Murphy’s catchphrase. Like “That’s bucc,” it’s used as an extreme compliment. Ex: “That samba puts you on the hot tamale train!” or “Paris at night is on the hot tamale train!” etc.

ID: 1588357

5. “Your dancing is a little feminine.”

Meaning: Used when referring to a male dancer that is most often times obviously gay, because the judges are apparently contractually obligated to never under any circumstances utter the “g” word.

ID: 1588202

6. “You are now my favorite dancer in the competition.”

Meaning: We are trying to influence America to vote for you. Also, you’ve been my favorite from the beginning.

ID: 1588245

7. “I don’t know what the audience doesn’t see in you.”

Meaning: We think you’re pretty. Why doesn’t everyone think you’re pretty?!

ID: 1588277

8. “What can’t you do?!”

Meaning: Used when referring to a hip-hop dancer who has ventured into another dance style, or a dancer who flips. Sometimes it refers to both.

ID: 1588288

9. “You’re just a cutie patootie.”

Meaning: Judge Mary Murphy’s phrase when describing a male performer she would like to do the “horizontal mambo” with.

ID: 1588300

10. “Was it technically great? No. Did you give it your all? You betcha.”

Meaning: We really like you, but have fun watching the show from home next week, because you’re getting the boot tonight.

ID: 1588308

11. “What I’d give to have that body.”

Meaning: Another way of saying, “I’m getting older, and as death creeps toward me the thought of selling my soul to steal your youth becomes more tempting everyday.”

ID: 1588310

12. “Let me just thank [choreographer] for that routine. Fabulous.”

Meaning: The routine was great, sorry the dancers didn’t dance it very well.

ID: 1588311

13. “Those legs go on for days.”

Meaning: She has legs and she knows how to use them.

ID: 1588510

14. “Was the chemistry there? No.”

Meaning: An alternative way to say, “You’re dancing was a little feminine.” (See number five.)

ID: 1588937

15. “That is why I love dance.”


Meaning: Congratulations, you just made a judge cry/freak out.

ID: 1588891

16. “I liked it.”

Meaning: Used by celebrity judges that have no clue what they are talking about.

ID: 1589255

17. “That arabesque into the pas de bourreé followed by the cou-de-pied was simply remarkable.”

Meaning: This, or any variation thereof, means the judges know what the fuck they are talking about.

ID: 1589132

18. “Keep your shoulders down.”

Meaning: The judges have told you a million to get your shit together and you are on your last leg, buddy.

ID: 1589303

19. “You will have a great career in the industry.”

Meaning: You are going home tonight.

ID: 1588796

20. “We’re sorry, but you’ll be leaving us this week.”

Meaning: They’re not sorry.

ID: 1589228

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