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The Callbacks are often collectively portrayed as one of the most exhausting and stressful stages of the competition; each successive round sees cuts in which a significant portion of the remaining dancers are eliminated from competition and dancers are given a limited amount of time to adapt to styles they are sometimes wholly unfamiliar with while being physically taxed by the rapid progression of rounds and a limited amount of rest.At the end of this process, usually less than 40 competitors remain in a pool that final contestants are chosen from.
Allison's run on SYTYCD began in Season 2 where she climbed to the Top 8.
Though it is produced over the course of months, the selection phase is highly edited and usually constitutes only the first 2–4 weeks of aired episodes, with the competition episodes forming the remaining 8–9 weeks of the season. During this stage, dancers perform a brief routine (typically a solo, but duet and group routines are allowed as well) before a panel of dance experts, usually headed by series creator and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
Nigel Lythgoe is co-creator of the So You Think You Can Dance franchise, and has been executive producer and permanent member of the judge's panel of the U. This panel then decides on-the-spot whether the dancer demonstrated enough ability and performance value to proceed further.
If the dancer exhibited exceptional ability in their performance, judges award "a ticket to Vegas" (or in more recent seasons "a ticket to the Academy"), moving them instantly one step forward in the competition.
Alternatively, if judges are on the fence about the dancer, they may ask the contestant to wait until the end of that day's auditions to participate in a short test of their ability to pick up professional choreography.