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At the end of this process, usually less than 40 competitors remain in a pool that final contestants are chosen from.
Most seasons have featured 20 top finalists for the competition portion of the show, but Season One was represented by a Top 16, Season Seven saw a Top 11, and Season Thirteen employed a Top 10.
These duets, as with all non-solo performances at this stage in the competition, are choreographed by professional choreographers.
Prior to most duet performances, a video packet of clips of the couple preparing to perform the routine is shown; these packets are intended not only to demonstrate the couple's efforts to master the routine, but also to give glimpses of the personalities of the dancers as well as to allow the choreographer to give insight as to the thematic, narrative, and artistic intentions of the piece.
Following the finalist selection process, the show transitions into its regular competition phase, which lasts the rest of the season.
The competition stage is typically divided into 8 weeks, generally with two contestants eliminated per week.
It was created by American Idol producers Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and is produced by 19 Entertainment, Dick Clark Productions, and Conrad Sewell Productions.
At the end of this process, a small number of dancers are chosen as finalists.
These dancers move on to the competition's main phase, where they perform solo, duet, and group dance numbers on live television, attempting to master a diverse selection of dance styles, including classical, contemporary, ballroom, hip-hop, street, club, jazz, and musical theatre styles, among others.
In seasons six through nine, no dancers were in danger of elimination at this point and the first round of viewer voting and judge eliminations occurred the following week.
In the slightly more compact format of the more recent seasons, the dancer showcase is often the first episode to be accompanied by viewer voting and a resulting elimination.