So you think you’ve seen them before: When reality TV talent contests engage in contestant ‘recycling’ — is it a good thing? [POLL]

A couple weeks ago on episode 4 of the current 16th season of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” the show opened with 18-year-old twin brothers, Trent and Colton Edwards, contemporary dancers with flair to spare who are based in Pittsburgh. They explained that they only took up dancing three years ago. However, they also added that they had musical theater experience, which they said provided the equivalent of TSA PreCheck when it came to taking on dance. Cute, huh?

The good-looking twosome instantly charmed the judges with their talkative personalities as cheeky Colton confessed that he was the evil twin of the two. Their “SYTYCD” performance (see clip above) was quite a showstopper and even caused judge Mary Murphy to let loose with one of her sonic shrieks of glee. Of course, they were given a golden ticket to the Academy.

But if you thought that they looked familiar, there is a reason why. They had previously been on Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” as an act known as “Mirror Image” in 2017 (see clip below). At that time, they also sang — not quite their strong suit — along with dancing. While Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum were duly wooed by the duo — even giving them a standing ovation — a scowling Simon Cowell was steadfastly not impressed. Ultimately, they did not get enough votes to advance to the semi-finals.

Sure, everyone deserves a second chance. But should such reality TV contests be more upfront about regifting such talent and not act like they are a fresh discovery?

This not a new issue, of course. “American Idol” and “The Voice” have had regular crossovers when it comes to their pools of talent through the years –including Sundance Head (“Idol” 6/”Voice” 11), Mark Andrew (“Voice” 4/”Idol”14), Keith Semple (“Idol” 9/”Voice” 9), Adam Lasher (“Voice” 2/”Idol”14), Sonika Vaid (“Voice” 4/”Idol” 15), Colton Swon (“Idol” 9/”Voice” 4), Adanna Duru (“Voice” 4/”Idol” 14), Shelbie Z (“Voice” 5/”Idol” 15), Luke Edgemon (“Idol” 9/”Voice” 4), MacKenzie Bourg (“Voice” 3/”Idol,” 15), Frenchie Davis (“Idol” 2/”Voice” 1), Jon Peter Lewis (“Idol” 3/”Voice” 4) and Jamar Rogers (“Idol” 8/”Voice” 2).

SEE ‘ So You Think You Can Dance’: Could this tap dance kid become the 2nd hoofer to win?

Meanwhile, the winner of “Idol’s” 15th and final season on Fox was Nick Fradiani, who competed on the ninth season of “America’s Got Talent” with his band, Beach Avenue. His fellow “Idol” contestant, Sal Valentinetti, made the “AGT” finale in 2016.

For the past three years, “World of Dance,” NBC’s new kid on the talent contest block — has provided a fresh option for those who previously appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Earlier this year, Derek Piquette — who made it to the top 8 on “SYTYCD’s” Season 12 — also competed on “World.” Previously, hip-hop dancer Fik-shun, the winner of “SYTYCD” Season, also tried out for “World,” but didn’t get far.

SEE ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ 16 recap: Audition rounds end in a flood of tears

What I much prefer is when a contestant is allowed to come back after being cut previously who uses the time in between to take the judge’s suggestions to heart. That happened on “Idol” this year when Season 16 winner Laine Hardy was encouraged to audition again after providing guitar accompaniment for another hopeful. Alyssa Raghu likewise made strides in her performing skills after being cut on Season 15 and made it to the Top 10, becoming the first finalist to make the semi-finals twice.

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