So You Think You Can Dance 2019 is here and season 16 brings some major cast changes, with a shakeup in the judges’ panel. Veteran judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are returning to the show, while Laurieann Gibson and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval will be the newbies in the mix. Sandoval is a SYTYCD alum, while Gibson is a longtime reality star and choreographer, who has been Lady Gaga’s choreographer and creative director for years. Gibson has had her own reality shows and was a prominent face on Diddy’s reality show, years ago, Making the Band.
Sandoval was on season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance and has also been a two-time winner on America’s Best Dance Crew, as reported by Good Housekeeping. Some may know him as a successful YouTube personality as well. Once the details of SYTYCD season 16 were revealed, Sandoval took to Instagram writing, “Before 2005, a dream for a dancer was to make a living by dancing for an artist, dance for someone’s music video, or maybe dance in a commercial. And although those are all awesome things, it wasn’t till So You Think You Can Dance, where you were finally able to make a living dancing for yourself.”
The new judges have replaced former judges Vanessa Hudgens and tWitch. Hudgens was a judge for two years, while tWitch was on the panel last season, according to MJs Big Blog.
When the cast changes had been announced, Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Broadcasting Company, released the following statement about season 16:
Each season, the talent on So You Think You Can Dance reaches new levels and continues to create the most incredible routines. The hard work and passion that goes into each performance is awe-inspiring. We can’t wait to see what Season 16 has in store and look forward to bringing you a new crop of incredible, inspired and inspiring dancers.
Host Cat Deeley is returning to the show this season and she has been hosting SYTYCD since 2006, with five Emmy nominations under her belt. Prior to the season 16 premiere, Deeley spoke with Gold Derby about the perks that have come with the gig, as well as the reasons she loves it. Deeley revealed, “I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be nominated for an Emmy. And, to be honest, I love the chance to get a frock and wear some jewelry and have a lovely time. My biggest win of all is getting to host a show I love. That’s all I care about.” She continued, “My job is to be the everyman at home. I’m not a dancer. I don’t know the terminology. When I think the judges are being too technical, I’ll ask questions that everybody at home are talking about.”
Dancers between the ages of 18 and 30 will compete on the show this season and it all begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 8 p.m. CT, on June 3, 2019, on the Fox network. The dancers will have to compete for America’s votes in hopes of becoming the season 16 winner.