SYTYCD Announces New Judges; Cat Deeley Returning as Host

Getty Cat Deeley

“So You Think You Can Dance” is returning to FOX in the summer of 2022 for its 17th season after being off the air since 2019. On Monday, April 4, FOX announced the show’s new judging panel and the return of host Cat Deeley. Two of the new judges have “Dancing With the Stars” connections. Read on for all the details.

The New ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges Are…

The new season of “So You Think You Can Dance” boasts three new judges — pop star JoJo Siwa, Emmy- and Tony-nominated actor Matthew Morrison, and dancer and TV personality Stephen “tWitch” Boss.

Siwa competed on the most recent season of “Dancing With the Stars,” finishing in second place with her partner Jenna Johnson behind winners Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach. Siwa and Johnson were the show’s first same-sex couple.

Boss is a “So You Think You Can Dance” alum. He finished runner-up in season four, then returned as an all-star in season seven, which is where he met his wife, Allison Holker. Holker would go on to be a pro on “Dancing With the Stars” for four seasons, 19 through 21 and 23. The pair performed a routine together during season 16 while violinist Lindsey Stirling performed “Crystallize” as the accompaniment. Boss was previously a judge on NBC’s “World of Dance” alongside “Dancing With the Stars” pro-turned-judge Derek Hough.

Morrison is a “Glee” alum, for which he earned nominations for an Emmy and two Golden Globes. He also has appeared on Broadway in “Hairspray,” “The Light in the Piazza,” “South Pacific” and “Finding Neverland.”

The FOX press release teases of the new season:

The brand-new version will feature highly skilled dancers between the ages of 18 and 30, showcasing their talents in various dance styles, including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, animation, breaking and more. Those who are selected to move on to the SYTYCD studio will work with world-renowned choreographers and compete each week in a variety of styles, with brand-new twists and turns introduced into the competition.

Cat Deeley, who hosted the show for 15 of the 16 original seasons, is returning as the host. The show premieres on May 18.

On Instagram, Siwa said it is “such an honor to be a part of this show’s comeback!”

Nigel Lythgoe Is ‘Sad’ Not to be Asked to Return

When news broke that FOX was bringing “So You Think You Can Dance” back in the summer of 2022, there was no mention made of longtime judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. Lythgoe was with the show from the very beginning, while Mary Murphy judged every season except seven, 12 and 13.

When asked about the renewal on Twitter, Lythgoe said he was “sad” not to be included but he wishes the new judges well.

“I am so thrilled that America’s young aspiring dance talent will get to work with some of our greatest creative choreographers. On a personally sad note, I have not been asked to be on the judging panel this season. I don’t know who will be saying ‘Cue Music’ but I wish them well,” wrote Lythgoe.

One of the replies compared “So You Think You Can Dance” firing Lythgoe to when “Dancing WIth the Stars” fired Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, writing, “Reminds me of the revamp of DWTS, didn’t make that show better when they did it, I predict the same here. It won’t be the same without you, Nigel.”

“So You Think You Can Dance” has started the audition process; online registration is now closed. Ir premieres Wednesday, May 18 following the season finale of “The Masked Singer.”

“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.

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