Paula Abdul will be lacing up her dancing shoes once again when the performer returns to Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” as a permanent judge. The network confirmed Abdul’s participation in Season 12 of the long-running series, following the departure of ballroom dance champion Mary Murphy, who began her stint with the series in 2005.
"I'm honored to be joining the judges' panel this season," the former “SYTYCD” guest judge tweeted out after her new position was announced. The reality show queen revealed in a statement just how excited she is to be involved in the upcoming installment of the series.
“I have dedicated a large part of my career as a choreographer to discovering and mentoring some of the most iconic artists and performers from all over the world,” Abdul said. “'So You Think You Can Dance' has a long-standing history of launching brilliant careers for young choreographers and dancers in the industry."
The former “American Idol” judge is not the only new name added to the 2015 roster of “SYTYCD.” Jason Derulo, who also served as a guest judge on the reality competition, will have a seat at the judge’s table when Season 12 premieres. "It’s going to be a true honor and pleasure joining this panel with Jason and Nigel [Lythgoe], and I’m looking forward to an exciting new season," Abdul spoke of working alongside her new colleagues.
Derulo shared a similar sentiment when he addressed his new gig with "SYTYCD." “I am truly excited, and eagerly look forward to joining the cast of ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’” the singer said in an interview. “It is one of the most respected and longest-tenured shows on network television, and I hope to be a part of new growth and continued success.”
Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of the “SYTYCD” series, added that with new judges comes a “new and exciting format” to the show. Us Weekly elaborated, explaining that the reality series will stir things up a bit by having street dancers compete against classically trained stage dancers in the new installment.
“Throughout the auditions, the dancers who advance will be placed into two teams – the stage dancers, featuring those trained in styles such as contemporary, ballet, jazz or tap; and the street dancers, hopefuls skilled in hip-hop, animation or breaking,” producers described the show’s newest twist. “As the auditions continue, the judges, along with each team’s All-Star Mentor, will eliminate dancers until only the Top 20 – 10 Street Dancers and 10 Stage Dancers – remain.”
The competition will air live when the Top 20 are chosen, TVLine reports. The remaining contestants will then be challenged weekly “to perform a variety of styles, working with world-renowned choreographers. One dancer from each genre will be eliminated each week leading up to the season finale.”
Are you looking forward to a new, exciting season of “So You Think You Can Dance”? What do you think of the changes being made to Season 12 of the Fox series? Sound off in the comments section below.