Dance News

This is Big: "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 12 Has New Judges

OK, guys. We're at T-minus 148 days until Summer 2015, the unofficial premiere date for "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 12!

Yes, it's a long way off. Luckily, though, the fine folks at FOX have been generous with the teasers, releasing little bits of news to keep us all happy. For instance, you already know this season will operate a little differently—separating the dancers into two camps, "street" and "stage," for the preliminary rounds. And you already know that the auditions for Season 12 kick off today in NYC (come say hi—we'll be there!). But late last week, "SYT" producers announced some news:

The judges for Season 12 will include Nigel Lythgoe (natch), Paula Abdul (!!!) and Jason Derulo:

Introducing the new judging panel for "SYTYCD" Season 12! Photoshop is a wondrous invention, amirite? (both images: Adam Rose/FOX) Photoshop is a wondrous invention, amirite? (original images: Adam Rose/FOX)

Abdul is a clear replacement for Mary Murphy. (We'll miss you, Hot Tamale Train conductor!) Abdul was first a guest judge on "SYTYCD" Season 10, and has since been the lead judge on "So You Think You Can Dance Australia." But more than that, she's a dancer, through and through. From her days as a L.A. Laker Girl to choreographing for artists like Janet Jackson to starring in her own classic videos, Abdul has the background it takes to recognize star power in the next generation of dancers.

Abdul (left) showing Janet Jackson a thing or two (via thatgrapejuice.net)

Derulo comes from an entirely different world: songwriting. He's crafted lyrics for lots of artists, including Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Diddy and Sean Kingston. He's also racked up some impressive accolades himself: "Wiggle,” featuring Snoop Dogg, is Derulo's eighth song to reach the Top 10 on the Top 40 list, and he's been nominated for numerous MTV Music Video Awards and Teen Choice Awards. You might remember Derulo's appearance on "SYTYCD" Season 11 as a guest judge and musical guest—he and Snoop performed "Wiggle."

Derulo performing "Wiggle" on "SYT" Season 11 (Adam Rose/Fox)

Apparently Derulo's joke-filled guest-judging stint made a big impression on Lythgoe, who in a press release said, "Jason’s insight, humor and creativity will add a new perspective to the panel that we haven’t had before.” And while we can't argue with that, truth be told, we're a little sad the third permanent judging spot didn't go to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, aka The World's Best Guest Judge. Here's hoping JTF drops in for an episode or two.

What do you think about the new judges? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Jayme Thornton

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