‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Announces New Judges: Who Is Coming On Board For Season 12?

So You Think You Can Dance returns to Fox this summer with Season 12, but there will be some significant changes in place. Mary Murphy has been let go as a judge, and now the network is sharing the names of the judges being brought on board.

According to Variety, Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo will be sitting next to Nigel Lythgoe at the judge’s table for SYTYCD Season 12. Hearing that Paula snagged a spot probably won’t come as a surprise to most So You Think You Can Dance fans. She’s been a guest judge before, and she has a strong dance background. Of course, she was also a judge on American Idol for eight seasons, so this gig is right up her alley.

Derulo has been a guest judge on SYTYCD as well, though his addition as a permanent judge for Season 12 may come as a bit more of a surprise than Abdul’s. Lythgoe says that Derulo’s creativity, humor, and insight will add a new perspective to this upcoming season that they haven’t had before.

This SYTYCD judges announcement comes just a matter of days after news broke that Mary Murphy was leaving the show. As long-time fans know, Murphy has been a big part of the show since the beginning, and it’s a bit of a stunner to see her depart.

The show was fairly vague about their decision to let Murphy go, but she was a bit more specific via Twitter. Mary said that she was still on contract and would never leave, adding that she loved it so much. It may well be as simple as that the show felt it was time to shake things up a bit.

So You Think You Can Dance has gone through a number of changes over the years, and Lythgoe teases that there are new and exciting things ahead. As Variety previously reported, dancers will be placed into two teams as they advance. One will be made up of stage dancers, trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and contemporary. The other team will be made up of street dancers focusing on hip-hop, breaking, or animation.

The contestants will be whittled down to 10 for teach team, and one dancer from each team will be eliminated each week from there. It would seem, then, that SYTYCD is setting the stage for a finale showdown between a traditionally-trained and street-trained dancer, and this season will give much more focus than prior seasons to those coming from the street genre of performing.

How will viewers respond to the addition of Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo to the judging panel for Season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance? Everybody will find out soon, as SYTYCD auditions are about to begin. The show returns to Fox this summer.

[Image via Brunch News]