JoJo Siwa has been announced as the newest addition to the judging panel of the popular reality dance competition show, So You Think You Can Dance. This comes after Nigel Lythgoe, a long-time judge and co-creator of the series, stepped down amidst sexual assault lawsuits. The decision to bring Siwa back as a judge for season 18 was met with excitement and anticipation from fans of the show.
Nigel Lythgoe's Departure and Sexual Assault Allegations
Nigel Lythgoe had initially been slated to continue his role as a judge for the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance. However, he made the decision to step down earlier this month in light of sexual assault allegations made against him. Lythgoe expressed his desire to focus on clearing his name and restoring his reputation. Two separate lawsuits have been filed against him by Paula Abdul and two female former contestants from the reality show All American Girl.
In her allegations, Paula Abdul claimed that Lythgoe sexually assaulted her during an early season of American Idol and later on when she served as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. Abdul also alleged that Lythgoe assaulted her assistant. Lythgoe vehemently denied all of Abdul's allegations.
JoJo Siwa's Return to the Judging Panel
With Nigel Lythgoe's departure, the search was on for a new judge to join the panel for season 18 of So You Think You Can Dance. The show didn't have to look far, as they announced that JoJo Siwa will be returning to take on the role. Siwa had previously served as a judge on season 17 of the reality program, showcasing her expertise and passion for dance.
At just twenty years old, JoJo Siwa has already made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She also competed on season 30 of rival dance competition series Dancing With the Stars, further solidifying her dance credentials. Siwa will join judges Allison Holker, a choreographer and former SYTYCD All-Star, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, another DWTS alum who recently appeared on The Traitors. Together, they will bring their diverse backgrounds and experiences to provide insightful critiques and guidance to the competing dancers.
New Format for Season 18
So You Think You Can Dance season 18 is set to debut on Monday, March 4, with a fresh format that aims to provide a more authentic experience of building a career in dance. The show will introduce new weekly dance challenges that will give contestants a taste of what it's like to be a professional dancer. These challenges include performing in a music video, preparing for a football halftime show, and going head-to-head with a Broadway veteran.
Each week, the judges will have the challenging task of deciding who will be sent home and who will continue to compete for the coveted $100,000 grand prize. The revamped format promises to keep viewers on the edge of their seats as the dancers showcase their skills and adaptability in a variety of dance styles and scenarios.
Cat Deeley Continues as Host
One familiar face that viewers can count on is Cat Deeley, who will continue to serve as the host of So You Think You Can Dance for season 18. Deeley has been a mainstay of the show, providing her charismatic and energetic presence as she guides the contestants and engages with the judges and audience.
The addition of JoJo Siwa to the judging panel brings a fresh perspective and youthful energy to So You Think You Can Dance. Her experience as both a competitor and a judge on various dance shows makes her a valuable asset to the show. As season 18 debuts with a revamped format, viewers can expect exciting challenges, intense competition, and the timeless appeal of dance as the central focus.