Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo are the New ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges

Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo Join So You Think You Can Dance
Paula Abdul joins the judges panel on Season 12 of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ (Photo by Nino Munoz / FOX)

Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance is really switching things up for season 12. Mary Murphy has exited the judging panel and in her place will be choreographer/singer/songwriter Paula Abdul. Singer Jason Derulo has also signed up to judge the contestants on the upcoming season of the dance competition series, along with returning judge/series creator/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.

Fox also announced the upcoming season will pit stage dancers against street dancers.

“With the new and exciting format comes a new and exciting panel of judges,” said Lythgoe. “I’m delighted that Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo will be joining me at the judges’ table this season on So You Think You Can Dance. Paula is an incredible artist and she brings the perfect combination of expertise and heart to the panel. Jason’s insight, humor and creativity will add a new perspective to the panel that we haven’t had before.”

“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,” said Abdul. “So You Think You Can Dance has a long-standing history of launching brilliant careers for young choreographers and dancers in the industry. It’s going to be a true honor and pleasure joining this panel with Jason and Nigel, and I’m looking forward to an exciting new season!”

“I am truly excited, and eagerly look forward to joining the cast of So You Think You Can Dance,” added Derulo. “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.”

Auditions for season 12 will take place on January 24 in New York, NY; February 14 in Dallas, TX; February 22 in Detroit, MI; March 8 in Memphis, TN; and March 15 in Los Angeles, CA.

Here’s the rules for this season’s auditions, courtesy of Fox:

Dancers either must be U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents of the U.S. or possess current legal Employment Authorization Cards enabling them to seek employment freely in the U.S. (i.e., without restrictions as to employer) by the date specified in the eligibility rules. Dancers must be no younger than 18 or older than 30 years of age on the first day they register for auditions. Any dancer who is a minor in his/her state of residence must also have a parent or legal guardian sign all required documents. Dancers must provide legal, valid proof of age when they register for auditions. Check www.fox.com/dance for full eligibility rules.

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 styles such as hip-hop, animation or breaking. 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. When the competition goes “live,” the Top 20 will 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. Who will win…a dancer from the stage or the street? Find out when So You Think You Can Dance returns in summer 2015.


-By Rebecca Murray

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