Paula Abdul will make her return to reality TV, as a full time judge on “SYTYCD,” after spending eight seasons on “American Idol” and judging the first season of “The X Factor.” She’ll be joined by Jason Derulo and returning judge Nigel Lythgoe, Fox announced Thursday. Cat Deeley will also return to host the upcoming season, which will feature a new twist: stage dancers versus street dancers.
“With the new and exciting format comes a new and exciting panel of judges,” said Lythgoe. “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.”
Abdul and Derulo have both served as guest judges in prior seasons. Most recently, Derulo sat in for the show’s 200th episode and performed his hit “Wiggle It” with Snoop Dogg this past summer. Abdul also served as a judge on Season 4 of “So You Think You Can Dance Australia.”
The news comes just days after the announcement that judge Mary Murphy will not be returning to the dance competition.
Of Murphy’s departure, Fox, Dick Clark Productions and 19 Entertainment said in a statement, “Mary has been a huge part of ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ from mentoring the dancers as a choreographer to inspiring fans as a judge. She will always be part of our ‘Dance’ family and we wish her continued success.”
The first round of auditions for Season 12 kick off in New York City this weekend with open auditions on Jan. 24 at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom and Hammerstein Ballroom. Judges’ callbacks will take place on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26. Auditions continue in Dallas on Feb. 14; Detroit on Feb. 22; Memphis on March 8; and Los Angeles on March 15.
“SYTYCD” returns to Fox this summer.