Talent Recap

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Announces New Judging Panel, 2024 Premiere Date

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Comfort Fedoke, Cat Deeley, Nigel Lythgoe and Allison Holker for 'So You Think You Can Dance'.CR: Nathan Bolster /FOX

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After 2022’s Season 17, So You Think You Can Dance is back for another installment on Fox. Amid its comeback, the series will bring back co-creator Nigel Lythgoe to the judging panel.

So You Think You Can Dance is Back for Season 18 on FOX

Fans of So You Think You Can Dance can finally ramp up their excitement. After a year, the show is back with a brand-new competition in March, with a mix of old and new personalities on the panel. On Tuesday, FOX announced that Nigel Lythgoe return to his seat at the judges’ table along with former competitor Allison Holker and professional choreographer Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

For those who may not know, Lythgoe was a long running judge on the series, for the first 16 seasons. For season 17, Lythgoe was reportedly not offered his position back.

Meanwhile, the panel sees a new competitor-turned-judge face this season, Allison Holker. For those who may not know, Holker originally stepped into the show’s second season as a contestant and later returned as an All-Star. Her return to the show, on the judging panel, comes after the death of her husband, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who sat on the panel last season.

Beside Holker is fellow former SYTYCD All-Star Comfort Fedoke. For those who may not know, Fedoke made her debut on So You Think You Can Dance in Season 4. She will act as a guest auditions judge.

The final judge on the panel, Maks Chmerkovskiy, is known best for his years as a Dancing With The Stars professional. This will not be his first time on a dance judging panel, since Chmerkovskiy previously judged Ukraine’s version of Dancing With The Stars, Tantsi Z Zirkamy.

Just about the only similarity to last year is the show’s host, Cat Deeley. Deeley has been the host of the series since 2006.

The Show Institutes New Format

There are even more changes coming to So You Think You Can Dance this spring. Season 18 of the long-running dance competition is introducing a different format. As per FOX, the goal is to reflect “the authentic experience of building a successful career in dance, as so many So You Think You Can Dance alums have.”

Each week, contestants will compete according to extreme dance challenges, said to give them a glimpse of the legitimate career. Such challenges go from performing in a music video or a football halftime show to slaying on stage with a Broadway artist.

Eliminations will happen weekly, and only the Top 3 finalists will compete in the season finale. In the end, the last dancer standing will win the $100,000 grand prize and the highly coveted title of So You Think You Can Dance champion.

In addition, the next season will also launch a new storytelling elements to “further capture the authentic ups and downs experienced by professional dancers.” Fox also teased that viewers “will get a documentary-style inside look at the contestants’ dynamics, following them throughout the competition as they go through their personal and competitive journeys, including the daily struggles, new relationships, personality clashes and more.”

“So You Think You Can Dance is television’s preeminent dance competition, and we are thrilled to bring the beloved show back for an all-new season,” Allison Wallach, President of Unscripted Programming at FOX Entertainment, said in a statement. “Reuniting Cat, Nigel, Allison and Comfort, and welcoming Maksim into the SYTYCD family, is sure to make Season 18 bigger than ever for their legions of fans around the globe.”

So You Think You Can Dance season 18 premieres Monday, March 4, on Fox.

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