‘So You Think You Can Dance’: That’s why Season 17 won’t be the same without Judge Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe’s long run in “So You Think You Can Dance” seems to be coming to an end. The show’s co-creator, who has been a judge since 2005, has announced that he will not be returning for season 17. The new season is expected to return to Fox after a three-year sabbatical due to Covid-19.

In March, the 72-year-old TV personality talked about his exit from the FOX hit Twitter. “I am so excited that aspiring young American dance talents will be working with some of our greatest creative choreographers,” she said. “On a personally sad note, I was not asked to be a jury member this season. I don’t know who will be shouting ‘Cue Music’, ”added Lythgoe,“ but I wish them well ”. When she was contacted by the media, FOX declined to comment.


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The cast of season 17 of “So You Think You Can Dance” has undergone a major and perhaps controversial change thanks to the show’s production crew. Fox announced the changes via Twitterstating that “new and familiar faces” would emerge in season 17, which was an understatement given that the entire jury had been replaced.

It appears that the creators of the show used the three-year gap to modernize it, which includes appointing a younger jury. The show’s renewed jury appears to be geared towards a younger demographic. The new jury is on average 33 years old, with Matthew Morrison, 43, and Stephen “tWitch” Boss, 39, rounded up by Jojo Siwa, 18. By comparison, the 2019 jury was on average 52 years old.

Lythgoe was the only regular judge to appear in all 16 seasons of the show, which debuted in 2005. Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo, Maddie Ziegler, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Shankman, and Mary Murphy were in the panel with him. Lythgoe co-created the show with Simon Fuller and served as executive producer. While it’s unclear whether Lythgoe will continue as executive producer, the new season will see veteran host Cat Deeley reprise his role.

The show won’t be the same without Lythgoe

The jaw-dropping thing about this announcement is that, as per Lythgoe’s tweet, it wasn’t her decision that the show would go in a different direction without him. It’s hard to determine whether Nigel Lythgoe’s tweets are bitter, but it’s clear Fox’s choice didn’t make Lythgoe feel good, and rightfully so. As an accomplished dancer and choreographer, fans have always appreciated Nigel’s skills on the jury. There was concern that styles such as ballroom and tap dance might be overlooked without her professional knowledge of dance. Season 17 of ‘SYTYCD’ will feature new judges Jojo Siwa and Matthew Morrison, as well as the return of former series alum Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Although Morrison and “tWitch” have experience as ballroom judges, they may not have the technical understanding of Nigel’s craft. Fans are concerned that this will impact how the season unfolds, particularly in the ballroom segments.

Many people are looking forward to the return of ‘SYTYCD after a long layoff. Although fans are disappointed to see Nigel leave, the new judges should provide a new perspective on the tournament. ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, on the other hand, will be drastically different without Nigel Lythgoe ‘pointing to the music’.

Watch the season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance” Wednesday May 18th at 9 / 8c on FOX TV.

If you have an entertainment scoop or story for us, please contact us at (323) 421-7515

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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