So You Think You Can Dance Adding Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo as Judges

The promise of a new day — or at least the woman who scored a big hit with that catchphrase — is officially coming to So You Think You Can Dance.

Fox confirmed on Thursday the long-running rumor that choreographer-singer Paula Abdul will join the summer reality show’s Season 12 judging panel.

More unexpected was the network’s announcement that R&B star Jason Derulo — who served as a guest judge on the show last summer — will sit alongside Abdul and executive producer/head judge Nigel Lythgoe when SYTYCD returns to the air in May with a “Stage Dancers Vs. Street Dancers” twist.

“With the new and exciting format comes a new and exciting panel of judges,” Lythgoe said in a release. “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 famously served as a judge on American Idol from its debut all the way through Season 8 — and later judged Fox’s The X Factor, shepherded her own short-lived competition series, Live to Dance, and guested on SYTYCD.

Abdul and Derulo’s hiring comes on the heels of original SYTYCD judge Mary Murphy announcing her option had not been picked up for the show’s upcoming season.

Are you excited by Derulo and Abdul’s addition to the SYTYCD team —or did their prior stints as guest judges leave you less than impressed? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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88 Comments
  1. Nicole S says:

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Sad to say I probably won’t make as much effort to watch this season. I could maybe handle Paula but haven’t loved Jason as a guest judge. So many better people they could have picked.

    • Temperance says:

      She was OK as a main judge on SYTYCD Australia last season. My real puzzler is Jason Derullo, which seem rather kardashian – famous for being famous and utterly untalented.

    • A fan says:

      I’m afraid this is the final blow for one of my favorite shows. First the format change and now this. I will watch but probably not enjoy this season which will probably be the last. Too bad!

  2. Sam says:

    Bring Mary back!

  3. Dani says:

    One show I don’t have to make time for this summer.

  4. Iván says:

    Is this the last nail in the “ballroom dancers” coffin? Sad. I love Paula and she was good on DWTS when she was a guest judge, so I guess there’ll be a little hope for ballroom. (sigh) let’s hope that SYTYCD returns for a 13th season and they go back to focus on talent and teaching different genres, not just showing two sides of dancing.

  5. Mindy says:

    Oh no. One of my favorite shows but I do not like Jason Derulo. Why couldn’t they have brought Twitch back as a full time judge? I guess I’ll have to DVR and fast forward thru Jason.

  6. Beth T. says:

    I’m not a big Paula fan, but she does know dance. If she can refrain from being nothing but a cheerleader and actually provide some constructive critique, she may be OK. I thought Jason Derulo sucked as a guest judge, with virtually nothing of value to add. I hope they will continue to have a rotating 4th chair and include another judge who actually, you know, understands DANCE.

    • GhostWolf says:

      Not a fan of Paula either – wasn’t impressed with her previous appearance. As for Jason, don’t remember his judging stint. Well, can always watch the dancers and FF on the critique (for most of the guest judges, did just that).

  7. Amanda Blum says:

    Derulo was a moron who couldn’t put together a sentence when he guest judged. WTF?

  8. Brandy says:

    Wow, I’ve watched this show from the beginning and loved every season, but the street vs. stage thing and Jason Deruko (WHY?!) are huge turn offs. No more guest judges? Do I even want to watch?

  9. And I just came to love my dvr even more. I will be fast forwarding through her pointless rambling.

    • mary says:

      I’ll fast forward through all their ramblings. Just want to see the dancing

    • Jenks says:

      THIS. I always fast-forward through the judges’ comments anyway, so I really don’t care. Paula and Jason may or may not be any good, but I know for sure I cannot stand Nigel, so I will just skip the whole commentary until the next dance. I watch the show for the dancing, period. Thank God for DVRs.

  10. Michele says:

    After her terrible job announcing the dancer from Australia this past year I’m sad they’ve gone this way. Sounds like they want people to watch to see what she might do and not watch the gifted dancers. Time to catch the highlight clips online and skip the series all together. There are many gifted and qualified people who could have sat on the panel. This seems a last ditch effort to increase ratings by going low brow

  11. Lenon says:

    well, now i can just watch the performances and fastfoward the coments because who needs it, right?

  12. Julia says:

    Wow bad call. Jason is a douche who knows nothing about dance. I will continue to watch, but I will be fast forwarding through the comments.

  13. J says:

    It should be Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Paula Abdul , Twitch & I’d like to see Savion Glover as a judge too. However since no M.M. what about Janet Jackson , Mikhail Baryshnikov or even Hokuto “Hok” Konishi & D-trix!?

  14. Jan says:

    Still bummed about no Mary Murphy! Paula used to make me crazy when she was on AI. I’m not crazy about the “Stage vs Street” format, either. This was one of my very favorite shows; now, they’re dismantling it.

  15. SanFar says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I despise Paula Abdul. Every time she was a judge, I always had to fast forward through her ramblings. SYTYCD is my favorite summer show and now it’s ruined. Not sure I will be tuning in this summer.

  16. Jane says:

    Stage vs Street, firing Mary, and now this? Such a shame. For a show that was truly special they’ve really flushed it down the toilet.

  17. Dave in Alamitos Beach says:

    Wow, this is really disappointing news. I was hoping that it was just a rumor and that Paula would only be occasionally judging. I suppose there is a slight possibility that they’d fine tuned Paula’s medication so that maybe she’ll be comprehensible?

    I know Misty Copeland was too much to hope for, but surely there are articulate people out there who know something about dance and look good on camera? Keep looking SYTYCD!

  18. dani c says:

    Don’t like either choice…so many better options! Like Christina Applegate! I looove when she’s on. But paula and jason, really? C’mon

  19. Linda says:

    Ugh. Jason Derulo? What does he know about dance? He was worthless as a guest judge. And Paula wasn’t all that great as a judge either. I guess I’ll have to DVR this show and FF through the judges’ comments. What were Nigel and FOX smoking when they came up with this panel?

  20. Party stamps says:

    I thought Jason DeRulo did not do a very good job when he guest judged last season. Surprised they are going with him.

  21. lechatnoir says:

    I like Derulo but he just isn’t articulate enough for this show . I’ll prefer Twitch or Maire Murphy over him anyday . Derulo can only talk sex sex and more sex .

  22. Amie says:

    Oh, dear. That’s not good at all.

  23. Sara says:

    The more I hear about the upcoming season, the more I think I will be skipping it.

  24. nellibly says:

    Oh, well. More time to catch up on my Netflix list this summer. Too bad, too. I used to love this show.

  25. emmyloser says:

    UUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    Can we boycott for Mary’s return PLEASE???

  26. Et al says:

    I’ll watch if she promises to stay off the wagon.

  27. Tina says:

    Christ on a cracker, are they deliberately trying to kill the show!?!

  28. This is sounding worse and worse the more they tell us. I’ll give it a shot but not at all sure I will stick with it. I understand their need to keep it fresh, but in my opinion, they are making bad choice after bad choice.

  29. Becka says:

    ugh. I will not be watching this season. Bad moves Nigel. First an AWFUL format and now two really awful judges. If it doesn’t get picked up for another season it is his own fault.

  30. Heather A Washam says:

    Anyone remember Paula on American Idol?….Mary at least had something in common with the dancers…..the show with Nigel now in full control has little to offer

  31. Sherr says:

    Way to take a show that wasn’t broken and smash it to smithereens. Paula’s a dancer. Ut wasn’t a very good judge, and Jason Derulo is a joke. I love Mary and don’t understand this whole change thing. The year Nigel Lythgoe took over Idol was its worst ever. I guess he was just itching to ruin this one, too.

  32. cjinsd says:

    Yuck! Way to ruin my favorite show.

  33. This is my absolute favorite show, and they’re ruining it. First, I don’t know why they got rid of Mary Murphy. I am not a fan of Paula, but at least she was/is a choreographer, so “should” be able to add something constructive (my first choice would have been Christina Applegate). But Jason DeRulo? Really? He was fluff as a guest judge, so there’s no way he should have been given the third judge spot. It would have been better to continue having rotating guest judges. OR, they could have chosen a choreographer that knows something about street dancing (NappyTabz, Christopher Scott, Twitch, Shane Sparks, Dave Scott), in order to contribute more to the “stage vs. street” format they’re hyping this year. Either way, my biggest fear is that people will tune out because of these two judge choices and then the ratings will fall, and then the show will not be renewed… that would be a sad day. :(

  34. jen says:

    I am sure Paula will be okay. But I loved Mary Murphy. I would rather they get a choreographer than Jason. I hated all the celebrities they had guesting last year.

  35. Melissa says:

    SYTYCD is the only competition reality show I watch. No Mary and add Paula Abdul – I may check out for good. I love, love, love Mary and cannot stand Paula. I remember Jason Derulo last season gave some pretty random feedback that wasn’t really about the aspects of the dancing at all. I would’ve been happy with Christina Applegate or Jenna Elfman stepping in to fill Mary’s shoes and tWitch coming in if they needed a stage judge and a street judge.

  36. Ronnie says:

    I’ll be sitting this one out.

  37. toadily says:

    Way to kill the show, Nigel. Kill the excitement of a new year by taking us back several years to Paula lacking credence and respect as a judge on Idol; reject the heart of the show, Mary Murphy; and, most of all fail, to hire a serious, articulate, likeable judge who succeeded as a dancer, defying the odds, and who can give us real insight into the life of a dancer, like Misty Copeland. Jeepers creepers, it was bad enough for some of us to wade through the flood of feeeeeeeling and emooooooootion that came from popular sitcom people – who in their genres we like, but as judges have no credibility – and now we have yesterday’s news and a new unpopular singer. Bye bye SYTYCD. I’ll really miss you.

  38. elaiza says:

    definitely. Can’t wait to watch the new season.

  39. Not a Stripper says:

    The last time JD was on that show, I had to turn off the show. He was not very diverse in his comments to the performers, kind of repeated the same thing to each one and lacked the dance vocabulary necessary to truly communicate. Between he and Paula, I find it sad to say I will not be watching.

  40. Heidi says:

    Well, I won’t be watching this show again.

  41. big cheddar says:

    Are you serious? Both of them were TERRIBLE when they guest judged. Yikes – this is no longer much watch tv for me…

  42. Muriel says:

    Just no to Paula, she is a total sweetheart and she knows her stuff about dance but I can’t listen to her for very long. She always comes of as a little loopy.. I don’t know much about Jason.

  43. Wait, no Mary screaming? That’s fantastic news.

  44. keith says:

    Shows done now it seems. 3 seasons of changing the format now changing the judges. . Smells like the beginning if the end…

  45. Maxsmom says:

    Paula Abdul-YES! Jason Derulo-HELL TO THE NO! Mr. Derulo was a terrible judge during his guest stint. Mary Murphy is as much a part of SYTYCD as Nigel and it is too bad that Nigel doesn’t know that. I will watch as long as it’s on but I won’t be sad when it goes.

  46. Maxsmom says:

    I forgot to add in my previous post: Jason Derulo is not and never will be Chris Brown. He is more like the duplicated copy of the duplicated copy. I am not a Chris Brown fan just someone who believes in giving credit when it’s due.

  47. Theresa says:

    I have been an avid viewer of this show since Season 2. Have gotten several friends and family members as addicted as I am to the show. First the format change, then news of not keeping Mary, and now the final straw of hiring Paula and Jason, who could barely string a cogent sentence together during his guest stint last season. Sheesh, I’m outta here Nigel. Thanks for nothing.

  48. Roeshamred says:

    Jason Derulo is a horrible choice!!! He was a terrible judge last season – why in the world would they bring him back full time??

  49. MabesNY says:

    Paula Abdul is a joke so I won’t be watching any more.

  50. Linda says:

    Having watched since day one, sad to say, I’m done. Mary was annoying at times but knowledgeable. Paula looks and sounds drunk all the time. Derullo . . . well, I’d better not say. This format is ridiculous. I want real dancers. If a street dancer can keep up with the trained dancers, more power to them, and I’ve enjoyed the many who have done well. But carving out slots for them, NO WAY. A VERY little hip-hop and popping goes a long way!