So You Think You Can Dance: Season 12's Judges (and Mentors) Get Glam!

So You Think

It’s the promise of a new day as So You Think You Can Dance enters its 12th season (Monday, June 1 at 8/7c on Fox) — and yes, of course, that’s a reference to Paula Abdul’s delectable 1991 chart-topper.

Indeed, the “Straight Up” singer (and R&B vocalist Jason Derulo) are joining executive producer Nigel Lythgoe on the show’s judging panel this year — and we’ve got your first look at their official portrait (alongside Emmy-nominated host Cat Deeley).

We’ve also got an image of Season 12 mentors (and SYTYCD grads) Travis Wall and Stephen “Twitch” Boss, whose new roles are part of a “Stage Vs. Street” twist for the show’s upcoming installment. Contestants from the contemporary, ballet, jazz and tap worlds will be separated from hip-hop, animation and breaking experts, with one dancer from each genre getting eliminated each week leading up to the season finale.

Check out the official promo images below — and take our poll to tell us how you feel about the new panel!

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: L-R Jason Derulo, Cat Deeley, Nigel Lythgoe, and Paula Abdul on Season 12 of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE premiering Monday, June 1 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX

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  1. LADY_in_MD says:

    I’m excited for the show to come back but I’m not holding out hope for Jason Derulo he didn’t bring anything when he guess judged last year but maybe being a permanent judge he will be different i hope the new format keeps things fresh I love this show and have been watching since season 1 don’t let me down this season

  2. LC says:

    I’m confused about the new format. Will the street dancers have to do the stage dances and vice versa? That’s one thing I always thought was so amazing about this show, watching some of the street dancers tackle contemporary or jazz, or watching trained ballerinas try to get down and dirty with hip hop or krump. I hope that’s not gone!

    • gemapet says:

      And, would they still be paired boy/girl? Wonder if this format switch would invite more change ups e.g. no set partners, 3 or 4 people dancing one number or more solos each week rather than just couples until the top 10 or so.

  3. Kae says:

    Love Travis and Twitch

  4. Dave says:

    Still bummed Mary is gone. She may have been eccentric and loud, but she was a lot of fun. And most importantly, she really knew what she was talking about with her critiques. I think Paula is a solid replacement, thanks to her background in dance, but I’m not convinced with Jason Derulo.

    • I agree, plus creepy, perverted old Nigel is STILL there. Sadly, I am afraid he will eliminate all the talented female dancers over 20 years old early on. He drools over the barely legals girls. Love this show otherwise! Glad Kat is back.

  5. Marian Weber says:

    I’m not all about the new format. I still think all dancers should learn all dances. Maybe they will. This was unclear. Okay with new judges, but why is Mary not there? The quiet version of Mary was very informative and helpful. Please, judges, don’t keep telling the dancers that you can’t believe thus type of dancer can do that kind of dance. Yes, you can. That’s why these dancers are on this show. I love this competition. Don’t ruin it.

    • Rafael says:

      Mary might be paid too much! Paula may not be a great ballroom dancer as Mary, but Paula may have some ballroom judge experience when she was a guest judge in Dancing With The Stars.

  6. Tenney says:

    Asking an honest question here…. Does Jason Derulo have a dance background? I’m trying to understand what would qualify him to be part of a judging panel for a dance competition.

    • MJ says:

      I saw Jason Derulo live last summer, and while I thought that overall, it was pretty generic, there was a lot of dancing, and it’s clear that he’s had some training. So it’s not totally out of the blue (like, say, Anna Kendrick, even though I preferred her as a guest judge to Derulo).

  7. Connie Hahn says:

    Bad choice of new judges… Not happy and by the votes apparently not the only one who feels that way.

  8. dsrbroadway says:

    New judges, new format scares me. I’d have preferred Travis and Twitch as the new judges. Jason doesn’t really bring anything, and Paula still hasn’t learned to string together a sentence – neither brings anything fresh.

    • LadyV Ventura says:

      so true..hope she leave her meds at home!!

    • JohnnyC says:

      The best judging always has been when the choreographers were on the judging panel. Why couldn’t they have done that? Jason was a complete fail as a guest judge. Paula is capable of being a good judge, if she stays calm and focused and remembers the show is not all about her. That’s a big “if”! Does anyone remember her critiques of Adam Lambert on American Idol? Painful to watch and embarrassing for the contestant. I may have to just skip ahead on my DVR, though I hate doing that.

  9. Here’s the thing: the DANCERS and the CHOREOS are what makes this show. The rest is just nonsense. FUN nonsense, ’cause … Mary. But as long as you’ve got the great DANCERS doing GREAT WORK? Pshaw. Our butts will be on the couch!

  10. Melanie says:


  11. Nami says:

    I’m soooo excited! Hope to see Jeanine Mason too! #sytycd love

  12. Jakay says:

    That picture of Travis and Twitch is everything. Not so sure about either Paula or Derulo, but I hope the judges won’t be a big part of it, anyway. Focus on the dancing and get out of the way, Nigel!

  13. Becci says:

    As long as Travis is there, all is right with the world. Many of the most memorable and moving dances were either danced or choreographed by that man & I’m looking forward to seeing him as mentor.

  14. Won’t there be any ballroom? I like all dance styles, but will be bummed if there’s no foxtrot, waltz, lindy, samba, salsa, tango, etc.

  15. JK says:

    Jason Derulo is what is killing this season for me. Why him?!?!

  16. Sara says:

    Eh, to be honest, I’ve been threatening for years to just DVR the show and fast forward through the judges talking to simply watch the routines. I think this is the year I make good on my “threat.”

  17. JRobey83 says:

    I don’t watch many reality shows, but out of the ones I do SYTYCD is by far my favorite. I don’t understand what this new format entails besides separating the street and stage dancers. As another commenter said, one of the aspects of the show that I loved is that the dancers have to try other styles of dance. Their ratings were low last season so they probably felt they had to make some changes, but doing a complete overhaul of their format may turn loyal fans off. Also wanted to say that I loved Mary Murphy. I don’t understand the reasoning of replacing her. I have nothing against Paula and Jason, but I enjoyed Mary.

  18. Lynn Keiter says:

    Yea I’m bummed that some of the best judges aren’t on the panel anymore…one of my favorite shows ever but it seems to be moving the ” Hollywood ” way that brought down Idol …judges that just aren’t relavant …sure hope this isn’t the beginning of the end…just love the kids

  19. candy kitchen says:

    I have been a loyal fan since day one. I am concerned about the new panel. Christina Applegate would have been a more appropriate choice over Jason; unless he has more dance experience than I’m aware of. That being said I am anxiously waiting to see the great dancing again this season.

    • LadyV Ventura says:

      i love Christina Applegate but as an actress,I’m a couch potato and i have never ever seen her anywhere as a dance, why is she a judge???

      • gemapet says:

        When she was on the show before it was mentioned she has a dance background, took years of dance training.

  20. Rafael says:

    Will Lindsay (Season 9), Hayley (Season 10), Sabra (Season 3), Jeanine (Season 5), Gev (Season 4) and Evan (Season 5) return as all-stars for Season 12?

    Will Natalie (Season 2) and Donyelle (Season 2) return as guest judges for Season 12?

  21. Rafael says:

    I can predict that Season 12 have another ONE SINGLE winner in its finale!

  22. LadyV Ventura says:

    oh no my hot tamale is not going to be there!!..her and Nigel are the best together, they make me laugh..serious people don’t like change, I guarentee you, if this Paula and Jason and this and that start making viewers shaking their heads, ratings will go down and you might as well make this your last season

  23. LadyV Ventura says:

    I’m convince that Jason derulo is not a professional dancer..he is not going to know if the pliae or piruette is done right or not it if the toes were pointed throughout the whole contemporary dance, things that i don’t know at all but mary let us know..watch out for these drastic changes they could make a difference in the viewers.

  24. Katelyn says:

    Jason was the worst guest judge of last season – so disappointed that he was made a regular judge. Mary was very knowledgeable, Jason’s critiques well, they weren’t critiques, he just made jokes about the dances. I am a huge fan of Twitch and Travis, so I will tune in to see how that will work.

  25. Nancy Buckner says:

    Why no Mary Murphy?

  26. ewhatley says:

    Paula Abdul – NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  27. Shawn says:

    I can’t believe they replaced Mary with that idol reject. It’s definitely the beginning of the end.

  28. Barney Rubble says:

    I’m disappointed that Mary Murphy is not going to be a judge. She was a lot of the “heart” of the show, along with Cat Deeley. Nigel has good critiques when he’s not being creepy or trying to prove that he’s still a performer. I really don’t understand why they’re adding Jason Derullo. I’d gladly take Christina Applegate over him; when she had enough time to talk, she had very constructive things to say, and she does have formal dance training. She has been in various Broadway shows, including “Sweet Charity.” Misty Copeland was a great judge too.

  29. J. Bouldin says:

    I look forward to Mary Murphy!!!! The show WILL NOT be the same without her on the judges panel. I’m sorry, but Paula Doesn’t have the personality that Mary has. PLEASE BRING HER BACK!!!

  30. victoria says:

    I don’t like Paula Abdul, and I am reserving judgement on Jason. Are they going to be the only judges all season? I liked some of the guest judges during the regular season. Not sure I like the new format either with stage vs street. We will see, won’t we?

  31. ai sugisawa says:

    Is Paula Abudul better than Mary Murfy?? I’m not sure about Paula can judge as well as mary, she can give a good advice for the dancer and help them to step up to the next level.

  32. Carrie says:

    Love Twitch & Travis really looking forward to THEIR part of SYTYCD. BUT, hate they have brought Paula Abdul in. She looks ridiculous jumping all over for the guys on the show but for the girls she shows little enthusiasm. She is obviously the female version of Nigel. Jason I could care less about, he is a non entity only there for the younger crowd! I really really miss the choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Adam Schenkman, Wade Robson, Tyce Diorio, and of course Mary Murphy! They made you feel like you were really getting a peek at how call backs, critiques, and selections were made in the theaters. Then to see the amazing productions …sigh…I think the show is pretty much swirling the drain now. Especially with 3 time show loser Paula Abdul. That’s the death Nell of any show.