SYTYCD Season 12 Premiere Recap: Wooo-Hooo's That Girl?

Edson Juarez

In a lot of ways, Season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance won’t be much different than the installments that came before it.

Head judge Nigel Lythgoe has already identified a coy, blonde thing whose innocent-but-sexy demeanor (complete with end-of-audition wink) has catapulted her to the head of the class. Cat Deeley remains as charming (if not even more charming) a host as ever. And (praise be America’s dance-studio industry!), it looks like there’s no shortage of crazy-talented kids to give this year’s “Stage Vs. Street” twist a far better chance of garnering water-cooler buzz than Season 11’s woeful “Justin Bieber Dance Crew DVR Fast-Foward Interludes” (TM cancelled).

But, of course, I’m burying the lede: As announced back in January, Mary Murphy and her Hot Tamale Train have been decommissioned — her “Wooo-hooooooos!” and ballroom references ending as abruptly as Paula Abdul’s Hot 100 viability in a post-“Vibeology” world. (If that reference is lost on you, please click here and join me in a flashback to the soundtrack of my freshman-year college dorm room. #istillloveit #stillknoweverywordtoit #willstoptryingtomakevibeologyhappennow)

But as much as I expected to be perturbed/irked/bewildered by The Lady Abdul joining my beloved SYTYCD as a permanent judge alongside Nigel (and in place of Mary!), now that I’ve gotten through the Season 12 premiere,  it’s actually the show’s decision to give R&B star Jason Derulo the third Season 12 chair that’s got me straight-up miffed.

When Derulo’s not mimicking the exact same critiques in the exact same words that Paula or Nigel said before him, his main contributions to the panel thus far seem to be a catchphrase that’s blander than melba toast (“I was all there for it”) and a mild expression of gay panic any time a male auditioner strays from his preconceived notions of masculinity. (Close your eyes for a second and revel in my imagined vision of Mia Michaels, Sonya Tayeh and Debbie Allen creeping up behind the “Talk Dirty” singer and hissing, “Stop being so heteronormative!”)

OK, OK, I’m spending altogether too much time on the judges — and not nearly enough time on the talented kids who fuel the SYTYCD engine! (One last note: Paula’s “ball-hopping” Cackle had to make even Mary’s most vehement detractors nostalgic for her high-pitched shrieks.) So without further ado — I’ll leave it to all y’all to figure out why some Fox beancounter couldn’t OK an extra day of shooting after a massive power-outage in Memphis truncated Day 2 auditions in that city — let’s get to my picks for the Top 5 auditions of the Season 12 premiere!

5. Jordan “Jojo” Hilgenberg: Graceful redhead affirmed her mom and stepdad’s decision to postpone their honeymoon to drive her to Memphis with a stunning display of flexibility and control. Nigel was right that she needs to make better use of the full stage, but her technical prowess leaves me confident she’ll have what it takes.

4. Courtney Barnes: Wendy Williams-imitating, eyebrows-on-fleek/freak returnee from Season 11 may possess more shtick than technique, but he had more fun with his ponytail-whipping mastery of salsa hips, tribal stomp and Nick Jonas-isms than anybody else on stage (except maybe First Lady Michelle Obama, flanked by the SYTYCD All-Stars.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 7.06.39 PM3. Ladia Yates: Is “Jookin'” a real branch of dance? Who cares? This chick’s ability to embody double broken-ankle horror in a way that was frisky, funny and Elvis-inspired made me hopeful she’ll wind up on Team Twitch by the time 4th of July fireworks start poppin’.

2. Edson Juarez: The episode’s final hopeful moved like his bones were made of pure spring water — a rather remarkable quality for a fella whose torso looked like it had been chiseled from the same marble as Michelangelo’s David. His face needs a little less Magic Mike and a little more Magic Travis, but he could be one of the ones for Season 12.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 8.45.23 PM1. Lily Leyva: Final female auditioner of the Season 12 premiere began her routine in a collapsed, “upside-down crab” stance, rose up like her body was being pulled by a magnetic force, and then proceeded to channel nearly every conceivable emotion through the tips of her fingers, toes and head. This was, dare I say, almost Melanie Moore-ish in its beauty.

OK, your turn. What did you think of the SYTYCD Season 12 premiere? Did you miss Mary? What did you think of Jason and Paula? And who were your favorite hopefuls? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts!

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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78 Comments
  1. LeslieB says:

    Does anyone know what song Hotness, aka Edson Juarez danced to?

    • Selinda says:

      “Hope This Makes you Love me”. Tank

      • Jules says:

        Thank you!!! My friend works on the show and was supposed to find out for me but obviously they’re a bit busy. LOL!!!!

        • Vaughan says:

          The variety of music on SYTYCD is its second-biggest selling point in my opinion. Have discovered so many songs through it. BTW I have the TuneFind site (not sure I can post URL in comments section) open throughout watching every episode, they’re great at identifying all the songsin this show and many other TV shows.

  2. skscott says:

    I still want to know if they are going to do street people do ballroom and stage dancers do hiphop… then it will be good again

  3. JAO says:

    I really miss Mary and any other 3rd judge. Can’t stand Jason. So bland in his critiques.

  4. Behzad Sandila says:

    I don’t know if it was the editing but Jason Derulo was waaay into some of the girls’ performances (like in a creepy way) and unbelievably dismissive of certain male dancers. Not to mention borderline homophobic with his reactions, like if he smiles at or compliments a male dancer too strongly, people might think he’s *GASP*…. GAY! I’m sorry but he’s really not qualified to be there beyond a single-promoting guest-judge stint.

    • I agree! However, the way you described Jason also applies to Nigel; ie. WAY too into young girls in a creepy way, anti “sissy,” wants strong, masculine dancers to pair with barely legal, innocent but sexy young girls. Jason’s reactions trickle down from the Executive Producer himself. I miss Mary Murphy.

      • Behzad Sandila says:

        You know, now that you’ve mentioned it, I see it! Nigel does tend to favor the younger female dancers. Over the past few seasons, girls over 21 barely make it far (oldest ones generally got cut first if Wikipedia is reporting the ages right) while it’s safe for the guys to be well into their late 20’s. But that’s ridiculous if that’s what his motive is, older dancers with more experience would obviously be better would only make the show (which has been homogenized by Contemporary, token street dancer males, and Utah Ballroom for a few years now) more interesting and better to watch.

        British producers like him and Simon Cowell make shows in America but some of their methods don’t translate well. Overemphasis on celebrity rather than qualification and not employing women of a certain age (BBC notoriously fires middle-aged female newscasters in favor of ‘younger blood’) are two that I personally dislike.

    • Mac says:

      OMG!!! I completely agree!!! I said the same exact thing last night while watching! He is a terrible judge from what I saw yesterday. Very boring and dry….

    • Temperance says:

      Derulo was as massive of a hot mess as I thought he’d be. *gags*

    • LoveTv says:

      Thanks to Michael Slezack for noting Jason’s unacceptable responses to some male dancers, especially the more flamboyant ones. Thanks to Behzad for noting that Jason is appearing borderline homophobic AND creepy old man. If this is editing, they have painted a poor picture of Jason. Of course you can’t blame the editing for his lame commentary. So far he has added nothing to the show. If they wanted the voice of street on the panel they should have hired one of their hip hop choreographers. Any of them would have been way more credible than Jason

  5. Tonya M Thomas says:

    I hated this show today, missed Mary Murphy so much why Paula Abdul as a replacement it’s like listening to someone commentating on a subject they a unfamiliar with x’s 10. I hate to get on the subject of Jason Derulo, I couldn’t stomach him as guest judge last season, he don’t know how to critique any dancer he repeating what Nigel and Paula are saying which is boring also. If you wanted a male judge I’d rather Twitch at least he know what he’s doing and can connect better than Derulo. This season will be horrible and the ratings probably low it’s will be a waste of 2 hours
    judge last year. So to have him the whole season as judge will be painful because he know nothinf about ballet or how to critique any of the dancer. Jason says the same things Nigel and Paula says I would rather have Twitch there as a judge if that’s the case he’s more knowledgeable. This season will behohorrible

  6. Josie says:

    Jason DeRulo is clueless and BORING! Paula is just so not funny.
    May not be able to hang in with this crew

    • Garry says:

      Maybe we’ll begin seeing “guest” judges on the show more often after all, if the premiere was any indication of how Paula and Jason are going to be. Note to Paula: If you tell EVERY contestant that they’re special, that makes NONE of them special–or at least waters down the compliment to the point where it means nothing.

      • Bob says:

        Absolulely agree. By the time Paula got to her sixth “Special” I was ready to throw up. This from someone who considerED this his favorite reality show. I think I’ll take this season off.

      • Yes! I said the same thing! Saying everyone is unique and special….Well, makes them not so special or unique.

  7. Mytake says:

    Is Jason trying to be the new Ryan Seacrest? He’s got his fingers in every lie it seems. It’s like he PAYS to be on these shows and I’m not just sick of seeing him, but it might not be so bad if he could at least do the damn job! Nigel never learns from past mistakes. Jason on SYTYCD is the same as Ellen Degeneras on AI. Quit hiring judges that aren’t qualified. There are literally thousands of professional dancers they could have hired to judge and even any of the top 2or 3 contestants from any year would make a more credible judge than Jason. Re: Paula, she’s just too space cadety to be a good judge. I’m sure she’s a nice person but it’s hard listening to someone that often seems to have trouble stringing 2 sentences together. I too miss Mary.

    • Mytake says:

      His fingers in every PIE I meant

    • Sharantyr says:

      I think that having Jason on the panel was not Nigel’s choice at all (he’s been retweeting comments about how they shouldn’t have gotten rid of Mary). I think it was a sacrifice he had to make to get another season. I also think they were hazing him a bit by goading him to keep going up on stage. Jason definitely seems in over his head.

  8. D.Robb says:

    Paula couldn’t even make it through the first show without her drug fueled no sense banter began, she is a has been in the dance world and a sad fill in for Mary when it comes to communicating,
    I felt it was “AI judging” all over again..not really in the moment Paula…kinda DA attitude and what is with the star fish hand clapping…..the incredible dancers will save this show..maybe..but we need a Mary or a Mia or Nappie Taps to make it soar again. As for the rest of the judging pretty unimpressed right now..

  9. Rudy Goldblatt says:

    do they want to make this the Jason derulo show? too much!!! miss mary but loved paula
    great judge of dance.

    • Lana says:

      Finally someone who felt like me. I was shocked but I loved Paula, then I remembered I loved her on AI. Jason not so much, I would like my Mary back to replace him. I thought I was going to hate this season because they had really messed with my favorite show, but I found that I was loving the dancers just like always and was crying and laughing like I normally do when I watch this show. I am happy except for missing Mary and not caring for Jason.

  10. libby says:

    I thought the judging was horrible, Jason is a bore, and Paula was so rude to
    some of the contestants…predict show will lose popularity.

  11. Lisa says:

    I enjoyed Paula. I couldn’t stand Jason.

    But the street vs. stage theme doesn’t make me feel all that good. Also, I’m a bit confused on how the format is going to be when we get to the live shows. Are there partners? Will the “stage” people have to learn animation or will it be like every year when the “street” dancing (save for hip-hop and maybe crumping) will be deemed too hard for a classically trained dancer to learn? And if one from each team goes each week, it’s completely possible that the runner-up could actually be the 11th best dancer of the season.

  12. mike hanson says:

    so there is no “go to Choreography” part this season … makes you wonder if the street dancers are only going to dance street on the live shows … definitely takes away the fun of it if the dancers don’t have to learn styles they don’t know

    • Temperance says:

      Well, if half the dancers don’t actually have to know any of the basics of actual dance, then why would you bother? You either have mad skills, or you have mad skillz – and never the twain shall meet. Ugh.

  13. dru mont says:

    I am so unhappy with the new format and the new judges. The show will now give a pass to all those untalented street dancers who are supposed to impress us with their “rawness” and “realness”. I cry foul – I am more impressed with people who have had proper training and take their craft seriously.

    • Brandon says:

      TOTALLY agree. Can we get Nigel to read these comments??

    • SororSalsa says:

      Umm…just because you didn’t have the money to spend your life in a dance studio doesn’t mean you aren’t “trained”. I suspect that is code for “only impressed by the dance styles I like” and you believe that hip hop, animation, etc. are not legitimate dance forms. It’s that type of thinking that probably prompted the changes on the show. So thanks?

      • MC says:

        I’m somewhere in the middle. I love many of the hip hop dances, but I find the animation to be repetitive and tiresome.

  14. Daisy says:

    Michael, I couldn’t agree more about your criticism of Jason–it was pretty offensive to me. I’m not surprised that he didn’t offer much more in terms of mimicking critiques of the other judges because that’s exactly the way he was when he was a guest judge. When I heard the announcement that he was going to be a permanent judge I was shocked–he added nothing to the show. *sigh*. While Mary could be annoying at times, I felt like she was definitely qualified to critique the ballroom dancers and she infused the judging with some energy. I really enjoyed the dancers, but found myself fast forwarding through much of the judges comments. I will wait to reserve judgment and will definitely keep watching, but so far, I’m bummed about Mary and incredibly disappointed in Jason. Too, I felt so bad for the dancer on stage when Paula couldn’t get it together. She kept saying that it wasn’t him, but it’s got to be a bit of a blow to your self confidence. I thought it was just so incredibly rude.

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      Could not agree more Daisy, about the ballroom/hip hop dancer that Paula could not stop laughing at, she was inexcusably rude to him.

      • izzybella says:

        Came here to say this exact thing. There is no excuse for her rudeness to that contestant. I felt so badly for him. He was courteous despite her lack of professionalism. I don’t care if she was tired or just punch-drunk-she was rude as hell.

  15. Sean says:

    Again, what does an 18 year old know about paying dues and working hard all their lives for the opportunity just to be in the chorus section of a show, instead of the lead. NOTHING. These kids just show up with thousand of others and kick their legs up and do a spilt and jump around the stage like a horse and boom. They are off to Las Vegas. Just don’t get it any more.

    • Eurydice says:

      I’m not sure what you expect. Of course, young dancers don’t know a lot, they’re young. The point is to find those with raw talent and drive and personality and then see how they develop during the competition.

  16. Nancy Reck says:

    No, I don’t miss Mary’s screams, but Jason comes across as if they just dragged someone in from the street to fill up a chair. I DO like Paula and think she will make some good critiques once the show fills its quota and we get to see what the dancers can do. I hope Adam Shankman comes in as a guest judge once in a while, and even Melodramatic Mia. I’ve read that they switched the format because Nigel felt the “street” dancers were being eliminated too early because they couldn’t handle more than their own style; isn’t that the very challenge of the show, to see how you can deal with ALL styles? Well, maybe that’s why it’s called America’s FAVORITE Dancer instead of America’s BEST Dancer.

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      I would disagree with Nigel here. Just my thoughts, but in past seasons it often seemed the “street” dancers were staying longer than they should have. Viewers and even judges seemed to be giving them a pass because they “didn’t have the training” and amazing “stage dancers” were being sent home. I personally am not looking forward to 1/2 the slots going to street dancers. I won’t deny their talent and dedication to what they do. I’m sure they work very hard to perfect their craft. It’s just not that appealing to me. I think Nigel hit on part of the problem for me last night. Much of the street dancing is very static and tends to happen in a very small area of the stage. This just doesn’t translate for me to compelling television.

  17. Rafael says:

    I do miss Mary also, but I think Mary was probably paid too much. Paula isn’t that great as mary, she does have some latin-ballroom dance judging experience, besides being an 80’s pop dancestar, when she was a guest judge in DWTS. But congrats still on Cat Deeley for winning the Critic’s Choice Award as best reality TV host of TV history!

  18. Benjamin says:

    Ugh, you made me watch VIBEOLOGY.

  19. Mac says:

    This was a terrible premier. Jason was boring…dry…often seemed homophobic and bias towards the female dancers. Paula was just spacey and it felt like Nigel had to try to cue them to get excited. If this is any indication of the rest of the season…they better start lining up the guest judges now. Yikes…Mary?..umm They need you!

  20. Alan Dvorkis says:

    At least Nigel still had a slew of intelligent comments. Mary is missed very much for her impromptu laughter, the joy she exudes and the relevant critique she always put forth. Jason is there no doubt for ratings. He knew nothing as guest judge. Sadly, he has not tried to learn anything as a regular. That is what is most egregious. If you r hired to be a regular judge on a dance show, LEARN THE CRAFT. Hire someone to watch dancer after dancer and learn what to look for. You can then use your subjectivity to tweak it. Jason is using this as free money. Sad that he gave no effort to earn.
    Paula is Paula. I expected no more.
    However the dancers were mostly terrific. At least it is a dance show where we get to see some great dancing from talented young men and women. It sucks that the judges r 1/2 incompetent because this show is important for the art. I so enjoyed watching Zack tap last year, that with zero dance experience, I am in my 4th month of tap lessons. I love it.
    I only hope they have guest judges to balance out the inanity of Derulo. Otherwise, try to enjoy the amazing talent and Nygel too. At least there is that..

  21. Paula Abdul was fake, rude, and way too full of herself.

  22. oh…no, I thought, Paula Abdul!!! Where is Mary Murphy??? Then, oh NO…Jason Garulo (forgive spelling if incorrect)…where is Lil’ C? Where is someone who knows enough to actually BE a judge…Paula may have experience, but she was annoying on Idol and she does not disappoint…I step above Jason in blandness…sorry…This was my FAVORITE show..and I still love the dancers and let me say here that someone should just go on ahead and give Courtney Barnes his/her own damn show!!!!

  23. tonia says:

    Bring back Mary Murphy… Jason lacks critique polish and isn’t judge material — he didn’t belong as a guest judge last year and not now!

  24. Beth T says:

    Pretty much everyone already said what I thought – Jason Derulo sucked just as badly as when he was a guest judge. I can’t believe we will have to listen to his Randy Jackson-like blathering non-critiques all season. Maybe someone will smarten up and toss him before any real damage is done. He makes Paula’s gibberish sound erudite. I can only hope there will be guest judges on each week to provide some useful critiques.
    For everyone wondering – I’m thinkin’ from Vegas on it’s like other seasons. I thought I read that both stage and street dancers will partner up to take on a variety of styles just like before.

    • Temperance says:

      Saying Derulo was awful is like saying the Atlantic Ocean is a ‘pond’. There are no words…

  25. bern says:

    yeah, if Jason DeReally has a problem with gay people, he’s in the wrong job. I was bored with the judges last night – Abdull should have more interesting jargon sprinkled in her critiques – what with all her experience. I preferred when that 3rd seat was rotated with different judges, to keep things changing.

  26. Any show with Cat Deeley as the host, I’m there!! :) Paula is just as qualified as Mary to judge however, Mary has so much more personality. I’m going to miss her. Jason, not sure why he’s there. Sometime Nigel is kind of creepy with some of these girls. No matter the judge, these dancers are awesome! So many have come out of this show, it would be a shame to lose it.

  27. dsrbroadway says:

    I desperately missed the warmth, knowledge, and ENTHUSIASM a Mary Murphy or Adam Shankman or even Mia Michaels brought to the table. Those folks made me want to pay attention and be passionate along the way. Paula and Jason looked in dire need of a Red Bull most of the time, and it left me bored. Thank God the talent and Cat were there.

    I personally would’ve gone the route of X-Factor where Travis and Twitch could be mentors and judges. Because those dudes are just irresistible.

  28. gs says:

    Did anybody else really love the ball hopping guy?

    • Kevin says:

      Yes. Give the guy ballroom and he would have killed it. They threw him off his game by being rude and they’d dismissed him before he even started.

  29. Justin says:

    I’m not gonna talk about the judges, since this is a dance show, not a judge show. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of them either (especially Paula), but I’m watching for the dancers, and most of them were off the chain!!! Very impressed with both stage and street dancers. I actually like the whole stage vs street format too. Now I’ll admit I’m mostly team stage, but like I said, very impressed with both sides. Honestly, his premiere was like like watching Step Up Revolution, where many forms of dance were shown (my favorite step up movie too btw).

  30. LisaCS says:

    For me, I found this episode to be disappointing. From someone who has watching every season and looks forward to it every year, I found this episode to be lacking the genuine, human, and sincere elements I loved so much about the show. I found this episode corny and showy. I felt that the judging could have been based more so on celebrating the contestants courage to be vulnerable and express their true selves through dance. Not doing so, does an injustice to the art of dance, and the hard work it takes for dancers to become who they are. Ooh rant over! Hoping the season seriously improves from here.

  31. Heather says:

    Dragonhouse should have taken the stage away from these so called talented other individuals! IJS

  32. Rose H says:

    Can we just start a campaign to bring back Mary? Paula was extremely rude to that “nerdy” contestant (who I thought was a real gem). Jason is all about himself and Nigel tries too hard to be funny. I did enjoy the little kids coming on stage to dance. That was the best part. I will continue to watch because I love the talent and can’t wait to see how they will work out the “street vs stage.”

  33. Cherize says:

    Talent great as always! Not the same without Mary!!!!

  34. Cherize says:

    The talent still incredible!!
    Not the same without Mary!!! Ugh
    Thank goodness Twitch is on!!!
    Bring back Mary!!!!

  35. Karen Curtis says:

    Imagine my horror when I go to watch sytycd’s premiere that I recorded and there sits Paula Abdul!!! Omg! Nooooooooo………..! Bad decision, I MISS MARY MURPHY! And Jason is “straight up” BORING! Another great show bites the dust. I’m so sad.😂😂😂

  36. N. Marie says:

    I was unpleasantly suprised by the change in SYTYCD’s roster of permanent judges. Paula Abdul as a guest judge is one thing, but as a permanent judge??? No. She is an addition that for me detracts from the show. During the episode I especially did not like how Paula did not present a united front with Nigel when the blackout occured in Tennessee. I love this show so I will continue to watch. So far however, I am not too happy.

    I miss Mary Murphy and judges like Adam Shankman. (I probably did not spell Adam’s name correctly. )

  37. Pat Speir says:

    I sure did miss Mary and just don’t get Jason Derulo. I found the judging just plain boring!

  38. danny parker says:

    My wife and I are upset at the format change. The charm of the show has always been watching hop hop dancers do ballroom and ballet dancers crump. Dividing into street and stage is unfair to everyone. Not sure I’ll watch it anymore.

  39. Carrie f says:

    Paula doesn’t seem to be very dance educated. Surprised at the people she thought were technically sound and then with the dancers she didn’t like. And Jason’s knowledge on technique is nil!… This season is going to be a scratch!

  40. Wennabee says:

    Hate the new stage. It is more centre stage than the dancers. Can’t stand Paula. Don’t lie, the format either. Disappointing season. Boohoo

  41. Michelle says:

    We’ve watched this show since its inception. We are disappointed with the Stage vs Screen format, and we are not happy with the team dances with 3 dancers. This show may be headed the way of American Idol.

  42. kathy says:

    get rid of paula…u r soooo boring….crack a smile once in awhile….u r like a dead fish..my god woman do u ever laugh at anything..i luved mary and nigel’s sense of humor and chemistry…mary showed so much compassion to the dancers and performances…and humor…pleeaaasse bring her back..and jason i got nothing…and ummm that is an insult….lol

    • Rafael says:

      Jason Derulo might not return next season, but I agree that Mary Murphy should return and replace Jason. Paula Abdul may have another chance for next season of this show, but she may not sit next to Nigel.

  43. MADDY GARNER says:

    My sister and I watched this great show from the beginning and cannot believe how bad it is this season. It is SO dumbed down now, since both street and stage have to be less than (especially stage) they could be to accommodate each others weaknesses & lack of training/experience in there chosen dance style, so you get such mediocre & boring performances. To think about the incredible dances in past shows…and now this?! Please bring back Mary Murphy!…loved her! Where are the actual couples dances??….all the dances are pretty much the same now. Many of the dance numbers used to bring tears to our eyes…now just yawns. Too bad to see such a great show take such a U-Turn.

    • kathy says:

      i agree somewhat as far as some performances…but i have seen some great ones….i usually know by now who i want to win…but not quite feeling it….i do like virgil….and hailey and jaja…..do u think anyone of importance sees these post….i posted about a week ago to nigel’s corporation or whatever it was…but of course no response…i reeaaallly hope mary comes back….or i would even like to see christina applegate…i really lke her….and cripes i am not a prude by anymeans….but what the hell i thought paulas’s breasts last nite were going to come out on the table….hah just saying

  44. Tazzirah L says:

    I am a huge fan of the series.. Currently though I am just now diving into the 15 episodes I have saved for this season because Jason Derulo absolutely infuriated me in the season opener… And continues to cause me physical pain with each episode I watch. He is AWFUL.. He contributes NOTHING ..I agree with all you said and then some. I’d much rather see a different guest judge every week than be forced to deal with his creepy stares and lackluster commentary.