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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Who Will Judge Season 14 of 'So You Think You Can Dance?'

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

So You Think You Can Dance is officially back for Season 14 and to many viewers’ relief; it is back to an 18-30-year-old format. While they are bringing in elements of Season 13 — The Academy, All-Stars as mentors and Top 10 contestants — there are going to be some changes at the judges’ table.

Paula Abdul revealed on Twitter that she will not be back for Season 14 because she will be out on tour with New Kids On The Block. Abdul was on the show as a regular judge for the last two seasons and was a consistent cheerleader to all of the contestants on the show.

That leaves a crucial spot on the panel open because Abdul brings years of experience as a judge, dancer and choreographer to the table. With the format change, it’s doubtful that Maddie Ziegler will be back. It would be uncomfortable to have a 14-year-old critique a 25-year-old contestant. That leaves a second position open.

SYTYCD has fluctuated between three and four judges per season, so it remains to be seen how many producers will decide to have on the panel. With two regular judges gone, will Jason Derulo remain?

Derulo is a divisive presence on the panel. Longtime viewers want someone with more dance credibility, but it’s very clear that the pop singer takes his duties seriously. While he doesn’t add a lot when it comes to technique critiques, he does add some helpful performance notes.

With so many changes happening, will producers decide to keep Derulo for consistency? That is a strong possibility. He doesn’t have any tour dates beyond May 12, 2017, so he could be keeping his schedule clear for the summer show.

So whom would you like to see on the panel if the producers replace Abdul and Ziegler? The names I continually hear bandied about include Travis Wall, tWitch, Misty Copeland and Christina Applegate.

Knowing Wall’s creative bent, I think he prefers to be in the dance studio versus on the judges’ panel. Conversely, I think tWtich would rather be on the panel since he rarely choreographs a number for SYTYCD.

That leaves the fourth spot. Does it become a rotating guest slot or does a longtime fan favorite come in to round out the group? Misty Copeland is at the top of everybody’s list, but the American Ballet Theatre schedule conflicts with the start of the live shows in Season 14. She could certainly drop in later in the season, but I don’t see her taking a prime spot.

Christina Applegate could definitely be added to the mix and what I love about her contributions is that she’s a fan of the show and she’s trained as a dancer. I have always appreciated her fresh approach to critiquing the contestants; she really wants them to succeed. According to IMDb, Applegate only has a TV movie up ahead, so she might be a strong contender this summer.

I also fielded quite a few Mary Murphy questions. I love her energy on the show and I do feel like that aspect has been missed. However, Murphy and the producers both seem to have moved on. For now, I think the door is closed.

So who will Nigel Lythgoe this season? A familiar face? A fresh face? Tweet me and let me know whom you would like to see as a judge on Season 14 of SYTYCD.


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