‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Season 17: Everything To Know About The Judges’ Shakeup & More

After a nearly 3-year hiatus, 'So You Think You Can Dance' is returning on May 18. The new season will feature major changes. Here's everything you need to know.

tWitch JoJo Siwa Matthew Morrison
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Image Credit: Gregory Pace/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/AFF-USA/Shutterstock

The show of the summer is finally back! So You Think You Can Dance season 17 premieres May 18 on FOX. The dance competition series last aired in 2019, and there have been a few updates as the show heads into a new season.

For one, the judging panel will look a little different this year. SYTYCD icons Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy will not be back as judges. From the judges’ shakeup to how to watch, HollywoodLife has rounded up all the key things to know about season 17.

JoJo Siwa
JoJo Siwa is a new ‘SYTYCD’ judge. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ New Judges

So You Think You Can Dance will feature an all-new judging panel that includes Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Matthew Morrison, and JoJo Siwa. tWitch was previously a judge in season 15 and was the runner-up of season 4. He’s come back as an all-star and choreographer prior to season 17.

“Not only am I going to approach my critiques with passion and empathy but also real perspective on what it’s going to take to go on week after week,” tWitch said in a pre-premiere video.

Matthew is best known for playing Will Schuester on Glee. He’s also an experienced Broadway performer and has starred in productions like Finding Neverland, Hairspray, and The Light in the Piazza.

JoJo rose to fame on the hit series Dance Moms. She has since become a global superstar because of her music, movies, and YouTube. She recently was the runner-up of Dancing With the Stars season 30. JoJo admitted all the “dance knowledge” she’s learned is “engraved” in her brain, and she’s excited to let it all out.

Is Cat Deeley Coming Back?

Yes, Cat Deeley will be back as the host of So You Think You Can Dance. Cat has been the host of the long-running series since season 2. The host noted in a pre-season 17 video that her favorite part about SYTYCD is “witnessing America’s phenomenal talent.” She’s thrilled to experience all the funny moments on the show, which have been some of her favorite memories over the years.

What Happened To Nigel Lythgoe & Mary Murphy?

So You Think You Can Dance has always had a variety of judges over the years, but co-creator/judge Nigel Lythgoe and judge Mary Murphy have been staples on the show since its early days. Nigel had been a SYTYCD judge for 16 seasons.

Back in March 2022, Nigel revealed that he wouldn’t be returning for season 17. “I am so thrilled that America’s young aspiring dance talent will get to work with some of our greatest creative choreographers. On a personally sad note, I have not been asked to be on the judging panel this season. I don’t know who will be saying ‘Cue Music’ but I wish them well,” Nigel tweeted.

He responded to a fan saying that FOX was to “freshen up” the show with new judges. A few days after his announcement about his exit, Nigel took to Twitter to encourage fans to still watch the show.

“I am grateful for the support you’ve given me regarding #SYTYCD,” his tweet began. “However, I want to say it’s not about us judges. The program was created to give a platform for incredibly talented young dancers whether formally trained or not. Don’t miss that talent this year May 18th #CueMusic.”

Mary admitted that she’s “greatly saddened” to not be returning as a judge for season 17. “Of course, I’m greatly saddened that I am not coming back to So You Think You Can Dance, but I’m so excited the show is coming back to create some more magic,” she told EW.

Cat Deeley
Cat Deeley is back but not Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. (David Fisher/Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

She added, “I loved every second on the show from the first step a dancer took and the incredible journey to the last dancer standing. I love being part of such a magical and award winning team including choreographers, hair and make up, lighting, directors, all my assistants who have been so very kind to me over the years.”

How To Watch ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Season 17 will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX. After their linear telecasts, all episodes of So You Think You Can Dance will be available on FOX’s free streaming platform Tubi, as well as Fox Now, Hulu, and On Demand. On Demand episodes are available for customers of Cox Contour TV, DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream, DISH, Hulu + Live, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon FiOS, XFINITY, YouTube TV, and more. As of right now, past seasons of So You Think You Can Dance are not available online.

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