In season 18, JoJo Siwa will rejoin the “So You Think You Can Dance” judging panel, replacing Nigel Lythgoe’s position.
The 20-year-old Dance Moms alum will be joining Allison Holker and Maksim Chmerkovskiy on the judging panel for a revamped season that aims to capture the “genuine experience of constructing a prosperous career in dance,” Fox said in a press release disseminated on Friday.
The dancing competition event will once again be emceed by Emmy-nominated presenter Cat Deeley, who has accomplished this since 2006.
Along with a “documentary-style look” at the participants’ life as they compete for the $100,000 big prize that comes with winning So You Think You Can Dance season 18, Friday’s announcement promised viewers.
The announcement of Siwa’s comeback coincides with Lythgoe’s announcement earlier this month that he would be leaving the popular dance series due to claims of sexual assault.
The 74-year-old television personality told Variety, “I have informed the producers of So You Think You Can Dance of my decision to step back from participating in this year’s series.” “This wonderful program has always been about dancing and dancers, and that’s where its concentration needs to remain. I did this with a heavy heart, but completely voluntarily. I’m devoting myself to clearing my name and repairing my reputation in the meanwhile.
Paula Abdul, sixty-one, accused the veteran dance judge on December thirty of having sexually molested her twice while they were both on SYTYCD in 2015 and American Idol in the early 2000s.
In a statement provided to TMZ shortly after the story emerged, Lythgoe addressed her accusations and refuted every detail. “To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement,” he stated.
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Lythgoe continued, “For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear, and entirely platonic, friends and colleagues.” Lythgoe went on to say, “I want to be clear: not only are these claims baseless, they are highly hurtful to me and everything I stand for. I learnt of these accusations “out of the blue” through the news.”