Paula Abdul has had some trouble with Fox in recent years, but today the network announced that the formal American Idol and The X Factor panelist will return to judge a competition series. This time around, Paula Abdul is going to put her dancing knowledge to work. She’s signed on as the latest So You Think You Can Dance judge along with pop singer Jason Derulo. Both will sit at the judges table opposite veteran judge Nigel Lythgoe. Mary Murphy will not be returning.
So You Think You Can Dance is returning for Season 12 this summer, and along with the additions of Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo, the show will have a few more brand new tricks up its sleeve. According to Fox, So You Think You Can Dance will also feature a new gimmick where stage dancers will compete against street dancers for a chance to win the big competition. Auditions for the new season begin this Saturday, January 24, in New York City.
I wouldn’t have guessed that Abdul was on particularly good terms with Fox. A couple of years after Abdul left American Idol in 2009, she signed on with Fox for The X Factor, a brand new singing competition series that at the time was expected to be the next big thing. After the first season failed to gain the ratings momentum that Fox and Simon Cowell hoped it would, Abdul was asked to exit the series (along with host Steve Jones and other judge Nicole Scherzinger). It was a pretty huge deal at the time, as The X Factor continued to sink lower in public opinion after Abdul left and was eventually cancelled after its third season on the air.
Even if she did have some minor beef against Fox, it’s obvious that Abdul has let bygones be bygones at this point, otherwise she wouldn’t have signed the contract with the network. (In fact, Paula also appeared in the Fox TV movie Fox's Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular in 2014.) Additionally, she should be a great fit to judge a dancing-related series. She’s done professional choreography for an extremely long time and choreography was always her strong suit on The X Factor and during her career.
Plus, if you’ve been keeping tabs on the “Straight Up” singer, you should know that in 2014 she signed on as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance Austrialia, so she’s pretty primed for the Fox gig at this point.
So You Think You Can Dance is one of those reality competition series that has been on the air forever, but it still has a legitimate following and prominence on Fox thanks to the athleticism and talent it takes to make it to the final rounds on the competition series. Here’s hoping that Abdul and Derulo are a good fit on the judging panel, as I would assume they could have gigs for years to come on the competitions series, should they prove to be a good fit and want to continue. We’ll let you know as soon as So You Think You Can Dance gets a summer premiere date. In the meantime, you can check out midseason return dates here.