Spoilers ahead for the milestone 300th episode of So You Think You Can Dance.
So You Think You Can Dance returned to Fox after a long hiatus with some major changes to hit the impressive milestone of 300 episodes, which isn't something that many shows last long enough to accomplish. This was a notable episode for more than one reason, as it had to combine the celebrations with the introduction of new judge Leah Remini as part of the panel with JoJo Siwa and tWitch. She joined part of the way through Season 17 after Matthew Morrison was fired. So, now that the episode has aired, let's look at how SYTYCD handled everything with the big 300.
How SYTYCD Handled Matthew Morrison's Departure
News broke that Matthew Morrison had been cut from So You Think You Can Dance not too long after Season 17 premiered, but a number of episodes had been pre-taped, so he was still appearing up to the 300th episode. He eventually spoke out to address the allegations that inappropriate behavior resulted in his firing, claiming that he'd simply sent a contestant a message asking for her number to talk about a choreography job.
In contrast to the situation when longtime Bachelor Nation host Chris Harrison was fired, SYTYCD didn't add disclaimers to the episodes to clarify that they'd taped before the controversy and then Morrison's subsequent firing, and episodes weren't edited to cut him. The same was true in the 300th, as he was featured in the recap from the previous week, and his commentary to the dancers who were cut was still included, even though tWitch (who recently responded to a fan complaint) had the most time on camera in those segments.
Host Cat Deeley ultimately didn't mention Morrison at all or address his absence other than to welcome Leah Remini to the show, so it seems that SYTYCD made the transition with as little drama and fuss as possible, with the focus on good news rather than why Morrison was cut.
How SYTYCD Welcomed Leah Remini
Even though So You Think You Can Dance didn't explicitly acknowledge Morrison's departure or give him a goodbye, there was some fanfare for the arrival of Leah Remini. The King of Queens actress who has spoken out about her experiences with Scientology doesn't come to the show with an extensive dance background like JoJo Siwa (who had to defend her qualifications for SYTYCD on social media) and tWitch, although she did compete in Season 17 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and she would later return as a guest host and divisive guest judge. Cat Deeley gave her the warm welcome, saying:
Leah Remini didn't hold back in her commentary on the dancers in her first outing as a SYTYCD judge, sometimes agreeing with her fellow judges while sometimes vehemently disagreeing. There can be no doubt that she's enthusiastic about her new role, and it should be interesting to see how she settles in now that the show has settled on the Top 12.
How SYTYCD Celebrated 300 Episodes
The episode wasn't a grand extravaganza that spent the whole hour celebrating the milestone, but there were moments throughout the episode building up to a big surprise. After Cat Deeley announced that SYTYCD has run for over 1000 performances and accumulated 71 Emmy nominations (with 17 wins), the commercial breaks were bookended by videos of celebrities celebrating the show, including Ken Jeong, Jason Derulo, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jennifer Lopez, and Enrique Iglesias.
The biggest acknowledgement that this was a truly special episode came at the end, after the audience votes were tallied and four dancers were singled out. As far as they knew, it was the end of the road for two of them, and the Top 12 would be knocked down to the Top 10 by the time the final credits rolled. But there was no bad news on the night of the 300th episode! After tWitch built up the suspense about which two dancers were being eliminated, he dropped the big reveal:
All of the dancers in the Top 12 will go on to dance at least one more time, and what better way to end such a huge milestone than with some good news for some incredibly talented dancers? It was an eventful hour of television all around, with Leah Remini replacing Matthew Morrison while the competition picked up and they celebrated 300 episodes.
The milestone celebrations presumably won't continue as Season 17 keeps going, but Leah Remini isn't going anywhere. See which dancers have what it takes to stick around with new episodes of So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, and check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule for some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).