Leah Remini Is The Latest So You Think You Can Dance Judge To Clap Back At Critics

So You Think You Can Dance judge Leah Remini
(Image credit: Fox)

So You Think You Can Dance’s decision to overhaul its judges panel this season likely hasn’t gone as smoothly as was hoped. After Matthew Morrison had to be replaced for violations to competition protocol, both JoJo Siwa and SYTYCD vet Stephen Boss (a.k.a. tWitch) faced criticism from viewers on social media. Now it’s Leah Remini’s turn to defend herself, after coming in to replace Morrison. She posted a humorous video clapping back at people who wonder why she was chosen to be a judge.

The King of Queens actress was a late addition to So You Think You Can Dance’s 17th season. Leah Remini came in for the show’s milestone 300th episode, and despite her background in entertainment — including appearances on Dancing With the Stars as a contestant, guest host, and guest judge — fans were a little confused about her lack of specific dance expertise. Remini addressed those people on Instagram. Check it out:

So while Leah Remini argued that she has every right to be on the panel, pointing out that she even owns a dance studio and has been taking lessons in all different kinds of dance, she’s on So You Think You Can Dance to judge the performances. Viewers of Season 17 have definitely seen her disagree with her fellow judges when she is entertained by a number despite any technical errors. 

Also, the actress questioned, what makes a person worthy of judging a dance competition? Does one have to be a dancer? In the end, she basically told fans to just back off and let her have her fun, which she's apparently having a lot of. She said in the video:

For the one guy who's like, ‘Why is Leah Remini judging a dance show?' Because I am! I love dancing, and I've been ballroom dancing. I've got my own dance studio. I've been taking ballroom, cha-cha, rumba, jive, like I do it all, and salsa... But, who can judge a dance show? I'm having a great time, I'm not even there as a dancer, I'm there as somebody who just enjoys dancing. I’m an actress, I’m a performer, so it's about performing. That's what I'm judging, so that's the answer to that question. I'm having the best time. Just let me enjoy it!

The actress’ co-hosts also seem to like having her next to them, as both JoJo Siwa and tWitch praised Leah Remini for what she brings to the show. The dancers on the panel certainly haven’t been immune to the negative feedback. The Dance Moms alum dropped a truth bomb on the critics who questioned her expertise, and tWitch even had to respond to fan complaints.

It’s definitely been an adjustment this season, as fans not only are seeing the first season in SYTYCD history without Nigel Lythgoe behind the judges’ table, but also a change in how the contestants are moved forward in the competition. Voting for “America’s Favorite Dancer” in Season 17 has been limited to the studio audience and judges, with home viewers not having any input for the first time.

So You Think You Can Dance airs at 9 p.m. ET Wednesdays on Fox, and you can catch up on this season's episodes with a subscription to Hulu. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what premieres are coming soon.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.