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So You Think You Can Dance Judge Matthew Morrison Explains His ‘Deepest Regret’ About Leaving Season 17

Matthew Morrison on So You Think You Can Dance
(Image credit: Fox)

It was a long road back to the small screen for Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, but the reality competition series finally returned for Season 17, which is part of the 2022 TV schedule. So far, the show, which arrives after a COVID-induced two-year hiatus for the show, is sporting some fresh talent and an array of new judges. However, the series has experienced a shakeup when it comes to the latter, as franchise newcomer Matthew Morrison has exited the series. With this, the star has explained his “deepest regret” for leaving. 

Along with the news of his departure from So You Think You Can Dance, Matthew Morrison released a statement in which he revealed the reason for the move. The Glee alum said that he’s exiting the fan-favorite show because he did not abide by the “competition production protocols.” He also issued an apology to the fans and expressed gratitude for the opportunity:

Having the opportunity to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance was an incredible honor for me. Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly. I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet.

The exact circumstances behind the protocol violation were not revealed. This development definitely comes as a surprise, given that the 17th season only began a little over a week ago. Though the star is now out of the fold, viewers haven’t seen the last of him. As EW mentions, the audition episodes of the series are pre-taped, which means Matthew Morrison will continue to appear through mid-June. The trade’s sources allege that a replacement will soon be announced and brought in for the next phase of the competition, which is set to commence on June 15th. 

Matthew Morrison was a major part of the aforementioned new wave of judges alongside pop star JoJo Siwa and Stephen "tWitch" Boss. All served as successors to series veterans Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe, who confirmed the judging change in a post of his own. Longtime host Cat Deely did return, however, though she isn’t serving as a judge for this go-around.

So You Think You Can Dance has seen plenty of shifts over the years as it pertains to judges. In the past, the panel has brought in notable names like Paul Abdul and Vanessa Hudgens to weigh in on the sea of competitors (some of which even went on to star in In the Heights). While there’s been no indication as to who might be brought in to succeed Matthew Morrison, it’s likely that the producers will look to bring in someone who can truly up the star power on the already-electrifying show.

So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, and past episodes of the series can also be streamed with a Hulu subscription.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.