11:31am PT by Michael O'Connell
Paula Abdul Returns to Fox, Joins 'So You Think You Can Dance' as New Judge
Paula Abdul is back at Fox. After a three-year break from her last regular TV gig, she'll join So You Think You Can Dance for the competition's upcoming 12th season.
With Abdul, who has been eyed as a full-time addition since Mary Murphy's departure became imminent, comes singer and dancer Jason Derulo. The pair will join returning judge Nigel Lythgoe and host Cat Deeley.
Read More Mary Murphy Exits So You Think You Can Dance
“I have dedicated a large part of my career as a choreographer to discovering and mentoring some of the most iconic artists and performers from all over the world,” said Abdul. “So You Think You Can Dance has a long-standing history of launching brilliant careers for young choreographers and dancers in the industry. It’s going to be a true honor and pleasure joining this panel with Jason and Nigel, and I’m looking forward to an exciting new season.”
Since her days on American Idol and her one-off season judging The X Factor, Abdul has been pinch-hitter on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars. Though she was rumored to be in contention as a permanent addition to the latter, the ABC series ultimately picked Julianne Hough as its fourth panelist.
“With the new and exciting format comes a new and exciting panel of judges,” said Lythgoe, who also serves as executive producer. “I’m delighted that Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo will be joining me at the judges table this season on So You Think You Can Dance. Paula is an incredible artist and she brings the perfect combination of expertise and heart to the panel. Jason’s insight, humor and creativity will add a new perspective to the panel that we haven’t had before.”
“I am truly excited, and eagerly look forward to joining the cast of So You Think You Can Dance,” added Derulo. “It is one of the most respected and longest-tenured shows on network television, and I hope to be a part of new growth and continued success.”
Auditions for the next season kick off Jan. 24 in New York.