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JoJo Siwa Replaces Nigel Lythgoe As Third Judge On So You Think You Can Dance

So You Think You Dance has found a new judge to replace Nigel Lythgoe, and the show didn't have to look far.

In an exclusive sneak peek from Monday’s all-new episode of the dance competition series, host Cat Deeley excitedly announces Siwa as the surprise third judge to the remaining “Top 10” dancers.

“And I bet you all wanna know who the final judge is,” Deeley teases, as fellow judges Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Allison Holker patiently await Siwa’s grand entrance. “Please welcome, JoJo Siwa!”

The contestants couldn’t contain their excitement over the reveal, jumping up and down and screaming loudly as the “Dance Moms” alum made her way onto the stage.

“[I’m] so excited to be here … I’ve been in your exact same position before and it is hard, it is stressful,” Siwa, 20, explained to the group. “There’s going to be a lot of pressure, but you can’t have fear.”

The clip previews the show’s “Challenge #1: Music Videos” episode, in which the “Top 10” battle it out in hopes of advancing one step closer to the “SYTYCD” finale and $100,000 grand prize.

The dancers remaining in the competition – Olivia Alboher, Madison Alvarado, Braylon Browner, Anthony Curley, Avery Gay, Mariyah Hawkins, Easton Magliarditi, Roman Nevinchanyi, Jaylin Sanders and Dakayla Wilson – will be split into two groups to tackle music video challenges choreographed by Luther Brown and Phillip and Makenzie Chbeeb.

Siwa is rejoining the judges’ panel for Season 18 alongside Chmerkovskiy, 44, and Holker, 36. The former Nickelodeon star is stepping in to replace Nigel Lythgoe after he stepped down amid a bombshell lawsuit filed by his colleague Paula Abdul in December 2023. Lythgoe, 74, has vehemently denied the claims.

“19 Entertainment, Dick Clark Productions, and FOX can confirm the upcoming season of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ will proceed, although without Nigel Lythgoe, to ensure the show remains committed to the contestants, who have worked incredibly hard for the opportunity to compete on our stage,” the production companies and network behind “SYTYCD” told Page Six in a statement at the time.

Siwa – who has been dancing and singing since she was a toddler – previously judged the show alongside Holker’s late husband, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, and “Glee” alum Matthew Morrison for the show’s 17th season in 2022.

In addition to her reprised judging gig, the former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant and “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test” alum has also been making headlines for her rebranded “bad girl” image.

Fans on social media shared mixed reactions to Siwa’s new look when she stepped out to the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month in edgy paint makeup seemingly inspired by rock ’n’ roll band KISS.

“People are afraid of things they don’t know. Things can be scary for people. New things can be very, very scary,” Siwa told E! News on the star-studded red carpet while promoting her new “Karma” single.

“The way that I’m able to keep going and keep being like, ‘Wait, actually what I’m doing is right’ is because some of the most respected people in the world have come up to me,” she continued.

“[They’ve] been like, ‘What you’re doing right now is so right. It is what the world needs, and I’m learning from what you are doing right now.’”

Despite the ongoing criticism from some online trolls, Siwa has received plenty of praise from A-listers like rock icon Gene Simmons and actress Tori Spelling, whom called her “cool” and “kickass,” respectively.

Tune into the all-new “Challenge #1: Music Videos” episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” airing Monday, April 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX and the next day on Hulu.

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