'So You Think You Can Dance' adding Adam Shankman as third judge
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/17/2009
Fox has announced it has tapped Adam Shankman to serve as a regular member of So You Think You Can Dance's sixth-season judging panel.
The producer, director and choreographer -- who has regularly served as a So You Think You Can Dance guest judge during the show's previous three seasons -- will join Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy as the third member of the show's judging panel.
"Choreography is how I found my way into this business, and I'm proud to be a part of the show. As a filmmaker, it's an honor to be able to recognize choreographers and dancers, and to be able to bring all of this amazing work into America's homes. These kids challenge themselves every week, and it's great for people to see how terrific these dancers are."
While Shankman serves as a guest judge during a few sixth-season audition episodes, he will become a regular member of the show's judging panel when the Top 20 finalists take to the stage and perform for the first time on Tuesday, October 27 at 8PM ET/PT.
"I am extremely happy that Adam has agreed to be a resident judge," said Lythgoe, who also serves as So You Think You Can Dance's executive producer and co-creator.
"We love bantering and bickering, and yet he still finds a way of capturing the sensitivity of every story told on stage. He is a consummate professional with a passion for dance and a discerning eye, which makes him perfect for us. Plus, it must be remembered, it takes a slightly crazy person to work with me and Mary."
So You Think You Can Dance has previously used a rotating series of guest judges -- including choreographers Lil'C, Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, and Debbie Allen, among others -- to fill the third seat alongside Lythgoe and Michaels.
Lythgoe said now that Shankman will permanently fill the seat, the other choreographers can focus on what they do best.
"I want them choreographing, and the minute they choreograph they're not allowed to be a judge," Lythgoe told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.
"We will still have an open chair," he explained to reporters. "I'd still like Paula Abdul to pop in. I'd still like guest judges to pop in when they can. Jennifer Lopez has said how much she likes the program. I'd love her to come in and sit down for a week... I just don't want four judges every week. It's when available, when possible, they will judge."
Lythgoe -- who served as an American Idol executive producer for the show's first seven seasons -- has previously stated he disagreed with singing competition's decision to add Kara DioGuardi as a fourth judge after he left Idol last summer.
"I always say that, and I truly mean it. But even on Dance, we sometimes have six and seven judges," explained Lythgoe, referring to the expanded judging panel for the show's finale. "It's normally in a place where I can edit and keep everything tight."
Lythgoe said the reason why he normally doesn't like a lot of judges is because it makes the show drag on, which he doesn't think will happen with So You Think You Can Dance.
"The only reason I don't like that many judges is that it just goes on and it waffles," he told reporters. "I think at least with dance people have got something categoric to say -- a criticism of the dancer that they see and want to point out. So it's normally very quick and there's not a lot of waffling."
Footage from the sixth-season "Las Vegas Round" audition callbacks will air on October 7 and October 14 in the Wednesdays at 8PM ET/PT timeslot before the Top 20 finalists -- which will consist of the Top 10 guys and Top 10 girls -- are revealed on Wednesday, October 21 at 8PM ET/PT.