So You Think You Can Dance is my annual summer love affair. When most of my scripted shows settle in to hibernate until fall, SYTYCD comes jazz-walking out of the gate with physics-defying tricks, fresh-faced contestants, and routines to inspire dozens of YouTube rewatches. It's pure summer indulgence. And even more this year than last, since R&B superstar Jason Derulo is joining the So You Think You Can Dance judges panel. (Jason Deruuuuuulooooo... Nope, can't help it.)
When Season 12 kicks off, the competition will look a lot different to die-hard SYTYCD fans. The show has been tweaked before, but these are sweeping changes. Say goodbye to the the pre-Vegas choreography round, and hello to a "stage" versus "street" Top 20. And also, say hey to a fresh table of judges: Derulo joins Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe and '90s pop star/Idol alum Paula Abdul in the mission to crown America's Favorite Dancer.
I have no idea how Derulo is making the time to nurture these little dance ducklings, what with his booming music career, but I'm glad he is. In the interest of getting hyped for Season 12, here are six reasons why Jason Derulo will be a welcome addition to SYTYCD's team of experts.
1. He Can Walk The Walk
Jason Derulo is a trained dancer in his own right, as this re-creation of Pharrell's "Happy" video clearly demonstrates. Extensive dance knowledge isn't always necessary in a SYTYCD judge — if it were, that'd prevent my beloved guest visits from the delightful Jesse Tyler Ferguson. But it is a welcome quality in anyone holding a permanent position.
2. He's A SYTYCD Veteran
Derulo guest-judged and performed during the show's Season 11 run. He knows the process, he's had some practice, and maybe he's already been invited to one of Cat Deeley's famous contestant barbecues. He's in the fold, is my point.
3. He's A Potential Boss
Of Derulo, Lythgoe told Yahoo News, "He dances, he employs dancers, and he’s literally at the forefront of the pop music industry in this country right now. He’s perfect to talk about what is wanted to be employed." Winning the season isn't really the endgame for these dancers — it's continued work in the industry. Derulo can help them get there.
4. Have I Mentioned He's Huge Right Now?
For lucky Season 13 to be in the cards, this year has to kill it in the ratings department. Hopefully, Derulo's popularity can draw some new viewers. His new single "Want To Want Me" hit the Billboard Top 10 and this official video has over 37 million hits on YouTube. It's a start.
5. I Haven't Even Seen Him Interact With Paula Yet, But I Already Love Them Together
As reality competition fans all over the world know by now, Paula Abdul has a charming lack of filter. That always makes for an entertaining panel; I can't wait to see how she fares sitting next to a hunky pop star.
6. There Is Always The Chance He'll Take His Shirt Off
For completely professional reasons, of course.
Whether he's shirtless or clothed, I'd still like to welcome Jason Derulo to the So You Think You Can Dance family!
Images: Jeffrey Neira/FOX; Giphy (4)