Nathan Bolster /FOX

It has been more than a year since Alexis Warr was crowned America’s Favorite Dancer on Season 17 of So You Think You Can Dance. Since then, the return of the show has been a mystery. With no announcements and no fall season, some fans were concerned SYTYCD might be leaving Fox’s lineup of fall shows. While it is clear that the dance competition won’t be returning this fall, is officially coming back! This week, Fox announced that SYTYCD would be returning for Season 18 in March 2024 with an all-new format.

Who Will Judge Season 18?

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe will return to his spot on the judging panel for Season 18. He will be joined by SYTYCD All-Star and Emmy-nominated choreographer for Dancing with the Stars Allison Holker as well as previous Dancing with the Stars choreographer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. SYTYCD All-Star and choreographer Comfort Fedoke will also be returning to the show as part of the judging panel for the audition round of the show.

Is Cat Deeley Returning?

It’s hard to imagine SYTYCD without Cat Deeley who has hosted the show since its second season. Luckily we won’t have to! Cat will return to host the competition show in its new format.

What’s New?

While SYTYCD has traditionally been about stage performances and wowing the judges, the new format is focused on bridging the gap between competing as skilled dancers and building a professional career in dance. Each week, contestants will compete in new challenges that will have a similar feel and expectation as commercial dance jobs such as music video performances and football halftime shows.

The show will be taking on more of a personal reality TV spin as well, featuring more storytelling, following contestants’ successes and struggles and their personal journeys, relationships, and conflicts.

It also seems like the title of the season winner is changing. In the past, the top contestant has been named America’s Favorite Dancer. At the end of Season 18, the top dancer will take home the title of So You Think You Can Dance champion.

What’s Staying the Same?

While the week-to-week performances have a new twist, Fox’s announcement makes us think the rest of the competition will be very similar to what we already know and love. After auditions, the competition will begin with a Top 10. Each week, one of the contestants will be eliminated with the judges in charge of deciding who stays and who goes home. The season finale will feature the Top 3 finalists competing for the $100,000 prize.

Why Did Fox Change SYTYCD?

In their release announcing So You Think‘s return, Fox said, “These new dimensions to the show’s format reflect and celebrate its consistency in launching illustrious dance careers for its contestants, who can be found in the dance troupes for superstar musical acts, on Broadway stages, on every dance show on TV and beyond. Each year, amateurs gain the experience and exposure to launch successful careers, and the real-world challenges of the 18th season will prove their professional readiness more than ever.”

It will be a few months until we are reunited with our favorite SYTYCD judges and alumni, but we’re sure we’ll get more details about Season 18 before then. So You Think You Can Dance returns to FOX on Monday, March 4.

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.