On the season 16 premiere of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” on June 3, judges Vanessa Hudgens, so nice that she wouldn’t even trash even a garbage can, and hip-hopper supreme Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who was a runner-up on the show in 2008, were gone.
The results of our poll, however, suggest their replacements have already impressed the the show’s fans. In other words, so you think they can judge.
In their place were two well-qualified dance pros who both exhibited abundent enthusiasm about being on the show. Lauriann Gibson, 49, has already made a huge impact on the world of dance by choreographing numbers for the likes of Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Menaj and Beyonce. That’s some cred right there. But Laurieann truly won me over when she went all fan-girl when she stood next to host Cat Deeley on camera and exclaimed, “I can’t believe you are this close!”
A total 25% of those who caught the season premiere thought Laurieann was right on with her opinions and kept it honest. They also appreciated that she has the experience to know when someone has that it factor that makes them stand out.
But even more popular is someone who is already a charter member of the “SYTYCD” family — third-season contestant Dominic Sandoval aka D-Trix. The 33-year-old B-Boy, who was also an All-Star on season 7, was known for his infectious sense of humor, his crush on Cat and for regularly dropping his partner, Sabra Johnson, including at least once on her head. He earned judging experience on the seventh season of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” after his Quest Crew won the third season of the show.
Dominic is not only man enough to allow himself to be reduced to tears when he is truly moved by an audition. He was game enough to suddenly jump on stage with no preparation at fellow judge Nigel Lythgoe’s request and improvise moves with a Mom Crew of hip-hop dancers while endearingly making a lovable fool of himself. That is why 35% declared him to be a real sweetheart.
That said, 20% of respondents miss Hudgens and tWitch, noting that they were always on the side of the dancers. But another 20% said they don’t miss them at all and that it was time for some new blood.
If you want to see if Laurieann and Dominic continue to rule in their new roles, tune into Fox at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Monday next week.