Kick up your heels! ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ returns this summer — but with one major change

This week, Fox renewed its venerable reality talent show “So You Think You Can Dance” for a 17th season. Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Laurieann Gibson will return as judges while Cat Deeley returns as host. Not returning is Season 3 breakdancing specialist and Season 16 judge Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval.

The competition will kick off again this summer. Once again, it will feature contestants whose ages range from 18 to 30. Auditions will be held in Miami, New York and Los Angeles in March and April.

Last season the show made history by crowning a b-boy for the first time as America’s Favorite Dancer. At just 5-feet-tall, Bailey Munoz, 19, proved to be a whirling dervish who rarely made a misstep no matter what dance style he had to perform.

As he told Gold Derby in an exclusive post-win interview, “I felt like a superhero up there,” says the Filipino-American champ who is based in Las Vegas about winning season 16 of “So You Think You Can Dance.” “I was representing not only myself, but my family and all the people that were voting and rooting for me. I just wanted to make everyone proud.”

SEE Bailey Munoz exclusive interview about winning ‘So You Think You Can Dance’: ‘I felt like a superhero up there’ [AUDIO PODCAST]

Munoz, who won a prize of $250,000 for his efforts, and his runner-up dance partner Mariah Russell both went on a 40-city tour with the rest of the top 10 contestants late last year.

Devoted fans of the dance contest should breathe a sigh of relief since “SYTYCD” averaged just under a 0.5 demo rating and 2.1 million viewers last summer, down nearly 25% from Season 15. The good news is that Nigel promised at the end of Season 16 that this year they would drop the grueling segments from the Academy part of the competition process. He also shared the news the news that he wants to expand the live shows by going back to including the Top 20 dancers rather than just 10.

Use the comments section below to let us know how you feel about the renewal and what changes should they make in the format from last year. And perhaps suggest who they should recruit as a new judge.

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