Morrison had joined the new judging panel alongside JoJo Siwa and Stephen “tWitch” Boss for the return of the long-running Fox reality series.
“So You Think You Can Dance” had barely return to the airwaves when news came that one of its new judges was going to have to step down.
After a two-year Covid-induced hiatus Fox was excited to bring back the veteran reality series for Season 17, doing so with a bold facelift. While long-time host Cat Deeley was set to return, the judging panel was looking at a full overhaul.
For this summer’s run, she would be joined by panelists Stephen “tWitch” Boss (former contestant, “Ellen” deejay, and Season 15 judge), “Dance Moms” alum JoJo Siwa, and “Glee” and Broadway star Matthew Morrison.
Now, just a week after the premiere, that panel is going to experience another change as the network announced that Matthew Morrison has been let go for failing to “follow competition production protocols.” It was not specified in what way he did this.
In a statement received by Variety, the actor confirmed his departure, saying, “Having the opportunity to be a judge on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ was an incredible honor for me. Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show.”
“After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly,” he continued.
“I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet.” While no specifics were offered, a source told Us Weekly it was a “minor infraction.”
Morrison was able to fully participate in judging the initial audition rounds, which have already been taped. As such, he will continue to be seen for the next couple of episodes until that round wraps.
The next phase of the competition begins June 15 when the Top 12 start competing for America’s vote, with production telling Entertainment Weekly that an announcement of Morrison’s replacement will come before then.
The new judging panel came as a surprise for ballroom expert Mary Murphy and co-creator Nigel Lythgoe, who’d been part of that panel more consistently than anyone else. Could one of them get the call to come back, or will “SYTYCD” continue to move in a fresh direction?
Season 17 of “So You Think You Can Dance” airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. For now, Morrison will continue to feature, but a (ball) change is coming!