Throwing on her judging shoes! So You Think You Can Dance has announced that Leah Remini will be the new judge on season 17 of the hit FOX series, two weeks after Matthew Morrison was fired for “inappropriate behavior.”
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“I am thrilled to join So You Think You Can Dance on its milestone 300th episode,” the King of Queens alum, 51, said in a statement released by the network on Friday, June 10. “I look forward to guiding these incredibly talented artists through this competition as a fan of the show and a great admirer of dancers. I can’t wait to see the artistry that the contestants bring to the stage!”
Remini, who will kick off her run with fellow judges JoJo Siwa and Stephen “tWitch” Boss on the June 15 milestone episode, previously appeared on season 17 of Dancing With the Stars with pro dancer Tony Dovolani. The duo performed various numbers — from the fox trot to the salsa — but ultimately finished in fifth place. The Who’s the Boss alum returned to the reality show, however, as a temporary cohost across seasons 19 and 21 before becoming a guest judge during season 28, which aired in 2019.
News of the New York native joining the ranks of the FOX series comes two weeks after Us Weekly confirmed that Morrison, 43, had been fired after “not following proper protocols” following the show’s season 17 premiere.
“Having the opportunity to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance was an incredible honor for me,” the Glee alum exclusively told Us on May 27. “Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show.”
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The California native continued: “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. 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.”
Less than a week later, a source claimed to Us that Morrison had sent “inappropriate messages” to a contestant that “contained sexual innuendos and were flirty to the extent he was overstepping boundaries.”
Per the insider, the Broadway vet didn’t have sex with the dancer, but she complained to producers about him because the messages made her feel uncomfortable and awkward and then they took it to HR.”
Morrison, for his part, took to social media the next day to deny the allegations and claim he had “nothing to hide.”
“It’s really unfortunate to have to sit here and defend myself and my family against blatantly untrue statements made anonymously,” he said in a clip posted via Instagram on June 2. He captioned the footage, “Just to clarify,” appearing to limit the comments on the post.
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The Tony Award winner went on to “read the one message that I wrote to a dancer on the show.” He claimed that the sole text he sent the dancer was, “‘Hey, it’s Matthew. If you don’t mind, would love to get your number and talk you through some things.”
“The end,” he said after reading the message, before setting down his phone and shaking his head in disbelief.
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