First-time “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Matthew Morrison is exiting Season 17 after failing to follow production protocols on the set of the Fox competition series.
“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,” Morrison said in a statement sent to TheWrap late Friday.
“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.”
Although his statement did not specify, he is likely referring to the COVID protocols required for filming in Los Angeles.
The former “Glee” actor was brought in this season to judge along with social media star JoJo Siwa. This season’s third judge, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, has been a judge before — as well as an All-Star dancer and contestant — but only on a show-by-show basis.
A source close to the production told TheWrap that a new judge will be announced by the time the competition is opened up to public voting. This year’s finalists will be revealed on June 15.
The dance competition, which had been sidelined by the pandemic, returned on May 18 with original host Cat Deeley once again emceeing and interviewing the nervous contestants. Previous judge Nigel Lythgoe, who co-created the series with Simon Fuller, remains on board as an executive producer.