‘So You Think You Can Dance’: The Season’s Best Celeb Judges

Television Without Pity
We loved Lady Gaga's guest judge stint (FOX/Adam Rose)
We loved Lady Gaga's guest judge stint (FOX/Adam Rose)

On this season of "So You Think You Can Dance," a famous face has graced the judging panel for every live show. Overall, we were impressed by the quality of these mostly articulate celebs who seemed to be genuine fans of the franchise and who were able to actually spout opinions instead of just clap like seals. So we've ranked the special guests (though not the choreographers who were plucked to be on the panel, because we'd never be able to decide between Lil' C and Travis Wall) to determine who was the best this summer.

10. Megan Mullally
She started out strong with talk of leg extensions and then devolved into a puddle of "wows" after a Travis Wall routine. And we personally blame her indecision during the elimination round as a contributing factor to four people going home in one brutal sweep. Nigel, too, but mostly Megan.

9. Robin Antin
Technically, she was a choreographer and shouldn't be on this list, but she didn't really do much in the way of choreography (we're not counting her Dance Day routine). Instead, she was a "famous" face who used the show as a casting call. Listen up, Robin: This is not "The Pussycat Dolls Present" -- it's "So You Think You Can Dance," where dancers do more than just gyrate in their underwear (most of the time, at least).

[Video: Watch Highlights of Last Week's "SYTYCD" Performances]

8. Carmen Electra
She didn't have as much experience with dancing as some of the other panelists (her performances with the Pussycat Dolls formed the bulk of it) and said things like "Dang, girl, you were poppin' so hard!" Still, she was largely inoffensive.

7. Katie Holmes
She knows a thing or two about dance and is highly familiar with the show and the dancers -- as well as with "Saturday Night Fever." She was excited to be there (or perhaps just to be allowed out of the house on her own), but she could have been a bit more critical instead of spending time admiring the fashions.

[Photos: Every Season 8 "So You Think You Can Dance" Performance So Far]

6. Debbie Reynolds
The classically trained dancer spent the entire night hitting on some of the attractive young male dancers, basically trying to convince them to come home with her. Not that we blame her at all.

5. Christina Applegate
Her major dance credit seems to be "Sweet Charity" on Broadway, but she tapped into the emotional dimension when she talked about how Sasha destroyed her with a quiet movement of her fingers. She also made us laugh with her talk of whacking and dropped crotches -- we're always suckers for saucy innuendo.

Watch Christina Applegate praise "SYTYCD" finalist Sasha right here:

4. Neil Patrick Harris
He was almost a perfect judge, and had he been on before Jesse Tyler Ferguson, he probably would have been a notch or two higher on this list. He did a great job and was both eloquent and critical, but he just lacked the humor that the "Modern Family" star brought. We like our judges to appear to be really enjoying themselves.

3. Lady Gaga
We were expecting the worst when we saw the sunglasses and the "Sgt. Pepper's" get-up, but she was hypercritical and actually put together some amazing critiques. And she threw a shoe! That's something we'd never seen on this show before. But we loved her even more when she dissed Tabitha and Napoleon's hip-hop choreography. Way to know your stuff, Gaga.

See Lady Gaga's claws come out on the judging panel right here:

[Video: Watch Full Episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance"]

2. Jesse Tyler Ferguson
He took time out from the show to express how badly Miss Deeley deserved an Emmy nomination (which she received the next day, finally), proposed to Clarice (even though they both have boyfriends), and was utterly adorable and witty with his critiques. And he was such a super fan, we just wanted to squeeze him.

1. Kristin Chenoweth
It was a close race between Cheno and JTF for this top spot, but given that Kristin can often come off as -- how shall we say this nicely? -- annoying, she was pretty great here. She was self-deprecating and conscious of not sounding "like a Paula," and her "shut the front door" monologue gave Cat fodder for the rest of the season. And she made out with Lil' C, which is something we never saw coming.

More from Television Without Pity:

Who was your favorite "SYTYCD" guest judge this season? Cast your vote in the comments.