So You Think You Can Dance Season 17 Release Date, Cast, And More Information

Buckle up your dancing shoes and get ready to rumba, tap, waltz, hip-hop, samba, and body pop. Fox's long-running hit competition "So You Think You Can Dance" is returning, and Season 17 looks like it will be a hot one. It's not just going to be contestants' booties shaking it in the studio; the "SYTYCD" producers are also shaking things up by making some significant changes that are bound to split fans' opinions.

Over the years, "So You Think You Can Dance" has been a hit with fans and critics alike. The show has been nominated for 71 Emmy Awards since its first season premiered in 2005. It's won 17 of the 71 over the 16 seasons that have aired so far, taking home the gold for excelling in costume design, choreography, lighting, and for being the best competition program.

TV Series Finale reported it had been up in the air whether there would be a Season 17 or not. Nielsen ratings for Season 16 were pretty lukewarm. The show dropped 23.68% in its overall advertising desired demographic of 18 to 49-year-old viewers compared to a paltry 2.065% increase in overall audience numbers. However, after a three-year-long COVID-forced hiatus, the competition is not only back — it's back with a bang.

When does SYTYCD Season 17 premiere?

The "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 17 release date is right around the corner on May 18. The show will air on Wednesday nights from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT. Fox announced in a press release that after each episode has aired on TV screens, fans will be able to view the show on its free streaming platform, Tubi, in addition to Fox Now, Hulu, and On Demand.

According to Fox, the audition rounds for Season 17 kicked off in March in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Wannabe contestants had to upload a video showcasing their best moves. If they managed to make it past the auditions, they were given a chance to try out in front of the show's judges to see if they could make the final cut.

After three years off-air, producers are taking no risks for Season 17. The show's casting agency laid out a strict COVID policy. Applicants had to submit official documentation to prove they'd been fully vaccinated and had received a Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson booster shot. Okay, fans know when to watch, but who will they be watching?

Who's on So You Think You Can Dance Season 17?

The show's production team has made a significant and potentially controversial change to the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 17 cast. Fox tweeted out news about the shake-up, announcing there would be some "new and old faces" appearing in Season 17, which was quite an understatement as they've changed the entire judging panel.

The network welcomed Broadway performer and former "Glee" star Matthew Morrison, previous "SYTYCD" finalist Steven "tWitch" Boss, and "Dancing With the Stars" runner-up JoJo Siwa as the show's new judges. Fox had previously announced that the line-up would include Mary Murphy, Laurieann Gibson, and Nigel Lythgoe.

Lythgoe's departure comes as a shocker because he was the show's co-creator. The veteran choreographer and dancer made it clear that it wasn't his decision to leave and he was not happy about being axed. Lythgoe tweeted he was "thrilled" new dancers would be back on TV, but felt "sad" that he wouldn't be joining them. "On a personally sad note, I have not been asked to be on the judging panel this season. I don't know who will be saying 'Cue Music,' but I wish them well," he wrote.

What else to expect from SYTYCD Season 17

British-born Cat Deeley has been in the hosting seat pretty much from the start. She joined in Season 2 after replacing the show's first host Lauren Sánchez. And there's no change there, as Deeley is returning for "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 17 — she teased fans by tweeting that the show was "back and better than ever," along with a promo clip that boasts about "new talent" in addition to new judges.

Meanwhile, Fox has promised other shake-ups too. They announced in a press release that the selected group of 18 to 30-year-old contestants will be subjected to "brand-new twists and turns introduced into the competition." Fox said they would release details about the new changes nearer to the date of the Season 17 premiere.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the original "SYTYCD" format, the wannabe winners will still be mentored by "world-renowned choreographers" who will work with them to teach new genres and styles to compete in every week. The dancers have been forced to be flexible and quickly learn a diverse range of moves over the past 16 seasons. Nothing is set to change on that front either, with dances ranging from traditional ballroom, street, contemporary, tap, break dancing, hip-hop, and animation on the books for Season 17.