Leah Remini is replacing the since-fired Matthew Morrison as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance”, and the actress’ first appearance will come during a milestone episode for the dance competition series, ET can confirm.
Remini will join Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss and JoJo Siwa on the judging panel when the show celebrates its 300th episode on June 15 on Fox. That episode is set to introduce this season’s top 12 dancers, selected to move on to the “SYTYCD” studio to showcase their skills.
“I am thrilled to join ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ on its milestone 300th episode,” Remini said in a statement released by the network. “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 has rightfully earned her place on dance competition shows. She previously appeared on season 17 of “Dancing With The Stars” with pro dancer Tony Dovolani. They proved to be a dominant force, busting out a myriad of dance numbers – from the foxtrot, samba and rumba to the cha-cha-cha, salsa and tango. The duo ultimately finished in fifth place.
Her name grew to become synonymous with the show, after filling in as temporary co-host during several episodes across seasons 19 and 21 before becoming a guest judge during season 28.
Remini joining the “SYTYCD” judging panel comes just weeks after Morrison was fired from the show after initially saying he didn’t “follow competition production protocols.” The actor would not divulge any further details at the time, but it was later revealed that his exit stemmed from “uncomfortable” text messages he sent to a female contestant.
Just days after his firing, Morrison would take to Instagram and explain his side of the story, insisting he was let go for sending one single text message to a female contestant he was trying to help land a job on the show.
In the short video, the 43-year-old actor called the “flirty messages” allegation “blatantly untrue” as he sought to “clarify” the events that led to his dismissal.
“It’s really unfortunate that I have to sit here and defend myself and my family against blatantly untrue statements made anonymously but I have nothing to hide,” Morrison said. “So, in the interest of transparency, I will read to you the one message that I wrote to a dancer on the show.”
Morrison then grabbed his phone and read aloud, “Hey, it’s Matthew. If you don’t mind, would love to get your number and talk you through some things.” After reading that text message, the actor looked into the camera and said, “The end.” Morrison later explained why he sent that one text message.
“I sent this because this dancer and I both share a mutual respect for a choreographer that I’ve known for over 20 years and I was trying to help her get a job as a choreographer on the show,” he said.
Morrison’s wife, Renee Puente, also took to Instagram and publicly defended him.
“My husband has finally been given an opportunity to speak his truth,” she captioned her post. “He has done so with such grace and integrity in a situation that is complex and incredibly complicated.”
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