Leah Remini responded to criticism of her judicial qualifications in the film “So you think you can dance.” This summer, the dance competition series returned to the FOX channel for the 17th season after not being broadcast since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leah joined the jury late, replacing Matthew Morrison after the audition. The show’s producers fired Matthew for violating competition protocols after allegedly sending “flirty messages” to one of the dancers participating in the show. Although Matthew publicly denied any wrongdoing, SYTYCD still decided to replace him with Leah, who took the place at the beginning of the studio performances.
Leah sits on the jury with pop star Jojo Siva and former SYTYCD member Steven “tWitch” Boss. Kat Deeley also returned for her 16th season as the show’s host. Studio shows consist of 12 best dancers who compete weekly in different dance styles, with the participants eliminated at the end of each show. During Wednesday’s episode, viewers chose the top three dancers to advance to the semifinals: ballroom dancer Alexis Warr, contemporary dancer Keaton Kermode and hip-hop dancer Essence Wilmington. Due to Leah’s lack of dance training, she faced criticism from SYTYCD viewers about her qualifications to work as a judge this season.
By topic: What we know about the new, so You Think You Can Dance, Judge Leah Remini
In an Instagram video, Leah responded to her critics of SYTYCD, emphasizing why she is a qualified judge of a dance competition. In the video she said: “I love dancing, and I do ballroom dancing. I have my own dance studio, I do ballroom dancing, cha-cha-cha, rumba, jive. Leah was a participant in the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars and reached the semifinals. After DWTS, she decided to continue dancing, and in fact she has a dance studio at home, where she regularly takes lessons from SYTYCD choreographers Jonathan and Oksana Platero.
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While Leah admitted she doesn’t have the same technical knowledge as JoJo or tWitch, she said her point of view comes from the ability to entertain and perform, saying, “That’s what I judge.” Leah likes being on SYTYCD, she admits, “I’m having a great time. I’m not even a dancer. I’m there as a person who just likes to dance.” According to E! News, she was well received by fellow judges, and Jojo said, “She is very educated in art and entertainment,” and that it is “really nice” for Leah to share her “knowledge” in this aspect.
This year, Leah has become a refreshing addition to the SYTYCD judging panel. Although she doesn’t have the same level of dance vocabulary as her fellow judges, she is dedicated to the dancers and gives them solid advice and constructive criticism to help them grow. It’s one thing to be knowledgeable, but to be a successful judge, you need to invest a high level in the contestants. Leah has this investment and that is why she is an excellent SYTYCD judge.