Little more than a month after her final appearance as guest judge/international edition judge-in-training on Fox‘s summer competition series So You Think You Can Dance, Paula Abdul was announced as a judge on the Australian version of the series starting in 2014. Abdul will be head judge on the show. Last July, in the reality-TV equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, the American version of So You Think You Can Dance cast Abdul as guest judge. Dance‘s overall audience was then down about 27% compared to the previous summer. Abdul, meanwhile, was a resident judge for eight seasons on American Idol back when it was the country’s most popular series by a wide margin. She left the show in a contract-renewal dispute, which, at the time, we all thought was a pretty dumb move but which now looks less stupid because she can say she was involved with the singing competition during its cultural-phenom years instead of the penny ante-stuff it has become. Abdul also was a judge/mentor on the first season of The X Factor, when it brought in about half the crowd creator Simon Cowell had boasted it would average — and numbers X Factor would kill for now. Cowell replaced Abdul with Britney Spears, who spent one season making Abdul look really good at it, before discovering she, BritBrit, was neglecting her music career and bowed out. In July, Cowell told a gathering of TV critics, columnists and reporters that the replacement judge lineup was “like having a dinner party — you invite people for dinner and sometimes it’s a fun night and sometimes not as fun as you thought it was going to be.”
Abdul’s time guesting on the U.S. version of SYTYCD apparently was a warm-up for her new gig. In the announcement, she said that, “Aussie dancers are without a doubt some of the best in the world, and it is an honor for me to be a part of finding Australia’s best dancer,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.
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