New SYTYCD Judge Leah Remini Chats with Inside Dance! | Inside Dance

New SYTYCD Judge Leah Remini Chats with Inside Dance! | Inside Dance

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″ custom_padding=”0px|||||” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” custom_padding=”0px|||||” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” custom_padding=”0px|||||” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” sticky_enabled=”0″]

By Kristyn Burtt

In the wake of Matthew Morrison’s departure from So You Think You Can Dance for breaking the show’s strict no-contact-with-a-contestant rule, FOX had to quickly find a new judge to replace him. Enter Leah Remini, who had to get up to speed with season 17 to familiarize herself with the Top 12 dancers, who had already been selected in late April.

She joked with Inside Dance that she did “a crash course” in watching all of the prior episodes and reading up on the contestants. “I got to know them very well and tWitch, JoJo [Siwa], and the producers have been amazing about bringing me into the fold,” she said. Remini is also well aware that the internet has an opinion about her role as a judge and she wants everyone to know that she is taking the job very seriously. 

“They didn’t hire me because of my dance background, they hired me because I am a fan of dancers because I am who I am, and I know a lot of these people — this is family. Maks [Chmerkovskiy], Val [Chmerkovskiy], Jenna [Johnson], they are all at my house,” she explained. “I know the studio inside and out. I am around dancers all of the time.”

What a lot of TV viewers don’t know is that after her fifth-place finish on season 17 of Dancing With the Stars, she kept up with her dance lessons. 

“I have a dance studio. I take dance every day, five days a week,” she revealed — and it’s often with SYTYCD choreographers Jonathan and Oksana Platero. “I love dancing. I don’t know someone who will sit through their friend’s rehearsal for eight hours straight — I love it,” she laughed.

The hardest part of her job is having to decide which contestants to send home each week since the eliminations officially begin with the second episode. “Once you see the dancers and you see them between commercial breaks, they are all hugging each other and supporting each other,” Remini said. “I am invested in all of them. It’s going to be hard to let anyone go and see only one person win.”

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”” title_text=”So-you-think-you-can-dance-top-ten-season-16-B-boy-Bailey-BailRok-Munoz” admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_image][et_pb_divider admin_label=”Divider” _builder_version=”4.10.7″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Photos: Michael Becker/FOX

Subscribe now to receive the June Issue of Inside Dance magazine featuring Alan Bersten at

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”” title_text=”6B4A1486″ _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.14.8″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Sign Up and Save!

Sign Up and Save!

Sign Up for our newsletter and receive a code for 20% off anything on!

SUCCESS! Use code "NEWS" for a 20% discount on!