Earlier this month, Lythgoe announced he would be stepping down from his long-standing position as judge
Fox issued a press release on Friday announcing that the Dance Moms alum, 20, will join Allison Holker and Makism Chmerkovskiy on the judging panel for a reimagined season that seeks to reflect the "authentic experience of building a successful career in dance."
Emmy-nominated host Cat Deeley will once again emcee the dance competition show, a post she has held since 2006.
Friday's release also promised fans will get a "documentary-style look" at the contestants' lives as they vie for the ultimate $100,000 grand prize that comes with being crowned winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 18.
"I have informed the producers of So You Think You Can Dance of my decision to step back from participating in this year’s series," the television personality, 74, told Variety. "I did so with a heavy heart but entirely voluntarily because this great program has always been about dance and dancers, and that’s where its focus needs to remain. In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to clearing my name and restoring my reputation.”
"To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement," he said. "For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear, and entirely platonic, friends and colleagues."
Noting that he learned of Abdul's accusations "out of the blue" through the press, Lythgoe continued, "I want to be clear: not only are they false, they are deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for. ... I can’t pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue. But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have."
Siwa celebrated the news of her judging debut with a commemorative post shared to Instagram at the time.
"FINALLY!…. 'So You Think You Can Dance' is coming to FOX this summer and I am so grateful that I am going to be a judge!" Siwa wrote. "It's such an honor to be a part of this shows come back!!!"
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So You Think You Can Dance season 18 premieres March 4 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox and can be streamed the next day on Hulu.
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