Season 8 Guest Judges

Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance will feature resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, as well as guest judges Robin Antin, Lil C, Tyce Diorio, Toni Redpath and Jason Gilkison.


Robin Antin is a true American success story. As a choreographer, clothing designer, and TV producer, she is both an exciting entertainer and a savvy entrepreneur, who is responsible for one of the world’s biggest pop girl group sensations, the Pussycat Dolls.

The SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Guest Judge created the Pussycat Dolls in 1995 as a cabaret act at Hollywood hot spot the Viper Room. The group went on to produce five hit songs from their debut albums, “PCD” and “Doll Domination.” Antin then took the Pussycat Dolls brand to Las Vegas, where for five years and counting, she’s maintained the successful Pussycat Dolls Casino inside Caesar’s Palace.

In this exciting space, the Pussycat Doll theme dominates, starting with dealers clad in sexy Pussycat Doll merchandise. Inside, a Pussycat Dolls boutique entices every girl to take home a bit of the PCD glamour by picking up something from Antin’s own line of lingerie, “Shhh . . . by Robin Antin.”

Las Vegas can’t get enough of the Pussycat Dolls. On June 2011, Antin opens her second Pussycat Dolls nightclub, “PCD Burlesque Saloon,” in Planet Hollywood.

While the Pussycat Dolls brand continues to rise, Antin stays busy with her many other ventures. In 2010, she choreographed the opening number for the Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Fallon, and this year her work can be seen on AMERICAN IDOL. Antin will also recur as a guest judge on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.

Antin starred in her own reality show for two seasons on the CW, “Search for the Next Doll,” while somehow finding time to create another platinum-selling girl group, Girlicious. It’s no surprise that Antin was just awarded the Mogul Award by Dance Tracks Magazine.

Extending her reach beyond the dance world, Antin will be collaborating with her close friend Kim Kardashian on the development of a new reality show, Robin Antin’s “The Business of Being $EXY.”

In December 2009, Antin launched her first fitness video, “The Pussycat Dolls Workout,” an immediate Top 10 hit. She’s now producing her follow-up DVD, the “Pussycat Dolls Dancers Body Workout,” scheduled for a fall 2011 release.

Antin is also well-known as the choreographer of hit films, such as “Charlie’s Angels,” and the infamous Carl’s Jr. commercial with Paris Hilton. She’s worked with some of the world’s most beautiful women, including Christina Applegate, Carmen Electra, Fergie, Charlize Theron, and Scarlett Johansson, giving them the “Pussycat Doll makeover” for her sexy live shows, “Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Revue,” currently touring throughout the U.S. and Canada. She also worked closely with Gwen Stefani in preparation for No Doubt’s “Rock Steady Tour.” In addition, Antin has produced another hit Las Vegas stage show, “Matt Goss, Live from Las Vegas,” which runs in the Gossy Room in Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino.


Christopher “Lil’ C” Toler is best known for being one of the originators and pioneers of the dance style known as krumping, which has earned him the title of King of Krump. From his shine in “Rize,” to his memorable moments on the judging panel on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, there is never a dull moment with the man who brought the world the term “bucc” . . . one of Nigel’s favorite words.

The acclaimed dancer and choreographer has collaborated with such legendary artists as Jennifer Lopez, Fall Out Boy, and Madonna, and he has worked on movies, including “Be Cool” and “Stomp the Yard.” He can currently be seen playing the role of Z in the hit web series “LXD,” and in the new movie coming out later this year, “Beat the World.”

This year, his fans will see that he’s a true triple threat, as he adds music to his resume, with the release of his critically acclaimed mix tape “Rhythm and Bucc.” The sky is the limit for Lil C; be watching for him at a stage near you!


Ballroom dance champion and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE choreographer and guest judge Toni Redpath was born in Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, Australia. She started ballroom dancing at age 9, after accompanying a friend to a local dance competition and deciding that it looked like too much fun not to try.

When she was 18, Redpath represented Norway for three years with then-partner Jan Tore Jacobson before moving to England and passing her Imperial Society Professional Exams with high honors.

Redpath later joined her family in America and began her professional career as an instructor at the Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, California.

Michael Mead and Redpath formed a professional ballroom competition partnership and developed a unique style that ultimately led them to setting a record by winning the U.S. Open Ballroom Championships four years in a row (undefeated throughout) before retiring from competition in 2002.

Redpath now choreographs for shows, trains the current World Champion American Style ballroom dancers, is a certified World Class judge, and judges at all the major U.S. Ballroom competitions.

Redpath has provided acclaimed choreography for multiple seasons of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and debuted as a guest judge in Season 7 of the hit show.


World-renowned dancer and choreographer Jason Gilkison began a successful partnership in 2008 with SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, stamping his presence as a phenomenal choreographer and astute judge.

The Australian-born Gilkison has become one of the most sought-after and respected Ballroom and Latin choreographers on the contemporary dance scene, both onstage and onscreen.

Gilkison and longtime dance partner Peta Roby were the undefeated Latin Champions in Australia from 1981 to 1997. During this time, they also took the coveted titles of World, British, and International Champions. And in 1990 they won the prestigious “Young Australian of the Year” award in recognition of their achievements.

Gilkison and Peta then became the residing teachers at one of London’s most prestigious ballroom schools, where they remained for seven years, training many of the world’s leading dancers. They also performed with Peter Allen in the presence of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, as well as appearing in a feature story on a “60 Minutes” broadcast recognizing their international success.

Gilkison and Peta’s film credits include performances in “Evita” with Madonna and choreography in “Let’s Get Skase.”

In 1999 Gilkison and Peta joined the original production of the Ballroom and Latin Dance spectacular “Burn the Floor,” and they performed with the company as lead dancers until 2006. In 2001 Gilkison also took on the roles of Choreographer and Artistic Director.

Gilkison put his personal stamp on “Burn the Floor” in 2005 by creating a new version from scratch, aiming to create a more intimate and magical experience for theatergoers.

In 2009 Gilkison created and choreographed the “NEW” Broadway edition of “Burn the Floor — Ballroom Reinvented,” and last year Gilkison took the show to the West End, London, with an extremely successful run at the Shaftesbury Theatre. “Burn the Floor” has been performed in more than 40 countries and 161 cities.

Gilkison is currently working on new stage productions as well as TV engagements. His artistic skills and groundbreaking choreography continue to inspire dancers and evoke the emotions of audiences around the world.


286 comments on “Season 8 Guest Judges“

  1. Sam - wrote:

    I do not understand why you would have some one such as Katie Holmes as a guest.. what the Hay would she know about dancing.. You might as well ask someone off the street.. Makes no sense to me??? As a contestant I would have absolutely no respect for her opinion nor would I want it… Its almost funny listening to her groveling for words.. The contestants deserve someone who knows what they are talking about.. Not impressed!

    8/10/2011 5:57 PM UTC

  2. Kyla - wrote:

    We seem to all be agreeing on the same thing: celebrity judges were a bad idea. At least choose someone who has some background in dance. After Katie Holmes first two comments I muted the rest. I can only take so much “I just wanna say you guys are so great…You are just beautiful people…blah blah blah.” SYTYCD please don’t treat your audience like we’re stupid.

    8/10/2011 6:13 PM UTC

  3. Joe - wrote:

    Can someone tell me why Katie Holmes is a guest judge? In fact, can someone explain why we had to sit through a season of inane comments by people who have no idea what they are talking about. Please bring back Adam or even Mia and keep them on the panel next season for the entire season I am tired of fast forwarding through the judge’s comments.

    Also, who picked the music for the disco number on the finale? Doriana wanted energy and fast lifts and then some genius chooses Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” Not the most up tempo disco song.

    Guys get it right in season 9!!!!

    8/10/2011 6:34 PM UTC

  4. Kathy - wrote:

    I absolutely love this show and what it is doing for dance. The contestants THIS year were unbelievable! It must have been very difficult to judge. Glad I didn’t have to. Melanie and Sasha were my favorites from the very beginning. Sorry that there has to be only one winner. As to the above comments: like the guest judges – they don’t HAVE to know the correct words. As to that comment from Rachel – that was extremely mean and racist. I happen to think “Lil C” is funny:>)

    8/10/2011 6:39 PM UTC

  5. Lisa - wrote:

    The best celebrity judge was Christina Applegate; she had actual dance knowledge and a personality. Katie Holmes was the absolute worst. How did she get chosen? She had no knowledge of dance nor any terminology. Her comments were worthless and is there a brain in her pretty head? I wish guest judges were chosen per their actual dance knowledge and actually added insight into the performance.

    8/10/2011 7:40 PM UTC

  6. joan - wrote:

    I was disappointed in the finale last night. The dancers are excellent but the format left them exhausted and the choreopgraphers certainly didn’t help them with weak routines. The disco routine was nothing but lifts and what’s with the clogging? The dancers performed best when with the pros. It’s unfair to ask competitors to dance with each other and not to see some nerves, errors, tension in their routines. Those 4 were really stressed. And my lord, what’s with Katie Holmes as a judge? Again, publicity face time, period, in my opinion. Ortega – other story. He has creds and can comment with knowledge. So good to see Joshua back! More please! All the pros were great. I hope Nigel as executive producer, realizes this season’s format was a flop. Last season, having the finalists with the past season “pros” was the best for me. It lent continuity and also improved performance quality. And a consistent panel of knowledgeable judges was comforting last season. Adam, Mia and Nigel are a great team. If Mia and Adam aren’t available due to other commitments (wah!) then at least have dancing pros as the other judges, no more Debbie Reynolds, Katie Holmes types. And no more Mary Murphy! She is so annoying, screechy. Knowledgeable yes, if she weren’t so hyper. This season’s dancers were excellent, all 4 are winners, have tremendous strengths. But please, dump this year’s format and return to last season’s.

    8/11/2011 8:01 AM UTC

  7. Chris - wrote:

    I must admit I thought last nights program was one of the poorest I’ve ever seen. And please, don’t bring Katie back, she was terrible… It’s a good thing the top 4 have had great dances leading up to the finale because on last nights performance, they wouldn’t crack the top 10. Mostly awful choreography. Finally, just to let everyone know that we have renamed the Mute function on our remote, and now call it the “Must Mary Murphy NOW” button. Tone it down love, you’re starting to sound like a broken record!

    8/11/2011 10:39 AM UTC

  8. sharyl Soren-Hodges - wrote:

    1. I am an old broad who used to teach dance (ballet and “modern jazz”.

    2. So You Think You Can Dance is the only TV program I ever watch – I can hardly wait for it to start each year.



    THE CHOREOGRAPHY THIS YEAR HAS BEEN SO DISAPPOINTING OVERALL. (other than Sonja and the fabulous blond female contemporary choreographer – I am having a senior moment and can’t remember her name) IT HAS NOT BEEN FAIR TO THE AUDIENCE AND ESPECIALLY TO THE DANCERS.

    The choreography for last nights finale was really below par (the disco, the cha cha, the hip hop etc was almost not watchable) So unfair to the contestants.

    Please bring back Mia and Adam (along with Debbie Allen etc) as judges – professionals only.

    8/11/2011 11:37 AM UTC

  9. Judith Papas - wrote:

    I love this show, but it would be better if it did not have celebrity judges, who know nothing about dance!! Katie Holmes??? I agree that the final four should be dancing with past performers, much more interesting, and since only one person can win, this way we can see what they can do!

    8/11/2011 4:27 PM UTC

  10. Donna - wrote:

    What wonderful artists. It is great to have a show that promotes the arts. I would like to suggest a guest judge for next season, Mikhail Baryshnikov. I think he could really mentor some of these upcoming talents. Congrats on another fine season.

    8/11/2011 4:48 PM UTC

  11. Sue - wrote:

    Please do not bring Judges who can not think and do not have any opinion. When Judge can not say anything more than I loved it. That is not a judgment is non judgmental adjective.

    With Respect

    8/11/2011 6:57 PM UTC

  12. Camille n Haley - wrote:

    my sister loves cailtlynn and cat deeley. We all love Melanie!

    8/11/2011 7:43 PM UTC

  13. Jennifer - wrote:

    I had no problem with Katie Holmes as a guest judge. She has respect and major love for dance. She has a performance background and has a previous link to the show. Mia has serious cred but if I hear her say how organic something is again I think I’ll end it! Lady GaGa of course made it all about her with her constant performance and the “I’m a star” comment. whatever at least Katie was all about the dancers. I like the judges and don’t mind mixing it up a bit. I just want the show to be about the dancers that are working their butts off!!

    8/11/2011 7:58 PM UTC

  14. Kim - wrote:

    Most of your judges were pretty cool, some I would not care to see again. But also miss Mia Michaels, Dan Karaty, and Shane Sparks. Super choreographers, but haven’t seen them in a while. Hope they are back for next season.

    8/12/2011 12:43 AM UTC

  15. ruth - wrote:

    Sonja, not only are you amazing but your necklace, earrings, and ring are amazing !!!!!!!!!!! Meow!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8/12/2011 4:53 AM UTC

  16. Tracy - wrote:

    I miss Wade Robson as a choreographer. Where has he been??

    8/12/2011 9:29 AM UTC

  17. suz - wrote:

    what were you thinking when you picked katie holmes-she was pathetic!!!!!

    8/12/2011 6:55 PM UTC

  18. Krista - wrote:

    Where was Mia Michaels this season?????? and Adam???? I LOVE Mia’s choreography and i miss seeing it every year that she isn’t on the show…

    8/16/2011 8:31 PM UTC

  19. Lola - wrote:

    I LOVE So you think you can dance!
    1) I adored that the judges acknowledged ALL the final four for their skills and performance. Also love acknowledments of each contestant who must leave. It is time we quit making people feel they are less because they were eliminated-there were millions of us watching at home who wouldn’t be able to make it to Vegas.
    2) Thank you for running a review of both final 2, Sacha and Melanie, before winner was announced. Last year #2 got kind of shuffled aside.
    3) Thank you, Nigel, for apologizing to the 2 final boys for saying it wouldn’t be a boy getting first place. (Even if you were right, it was insensitive.)
    4) Don’t think I get a lot of Sonia’s choreography, but then she does a piece that leaves me crying.
    5) Thank you for having the pros dancing with contestants. It allows us to see our favorites again, and gives the contestants an edge.
    6) This show continues to improve year after year. It is without a doubt my favorite show on TV.
    7- Thank you, Nigel for starting Dance Day.
    8- Thank you Cat for truly loving each contestant and being such a super host. You WILL win the emmy!

    8/19/2011 2:33 PM UTC

  20. Mary - wrote:

    Please no more celebrity judges unless they have actual dance experience. Christina Applegate or Neil Patrick Harris were perfect, they should be the standard for celebrity judges. The rest of the lot really brought the show down. They had nothing helpful to say and felt really out of place. If celebs want in on the action give them front row seats and let them backstage to meet the dancers when the show finishes. Please don’t have us endure their comments it really is boring.

    8/22/2011 2:41 PM UTC

  21. noel - wrote:

    hi i love Melanie mooore!

    8/30/2011 6:58 PM UTC

  22. Becky - wrote:

    I agree 100% with the negative comments about Katie Holmes as guest judge!! For goodness sakes, it was finale performance night and the ladies were so glam . . . that is except for Katie Holmes!! WTF? Who is her stylist? She looked like she just came off the tennis court or popped in after lunch at the McDonald’s playland with the kids . . . stringy hair, t-shirt/polo, chin in her hands like she was bored to tears!! And her remarks . . . ugh! Insulting!! “Um, I liked that jump you did.” “Your outfit is gorgeous!” What kind of help is all that? She was useless and oh so hard to listen to let alone look at. PLEASE don’t have her on the show again!! I LOVED Neal Patrick Harris and Lady Gaga who actually knew what they were talking about and had personality!! Yes, the dancers were phenomenal, yes, Kat was sensational and yes, the choreographers were spectacular! Nigel & Mary were awesome, as usual. PLEASE consider guest judges for what they can offer,not for what movie or album they’re trying to promote!!

    9/1/2011 5:48 AM UTC

  23. Michael - wrote:

    My wife and I have really enjoy watching So You Think You Can Dance-until this year. I hope that you will consider going back to the people who make a living dancing and not the ones who are trying to get noticed for whatever reason, It was so much more fun to watch it in years before this one. If I were a contestant I would resent having someone who saw someone dance once trying to tell me I did something wrong. In reading the posts on here it seems as if many more people feel the same as I. Hopefully next season you’ll go back to the way that it was.

    9/1/2011 1:37 PM UTC

  24. Gabriela - wrote:

    Hello there,
    i just found this space to comment about the show. I’m from Brazil, i’m not actually updated with the program but, i’m watching the fifth season and i got so desappointed cause you guys are so amazing offering the dancers new kinds of styles and when comes the samba, omg, that’s not samba. Please you value so much the other cultures contracting real teacher who knows exactly what tey are doing, like the indian dance, there is an indian teacher right? The russian dance.. and so many others. Come on contract a real samba teacher, i mean a brazilian one. THAT’S NOT SAMBA AT ALL! I’m talking about the dance of Randy and Evan, choreographed by Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis. I’m so sorry, they can be good choreographer but again that’s not samba. Next time ask somebody that knows what it means, where it come from, the roots of it PLEASE.

    11/17/2011 7:10 AM UTC

  25. Gabriela - wrote:

    Hey guys, you just are out of your minds thinking that those performances that i saw in youtube are samba. You show samba as a wild dance but i’m so sorry desappoint you it’s not. First of all samba danced by 2 people it’s totally classy, the way you dress the dancers omg i just can’t understand. Please, i’m begging you search what samba is. look at youtube and put: carlinhos de jesus samba de gafieira. That’s real samba . What saw in the videos are a mix of a lot of styles but not samba. Samba is not just sake your behind part. I’m about to have a heart attack.

    11/17/2011 10:07 AM UTC

  26. Gabriela - wrote:

    Ok. Know i saw a performance of the season 4, and i saw some movements of samba, but continuing being not samba cause it wasn’t a song of samba it was anything else, but not samba. It’s beautiful, great but not samba.
    So you think you can dance samba? I don’t think so.
    I’m not a dancer but i’m brazilian, i love samba, i dance samba, i grow up with samba, samba is in my life. and definitely it’s not samba. Shame on you guys, a show like this, so good, so well structured doing this. Too sad, you can’t even imagine that.

    11/17/2011 10:23 AM UTC

  27. Lyndon Whyte - wrote:

    Please Bring Back Mia Or Adam 4 Next Season Of So U Think U Can Dance

    12/4/2011 11:10 AM UTC

  28. Henry W. Vinson - wrote:

    Wonderful show. Such beautiful and talented dances by such talented people. This show is great.

    1/7/2012 6:15 PM UTC

  29. Bryan - wrote:

    Please bring back Wade Robson. He’s one of the few choreographers I looked forward to watching. I believe the show is about the dancers as well as good choreography too. This year was a big let down. I hope Season 9 will pick up the slack. I also agree with the above comments about guest judges. Don’t need them, don’t want them.

    1/11/2012 3:43 AM UTC

  30. Spark - wrote:

    p.s.s.s. After viniweg Josh’s photos in your forums, I think a smart adjoining career move would be to become a fitness model and add it to your CV!!!

    2/9/2012 1:42 PM UTC

  31. Amber R - wrote:

    Your show really needs the following in Season 9:
    Mr. Wade Robson
    At least ONE Mia Michaels routine.
    More choreography by Tyce!!! Hes fantastic.
    More technically superior dancers-TAKE A look at SYTYCD Canada. They could dance circles around the USA.
    Better hip-hop routines. Less cutesy. Less soft. More daring. Maybe…NappyTabs can take a break. What about Luther Brown? I think he may be available now.
    yeah…no guest judges. Although Jesse was a HOOT. Ill admit. And Gaga. Well, shes always great. But the judges should never take away more attention than the dancers, remember?
    And last, but certainly not least. I hate to compare, but SYTYCD Canada’s choreography was STELLAR last season. The bar was set super high and stayed that way. Tell the choreographers to PUSH their dancers hard. That being said, get dancers with superior technical and performance skill. I mean, Stacey Tookey (fabulous comtemporary choreog) worked in both Canada and the USA last year. But her Canada routines were more amazing thrilling, and awe-inspiring than the USA because she was able to DO MORE with the dancers there. America has dancers just like Melissa Mitro and Christian from Canada…so why dont you choose them this time around.
    Thanks for bringing the wonderful art of dance to our television screens!!!

    2/25/2012 2:13 AM UTC

  32. Amber R - wrote:

    Another thing-
    Season 9′s dances need to be less sloppy.
    The dancers looked tired in some of the Season 8 dances. These dancers have to be pushed. Cleaner routines, perfect timing, sky high jumps. I hope you choose dancers with great stamina who can handle everything thrown their way this time.

    2/25/2012 2:17 AM UTC

  33. Stunner - wrote:

    Jennifer Lopez Should Def be a judge some time soon

    2/27/2012 8:32 AM UTC

  34. Jessica - wrote:

    couldn’t find the right place to put a comment. I feel SO detpapoinsid in Nigel and the judges .that they picked Ricky to stay after her dance for your life, which was about worthless, which they admitted. and then to add insult to injury the boy they picked was because he really put it all out there in dance for your life. You’d better watch what you say or some viewers might think you’re playing some sort of sexual/age favoritism. I mean your words totally proved your inconsistency in judging criteria. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

    3/12/2012 6:13 PM UTC

  35. Hassan - wrote:

    I was thinking that Nigel was taking side with his favorites. I would love to see someone on Nigel’s seat and bring more innovative choreographer to the team.And please use a different show to uplift former SYTYCD not this.

    3/14/2012 1:37 AM UTC

  36. Veve - wrote:

    First of all I LOVE “So you think you can dance” and I cannot wait summer just to see more!!! Certainly you know they are doing the French version “you can dance” and frankly I’m really disappointed especially because two of the judges are “bordelique” (as French would say) and it doesn’t seem they are taking serious their jobs… what a shame….. so, I have to wait ‘till summer yet for the real and only so you think you can dance….

    3/15/2012 1:18 PM UTC

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