SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE GUEST JUDGES, RANKED FROM WORST TO BEST.
A consummate guide in time for this season. Choreographers filling in as guest judges are not included in this list, except where noted.
- •Jesse Tyler FergusonThe best SYTYCD judges are obscure actors with dance backgrounds, who have beating dancers' hearts (see: The Jenna Elfman Phenomenon.) The worst judges are very recognizable public figures who are "huge fans of this show." Mr. Ferguson falls into the latter category, and no one appreciates his uncomfortable cool-kids-table rapport with Cat Deeley. Anyone who regularly observes Opposite Day deserves to anchor this list.
- •Tara LipinskiSkating =/= dance experience. Overly harsh for a guest, and repeatedly commits the mortal sin of being Tara Lipinski.
- •Mandy MoorePopstardom =/= dance experience. Points for anime eyes and general encouragement of fragile dancers.
- •Ellen DeGeneresSee: Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Points, however, for dancing with Twitch on the SYTYCD stage.
- •Carmen ElectraSure.
- •Tyce DiorioWhile a choreographer, the Brooklyn Banshee deserves to be mentioned here, because he once farted audibly while high-kicking behind the judges' table, acknowledged it, and laughed through the moment.
- •Katie HolmesProfessional Dance Experience, and a fun mystery for the audience to solve: whose idea was it to call Katie Holmes? See: Jenna Elfman.
- •Lady GagaStar power and dance experience, and a warm, older-sisterly presence for dancers who are particularly vulnerable, such as post-Quickstep.
- •Kristin ChenowethProfessional dance experience, good humor, and a weird dose of impish southern folksiness that jibes well with Mary's bleating southern brashness.
- •Christina ApplegateAnyone with actual dance experience gets an automatic bump. A kind and thoughtful presence who wears her heart on her sleeve with the dancers.
- •Jenna ElfmanSee: Christina Applegate. Namesake of The Jenna Elfman Phenomenon.
- •Debbie AllenWhen you die, and cry out to the Heaven you forsaked long ago, Debbie Allen calls back to you.
- •Neil Patrick HarrisProfessional dance experience and a refreshing earnestness that suggests he received some news this morning that reminded him what is REALLY important in life.
- •Adam ShankmanAdam Fucking Shankman.
- •Megan MullalyCorrect.
- •Kenny OrtegaAmerica's Director. The perfect person to rally a young dancer trying to get it up for some Stacy Tookey contemporary after bombing a Viennese Waltz. We all know how he dealt with MJ during THIS IS IT, the man can handle anything. "Go backstage, shake it off, come back and blow us away." Plus, he directed Hocus Pocus.
- •Misty CopelandShe's got technique down and she's got a really pretty smile. Much prettier than T Lipinski.Suggested by @bananascalamari