Adam Shankman Adam Shankman

Look out, Ellen DeGeneres: Adam Shankman is stealing your thunder.

"We're going to have a third resident judge now. Adam Shankman is going to come and join us," So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe told

Shankman, a director (Hairspray, A Walk to Remember), producer (17 Again, Bedtime Stories) and choreographer, has been guest-judging on So You Think You Can Dance since season 3. Back in June, Shankman kicked off a Twitter campaign asking fans for support to secure him a permanent spot at the judges' table.

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What does this mean for Paula Abdul's chances of coming on the show? "We'll have an empty chair and that empty chair can be filled, I hope one day, by Paula Abdul and by lots of other people," added Lythgoe, who also said she wouldn't be a permanent fixture. "The trouble is, the minute you pull four judges like American Idol, you're just opening up the program and not dealing with what you should be dealing with, which is the talent."

One person who won't be filling the fourth empty chair, of course, is past guest judge DeGeneres. "I guess she was using us to audition for American Idol," joked Lythgoe. "They stole her."

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At 44, Shankman will have no trouble fitting in with the other permanent judges, Lythgoe, 60, and Mary Murphy. Said Lythgoe, "He compliments Mary and I. We're all old. I don't mind the judges being older because I think we're the judiciary, and if you ever go in front of a judge, you don't want to see this young kid telling you what to do. You want to see somebody with some sort of background that knows what they're talking about."