Former "Dance Moms" star Maddie Ziegler has spent little time on FOX's hit reality TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" but she is already a favourite among contestants. The few scenes between Maddie and the young, accomplished dancers capture the admiration, respect and an immense sense of happiness on the contestants' part.
For Maddie, being a judge at young age of 13 is an experience that's new but the star said in a recent interview that she will be kind and not let criticism hamper the dancers' progress.
The dance prodigy, who has appeared on Sia's music videos such as "Chandelier," "Elastic Heart" and more recently, "Cheap Thrills," told My Fox Zone that the contestants can relate to her because of the age difference. "I'm not going to be a mean judge, and I want the kids to be ok with hearing the criticism and I think it will be a real good experience. I definitely want to help them and help them grow throughout the competition," she said.
Maddie will join judges Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe and Jason Derulo in the upcoming instalment, episode 6. But judging contestants is not the only experience "The Book of Henry" star has had so far.
In Maddie's own words, she's been learning a lot from the contestants as well. The dancer, who shot to fame after she appeared as a regular cast member on Lifetime's "Dance Moms," said that she's sometimes jealous of how flexible the dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" are.
"Some of the kids are really, really good, and I'm like, 'Ahhh, I'm jealous! I wish when I was eight, I could do that!" she added.
"So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" Season 13 episode 6 airs at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, July 4, on FOX.