Paula Abdul, So you think you can dance

FOX Broadcasting Co/Adam Rose

She came. She judged. She punched.

Former American Idol judge and iconic choreographer Paula Abdul made her first appearance ever on So You Think You Can Dance on Tuesday night after 10 seasons' worth of wooing from executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe

So what finally changed Abdul's mind? And what was she waiting 12 years to do? E! News caught up with Abdul and Lythgoe backstage after the show to get all the scoop on her buzzed-about guest appearance. Plus, Lythgoe reveals why he changed the Fox reality hit's elimination format...again!

"I don't know why this season we finally talked her into it because we've tried every other season," Lythgoe tells E! News of finally getting Abdul to guest on the reality dance competition. "I guess the amount she hears from fans on Twitter; So You Think You Can Dance fans keep on bombarding her, like, 'Go on So You Think you Can Dance!' So I think they finally moved her."

As for Abdul, she reveals to us she's been waiting even longer than 10 years to do something to Lythgoe. "Like he said, he's been trying for 10 years, and I said, 'Well, for 12 years I've been waiting to punch you in the gut," she jokes, adding, "I've never had the experience of him sitting next to me, but I got used to it very quickly. We had a good time!"

Fans of SYTYCD were happy to see the elimination format change after they expressed their outrage when the eliminated dancers were booted at the beginning of last week's episode, meaning they had to stick around and dance after their dreams had been crushed on live television. Way harsh!

So why'd Nigel end up going back to the old format, even after he defended his decision after last week's show? "Basically because of the abuse I took last week from the fans, and I do believe the fans were right," he explains, adding that he doesn't let the negative feedback get to him. "I'm OK. It was like water off a duck's back sometimes. Everything's subjective…but when you know they're right, you have to do something about it."

To hear more from Abdul and Lythgoe, as well as the two eliminated dancers, watch our interviews with them above!

Tune into E! News tonight at 7 p.m and 11:30 p.m. to see more of our backstage SYTYCD Interviews!

PHOTOS: Ready for the 2013-2014 TV season? Get ready with these photos!

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