Former Aladdin lead performer Joshua Dela Cruz is debuting on television as the new host of Blue’s Clues & You, the popular Nickelodeon animated series for preschoolers starring Steve and a blue girl puppy on a puzzle adventure.

Dela Cruz was handpicked during the auditions by the search committee which included the original Steve of Blue’s Clues which first aired in 1996.

According to a Nickelodeon release, Blue’s Clues host Steve Burns praised Dela Cruz saying, “I had the great honor of being a part of the search for the new host, and I give Josh two thumbs up! He can definitely fill my shoes, and the rugby shirt.”

Dela Cruz will stand in Steve’s shoes in the retitled series, “Blue’s Clues & You” which the actor excitedly hints in a video as featuring new versions of the long-time favorites on the show like the Handy-Dandy Notebook.

The new host of Blue’s Clues admits he was starstruck at meeting Burns during the auditions whom he watched on the show with his sister as they were growing up.

“For me Blue’s Clues was about communicating. It taught me to be curious, and ask questions, and to be silly. The mail time song, kind of, got me singing,” shares Dela Cruz on the video that introduces him as the new host.

“The search for the new host of Blue’s Clues & You was no small task, but we knew as soon as we met Josh that he was the perfect choice,” said Shelly Sumpter Gillyard, Executive Vice President, Talent, Music and Events, Nickelodeon Group. “From his genuineness to his comedic timing and range, there was no doubt that he could carry the show on for the next generation of preschoolers.”

Added Cathy Galeota, Senior Vice President, Preschool Content, Nickelodeon Group: “From the moment we decided to make a new version of the series, we knew that so much of the energy and magic of the show comes from the host’s ability to bring preschoolers into the colorfully animated world of Blue and her friends. Josh’s wonderful theater background and his natural charisma checked all the boxes for us, and of course Steve’s stamp of approval only solidified our decision.”

Dela Cruz is a Filipino-American artist who also debuted on Broadway as Aladdin, the musical that recently Fil-Ams as Princess Jasmine – Arielle Jacobs in the Broadway edition and Lissa deGuzman in the Northern American National Tour.

The Fil-Am artist performed as Aladdin for a limited run in the 2017 Broadway staging of the hit animated movie which starred the singing voice of Filipino Broadway star Lea Salonga.

In the Showbill of Aladdin, Dela Cruz’s bio included a dedication in the Filipino language, “Para sa mga mahal ko sa buhay.”

The theatre performance credits of the Fil-Am with Ilocano and Bicolano bloodlines include being the understudy of the role of Ferdinand Marcos in David Byrne’s Here Lies Love.

In Blue’s Clues & You which will run for 20 episodes, beloved puppy Blue invites viewers to join her and the live action host Josh on a clue-led adventure and solve a daily puzzle. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspires viewers to interact with the action.

Joshua Dela Cruz is scheduled to begin shooting in September for the Blue’s Clues & You production in Toronto.

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