So You Think You Can Dance is losing its most enthusiastic judge, and the Hot Tamale Train will never be the same.
After finally learning that So You Think You Can Dance will be coming back for season 12, fans have now been hit with some bad news: Fan-favorite judge Mary Murphy will not be joining the rest of the gang for the upcoming season.
“I’m saddened of course to be released from my contract,” Murphy said in a statement, “I’m very grateful and proud to have been part of such an extraordinary television show, So You Think You Can Dance, for 11 seasons. I’m sure there wasn’t a person watching that didn’t know I loved what I did!!”
She goes on to thank all the dancers, choreographers, crew, and fans, and closes her statement with, “The Conductor of the Hot Tamale Train, Mary Murphy.” Never have those words brought such sadness.
Fox issued a statement regarding Murphy’s departure, which read: “Mary has been a huge part of So You Think You Can Dance, from mentoring the dancers as a choreographer to inspiring fans as a judge. She will always be part of our ‘Dance’ family and we wish her continued success.”
Perhaps it was Fox’s attempt to cut costs on the struggling show, but it is a terrible blow to the show and its fans. Mary Murphy, along with fellow judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, and host Cat Deeley, are part of the magic of So You Think You Can Dance. They’re the Dream Team. Losing a piece of the puzzle will change the whole feel of the show.
So You Think You Can Go On Without Mary Murphy?
There is certainly no doubting that Mary Murphy loved being a part of SYTYCD, and there’s no doubting fans of the show loved her right back. It’s just not going to be the same tuning in each week without our girl Mary. She’s brought so many wonderful things to So You Think You Can Dance, and these are just a few reasons we’re going to miss her.
1) Ballroom diva
There is a lot of beautiful dancing on SYTYCD, what with the combination of some incredibly talented contestants, and some amazing choreographers. However, audiences tend to connect with certain styles more than others. Lyrical hip-hop and contemporary routines always get the most attention, because they seem more accessible. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some absolutely incredible ballroom routines as well.
But we needed Mary Murphy to remind us of that. We needed her to explain to us why what we had just seen was so incredible, and how the dancers made the difficult technical aspects look completely flawless. Her passion for dance was evident every week, and she taught us how to love it even more.
2) Voice heard round the world
Admit it: when you first tuned in to the show, and beheld your first enthusiastic Mary Murphy review, you may have found her a bit…shrill. But oh how quickly you came to look forward to her shrieks of excitement, because aren’t we shrieking just as loudly, at home on the couch? Whenever Mary brought her reaction to a whole new octave, you knew you had just seen something big, and the contestants knew they had nailed it.
3) Emotional honesty
One of the most brilliant things about So You Think You Can Dance is the fact that it showcases the way dance can tell a story. And not all of those stories are happy. There have been routines about cancer, death, abuse, addiction, and much more. Over and over again we have been reminded that dance is an art form, and is capable of moving us just as easily as any song, or story, or painting.
No one made the emotional roller coaster more clear than Mary Murphy. Whether it was an unknown dancer’s moving audition, or a perfectly-performed partner routine that hit too close to home, Mary held nothing back. Wiping tears from her eyes many times over, she told the dancers and the choreographers how much their work meant to her, and to viewers across the country.
4) Chemistry lessons with Nigel
Nigel and Mary have one of the most fun love-hate relationships on TV. They tease each other mercilessly, they argue, and they’re not afraid to call each other on their crap, live on national television. They often had opposing viewpoints, and very different opinions, and their passionate debates helped us to see what was both good and bad about a routine. And as they defended their case to each other, they got to defend it to us, as well. With Mary gone, who’s going to keep Nigel in check? And who will be his next target?
5) All Aboard the Hot Tamale Train
There is no sillier and more wonderful honor for any So You Think You Can Dance contestant than the first time they receive a ticket aboard the Hot Tamale Train. Since first bestowing the honor on Anya and Danny in season 3, a metaphorical ticket aboard the metaphorical Hot Tamale Train was traditionally rewarded for an especially sexy routine. But over time, anything good enough to make Mary shriek could earn you a ticket to ride.
What will season 12 be without the Hot Tamale Train? What’s the point of a sexy samba if not to earn a seat aboard the HTT? Will it never be heard from again, or will some other judge offer tickets aboard The Mary Murphy Memorial Hot Tamale Train? WILL THERE BE NO MORE WOO-HOOS?!
Thanks for everything, Mary. We’ll miss you!
There’s no news yet as to who will replace Mary Murphy at the judges table for season 12. Will it be a regular judge, or will they continue the trend of rotating guest judges? Here’s hoping there’s a lot more Adam Shankman in our lives real soon.