Reality Judge Dances into Bigger Role
So You Think You Can Dancer Mary Murphy has cha-cha'd her way into a promotion. When the Fox dance competition returns for its third season on May 24, the former Austrian National Ballroom champ, who previously served as a part-time judge and choreographer, will be the full-time Paula Abdul of the adjudicating set that includes Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe. "I got a bump-up. Woo-hoo!" says Murphy. "So I'll be on every show and I won't rotate off to choreograph numbers." As she's done in the past, Murphy will also lead the ballroom section of the semifinals in Vegas, only this time assisting her will be her new ballroom-dancing "Boy Friday," Season 2 finalist Dmitry Chaplin. "Can't wait for that!" she cheers. What else is new this season? "My suits," jokes Lythgoe. Popular choreographers/judges Mia Michaels and Dan Karaty will be back, possibly joined by Stomp the Yard choreographers Dave Scott and Jesus Maldonado. "But the show is not about the choreographers," Lythgoe says. "It's about the dancers!" - Reporting by Rochell D. Thomas For more on SYTYCD and Mary Murphy, see Interviews & Features.