UPDATE: Mary Murphy, star of “So You Think You Can Dance,” reveals she has beaten thyroid cancer and is now cancer-free.
Murphy, 52, learned the good news on Feb. 17. She had surgery to remove a tumor on her thyroid Dec. 15.
“I just wanted to kiss my doctor!” Murphy tells Life & Style magazine. “I definitely feel like there’s an angel on my shoulder. I feel like somebody’s looking out for me.”
As announced in January, Murphy, the reality TV judge known for her trademark laugh and excitable shrieking, is thrilled to be back on “SYTYCD” after taking some time off for her cancer battle. The hit dance show returns this summer on Fox.
MARY MURPHY RETURNS TO “SYTYCD” AS A JUDGE
Choreographer Mary Murphy is returning to Fox’s hit dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance,” the network announced Tuesday.
After dealing with health issues, the hyper-zany Murphy will be back next season to critique the dancers along with head judge Nigel Lythgoe. Murphy, 52, had been a full-time judge from 2007-2009, but stepped away from the judges’ table last season. She made an appearance in the Season 7 finale after an eight-month absence.
“I am delighted to have Mary back on the show. Her expertise in dance, coupled with her warmth, compassion and humor, make her an excellent judge and fun to work with,” said Lythgoe in a statement.
Murphy, for her part, squeals, “I am thrilled and already dancing in my seat to be back as a permanent judge this season, which I’m sure will be the best ever.”
Even though Murphy has been upgraded back to resident judge, Lythgoe still hopes choreographer Mia Michaels will be back on the show.
“My idea all the way through was that they split the chair so that I don’t lose either of them choreographing. I love them as judges, and as choreographers,” executive producer Lythgoe told reporters Tuesday in Pasadena. He also added that having Michaels as a judge detracted from her presence as a choreographer last season.
“I think Mia last year for me was sadly lacking as a choreographer in the competition,” Lythgoe admitted.
Lythgoe also revealed that Murphy’s health seems to be back on track: “I believe so. We’re excited to have her back.”
Producers are currently preparing for the new season, traveling across the country in search of contestants, with auditions in the following cities Salt Lake City (Feb. 2), Los Angeles (Feb. 25) and Charlotte, N.C. (March 1).
Season 8 of “SYTYCD” is slated to air in summer 2011.
Are you glad or groaning over the news that Mary Murphy is back to “Dance”?
–Additional reporting by Carrie Borzillo