'So You Think You Can Dance': Mia Michaels will be a 'resident judge.' Does this mean no more Mary?!

As you know, in judgin’, one day you’re in…and the next day, you’re relegated to “just a choreographer.” Fox announced today that Mia Michaels will join Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman as resident judges on season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance. This means no more Maaaaaaaaary Murphy in the middle, a sight and especially sound to which we’ve grown accustomed for years and years. Feels like eons, really. Mia better step it up and invent new and better reasons to cry after every dance; otherwise; SYTYCD‘s chances of being featured on The Soup every week just went way down. (Yeah, right. Mia is nuts!) Mary’s not gone for good — a Fox spokesperson confirmed to EW that she was a guest judge during auditions and will choreograph for season 7.

I’m disappointed that Mia won’t be choreographing for the week-to-week performances (hopefully she’ll do a group number here or there), but I’m thrilled to see her replace Mary. I love Mia — she has no shame and just gets so unapologetically into it all the time. You know how she’s always going on and on about how that dance made her FEEL something or that a contestant’s lines were so beautiful she just wanted to CUT her? I love that. One of my ultimate fantasies is to perform a dance that would make Mia Michaels cry or kill me.

How do you feel about the judging shakeup? Do you find Mia’s emotional spasms intriguing or tiresome? And will you miss Mary’s screams?

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

Image credit: Kelsey McNeal/Fox

Comments (161 total) Add your comment
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  • t.t

    WTH if you’re removing a judge take shankman off no one cares and if you’re adding a judge add debbie allen
    mia is a choreographer (shes GREAT) but as a judge shes very akward and tries too hard
    mary was GREAT my favorite judge THIS SUCKS!
    i kno that the reason mary was taken off instead of shankman is that they want 2 guys 1 girl but why?!?! thats so stuipid nigel, and mary had such great chemistry and made judging fun
    this suckss sucks sucks

    • Reena

      I was just thinking the same why Mia and not Debbie?

    • Lacy

      I’m glad to have Mia back, but I wish she were a choreographer again, not judge. I will miss Mary. She is/was the only fun judge. I wish they had booted Adam instead of Mary.

    • Veda

      Maybe Debbie Allen couldn’t work a full season on the panel into her schedule. You people forget that all of these judges and choreographers have lives outside of the show and it’s a HUGE time suck. Oh, and seriously – you people want Lil C back??? SERIOUSLY??? Sorry, but I’d rather not spend an hour listening to him create words and then try to make himself sound smart. If I wanted that I’d watch Fox News.

      • Elizabeth

        I believe Debbie Allen has a new show of her own coming out this year. So, she couldn’t do competing shows, I bet. Would rather have her as a judge than Mia.

      • Greg

        I HATE listening to Debbie Allen!

      • Vicki

        Am I the only one who loves Lil C’s verbose critiques? I find them seriously ridiculous, yet entertaining. And somehow I usually “get” what he means.

        I’m ambiguous about Mia being a full time judge, but I won’t miss Mary’s screams (although I don’t dislike her, I am always diving for the mute button when her turn to speak comes around)

      • Vicki

        Durrr. I meant ambivalent not ambiguous. heh.

    • Shel;

      Love Mary … she creates so much energy once you get past the HIGH notes. Love, love, love Mia as a choreographer …. she’s brilliant and my absolute favorite choreographer on the show. I missed it when she wasn’t available to do any group or double dances. As a judge – she’s okay as well because she so clearly loves dance, loves what she does, is comfortable in her own skin and is un-apologetic about anything that she says .. but to place her as a judge and once again have her unavailable as a choreographer??? That hurts ………

    • SuperDan

      I have to admit, I hated Mary at first — the scream, the hot tamale train — but she really grew on me. She’s the most *human* of the judges, and I think the panel will miss that. Nigel too often defaults to the patronizing daddy/exec producer, and in any case is always creepy. Shankman tends towards too-nice cheerleader. Mia can be an exciting choreographer, but as a judge she’s too much in her own little world and can be downright vicious. Mary brought a nice mix of humor, insight, and truth-telling leavened with compassion. I hate to see them mess with the panel this early into the show’s run. Can’t wait to see Cat again, though — yum!

  • rachel

    I’m actually glad to see Mia replace Mary, who i can’t stand. But i’m disappointed that she won’t be choreographing, just judging.

    • 6nnnnnns

      I don’t think Mia actually choreographed anything last season (except during auditions)…so at least you’re going to get a little of her, rather than none at all!

      • Alan of Montreal

        She choreographed some stuff on the Canadian version

    • Lovin Ramona

      I agree, thank GOD!! Mary was so grating; I stopped watching last season because of 1) her, 2) less interest in the contestants, and 3) boring choreography.

      • Daisy Steiner

        I would mute Mary when she opened her mouth to speak, and the un-mute it once she and Nigel were finished talking. I’m glad to see her go.

    • mamarose

      I agree – I used to find Mary amusing, but now she’s just annoying. SO annoying. Glad to see her go, but wish Mia was back to choreographing.

    • llevinso

      Mary annoyed the crap out of me judging-wise, so I have no problem with her being gone, but I’d prefer Mia coming back to choreograph as well, not just judge.

    • Sol

      I can never watch Mia when she’s on — she’s so ychh.

    • fojoy

      I agree – Mary was REALLY getting on my nerves with all the screaming and the affectations. She was becoming a cartoon character. Mia is awesome – sad she won’t be choreographing, but hopefully they give contemporary routines to Stacey Tookie. She trained with Mia and choreographed alot on the Canadian show. She will help fill the void.

  • Brian

    I have mixed feelings. Sure, Mary is shrill and hard to listen to sometimes and generally always agrees with Nigel. But she always gives good critiques and is generally positive to the dancers. Mia can be real b*tch on the panel and just be outright uncalled for mean to the dancers, particularly female ones, but we’re not talking entertaining-mean like Simon in AI.

    time will tell on this move

    • Holly

      Completely agree with everything that you said. She was especially mean to Brandon last summer, for no reason.

    • Allison

      Totally agree! She was horrible to Brandon, just decided she didn’t like him.

    • MarySueBob

      Well Holly & Allison, I am glad that someone from the production team of SYTYCD is finally posting on these boards. I mean really, how else would we know EXACTLY what went down between Mia & Brandon. Despite the rumblings that Brandon was super dooper arrogant during the audition process over the years and that was why Mia wasn’t so into him I am glad you two finally cleared it all up.

    • Musiqlover

      I have seen every SYTYCD episode since Season 1 Episode 1 and I must admit I have slight mix feelings as well. First, the return of Mia – I would have much preferred to have her as choreographer than a judge but her passion for dance and stance in the industry makes her a welcome addition to the show, in any capacity. The departure of Mary is what really has me in binds…I don’t mind her screeching but she really is a annoying to a lot of new watchers that I have introduced to the show. Regardless, Mary’s insightful comments, ballroom expertise, passion for dance and care for the contestants will be sorely missed. But from the producers perspective if they want to have ratings closer to DWTS (as they deserve) they may need to get rid of the old blood and bring in less controversial judges. Adam sometimes gives insightful comments but he is my least favorite judge because he talks too much, would have preferred he go instead of Mary.

  • Kalie

    I have mixed feelings about this. Mia wasn’t even a part of the show last season and now she’s taking over for Mary? Mary could be irritating, but at least she was full of enthusiasm. Mia will not be as nice to the dancers as Mary was.

  • wendy

    i’ll reserve judgement till i’ve seen a few episodes…

    • ger

      Hey, no rational thinking allowed here.

      • djm

        No doubt ger – the only thing allowed on these boards is emotional reactions and judgement.

  • Alison

    As annoying as she is, it’s kind of disappointing because she offered great ballroom critique, something that none of the remaining judges (or Mia) have. It shames me to say this, but I think I’m going to miss the Hot Tamale Train ; )

    • J

      I completely agree.

      As annoying as Mary could be, she always offered her own brand of entertainment and encouragement.

      • jezoebel

        Mia was barely on last season, now she hijacking th eHot Tamale Train? Noooooooooooo!!! Mary can be a little much with her WooHoos, but she has personality and knows what she’s talking about. I’ll miss Mary. :(

      • Bubba

        I was really confused, and this answered all my qesutions.

  • Anna

    No hot tamale train!?! I’m sad.

  • aurora

    I’m sure we’ll still be hearing Mary Murphy’s scream. Possibly from the wings of the stage.

  • Chris

    I’m not too happy about this news. I’m going to miss Mary as a judge (but I’m looking forward to seeing her choreography). And I’d rather see Mia choreograph than judge (though I do like her as a judge also). Actually, what I wish would happen would be for the show to return to the format of having only Nigel and Mary as permanent judges, then have rotating guest judges. I used to love Adam as a guest judge, but I don’t need to see him every week. I’d rather have the choreographers rotate as guest judges like they used to (along with Debbie Allen, one of my favorite guest judges!).

    • Alan of Montreal

      Yes, I don’t understand why they got rid of the rotating judges–it’s the only way we can get different kinds of expertise rather than just rely on judges with knowledge in one or two areas to give critiques week by week.

  • Allan

    The only judge I actually can’t stand is Nigel, but I guess there was zero chance he’d be eliminated.

    • Alan of Montreal

      From one Alan to another, I whole-heartedly agree

    • Vicki

      Dude. Nigel is super lecherous. I totally agree. The guy gives me the creeps the way he leers at the women. I wish he could be replaced.

      • Stef

        Yea, I know right? He’s always just saying weird stuff that probably grosses the girls out rather than make them feel flattered. Well, who WOULD be flattered by him anyway? Grrr… Don’t want mary to go!!! This sucks!!!

  • mscisluv

    This season of SYTYCD is just getting weirder and weirder. I did not like last season (the fall just didn’t work for it), so I’m definitely worried.

  • Anonymous

    1. Get rid of Adam!
    2. Get rid of Mary! — Check
    3. Get rid of Mia!
    4. Bring back Guest Judges!

    Mia is just mean, I still haven’t forgiven her for her reaction to Brandon! Adam Shankman is only good as a guest judge! Mary is annoying, but at least she is better than Mia!

    • djm

      So you haven’t “forgiven” a professional choreographer for being hard on an egotistical amatuer dancer? Sorry, but I applaud Mia for telling it like it is and calling it as she saw it. And, IIRC at the end of the season she did apologize to Brandon and congratulated him on his progress as a dancer. You keep holding onto that anger “anonymous” – I hope it serves you well.

      • Catherine

        I don’t know where people are getting that Brandon was arrogant (other than out of Mia’s mouth). Michaels gave her rendition of an apology (I-treated-you-like-crap-for your-own-good flavor). Adam Shankman had something to say about all of it. He tweeted, ” “the so-called attitude that young man supposedly had per Mia,” Adam said: “I yelled at her which they didn’t show. He was nervous and kept smiling and laughing as she was ripping him a part and it pissed her off, but I could see it was nerves.”

        So much for arrogance.

      • caryn

        Being hard on a dancer and being mean and rude are certainly two different things. Mia is just rude and mean and it hasn’t been just Brandon. She is quite arrogant herself and when she doesn’t like something/someone she thinks it’s her right to voice it, even if it hurts someone’s feelings on national TV.

      • Lyndon Whyte

        You guys leave Mia alone she did appoligise to hm so why you treaten her like crap Mia please com back

    • llevinso

      I agree about Adam only being good as a guest judge. I used to love him but last season he annoyed the crap out of me. And I miss the rotating guest judges.

    • Rayonna

      Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my qsuetions are answered!

  • naynay

    I am so glad Mia is coming back, but I wish it was to guest judge and choreograph all the time. Her dances are always good. If they were going to get rid of a judge, get rid of Shankman, love him, but he talks way too much, kinda reminds me of kara on AI.

    • Travis

      Don’t you be dissin’ on Kara.

      • naynay

        Sorry, but I don’t like her at all.

  • DW

    I love Mary, so I’m not pleased at all about this.

    • kaf

      I will miss Mary :(

  • Sam

    Am I the only one who loved Mary? I thought she was the most logical one on the panel. Nigel’s jokes are so lame, and Adam has this fake enthusiasm thing I can’t stand. If it was just Mary and Mia, THAT would make me happy.

    • madeleine

      You are absolutely not the only one who loved Mary. She is an expert in her field, she took her responsibilities seriously, and she was so enthusiastic. I don’t understand why this happened. I like Mia very much, but I just don’t get why it has to be one or the other.

    • Musiqlover

      I’m with you both, I would love a Nigel, Mia, Mary panel with a fourth rotating judge (Debbie Allen, Shankman, but please no Lil C)

      However, I think its great what SYTYCD is doing for dance and I want the show to outlast Idol, DWTS and every other show of its kind so they need to keep the show interesting and improve on last falls ratings performance and if that means some of the faithful are a little let down in favor of taking on new viewers they have to make the right business decision. I figure you’ve been watching the show for a few seasons cause its hard for me to see the show being the same without Mary but u must admit from an objective perspective her voice was very grating to people especially heterosexual men who I’m sure aren’t a large part of their audience to begin with.

    • Daisy Steiner

      If her insane shrieks and ramblings were considered ‘logical’, I must be living in a crazy world.

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