A month after Deadline broke the story that Mary Murphy would be departing Fox’s veteran reality competition series So You Think You Can Dance, the network has made it official. Former American Idol and The X Factor judge Paula Abdul had been in talks to replace her on SYTYCD‘s upcoming 12th season.
“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,” Fox and show producers dick clark productions and 19 Entertainment said in a a joint statement. “She will always be part of our Dance family, and we wish her continued success.”
Murphy has been a staple on the show from the very beginning. Next to SYTYCD co-creator/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, choreographer and former ballroom dance champion Murphy has been the longest-serving and most popular SYTYCD judge. She started as a guest judge in the first two seasons in 2005-06 before being named a permanent judge alongside Lythgoe at the beginning of Season 3. Other than a break she took in Season 7, she has been a regular on the judging table ever since.
Dancer-turned-choreographer Abdul has SYTYCD experience — she was a guest judge during the 2013 season on Fox and a judge on this year’s cycle of SYTYCD Australia.