August 10th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
It's been quite a return season for judge Mary Murphy on "So You Think You Can Dance." She spoke to reporters before Wednesday night's performance finale, and gave her take on the final four dancers.
About front-runner Melanie, she said, "I adore her. It’s been amazing to watch her. I sit there and - I’ve said it before on air, that some of her numbers, especially the statue - that I felt privileged sitting there. It’s just so great to be able to witness magic when you see it."
Murphy described Sasha as a "fighter."
"She is the underdog in the show," Murphy said. "I can honestly say when we put her into the top 20 through Las Vegas she got our attention. Did we think that she’d possibly go this far? I’m not so sure."
Murphy also praised the dancer's "fearlessness:" "Her technique did improve tremendously and she has memorable pieces. You can’t underestimate her."
As for the two remaining guys in the competition, Murphy said, "There is also something very special about Tadd, and I think Marko and Tadd really seem to possess this. There is this spiritual quality that just kind of radiates from them, this love of dance. I mean you feel it. I think they’re both very genuine and sincere young men and just love so much what they’re doing and love this show."
Melanie and Marko caught Murphy's attention early on in the season with the "statue" routine.
"I think it will go into my top numbers when I reflect back on all the seasons," she said. "I remember that just from the very first 10 seconds when he just picked her up and turned her around, the hair went up on my arms. That doesn’t usually happen when I watch dancing that often. I’ll be honest with you, it usually only happens with singers and someone like Barbra Streisand or Celine Dion, Pavarotti, Pacelli. It happens with people like that, so I knew something magical was happening from the first 10 seconds of that piece."
This has been the season of celebrity guest judges, and Murphy had to pinch herself sitting on the panel with people she admired, like Debbie Reynolds.
"People like Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] and Kristin Chenoweth who are just so genuinely funny, it just kind of lifts the spirits," she said. "It’s great, too, that I felt that all the guests this [season] were such huge fans of the show, and [they] would sit in between the commercial breaks and chat with me about their favorites. You know, it’s so endearing to me. I loved it and I hope we keep that up, and I think the kids really loved it too."
About the judging itself, Murphy found it difficult to send anyone home this time around.
"I can honestly say in past seasons that there have been judges fighting behind the scenes and stuff, arguing. We’d have more heated arguments behind that when we’d walk away to discuss who’s going home; heated arguments about somebody needing to go off the show," she said. "I think this year we found it hard to want to send anybody home, and we realized we didn’t want to."
The final two episodes of this season of "So You Think You Can Dance" air Wednesday and Thursday night at 8 ET/PT on Fox.
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