SYTYCD's Exiting Mary Murphy Says Her 'Option Was Not Renewed'

Do not adjust the volume on your TV set: So You Think You Can Dance will contain far fewer shrieks of excitement in Season 12 now that judge Mary Murphy has confirmed her exit from the show.

Murphy, a ballroom expert best known for declaring the show’s standout performers were boarding the “hot tamale train,” said via her spokesperson that her “option was not renewed” and that she’s “saddened, of course, to be released from my contract.”

“I’m very grateful and proud to have been part of such an extraordinary television show,” she added. “I’m sure there wasn’t a person watching that didn’t know I loved what I did.”

In a joint statement, Fox, Dick Clark Productions and 19 Entertainment noted that “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. She will always be part of our Dance family and we wish her continued success.”

Rumors of Murphy’s exit began to circulate last month after reports surfaced that the show’s producers were eyeing erstwhile American Idol staple Paula Abdul for a seat on the Season 12 panel.

In November, Fox renewed the Emmy-nominated reality series for a summer 2015 installment — with a “stage dancers vs. street dancers” twist.

Here’s how producers are describing the new format: “Throughout the auditions, the dancers who advance will be placed into two teams – the stage dancers, featuring those trained in styles such as contemporary, ballet, jazz or tap; and the street dancers, hopefuls skilled in hip-hop, animation or breaking. As the auditions continue, the judges, along with each team’s All-Star Mentor, will eliminate dancers until only the Top 20 – 10 Street Dancers and 10 Stage Dancers – remain. When the competition goes ‘live,’ the Top 20 will be challenged weekly to perform a variety of styles, working with world-renowned choreographers. One dancer from each genre will be eliminated each week leading up to the Season Finale.”

Saddened by Murphy’s exit, or is it the right time for SYTYCD to freshen up its judging panel? Sound off in the comments!