So You Think You Can Dance season 8 promises to foster several new changes, including bringing back Mary “Hot Tamale Train” Murphy as a regular panel judge in lieu of Mia Michaels, who served as a judge in season 7.  

I know that single line of news is going to bring a slew of mixed opinions from many of the regular viewers of the show – so bring it on!  I personally adore Mary Murphy AND her outrageous screams.  Yes, she’s loud.  Yes, she has a high-pitched and nasaly voice at times.  But her smiles and laughter are so genuine—and so contagious—that I couldn’t care less what her voice sounds like.  As opposed to the sometimes stuffy and stuck-up Nigel, Mary Murphy always comes across as honest, compassionate, and caring.  You get the feeling she really means it when she says she is torn on who to vote for or when she tells the contestants that she really wants to see them improve and stay on the show.  So, go ahead – chime in and tell me I’m nuts and you can’t stand her…or go ahead and admit you agree with me!

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping an eye out for other season 8 changes – including the return of the top 20 contestants instead of just a top 10.  I can’t wait to see which all-stars will be back alongside the top 20 this year.  SYTYCD 2011 is off to a great start already. 

PS – One last note for those who are fellow Mary Murphy fans:  Here’s a cute little montage of Mary over the past seasons of SYTYCD:

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