Mary Murphy In for the Long Haul on So You Think You Can Dance - Talks About Mia Michaels, Season 9
The Internet has been abuzz with reports that Mary Murphy is en route out of "So You Think You Can Dance," and Mia Michaels is returning to replace her. Don't believe them, according to Murphy.
"Whatever you hear this entire summer, it's probably going to come from my ex-manager," she tells us.
"And you're probably going to keep hearing things too, because we're in a legal matter and it's all about money. It has nothing to do with Fox, nothing to do with Mia Michaels."
The ebullient dance icon with the 20 megaton laugh isn't laughing when she adds that "managers taking money from people is the oldest story in the book in this business, but I never thought it would happen to me."
She's determined not to be "one of those people who pay someone to go away. That's not me. I'm Irish. I'm in it for the long haul." She talks about taking her case to court, where, she declares, she is confident she would win.
But in the meantime, Murphy says she won't be surprised if there's some sort of new flap every week just before she goes on the air on "SYTYCD" -- which is now into this season's live performance episodes.
As far as any friction between her and Michaels, "There's never been anything between me and Mia Michaels, my goodness! I certainly admire her unbelievably, and I tell her that every chance I get. Her work is inspirational, and the bench piece she did is one of my favorites. You can see it online, where Fox did our Top 10," adds Murphy, referring to a Michaels-choreographed number with a couple dancing over, around and atop a park bench.
Murphy does laugh her huge laugh when the topic of her relationship with exec producer and fellow judge Nigel Lithgoe comes up.
Sometimes the two toss zingers at each other like an old married couple.
"Yeah! I'm glad you noticed that because we truly do have fun and love what we do. We love being dancers. We've been dancers our whole lives, and we just have a ball up there. We love what we're seeing! I can't be more excited because this season truly is the best season I think we've ever had. We always say, 'How can we beat that?' But it's true, these dancers keep getting better and better, just like athletes keep getting better and better."
And that's not just hype: we've seen some of the most breathtakingly creative, amazingly executed dances ever in Season 9.
FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Kathy Najimy admits she had some trepidation going into the shooting of the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, "How to Fall in Love," premiering Saturday (7/21).
"I know they have guidelines for their channel that are really important to them, but I tend to improvise and all that. But then I got there, and after one day, I was improvising and having a great time." She tells us that in one sequence, she is helping Eric Mabius' character by pretending to be his blind date, "and he's asking me what my hobbies are. So every take I would go through a made-up list of hobbies" -- ever more absurd.
The romantic comedy has Mabius as a former high school ugly duckling who hires the pretty and popular girl he had a crush on back in the day -- Brooke D'Orsay -- to help him shed his lingering wallflower ways. It's one of a string of projects for Najimy that includes the upcoming Barbra Streisand flick, "The Guilt Trip."
Najimy and her husband and 15-year-old daughter made the move from L.A. to New York last year. "I love New York so much it's painful," she says. "I just adore it."
She has a return to the stage in her sights. "That's where I come from with the Kathy and Mo show," reminds the funny lady, who rose to fame with Mo Gaffney in the off-Broadway sensation that became an HBO hit. "I'm writing a one-woman show right now for the New York stage. It's called Lift Up Your Skirt. It's not literally about lifting your skirt -- it's about being honest and putting everything out in the open."
She's workshopping the show, getting reactions and then "I rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. It's a process. You have to do it. I'd love to skip to opening night, but I'm just figuring out what I really want to say and why. I've been on Broadway before and I've been off-Broadway, and there's a reason I want to do this one-woman show," she says. "I don't know if it will be quite what people expect, but I'm doing this one for me."
WHAT'S COOKING: Superstar chef Gordon Ramsay has been burned more than once by owners of restaurants he's overhauled on his "Kitchen Nightmares" show -- complaining to the media that things went sour after the cameras left. But the fiery foodie, whose shows also include "Hotel Hell," "Hell's Kitchen" and "Masterchef," would like people to remember that such circumstances are the exception, not the rule. He says that part of next season's "Kitchen Nightmares" will involve revisiting past subjects to check in on how they are doing, "and, hopefully, looking at the sort of feedback we're getting from the production team -- that they're still looking at an 80 percent pass rate."
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