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Mary Murphy on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9’s Top 4: Cyrus Is the “Only Real Underdog” – Exclusive

It’s down to four remaining dancers on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Eliana Girard, Tiffany Maher, Cyrus Spencer, and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. Tonight they’ll perform, and next Tuesday, September 18, we’ll find out which guy and gal will come out on top in the finale.

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with judge and choreographer Mary Murphy at last night’s FOX Fall Eco-Casino Party, and she discussed everything from the show’s shortened format for Season 9 to the merits of the Top 4. “I'll be happy whoever wins it,” she says.

Wetpaint Entertainment: I don’t think we’ve ever discussed the format change. What do you think of the one night format?

Mary Murphy: Well, it certainly is speedier for one thing. It's more like a dance celebration. It reminds me of all the past grand finales where we're just having a great time celebrating all this great dancing, and then all of a sudden, da, da, da, da, right at the very end [someone goes home].

And honest to God, I swear to you, that you honestly forget that two people are going home because we get to see them dance. And I really love that fact, and we get to see them all dance in another dance genre completely before we even see their solo again, if we choose to see it.

So it's been really fun in that way, but it does seem rushed in another way. You know what I mean? It's like they’re always nipping at our heels as judges, “Shorter, shorter, keep it down. Keep it down.” We have a clock right down in front of us. It's painful, and sometimes you've got so much to say and very little time to say it.

Do you think good decisions were made as far as the eliminations go?

I mean as far as that goes, we had more time than ever to watch the dancers. We also took in the word of what the choreographers felt and how well they got along with the dancers, how hard they worked, and whether they’d like working with them again or not. So it really helped us make a more intelligent decision because of that reason.

I think we actually got more this season as far as making the decisions of who was going to leave the show that night, and a lot of times they’re tough decisions.

Credit: Mike Yarish/FOX ©2012 FOX Broadcasting Co.    

So what about the strengths and weaknesses of who's left? Who do you think has a good shot?

Well, I mean Cyrus and Tiffany have never fallen down. They come into the finale as the stronger two even though they may not be the stronger dancers. Definitely Chehon is probably the strongest male dancer we've possibly ever had in the history of So You Think You Can Dance, and the same with Eliana. There's nothing that she did wrong. She started up here on top of the mountain and stayed on top of the mountain the entire show.

And honestly, so did Tiffany. Tiffany is a terrific dancer and has been the same way. I don't think she took one wrong step.

So Cyrus is probably the only real underdog here as far as when we talk about dance ability, outside his style every week. And he's got to do not just two numbers. He's going to have to do five numbers tomorrow, and I don't know how anybody can cope with that who does not have trained dance skills to be honest with you. So I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat looking and waiting for that moment to see everything that that guy does. But he's been tremendous the whole season.

But even with trained dance skills, five?

Yeah. It would drive me nuts. Let me tell you.

It's like you're asking for a mistake at that point. You're seeing how they handle pressure. Is that fair?

Well, when you get to this point, and you have all great dancers, we've got to see who are the real dance warriors because who's going to be under pressure when you've got the job where you've got to learn all this choreography just like that. Who's going to be able to cope? So, yeah, I think it's fair. I know I wouldn't want to do it. But I think it’s fair for them.

And if you had to guess who was going to take it all?

No. I couldn't. I can't guess. I'll be happy though, whoever wins it. I can honestly say that. I'm not going to be mad at anybody. There's been past seasons where I got upset but not this year.

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09.12.2012 / 04:53 AM EDT by Carita Rizzo
Related: News, Reality Gossip, So You Think You Can Dance

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