So You Think You Can Dance’s Mary Murphy Gives Finale Predictions, Is Aaron in Danger? — Exclusive
It's hard to believe that So You Think You Can DanceSeason 10 is almost over! With only two more weeks of competition left, which two dancers will be the next couple to say goodbye? And who are the favorites heading into the finale? We asked judge Mary Murphy.
Wetpaint Entertainment chatted with the outspoken SYTYCD judge about her Season 10 highlights, who she thinks has the best odds going into the finale (spoiler alert: Paul!), and why fan favorite Aaron really needs to bring his A game into the Top 6 — but will his shoulder injury prevent him from taking things to the next level? Read on to find out what Mary thinks.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Tell me about the decision to send Jenna and Tucker home. It must have been very difficult. I know Jenna was one of your favorites.
Mary Murphy: Well, it wasn’t easy. It was very close, and again, everyone that said Jenna’s name would cringe, and everyone that said Hayley’s name would cringe because we loved both of them. One of the reasons it was so close is because we still felt Jenna was the better dancer, but the fact that Hayley has only fallen down into the bottom once was the reason the vote was in her favor. I speak for myself when I say Jenna is the better dancer. She carries the secret weapon of ballroom — it makes her more lethal. But she’s been on the chopping block for almost the entire season, and even though the decision wasn’t exactly what we wanted, it was what the choreographers wanted, and it’s obviously what America wanted.
What about Tucker? Because he came off a beautiful Travis Wall performance last week, so to see him go home was a bit more emotional.
I think a lot of people thought that, because of the last two weeks, Tucker should have stayed. Again, it was very close, but he was somebody that had been consistently in the bottom. Meanwhile, Fik-Shun had only fallen down once, so it certainly gave him an edge as far as knowing what America wants. And the choreographers were mixed. It was a similar thing that happened with Cyrus has year. Last year, they all struck up for Cyrus, and I was pretty shocked because I would have thought that if they could get rid of someone, they would! But this time, it was pretty much a toss-up. Fik-Shun got a couple more votes because of America’s votes. We still believe in Jenna and Tucker’s talent, but we had saved them time and time again.
It’s also the last week that your vote matters, so who’s to say America wouldn’t have eliminated them next week?
Right. If it were up to America, Jenna would have been gone five shows ago! And Tucker as well.
Let’s talk about Fik-Shun and Allison’s contemporary number. It was so beautiful!
It’s amazing, isn’t it? You can still see in his body line, and his neck and shoulder line, that he isn’t well-trained, but the fact that he can grasp onto the concepts of such advanced choreography, and to be there in that exact second when she needed to be lifted or turned, was incredible. You really have to take your hat off to him. He had his game face on, and he gave an honest performance. I think Allison is one of the best dancers who has ever graced our stage, and with her and Kathryn, it’s always such a pleasure to witness their artistry. Your eyes were glued to her because Fik-Shun was there for her. He enabled her to dance!
I was surprised by some of those lifts.
Yeah, very tough. I loved that piece. By the way, I thought having the All-Stars choreograph the routines went over very well. If we get another season, I hope we see this again when we hit the Top 10. It’s a great opportunity for our All-Stars to show how they’re growing as dancers and artists. I thought they all did a fabulous job. Watching Travis [Wall] grow over the last few years has been wonderful, but getting to see him dance again was the real treat. I haven’t seen him dance in years. To see him dance again, and to see the effortlessness in the way her can produce movement, was flawless. I was having the time of my life up there! I was in dance euphoria! I think Mark Kanemura’s number was so unique and brilliant as well. I’m glad we were able to give him that stage. I thought he knocked it out of the ballpark his first time out!
That number with Jenna was so crazy and so amazing!
It was craziness! I loved it! You knew you were going to see something special in the first 10 seconds. It was so memorable. I think Nigel said it, but sometimes it can all start looking like the same thing. We have shows sometime where 50 percent of the numbers look similar, so I think it was just awesome that we had something so crazy and different like this number.
Jasmine and Twitch had a really fun Hip-Hop routine as well.
I thought Jasmine was right in there with Twitch! They could have been two All-Stars, and you would have never known. She could have been intimidated by Twitch, but she wasn’t! She just owned every second of that piece, and she came out looking like a star. She’s definitely a contender for the finale. Absolutely. I see Jasmine in that finale, and I see Amy. For me, Hayley is really going to have to go to another level if she wants to make it into the finale. They do two numbers next week, and she’s going to have to bring two extraordinary performances to the table. I think she can, and she’s certainly capable of it, but she’s going to need the stars to go into alignment, with great music, great choreographers, and great partners.
Nigel told Jasmine that she had stolen his heart. Do you have a dancer who has stolen your heart in the competition?
I think Amy has since the beginning. I knew in Las Vegas that she was one of three women, along with Brittany and Jenna, who impressed me the most. She can just do every single style, and she brings the same level of professionalism to every style. Paul, too, by the way. Paul is a surprise. In Las Vegas week, I wasn’t sure he was going to make it because we had some really strong ballroom dancers this season. We did notice his charisma and star quality, but I still felt like he was one of the weaker ballroom dancers that we chose. I don’t feel that way any more. If anything , I feel he is a force to be reckoned with. He’s on the top of my list right now to go into the finale. As far as the male dancers, he’s the best all-around dancer. He’s flexible, he’s rhythmical, he can Hip-Hop, and he can do ballet! He can do everything, and he has the x factor. He’s never fallen down into the bottom.
Neither has Aaron. Although, I’m a little worried for Aaron after that Jive performance.
I am too. It wasn’t the best number for him. For him to make it to the finale, he’s going to have to have a spectacular night. He needs to have two amazing numbers. Otherwise, he might go home. He has an injured shoulder, and that can factor into lifts. The closer we get to the finale, the intensity of those lifts starts to increase. So we’ll have to see how he does.
Do you agree with Mary? Do you think Jenna and Tucker should have been eliminated? Who do you think will make it to the finale? Sound off in the comments!
Catch So You Think You Can Dance on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fan-girl for all things Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones and Once Upon a Time. She speaks fluent geek. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!