'So You Think You Can Dance' Judges: Contestants This Season Are 'Beasts'

“So You Think You Can Dance” returns to FOX for its ninth season on May 24, and judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe promise the contestants will shock audiences once again.

“Every year me and Nigel turn to each other and go, ‘How’s it going to get better than that?’” Mary told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman, as the cast took part in a photo shoot earlier this week. “But, the fact is that it does. We’ve seen things this year on the audition trail that we’ve never seen before and people have taken it to a new level.”

Nigel said the success of the show has helped produce another new crop of stunning performers.

“They know that they need signature moves. Obviously they’ll get straight through to Vegas if they do signature moves. I think what’s happened is the street kids have mixed with the trained kids and the trained kids have mixed with the street kids and it’s created this symbiotic creature,” Nigel told Laura. “We call them beasts, and they can do about anything.”

The judge said there is one contestant, who came through auditions, who left Nigel very, very impressed.

“There’s one kid who said he was going to steal my soul, and he was going to exercise it and take it into his body and give it me back and I was going, ‘Oh, yeah, sure. OK then.’ He got about a minute and a half standing ovation from the audience,” Nigel said. “He was absolutely brilliant.”

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.