Dish of Salt: Tuesday TV Dish (Mary Murphy On the ‘SYTYCD’ Switcheroo)

A shakeup at “So You Think You Can Dance” has everyone talking. Today, Mary Murphy explains why she’s taking a step back. Plus, Nicole Scherzinger explains her sad eyes last night on “Dancing with the Stars” and if you have questions about “Lost,” I’ll tell you how you can get them answered in today’s Dish.

Mary’s Still ‘Dance’-ing

Yesterday, FOX officially announced that Mia Michaels would replace regular judge Mary Murphy on the panel on this season of “So You Think You Can Dance”. Of course, loyal readers of my daily newsletter already knew that Mia was coming back and that Mary isn’t going away. As Adam Shankman told me weeks ago, Mary is set to choreograph ballroom routines this season and will rotate in as a judge when possible. During the show’s first two seasons, Mary, who retired from professional dancing in 1996, came in as a choreographer and later was promoted to a permanent seat at the judges’ table.

The switcheroo has caused a bit of stir online but Mary told me, via phone this afternoon, the decision to scale back was mutual. “They have been bugging me for the last couple of years, ‘Would I choreograph?’ and I wasn’t feeling it to be totally honest with you,” she explained.

So what changed? “I have to say I was a little envious of the different choreographers getting Emmy awards. I would still like a few more shots at that,” Mary told me.

What does this mean for the Hot Tamale Train?! “Well, it’s not going anywhere,” she assured me. “They will just have to wait a little longer. They better make it good when I’m judging!’

Mary revealed she will be part of the judging panel for the Las Vegas portion of the auditions, as well as the Green Mile episodes, which this season is adding a new twist. The judges will be visiting the homes of the semi-finalist contestants to tell them whether or not they made the top 10. “That was really special to be there with the whole family and to look them in their eyes,” Mary said.

However, telling a contestant they didn’t make the cut was tough. “I can honestly tell you that the day I had to tell somebody that they couldn’t be one the show, I had to go home and was in bed the rest of the day. I was so upset,” she revealed.

Not working as much will also give Mary time to have surgery on her foot this summer. She revealed she has a tumor in her foot, which is not cancerous. After that, she hopes to head out on a two-week world tour of “Burn the Floor,” the show in which she made her Broadway debut in December 2009.

Up first though, is the twentieth anniversary of her dance studio in San Diego, Champion Ballroom, which she recently remodeled. Mary is throwing a huge anniversary bash at the studio on May 15. “I started it in April 1990. It’s a part of me. It is the fabric of San Diego lifestyle. It’s an icon in this community,” she said of the studio.

The public is invited to attend the event. For tickets, visit the Champion Ballroom website HERE.

In Case You Missed It

Nicole Scherzinger returned to her frontrunner status on last night’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The Pussycat Doll took on two dances - the paso doble and fox trot - landing just one point shy of a perfect score. Her fox trot earned her 29 points, while her paso gave her all 10s - her first triple 10s of the season.

“I’m still in disbelief,” a shocked Nicole told Shaun Robinson last night. “I think when I was receiving my scores I was like, ‘What’s going on? I can’t believe this is happening,’ but it’s awesome.”

The question Shaun (and I’m sure many viewers had) was why did Nicole seem so unhappy with the judges’ comments as she listened to them? “At one point I thought, Nicole, you look so sad. I mean you’re getting all these props and everything and you look kind of down sometime,” Shaun said to Nicole.
“My head’s always somewhere else, you know,” Nicole explained. “It’s like a lot has happened this week. A lot has happened since this show has started and sometimes my brain just catches up to things and I forget to just like be there, in the moment.”

More video from backstage at DWTS HERE.

Tune In/Tune Out

IN - Jamie Foxx will mentor the final four contestants tonight on “American Idol” as they tackle songs from the movies. I’ll be backstage for reaction from the contestants after the show. So be sure and look out for that here tomorrow. FOX, 8 PM ET/PT.

IN - Just three new episodes of “Lost” remain. So savor each one! In an episode called “Across the Sea,” the motives of evil John Locke are finally explained tonight. ABC, 9 PM ET/PT

I’ll be at an event with the cast of the show on Thursday night. If you have got questions for the cast or producers you would like asked, send them to me on Twitter!

OUT - I still can’t comprehend why the “Dancing with the Stars” results show goes head-to-head with “Idol.” Performance show trumps results show. Sorry DWTS!

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