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Returning, Recovered ‘SYTYCD’ Judge Mary Murphy Nearly Silenced By Cancer

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

"So You Think You Can Dance" was a whole lot quieter last season, as longtime screaming judge Mary Murphy took a break from the show. It turns out Mary was almost silenced for good, hard as that is to imagine. The reason for her hiatus was a bout with thyroid cancer, which nearly rendered her unable to speak, let alone scream.

"It feels great to be's just good that things have turned around in my life and in my health, and that I'm able to come back," Mary said on the scene of "SYTYCD's" recent Las Vegas callbacks, which took at the Planet Hollywood hotel. "I'm happy about it!"

Discussing her cancer scare, Mary revealed: "The approach that I took was just kind of ignoring that the tumor was there. I had the tumor in my throat for three years. Last year, I started not to be able to talk, and I started to have a hard time swallowing. I knew something was going on, and I started to see the tumor visually, in my throat. I knew something was happening to me."

But luckily, Mary finally sought treatment, had her tumor removed, and is now cancer-free. And while she was too humble to say the show suffered without her boisterous personality, she did admit that sitting out "SYTYCD" Season 7 was difficult for her. "I'll be honest with you: It was really, really tough for me to sit out and watch the show," she said. "It was like having an out-of-body experience. I so wanted to be there."

I so wanted her there too, as did many fans, so it's a thrill to welcome her back as "SYTYCD" Season 8 premieres on May 26. So get out your earplugs and train whistles, because with Mary back on board, it's bound to be a bumpy ride on the Hot Tamale Train.

Watch Mary discuss her cancer battle, "SYTYCD" format changes, and the talent she saw in Vegas below:

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