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"She brings an energy and enthusiasm that's contagious and I can't wait for her to join me on the judging panel.

I've got a pair of earplugs ready, and another for our third resident judge, as well."See photos of Mary Murphy: HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Choreographer Mary Murphy arrives at the 2014 Industry Dance Awards Honoring Nigel Lythgoe at the Avalon on September 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

judge Mary Murphy is returning to the Fox competition.

The veteran ballroom dancer and longtime fan favorite of the reality show, who left in early 2015, returns this summer to fill the slot vacated by her one-time replacement Paula Abdul."I am thrilled that Mary will return to and I'm sure the fans will be, as well," said executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe.

At 60, he's tall and slim with a set of pearly white teeth and a head of blond curls.

With the Californian sun behind him, he looks for all the world like Tommy Steele's younger brother.

In 2000, he became the tough judge on Popstars and was nicknamed "Nasty Nigel" by the British tabloid press.