Stephen “tWitch” Boss died by suicide this week, and Hollywood and beyond are still coming to terms with the loss.
Boss rose to fame as a runner-up on Season 4 of “So You Think You Can Dance” and came back for an all-star season. He later joined Mary Murphy on the judges’ panel. “Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke with Murphy today about the tragedy.
Mary shared how she found out about tWitch’s death. “I have my national dance championship here in Las Vegas… I saw an urgent message from one of my girlfriends… She kept saying to me over and over again, ‘I don’t want to be the one to tell you’… I said, ‘For God’s sake, would you just tell me?’ She said, ‘tWitch is dead.’ I just fell to the ground. I went behind a dress vendor and I just curled up in a ball and started bawling. A dancer came around the corner and picked me up, just hugged me, and I went to my room.”
She went on, “Never in a million years… I just watched tWitch a couple days ago in front of his Christmas tree… For all of us, he has been around the show for a long time. Now, of course we are just, just absolutely flabbergasted and in shock… All my experiences with him have never been nothing more than joy, laughter, kidding around, hugs.”
Billy asked if she is replaying past conversations with tWitch in her head and wondered if she recalled times where maybe he took something too hard or felt frustrated.
Murphy said, “Of course you go back to conversations or anything and I can honestly tell you not one time, not one inkling. He was absolutely so joyous to be where he was at on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and of course we were so proud of him when he got the job on ‘Ellen.’”
Boss tried out for Season 3 of “SYTYCD” but didn’t move past the auditions. When he returned for Season 4, he really wowed the judges. Mary recalled his dance at Hollywood Week that season, saying, “When he did that dance to a classical piece of music that he showed every kind of instrument that was in the symphony, he made it run through his body… We had immediate standing ovation… Most dancers they quit after the second time. Not tWitch.”
Billy said he was an inspirational dancer, and Mary replied, “He became one of the biggest, most inspirational dancers on our show because of him coming back time and time again never giving up… And from there on, he just went. He just soared after that.”
Billy commented, “That’s the tragic irony. The guy who never gave up, gave up.”
Murphy said, “It doesn’t make sense. It’ll never make sense to me. Mental illness is such an issue… Men feel like they have to be so strong all the time… It needs to be talked about it… There is nothing good about this, but if anything good comes out of it, it is the conversation is continuing to be open about suicide… It’s devastating for those that are left behind.”
Sharing one of her best memories of him, she said, “When Alex Wong hurt his Achilles tendon and Ellen stepped in in the finale and came in on that door and started doing that hip-hop number… To see him and Ellen do that dance, I will never forget it. He is somebody that I feel proud about like a proud mama, watching him grow. Crying, she said, “To be on ‘Ellen’ and come back to us and judge, he is one of a kind… he was a good father and a good husband.”