Thursday, November 12, 2009


There were not many happy dancers at the So You Think You Can Dance eliminations this week. Of course, elimination night is never happy for those chosen to leave, but this week was brutal for every dancer placed in the bottom three couples. Nigel Lythgoe scolded all "bottom three" dancers, saying that none of them had performed solos well enough to expect to stay on the show! Scanning the dancer's faces, they appeared almost in shock at the harsh remarks.

The show began with host Cat Deeley hugging the couples and announcing which were safe and which were in danger of being sent home.

In the first set of three couples, Channing Cooke and Victor Smalley, who had performed a contemporary routine, and Kathryn McCormick and Legacy Perez, who performed the Broadway style, were announced as safe -- and Ellenore Scott and Ryan Di Lello, who did a lively hip-hop, were the first couple placed on the in-danger list.

The second set of dancers found Ashleigh Di Lello and Jakob Karr, who performed a Mandy Moore choreographed number, and Noelle Marsh and Russell Ferguson, who did an impressive African jazz, safe -- while Pauline Mata and Peter Sabasino, who had entertained with a quick step, became the second couple with a possibility of being sent home.

The results of voting for the third set of dancers drew shock from the audience. Karen Hauer and Kevin Hunte, who had garnered high praise from the judges for their hustle number, were placed in danger. And Mollee Gray and Nathan Trasoras, who the judges felt had not performed their salsa well, had been voted safe.

But Lythgoe spared no words in telling Nathan that while the young girls might vote for him because he is cute, his dancing was not impressing -- so he had better get serious if he expected to stay on So You Think You Can Dance. Nathan's parner, Mollee, looked paralyzed with fear as Lythgoe spoke to Nathan, but it seemed that Lythgoe hardly noticed her -- and, in the end, she was likely very happy to have been left unchided.

As is typically the case, all six dancers in the bottom three couples performed their solos -- some quick-cutting hip-hop moves, jumps and twirls. And then it was time for the judges to once again decide which boy and which girl must be sent home.

Usually Lythgoe returns and reminds the dancers that, no matter what happens, they are very talented to have made it so far in the competition. But this week the judge returned with no smile -- and sternly announced that it was the opinion of the judges that none of the dancers had danced up to expectations and that the judges were absolutely disappointed.

Still, it would be two dancers who would be sent home, not the entire group. And it really did not seem to surprise many fans that the judges chose Pauline Mata, an 18-year old from West Covina, CA and her partner, tapper Peter Sabasino, 21, of Philadelphia, PA to depart. Neither were strangers to the "bottom three, but, still, clearly disappointed that their competition time had come to an end.

But it had to be a disappointment to So You Think You Can Dance tap dancing fans to have Peter leave because he was actually the third tapper in two weeks to be eliminated from the show -- meaning, too, that there are no tap dancers remaining in the competition.

It was definitely a rough week, but the harsh remarks will likely compel the dancers to work even harder this week. So perhaps next week's dancing will actually be the best of the season! The talent is obviously there -- the dancers simply need to step up to the plate, or in this case, step perfectly on the dance floor!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


"Two tappers are gone tonight, and it breaks my heart" said judge Nigel Lythgoe as he announced that dancers Bianca Revels and Phillip Attmore had been chosen by the show's judging panel to leave the show.

Following an evening capped with expertly performed dances -- including Argentine tango, hip-hop, contemporary and jazz routines -- SYTYCD judges lowered the number of remaining contestants from 18 to 16 when they eliminated 20-year-old Revels who hails from Detroit, MI and 25-year-old Attmore from Pasadena, CA.

After being eliminated Revels said that performing on So You Think You Can Dance made her both a better person and a better dancer. Attmore, whose father passed away recently, thanked the judges for opening doors for him -- and said that he knew that he father was looking down and smiling at him.

It was pointed out that this is the first season with tappers among the contestants, and Lythgoe said that he personally was sad to see the pair voted from the show.

Among standout performances praised by SYTYCD judges were Karen Hauer, 27, from Fort Lee, NJ and Kevin Hunte, 23, from Brooklyn, NY whose hip-hop routine brought screams and the reward of tickets on judge Mary Murphy's fictitious Hot Tamale Train!

The youngest contestants, 18-year-old Californians, Mollee Gray from Upland and Nathan Trasoras from Downey, drew praises for a Bollywood routine. Judge Adam Shankman opined that Mollee was "coming into (her) own". Murphy rewarded the couple with two loud and lengthy screams. And Lythgoe opined that they were terrific.

Surviving the "dance for your life" portion of the show were Noelle Marsh, 18, from Sanford, NC and Victor Smalley, 20, from Miami, FL.

Meanwhile, the So You Think You Can Dance set has an empty chair at the judges table with the name "Paula Abdul" printed on the back. Is there a chance that sometime, perhaps next week, Abdul will actually show up to sit in the chair and become the STYCD fourth judge? Let's hope!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It was quite a night -- a whole new season with 20 talented competitors on So You Think You Can Dance! And just as home viewers were getting used to new names and new faces -- and the dancers were getting used to their new partners, two of the dancers were to be sent home!

With the season just getting underway, already the show has suffered two casualties -- 19-year-old Billy Bell from West Palm Beach, considered a strong contender, left the group due to illness. And 18-year-old Noelle Marsh from Sanford, NC suffered an injury that prevented her from performing, although she still was expected to dance next week.

The couples whirled, twirled, jumped and twisted in various dance styles. Ashleigh and Jakob performed a Broadway routine, Ariana and Peter drew a hip hop, Russell and choreographer Melanie, a substiture for Nicole, performed a fox trot and Bianca and Victor really impressed with a Travis Wall choreographed routine.

Karen and Kevin did a sexy cha cha -- which garnered Karen a ride on the hot tamale train. Ellenore and Ryan did a commendable contemporary jazz. Brandon and Pauline, with only a day and a-half of dancing together, did a waltz that seemed good considering their brief preparation. Channing and Philip performed a jive; Kathryn and Legacy hit a home run with their hip hop and youngsters Mollee and Nathan impressed with a super energetic disco that had even Adam Shankman, who admits that he is not a disco fan, saying that he loved the number!

It almost felt too soon for an elimination -- as if everyone deserved a bit more time to strengthen their fundamentals and a bit more time to adjust. But rules are rules and a boy and girl were to be sent home by judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Shankman.

Chosen to dance for their lives were Brandon Dumlao, 21, from Concord, CA; Pauline Mata, 18, from West Covina, CA; Ariana Debose, 18, from Raleigh, NY and Russell Ferguson, 20, from Boston, MA.

The decision of the judges was unanimous, said Lythgoe -- first eliminated was Ariana, and second was Brandon. And Lythgoe reminded the dancers and viewers that all four dancers were incredibly talented to make it all the way to the top 20.

So the remaining dancers will need to work hard to keep improving, stepping up their acts. Lythgoe said that all of the dancers must really excel to remain in the competition to the end because the level of talent is so high this season.

Without Ariana, Brandon and Billy -- the remaining dancers will return for another round as they try to become America's favorite dancer!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


This week in Vegas promised to be fun. The further along in the "So You Think You Can Dance" season, the better the dancing and the more heated the competition!

Over and over dancers practiced, lined the stage to perform routines -- and then a few were praised while others were told that their SYTYCD dreams had reached the end of the road.

By 4 p.m. on the initial Vegas day, 41 dancers had been told that they would be heading home. Another 111 competitors had made it through -- but were counting their lucky stars and holding their breath that they would stay.

And by 9:30 p.m., the judges had eliminated another 21 dancers.

For many, the heartbreaking elimination was Ryan Kasprzak -- whose brother, Evan, was a finalist last season. During Ryan's initial audition, he had wowed the judges with a tap dance routine that judge Nigel Lythgoe had called one of the strongest auditions in the history of the show.

But in Vegas, Ryan faltered. After an initial audition, he was told that his hip hop performance was not strong. But since hip hop was not his favored dance style, he felt confidant that his remaining routines would be better. "It's only up from here," he told Evan during a phone conversation.

However, his next routine was not an improvement -- and Lythgoe said that while it hurt them to cut him from the competition, they indeed were cutting him. So Ryan was left to call Evan to report that it was over for him. He told Evan, "I was cut." And he said that he "didn't deliver" -- disappointing because, "I know I can do better."

By the end of episode, hopefuls had been pushed to the limit -- and only 77 dancers remained.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So You Think You Can Dance auditions can be fun, but the real deal is getting past them -- and finally moving on to Las Vegas and watching the selected dancers improve and take their shot at moving on to the Top 20 dancers.

Judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, along with host Cat Deeley, have opined that the competition should be stiff this year -- that there will be many dancers simply loaded with talent. And the trio has gone so far as to predict that this might even be the best season ever of SYTYCD.

Lythgoe has used social network Twitter to keep in touch with fans -- writing both about his personal life and his thoughts about SYTYCD. After taking a needed break from Twitter, earlier this month he wrote: "It's been a wonderful break. My son, Kris got married to the beautiful Annalise in Italy and we finally sold SYTYCD to the BBC in the UK."

As for the talent in Boston, he posted, "Boston this Wednesday. Just doing the 1 hour show doesn't really give us enough time to show the extensive talent in this wonderful city."

And Lythgoe posted several messages about Dizzy Feet Foundation. First, he wrote, "The Dizzy Feet Foundation donated $20,000 for 2 scholarships to the Alvin Ailey school yesterday. I am proud to be part of this organization." And then he enthused, "We are producing a big show at the Kodak Theater on the 28th Nov. For the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Incredible stars have agreed to participate." And finally, "The show will not be televised. Tickets will be onsale Info nearer the date on All proceeds will fund scholarships."

But perhaps the Lythgoe's most exciting Tweet of all was regarding entertainer and former American Idol judge Paula Abdul. He revealed, "I saw Paula @ the "Power of Women" event yesterday. I asked her to come on SYTYCD again and she said she would. I hope she means it ?"

Of course, there were many SYTYCD fans who hoped that Abdul would gain a permanent seat at the So You Think You Can Dance judges table, but with the recent addition of Adam Shankman as a third judge, there does not appear to be a spot for Abdul.

But, still, SYTYCD and Abdul fans will take what we can get -- and would enjoy seeing her take the largest role on the show possible. So it remains to be seen, but perhaps Paula will at least do a bit of choreography or perhaps sit in as a guest judge on occasion. However it all works out, SYTYCD and Paula do seem a perfect pairing -- so we'll keep our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So many rumors flying .... And it turns out that Simon Cowell is not planning on a new dance competition program as was being rumored.

"There's absolutely no truth to this," Cowell's rep said, according to RadarOnline. "Simon hasn't spoken to Ian Burton in 20 years and they aren't in talks to go into business."

Of course, you never know what will happen -- and perhaps this will give him the idea that a dance show might be a welcome addition to his already long list of projects.


So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe has been actively keeping in touch with fans via Twitter.

On Sept 18th, Lythgoe wrote: "I needed to take some time out but I'm now back with renewed energy. I promise to TWEET the TWEET, the whole TWEET and nothing but the TWEET"


"It's been a wonderful break. My son, Kris got married to the beautiful Annalise in Italy and we finally sold SYTYCD to the BBC in the UK."

On Sept 22, he wrote: "I saw Stephen Fry at dinner in Cecconi's last night. If you enjoy intelligent humor and great warmth check out his Tweets @ stephenfry"

Then: "Boston this Wednesday. Just doing the 1 hour show doesn't really give us enough time to show the extensive talent in this wonderful city."

Followed by: "I forgot to say that I had dinner with Idol judge, Kara and her husband Mike after the Emmy's. What a lovely lady, what a lovely couple!"

And: "Just had a training session with ex-Brit Gladiator Rhino. I think my old body is held together by rubber bands, string and glue. No muscles!"

And finally: "I tried to tell him running up hills wasn't good for heart attack victims like me but I found I couldn't talk during or for an hour after!!?"

Lythgoe must have gotten tired -- because thus far there have been no Tweets today!