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Entertainment behind the scenes

“So You Think You Can Dance” roars into season five with first cut

June 12, 2009

Cat Deeley

The hot tamale train has rolled back into town as the search for America’s favorite dancer begins anew on the fifth season of the hugely popular “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Thursday’s elimination show was a visual feast for dance lovers with the opening number conjuring images of a hip-hop zombie apocalypse.

Paris Torres, a contemporary funk dancer, and Tony Bellissimo, a story-telling hip-hop performer, met their demise — a unanimous decision by the judges.

Paris failed to measure up in the deep talent pool of contemporary dancers while Tony took a risk by attempting to lock his way through his solo “but not very well,” judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said.

Despite disarming charm and enormous support on Twitter, as noted by guest judge Adam Shankman, personality took a back seat to strong technical skills on Thursday.

The top 20 — an eclectic mix of seasoned veterans, starry-eyed youngsters, breakers, ballerinas and Broadway buffs — set the bar high on Wednesday’s first performance show, prompting Lythgoe to exclaim it was an “absolutely fabulous night.”

The two-hour live program was jam packed and included glittering Bollywood, crash-test-dummy love, sizzling Latin pieces and a fluid hip-hop number choreographed by Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo that was reminiscent of season four’s wildly popular “Bleeding Love” routine.

Mandy Moore’s standout jazz piece (performed by Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi) brought Shankman to tears while the foxtrot (performed by Janette Manrara and Brandon Bryant) sent judge Mary Murphy into her screaming shtick, forcing her to confess she couldn’t express her love for the number because of Botox.

So did the judges make the right call sending Tony and Paris home?  How important is personality in performance and can it motivate viewers to pick up the phone when dancers need a competitive edge?


Does anyone know the name of the song that Brandon performed his audition to in Denver? I would like to use the music at my wedding in October.

Posted by Krissy | Report as abusive

Tell those damn camera people to stop tilting the cameras and stop with the close-up shots on a group dance…we miss so much and who the hell cares if the shots are “ARTSY” and I’m an artist but tame the cameras

Posted by mary ellen | Report as abusive

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