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“So You Think You Can Dance” narrows to eight

July 17, 2009


sytycd_kupono_0034_lyfbIt was — perhaps predictably — the end of the road for Randi Evans and Kupono Aweau on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.

The search for America’s favorite dancer kicked up a notch with the top 10 dancers now vying individually for viewers’ votes with three separate performances: a group number, a couples dance with new partners, and a solo.

Randi and Kupono’s Paso Doble by Melanie Lapatin & Tony Meredith was one of the weakest numbers from Wednesday night. Executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe said the partnership didn’t work for him in the routine and lacked authenticity.

“I’m not sure the dancing was as good as the choreography. Kupono, I don’t feel that you carried the strength…it was all a bit too light,” said Nigel. “I lost you about half way through the routine.”

This has been the strongest group of dancers in the show’s five seasons, something the judges have pointed out repeatedly. As a result, the slightest weakness in any given week can put a dancer in danger.

sytycd_05-randi_0563abrfbKupono, who has shined in a number of memorable routines (Wade Robson’s “crash test dummies”, Mia Michael’s “addiction”, Sonya Tayeh’s “Twilight” to name a few) was obviously the weakest link on Wednesday. Randi meanwhile, has never performed poorly, but neither has she shined, often dancing just below the radar.

Joining them in the bottom, but safe for another week, were ballet dancer Melissa Sandvig and contemporary dancer Ade Obayomi.

Safe from the chopping block were Janette ManraraBrandon BryantJeanine MasonJason GloverKayla Radomski and Evan Kasprzak.

Jeanine and Jason danced a “brilliant” contemporary piece choreographed by Season 2′s runner-up, Travis Wall, which received a standing ovation from the judges and the audience. Both dancers stepped up, with Jason emerging from an underdog into a top contender and Jeanine finally getting a partner who matched her technically.

Other highlights from Wednesday’s performances include a gorgeously executed Bollywood group dance by the female dancers and an exhausting and difficult African number performed by the men. In a jab at a routine from the previous week, Nigel quipped, “It was much better than Russian folk.”

group090709_sytycd_1518a1Thursday’s results show began with an Asian inspired group number by Wade Robson followed by cheers for the show’s four Emmy nominations for choreography work from Season 4. Click here for the nominees

The show itself got snubbed again for a Reality Competition Program nomination and Cat Deeley, perhaps one of the most natural and personable reality show hosts on television, was also left off the list. 

Next week will mark the show’s 100th episode and to celebrate, some of our favorite SYTYCD alumni will return to reprise their best routines, including “the bench“, “the hummingbird and the flower“, and Wade’s “Ramalama” top 10 number.

With just a few short weeks left, who’s your favorite dancer?

Captions: (Top) Kupono Aweau, 23, is a Lyrical/Contemporary dancer from Honolulu, HI. Currently Resides: Kailua, HI. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mike Ruiz/FOX

(Middle) Randi Evans, 23, is a Jazz dancer from Orem, UT. Currently Resides: Springville, UT. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mike Ruiz/FOX

(Bottom) Top 10 on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Pictured top row L-R: Melissa Sandvig, Kapono Aweau, Kayla Radomski, Evan Kasprzak, Randi Evans, Jason Glover and Jeanine Mason. Bottom Row L-R: Brandon Bryant, Janette Manrara and Ade Obayomi. CR: Mathieu Young / FOX.


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