Entertainment behind the scenes
So You Think You Can Dance picks their top 20
And while Mason and the rest of the top 10 are still in the middle of their North American tour, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and his panel of judges have already whittled down the thousands of hopefuls to pick their top 20 dancers in Wednesday’s Green Mile episode.
Eight of the finalists are contemporary dancers, including Nathan Trasoras, who auditioned for season 5, but wasn’t old enough at that point, so was given a ticket to the season 6 Vegas week. Julliard student Billy Bell — who brought this season’s new permanent judge Adam Shankman to tears — also made it through. As did Jakob Karr, a close friend of reigning champ Mason.
Rounding out the contemporary crew are Kathryn McCormick, Channing Cooke, Ariana DeBose, Victor Smalley and Noelle Marsh.
Three jazz dancers made the cut: The bubbly Mollee Gray, who was told she danced more “like a 14 or 15-year-old” in terms of maturity, but whom the judges loved anyway; Pauline Mata, who grotesquely injured her ankle near the end of Vegas week and missed the final rounds; and Ellenore Scott (who also dances contemporary).
Ashleigh was the last girl to be chosen — but she almost didn’t make the cut. The spot was originally offered to Paula Van Oppen, a stunning contemporary dancer and judges’ favorite, who tearfully turned down the opportunity because she had decided to accept a movie offer instead.
Jonathan “Legacy” Perez, considered by the judges to be one of the best b-boys ever to audition, is joined by hip-hop dancer Kevin Hunte. Last, but definitely not least, Russell Ferguson breezed through Vegas auditions with ease to become the first ever krumper to make it into the top 20.
On a sad note, last night may have been the last chance for viewers to see Emmy-award winning choreographer Mia Michaels. She sort-of announced on Twitter last week that she is moving on, and her departure was later confirmed by Lythgoe.
There will also be a shift in the format of the popular show this season: there will be no viewer voting next week. On Monday, the dancers will perform without the competitive pressure. The competition will kick off on Tuesday with the judges axing two dancers at the end of the 2-hour performance show. SYTYCD will return to a viewer vote format on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
What do you think of Mia Michael’s departure and the show format changes? Who do you think will dance their way to the finish?
Caption: (Top) The host and guest judge of “So You Think You Can Dance” Cat Deeley (L) and guest judge Adam Shankman discuss the show at the Fox Summer Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California August 6, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
(Bottom) The host, judges and executiver producer of “So You Think You Can Dance” (L-R) host Cat Deeley, guest judges Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, judge Mary Murphy and executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe discuss the show at the Fox Summer Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California August 6, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser