Entertainment behind the scenes
So You Think You Can Dance kicks off with illness and injury
Before facing the ax on Tuesday, dancers showcased their talent in a pre-competition performance episode on Monday. The episode included one of the show’s best ever opening group numbers, a stylish production choreographed by Wade Robson.
Tuesday, however, was off to a rough start with Julliard dancer Billy Bell, one of this season’s most promising contemporary dancers, pulling out of the competition due to illness. SYTYCD choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon wrote on Twitter that he has mono, while his family issued a statement to SYTYCDism saying that “doctors told the show that if he continued to dance on the show before he recovered, he could possibly die.”
“I just watched myself get cut last night and now I’m back,” he said in a taped segment.
Meanwhile, Noelle Marsh suffered an injury and had to stay off her feet this week. If she still can’t compete next week, she will be cut.
Her partner, krumper Russell Ferguson, paired up with co-choreographer Melanie LaPatin instead for the foxtrot.
Mollee Gray (you may have seen her in all three High School Musical films) and her partner Nathan Trasoras pulled off a challenging Doriana Sanchez disco. New judge Adam Shankman said they’ve already established a very early fan base and praised their youthful energy, saying: “You guys did some very, very sexy lifts and none of it seemed that dirty at all somehow.”
In a change from previous years, judges picked the bottom four dancers to perform a solo and decided at the end of the episode who to send home.
Executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe wrote on Twitter, “I’m happy the judges decide, besides we know best at this moment. A couple of weeks more will help the public become better informed.”
The crowd booed with surprise when when krumper Ferguson, who has thus far only received glowing praise for his raw talent and musicality, was called out as the second man at risk of going home. But it was an easy and unanimous choice for the judges to make Dumlao‘s top 20 stay a very brief one.
Do you like all the new changes to the show? Which dancer would you have sent home? What did you think of the pre-performance episode?
(Top: Top 20 finalist Brandon Dumlao, 21, is a Hip Hop dancer from Concord, CA. Currently Resides: Concord, CA. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Joe Viles/FOX)
(Bottom: Top 20 finalist Ariana Debose, 18, is a Contemporary dancer from Newbern, NC. Currently Resides: Wake Forest, NC. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Joe Viles/FOX)