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Entertainment behind the scenes

Jeanine Mason takes the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer”


sytycd_jeanine_1803_lyf_1 It was a night of celebration and tears at the Kodak Theater as contemporary performer Jeanine Mason was crowned “America’s Favorite Dancer” on season five of Fox’s summer hit  “So You Think You Can Dance.

“I never ever imagined this,” the 18-year-old said following the announcement, adding she never thought she would be giving an acceptance speech on the same stage that hosts the Academy Awards.

More than 3,000 screaming dance enthusiasts packed inside the iconic Hollywood theater to hear the fate of the final four — Mason, Evan Kasprzak, Kayla Radomski and Brandon Bryant – after what was the largest vote in the show’s history.

Judge Mary Murphy and executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe were joined by a full panel of guest judges including film producer Adam Shankman, krump master Lil C and dance legend Debbie Allen.

Down to the final four on “So You Think You Can Dance”


dance01The “dreaded quickstep” was once again the kiss of death as ballerina Melissa Sandvig was eliminated on Fox’s fifth season of the popular “So You Think You Can Dance.”Comments from the judges on Wednesday night were mixed for Sandvig’s challenging ballroom number as Mary Murphy said she was “disappointed” with Melissa and Evan Kasprzak‘s performance while Nigel Lythgoe raved, “it’s routines like I just watched now that started me dancing.”And in what was probably the biggest shock of the season, Ade Obayomi failed to inspire voters to pick up the phone, sending him packing rather than to the finale.  Ade and Jeanine Mason got down and dirty with a well-received Tabitha and Napoleon hip hop number, but their samba failed to impress due to technical shortcomings.ade“It started to fall apart for me. Ade, you were hopping around that floor,” Murphy said on Wednesday, adding the routine had a novice feel. The panel agreed the couple physically looked great but it wasn’t enough to keep the critiques at bay. “We were hoping to get an explosion of excellence and it really fell short for me,” crump choreographer and guest judge Lil C said of the performance. Despite the elimination of two dancers, Thursday’s show managed to retain somewhat of a celebratory feel as past finalists and winners took to the stage to perform Emmy-nominated numbers from last season, including “Bleeding Love,” “Silence” and “A Los Amigos.”This week’s competition got under way with Wednesday night’s performance show, which was a hotbed of sexy samba, high-flying disco and infidelity-inspired contemporary.After fielding some scathing critiques for his Tyce Diorio-choreographed Broadway number, Evan managed to inspire the judges during his quickstep routine, prompting Lil C to say,”I’m going to commend you for dancing bigger than you’ve ever danced on the show for me.”Judge favorites Brandon Bryant and Kayla Radomski continued their ride on the coveted hot tamale train with two first-class tickets doled out by Murphy.  Their “beyond intense” contemporary number, choreographed by Canadian Stacey Tookey, was a technical feast for the eyes. Kayla shone as an abused mistress in the adultery-inspired performance. “You have never taken a wrong step for me Kayla,” Murphy said, “That was perfection up there on the dance floor.”Lil C continued the compliments saying Kayla, who he described as “a beast,” has a tendency to outdance her partners, but her coupling with Brandon was the first time she was evenly matched.Kayla and Brandon will join Evan and Jeanine in the final four, competing for a chance to win $250,000 and the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.”  Did the final four come as a surprise or did the top dancers make the cut?Captions: (Right) Melissa  Sandvig, 29, is a ballet dancer from Los Alamitos, CA. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mike Ruiz/FOXAde Obayomi,20, is a contemporary dancer from Chandler, AZ. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mike Ruiz/FOX

Speidi “Get me Out of Here!” jungle drama drags on


speidi2(Writing and reporting by Laura Isensee)

The first contestant got voted off reality television show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” on Thursday night, and (shock) it wasn’t Spencer and Heidi Pratt. All week long, speculation in celebrity media reports has been about whether they would be allowed to return to the TV contest show after seeming to walk off in a huff on Monday’s show and head back to Hollywood.

For those who don’t know, on “I’m a Celebrity,” B-list stars compete in challenges like eating bugs to see who can survive a battle of willpower in a Coast Rican jungle.

Speidi celebrity walkaway, real or a stunt?


speidi1(Writing and reporting by Laura Isensee) Speidi’s on-again, off-again affair with reality television show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me out of Here!” has kept celebrity watchers guessing whether the newlyweds have quit the show or is their walkaway from the celeb reality show just a big publicity stunt.


There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as they say in showbiz (see Sacha Baron Cohen and his MTV stunt with Eminem), and this back-and-forth is creating buzz for the NBC show, where Hollywood D-listers like “American Idol” contestant Sanjaya Malakar and born again Christian Stephen Baldwin battle for survival — and a return to fame — in a Costa Rican jungle.