'So You Think' cuts dancers Susie Garcia and Marquis Cunningham
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/20/2008
Susie Garcia and Marquis Cunningham became the third and fourth finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's fourth season during last night's live results show on Fox.
"It's been an awesome road and I can't wait to keep going down it," said Marquis, an 18-year-old lyrical/contemporary dancer from Cumberland, NC who currently resides in New York City, after his ouster. "Thank you so much."
Susie and Marquis found themselves among the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance episode. They were then ousted by the show's three judges after the six dancers each performed a solo routine.
"Thank you for giving me this opportunity," said Susie, a 25-year-old Latin/salsa dancer from Miami, FL, after her ouster. "I really, really enjoyed it."
The couple performed a salsa routine choreographed by Alex Da Silva during Wednesday night's performance episode -- and they were confident since the dance genre was right in Susie's wheelhouse. Unfortunately for them, the judges' comments didn't reflect that.
"I wasn't crazy about your performance," commented this week's guest judge, choreographer Mia Michaels, following the Wednesday night routine. "I feel like Marquis, I feel like it was too much. It was too much with your shoulders -- everything was over over-exaggerated. Your body was a little Jello-like... Susie, it's hot. You're hot. You can't deny that. But I did expect more from you because this is your strength. So I did want to see more and I didn't quite get it."
"It's not quite working for me either," she said on Wednesday night. "Susie, I have to say too, I expected a lot more out of you. You are one sexy hot number just standing there. I wanted to see fire, and street dancers, they have this raw edge about them. I was missing that. I felt like everything was being concentrated on -- the turns were really labored, [Marquis] you weren't really helping her out with the turns. I saw more chemistry in high school Chemistry 101 than I saw just now."
However the harshest technical criticisms on Wednesday night for Susie and Marquis came from So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
"There were so many mistakes being made," he said. "Marquis I'm not sure you were a really strong partner. I don't know. I don't know how you hold her. But on the whip-turns, on the arms, it all looked terribly labored. The best thing was the throw from the shoulders around, and that really did bring a gasp from the crowd. But that isn't what the dance was about. I want to see the fire in your eyes. Just the hops weren't doing enough, you weren't down into it... The retraction from your kicks weren't there. It was like a straight leg doing it."
As if having "many things wrong" on the technical side wasn't bad enough, Nigel also took aim at Susie and Marquis' chemistry.
"This salsa should have been fiery. It really should have been. It wasn't," he said. "I think the Cuban and the Puerto Rican fire brigade would have put you out before you came on stage."
After Susie and Marquis were revealed to be among the bottom three couples during last night's results show, Mary said part of the reason they may have had a hard time with Wednesday night's routine was the luck -- or lack thereof -- of the draw.
"One thing that's really interesting here is the first week, Marquis and Susie did an amazing waltz, where I think we all gave them great reviews," she said. "Then the next week you can draw a dance that you have a little bit of a tough time with. That can happen to any of the couples on the show. They had a tough time [Wednesday] night, but I can't wait to see their solos."
In addition to Susie and Marquis, Chelsea Traille, a 23-year-old jazz funk and contemporary dancer from Flower Mound, TX, and her partner Thayne Jasperson, a 27-year-old contemporary dancer from Springville, UT; as well as Comfort Fedoke, a 20-year-old hip-hop dancer from Lagos, Nigeria who currently resides in Dallas, TX, and her partner Chris Jarosz, a 21-year-old lyrical/contemporary dancer from Dallas, were the other members of the bottom three vote getters based on home viewer votes.
After all three couples were revealed to be in the bottom three, each dancer in those three couples was given one last chance to impress the judges with his or her solo routine. Once the solo routines were in the books, the judges briefly deliberated before delivering their decision for the females.
"Chelsea, you've got a great personality," said Nigel. "You brighten up the stage when you dance. You are going to have to step up though, you really are. There are better dancers than you here and you've got to come up to standard with them -- and not just with your personality. But for tonight, you're safe."
Nigel then turned his attention to Susie and Comfort.
"Susie, you didn't use the stage as much as we would have liked you to done. You were so hot when we first saw you in the auditions, and somehow something has cooled you down. We're not sure what, but you're not lighting up that stage anymore. You're going to have to figure out what that is and recapture it and rekindle the heat that you had," he said. "Comfort, it's been difficult for you with the [shoulder] injury. Maybe it's because you're injured, you have never found your potential on this show. Maybe tonight in the Shayne Sparks' routine you came alive. That is what we're basing keeping you in the show on."
Once Susie left the stage, Nigel said the judges' decision when it came to the males was "unanimous" but also "really difficult" and "strange" since Marquis, Thayne and Chris are all contemporary dancers.
"Thayne, we believe you've got a great personality, you've got a great spirit on stage and we think you've got a lot of potential," said Nigel. "Marquis, again, very good dancer. We were frightened that you were a bit all tricks tonight [during your solo] and not dance. Everything you did appeared to be a trick. We all felt that isn't just what this show is about. Chris, I've asked you continuously to bring your personality out. You are most certainly doing that. We thought you danced with a great deal of passion tonight. So I'm afraid our choice tonight for the person leaving us is Marquis."
In addition to Chelsea and Thayne and Comfort and Chris, So You Think You Can Dance's Top 16 fourth-season finalists are Katee Shean and her partner Joshua Allen; Kherington Payne and her partner Twitch Boss; Chelsie Hightower and her partner Mark Kanemura; Kourtni Lind and her partner Matt Dorame; Jessica King and her partner Will Wingfield; and Courtney Galiano and her partner Gev Manoukian.
So You Think You Can Dance's next fourth-season performance episode will air Wednesday, June 25 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox, with each of the eight remaining couples performing a choreographed routine.
Then on Thursday night at 9PM ET/PT, the three couples who received the lowest number of home viewer votes will be announced. Each dancer in those three couples will then be given one last chance to impress the judges with his or her solo routine.
After all six dancers have performed, the judges will send one male and one female finalist home, revealing the Top 14.