'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts Ashley Valerio, Max Kapitannikov
By Reality TV World staff, 06/19/2009
Ashley Valerio and Max Kapitannikov became the next two finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's fifth season during last night's live results show on Fox.
Ashley, a 22-year-old contemporary dancer from Mesa, AZ who currently resides in North Hollywood, CA, and Max, a 26-year-old latin ballroom dancer from Moscow, Russia who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, 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.
Unlike last week, neither elimination was a unanimous decision.
"We are not unanimous on either of our decisions tonight and that just goes to show the quality of the work that we are going to have to lose," So You Think You Can Dance lead judge Nigel Lythgoe said before revealing Ashley and Max's eliminations. "Because in truth, if it were up to us, we probably wouldn't lose any of this six tonight."
"However those are the rules of the competition and we're not going to change them, we can only celebrate the strength of our dancers."
Ashley had been partnered with Kupono Aweau, a 23-year-old lyrical and contemporary dancer from Honolulu, HI, while Max had been partnered with Kayla, an 18-year-old jazz and contemporary dancer from Aurora, CO.
In addition to Ashley, Kupono, Max, and Kayla, Caitlin Kinney, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Annapolis, MD, and her partner Jason Glover, a 21-year-old lyrical and contemporary dancer from Fresno, CA, were the other members of the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes.
"We felt you had wonderful Hollywood glamour tonight, you look absolutely terrific, but in truth we felt that your approach to your solo was wrong tonight because it had no substance to it at the end of the day when we're trying to find things to go 'Yeah, we've got to keep her in because of this,'" Nigel said before revealing Ashley's elimination. "There were a couple of nice [moves] but no really great substance."
"Max, nobody could impress us more than you when it comes to hard work," he added before revealing Max's ouster. "We have never seen anybody work as hard as you do, and we know that you're restricted by your ballroom style when it comes to doing your solo which is always tough."
Ashley and Kupono had performed a hip-hop routine choreographed by Shane Sparks on Wednesday night's performance show, however the judges hadn't been particularly impressed by it.
"I didn't hate it and I didn't love it, it wasn't memorable to me," Mary Murphy had told the pair.
"I think that I was sort of underwhelmed at the end of the day. I love you as dancers and I didn't think that this sat comfortably with you tonight," Nigel had said.
"You guys started out the first studio show with a bang... but the reality for this week is that you guys just didn't hit it," Lil' C -- this week's third member of the judging panel -- said after So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley revealed Ashley and Kupono had finished in the week's bottom three couples. "It just showed how vulnerable you guys are when you're taken out of the comfortability of your dance genre."
Kayla and Max had received better feedback for their Wednesday night performance of a pop jazz routine that had been choreographed by Brian Friedman.
"I loved the routine, I loved the way you danced it. And I do think that the pair of you bring a lot to this program," Nigel had told the couple after their performance.
"Maxim, give yourself a hand Maxim. You did very good for me," Lil' C had said.
"Kayla, you have not taken one wrong step since the [first] day that we saw you, you nailed it!," Mary added.
Given their judging feedback, the couple's bottom three status had come as more of a surprise to the judges.
"Yes and no," Nigel told Cat when she asked whether he was shocked that Kayla and Max had finished in the bottom three couples. "I think that the esoteric, intriguing quality of Brian Friedman's work, although I loved it, I can see a lot of people not fully understanding what they were doing or admiring the quality of their work."
Kayla and Kupono will now become dance partners due to Ashley and Max's eliminations.
In addition to Kayla, Kupono, Caitlin, and Jason, So You Think You Can Dance's Top 16 fourth-season finalists are Asuka Kondoh and her partner Vitolio Jeune, Karla Garcia and her partner Jonathan Platero, Randi Evans and her partner Evan Kasprzak, Jeanine Mason and her partner Phillip Chbeeb, Melissa Sandvig and her partner Ade Obayomi, and Janette Manrara and her partner Brandon Bryant.
So You Think You Can Dance's next episode will air Wednesday, June 24 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.