'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts Asuka Kondoh, Jonathan Platero
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/26/2009
Asuka Kondoh and Jonathan Platero 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.
Asuka, a 25-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from San Francisco, CA who currently resides in Irvine, CA, and Jonathan, a 21-year-old salsa dancer from Sanford, FL who currently resides in New York, 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.
"Dance is pretty much my purpose for living. It's what made me who I am today," said Jonathan during a video montage of his So You Think You Can Dance journey that followed his ouster. "This has been the greatest moment of my life."
In addition to Asuka and Jonathan, Asuka's partner Vitolio Jeune, a 26-year-old contemporary dancer from Petionville, Haiti who currently resides in Miami, FL; Jonathan's partner Karla Garcia, a 23-year-old jazz and contemporary dancer from Oxon Hill, MD who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY; and partners Caitlin Kinney, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Annapolis, MD, and Jason Glover, a 21-year-old lyrical and contemporary dancer from Fresno, CA, were the other members of the bottom three couples.
Before revealing Asuka's ouster, So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe said the decision concerning the females was "unanimous."
"Asuka, you are such an exciting performer, you are very beautiful and you give a little something of yourself with everything that you do," explained Nigel. "But we do feel as though you are not growing in the competition. Consequently, it will be you who is leaving us this evening."
Unlike the decision to eliminate Asuka, Nigel said the choice to boot Jonathan was not unanimous among the three judges.
"It was two votes to one," said Nigel before explaining why Jonathan was being ousted.
"Jonathan, we continually find you in this bottom three. I think you had an absolutely wonderful week [last week] with Stacey Tookey's choreography. Last night really was not good. Your solo tonight -- again the gymnastics were outstanding. But we're asking you to be America's favorite dancer, and I'm sure you've won a lot of hearts. You're certainly a good looking lad. But I don't believe you've brought the dancing that's required to be America's best dancer."
Asuka and Vitolio performed a jazz routine choreographed by Mandy Moore during Wednesday night's performance episode, and it received mixed reviews from the judges.
"Fantastic!" excitedly commented Nigel after the routine. "I saw this in rehearsals, and I thought, 'Well it's very simplistic with some simple steps.' You do the work, and tonight, you did the work. Well done!"
Fellow judge Mary Murphy complimented the couple on the chemistry of their partnership, but said the routine was lacking in comparison to last week's performance.
"It was really good," said Mary. "But it wasn't like last week when I thought, 'Holy smokes! You took the roof off with that waltz.' It wasn't at that level for me. There were certain things that were not synchronized... It wasn't really together. I expected a little bit more to be honest with you."
This week's guest judge -- choreographer Toni Basil -- said she felt Asuka and Vitolio "have the potential to really develop into an extremely, extremely powerful couple."
"Still, here is a word of warning," added Toni. "Don't let your technique get in the way of your emotions... Let your emotions down to take you to the next level."
Jonathan and Karla performed a hip-hop routine choreographed by Dave Scott during Wednesday night's broadcast, and Nigel said the performance lacked "excitement" and "danger" before criticizing Jonathan for his lack of contact with Karla.
"The chemistry that we had, that we found between you two last week, was not there this week," commented Nigel before making an ominous wager with the audience.
"Bet you they're in the bottom three. Want to take bets? It wasn't good enough. I don't want you to be [in the bottom three]. You're too good to be in the bottom three. You're both good dancers. But unless you bring it, you're going to be, because we've got great dancers this year."
Mary agreed with Nigel's assessment that the routine wasn't as good as the previous week and also lacked synchronization.
"The chemistry didn't feel like it was really powerful," she said. "I know you desperately wanted to nail this, but it really wasn't in the right groove at all. I wasn't feeling it."
Mary then credited Jonathan's gymnastics skills, but added "that's not going to be enough."
After the bottom three couples were revealed during last night's broadcast, host Cat Deeley asked the judges if they were surprised by the home viewer voting results.
"I'm surprised by one of the couples," said Mary without specifying which one.
"I wasn't at all surprised about one couple. And the other two couples, I wasn't about to second guess America on their vote," added Toni.
"Who were you surprised with? Name names," asked Nigel.
"The hip-hop routine," answered Toni, referring to Jonathan and Karla. "I just didn't think they brought any funk or flavor."
Vitolio and Karla will now become dance partners due to Asuka and Jonathan's eliminations.
In addition to Vitolio, Karla, Caitlin and Jason, So You Think You Can Dance's Top 14 fifth-season finalists are Randi Evans and her partner Evan Kasprzak, Jeanine Mason and her partner Phillip Chbeeb, Melissa Sandvig and her partner Ade Obayomi,Kayla Radomski and her partner Kupono Aweau, and Janette Manrara and her partner Brandon Bryant.
So You Think You Can Dance's next episode will air Wednesday, July 1 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox, with each of the seven 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 12.