'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts Karen Hauer and Victor Smalley
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/27/2009
Karen Hauer and Victor Smalley became the next two finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's sixth season during Wednesday night's live results show on Fox.
"When I'm on stage, it feels like I'm in another world. I leave my seat, my tears, myself out on that stage," said Karen in a video montage after her ouster. "I breathe dance. I live dance. For me, it's a journey that never stops."
Karen, a 27-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Valencia, Venezuela who currently resides in Queens, NY, and her partner Victor, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Miami, FL, had found themselves among the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Tuesday night's performance episode, in which each couple danced two routines.
They were then ousted by So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Adam Shankman after all six dancers each performed a solo routine.
"This whole experience has changed my life," said Victor in a video montage after his elimination. "Dance is everything to me. It's everything I do. It's who I am."
Karen and Victor's first Tuesday night routine was a tango choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, and it was their first time performing together on the show after their partners Channing Cooke and Kevin Hunte were both ousted last week.
"This is a partnership that really ended up working out," said Adam.
"I've got to say, Victor that was really, really great for you. You had so much poise and stature. Karen, you're embracing all of the stillness and the sharpness in there and keeping energy alive when nothing was going on with just your dynamic. That's what this is all about. And you had hot chemistry. That was great."
Mary called the routine "really good."
"I'm going to go straight to you Victor because this was a huge surprise for me. Honestly, I didn't really think you were going to be able to pull this off," she explained, adding the "difficulty level was really up there."
"Karen, this isn't your bag, and you looked tremendous out there."
Nigel said he was "really happy" about Karen and Victor's partnership.
"Your chemistry together tonight, the intensity of your work together was beautiful to watch," he added, warning Victor about his form and comparing Karen to Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
"The pair of you together were just magical tonight. Excellent."
Karen and Victor's second Tuesday night routine was a hip-hop number choreographed by Laurie Ann Gibson.
"This is an interesting one for me because there was an enormous amount of commitment there, a lot of intensity, I didn't necessarily think that the attitude and the choreography -- I don't know, something about it didn't match the music," explained Adam. "It seemed a little angrier to me than the music. That being said, you guys both danced it great."
Mary described it as "okay."
"There isn't anything there that's going to be really memorable. The number, the way you danced it I think was okay -- but there's nothing to latch onto there," she added. "I'm just grateful you had an amazing tango with a brand new partnership that just rocked my whole world. This was just okay."
Nigel said it was "a pity" the tango came first.
"It would have been nice to have left us with that rather than with this routine, which I didn't feel the chemistry between the two of you, I didn't feel your chemistry with the music, I didn't think you were particularly together on the routine," added Nigel. "There wasn't anything there for me that I could grab positively about it. So I better shut up."
In addition to Karen and Victor, the other members of the bottom three couples were Mollee Gray, an 18-year-old jazz dancer from Orem, UT who currently resides in Upland, CA, and her partner Nathan Trasoras, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Downey, CA, as well as Ellenore Scott, a 19-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer from Santa Cruz, CA who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, and her partner Ryan Di Lello, a 28-year-old ballroom dancer from Springville, UT who currently resides in Orem, UT.
Nigel said the decision to eliminate Karen was unanimous.
"Karen we've said on so many occasions what a fantastic performer you are, and also how difficult it is for a ballroom dancer to do their solo," explained Nigel.
"Tonight it felt a little bit like you'd given up -- it's like you were waving the white flag at some point. It didn't feel like you put your heart and soul into it like I've seen you do for so many weeks. I'm afraid tonight will be your last solo performance on that stage. We're not going to ask you to stay with us after this week. Thank you so much for everything you brought to the competition."
Unlike the decision to oust Karen, Nigel said the judges were not unanimous in their choice to boot Victor.
"Victor, I don't know if you've been watching Dancing with the Stars, but Kelly Osbourne has been absolutely fantastic on that. I love her to death. She's certainly found something to focus on and she has grown as a person, the same way that I feel you have on this program. From when you joined us to where you are now, you have grown as a person brilliantly and your solo tonight was terrific," said Nigel, who added he didn't think Nathan had grown the same way.
"I must be honest with you and say if I had my personal way this evening, [Nathan] would be going home. As it is, you are staying and Victor I'm sorry, you are leaving us this evening."
So You Think You Can Dance's next sixth-season episode -- in which the Top 10 finalists will receive new partners -- will air on Tuesday, November 30 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox.