'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts Rayven Armijo and Jamie Bayard
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/13/2008
Rayven Armijo and her partner Jamie Bayard became the first two finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's fourth season during last night's live results show on Fox.
"I've never danced professionally. This is the first time I've ever done it," said Raven after her elimination was revealed. "It was the best experience that I've ever had. Just to be a part of this -- the audience, the diversity of dancers -- it was amazing. I'm only springing forward from here."
Rayven, a 28-year-old contemporary/ballet dancer from La Puente, CA, and Jamie, a 22-year-old West Coast swing dancer from Palm Springs, CA who currently resides in Norwalk, CA, 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.
"I'm just so happy that I got to make it this far," said Jamie after his elimination was revealed. "Everybody in this competition, they're all beautiful people. They're all just such wonderful dancers, and I was a part of it. I'm really happy that I got to be a part of it."
Rayven and Jamie performed a fast hip-hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo during Wednesday night's performance episode. They were the first pair to perform, a fact that wasn't lost on So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
"Is that routine going to be memorable at the end of tonight?" asked Nigel after Rayven and Jamie's Wednesday night performance. "That's what we'll find out a little later on."
"Well I hate to put a damper on the first number of the year," added fellow judging regular Mary Murphy on Wednesday night. "But I'm not going to!"
"Not bad, not great," commented this week's guest judge, choreographer Dan Karaty.
After Rayven and Jamie were revealed to be among the bottom three couples during last night's results show, Nigel reiterated that the order of Wednesday nights performances may have played a role.
"They were the first couple on stage. It's a long time from the beginning of the show to the end of the show -- for people to remember," said Nigel last night. "Was the routine memorable for them? No it wasn't. The only thing that I really remembered at the end of the night was that Rayven pulled down Jamie's pants. In truth, that may have offended a number of people too. You have to take that into account. You never know why people don't telephone."
In addition to Rayven and Jamie, Kourtni Lind, an 18-year-old jazz/contemporary dancer from Forest Lake, MN who currently resides in Sherman Oaks, CA, and her partner Matt Dorame, a 22-year-old contemporary dancer from Glendale, AZ, as well as Jessica King, a 23-year-old contemporary dancer from Myrtle Beach, SC, and her partner Will Wingfield, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Nashville, TN, 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.
"We are unanimous," said Nigel. "Kourtni take a pace forward please. Kourtni, we would love to see what you brought to your solo tonight in your routines, because you brought a magic quality to your performance. We're very happy with you this evening, and we want you to continue in the competition."
Nigel then turned his attention to Rayven and Jessica.
"Rayven, we didn't quite understand why you were on demi-pointe tonight. You have the ability to be on pointe, that is what sold you to us, your technique and your point work. Tonight you went on demi-pointe, and we found that a little strange and not strong enough. Jessica, we found your entire routine not strong enough as a solo this evening. So we were disappointed with the pair of you. We don't really know you yet, which is really difficult for us. Neither of you were strong enough for us tonight, but we have to choose one of you to remain in the competition. Jessica we've chosen you to remain in the competition."
Once Rayven left the stage, Nigel said the judges' decision when it came to the males was also "unanimous."
"Will, we are disappointed to a certain degree to see you in the bottom three. Yet we were all happy to see you dance. You are an incredible dancer," said Nigel. "I don't know why you're in the bottom three. All I would ask of you -- because you have everything to be there in the finale, you've got every facility to be there -- all I would ask of you is that you stop and think about your performance and just let people realize how brilliant you are... You must be careful that you take in every part of the audience and they understand what's happening. Congratulations, you can go and sit down."
Nigel then delivered the news to Jamie that he would be joining his partner.
"If we could fuse [Jamie and Matt], that would be ideal for us," said Nigel. "Jamie we love your personality, Matt we love your technique. It's really difficult to be able to find technique at this moment in time for you Jamie, and Matt, you're finding it ever so difficult to grab a personality. You need to, otherwise you're going to find yourself here every week and we're all going to be saying, 'Beautiful lines, great technique.' It isn't enough on this program to be the best dancer. You have to have added ingredients, which you don't have. We do believe in growth. Tonight -- and only tonight -- we're going to go with technique over personality. Matt you will stay with us."
In addition to Kourtni and Matt and Jessica and Will, So You Think You Can Dance's Top 18 fourth-season finalists are Comfort Fedoke and her partner Chris Jarosz; Courtney Galiano and her partner Gev Manoukian; Susie Garcia and her partner Marquis Cunningham; Katee Shean and her partner Joshua Allen; Chelsie Hightower and her partner Mark Kanemura; Kherington Payne and her partner Twitch Boss; and Chelsea Traille and her partner Thayne Jasperson.
So You Think You Can Dance's next fourth-season performance episode will air Wednesday, June 18 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox, with each of the nine 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 16.