'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts two more finalists, reveals Top 12
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/13/2007
Cedric Gardner and Shauna Noland were sent packing during last night's live results show of So You Think You Can Dance's third season, becoming the fourth male and female finalists to be eliminated from the Fox reality competition series.
Gardner, a 23-year-old hip-hop dancer from New Berlin, WI, and Noland, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from North Hollywood, CA, became a couple when their previous partners were both eliminated when So You Think You Can Dance 3's Top 16 finalists were revealed three weeks ago.
"This experience for me has been amazing. It's been life changing," said Noland during a video montage of her So You Think You Can Dance journey. "I'm definitely gonna keep going with my dance career. I'm definitely not going to give up."
While they were able to stay out of the bottom three based on viewer votes following their first routine together, the couple was unable to do the same after Wednesday night's performance episode despite the fact they received positive reviews from the three judges for their mambo.
"That was so much better than I thought it was going to be," said this week's guest judge, Hairspray director Adam Shankman. "Cedric this is so outside your element, you really stepped up. You were twirling to save your life [Noland], that was fantastic. I think you did a really, really fantastic job... I think you were both utilized very well as a couple."
Permanent So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy awarded Noland a "ticket on the hot tamale train," and also voiced her support for Gardner, which was somewhat surprising considering she had been one of his harshest critics throughout the competition.
"Cedric, the first week, hip-hop... Not so good. You're a hip-hop dancer, I thought you should go that week. Second week, foxtrot, not so good. Mary wanted you to go home then. Third week, not so good. Didn't get it, thought you were doing your own thing once again with no growth," said Murphy, setting Gardner up for one of her patented screams. "Today is the first day I want you to stay! I thought you were great! You have shown the most growth! I didn't think you could do it Cedric... I'm sorry. You proved me wrong today."
So You Think You Can Dance executive producer and permanent judge Nigel Lythgoe echoed Shankman and Murphy's compliments of Noland -- calling her "fantastic" -- adding he was also "very, very proud" of Gardner for his effort.
The other two couples who joined Gardner and Noland in the bottom three based on viewers votes following Wednesday night's performance episode were Jaimie Goodwin, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Virginia Beach, VA, and her partner Hok Konishi, a 22-year-old B-boy dancer from Los Angeles, CA, as well as Anya Garnis, a 25-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from New York, NY, and her partner Danny Tidwell, a 23-year-old contemporary/Jazz dancer from New York, NY.
Once the three couples who received the lowest number of viewer votes were revealed, all six had one last chance to impress the judges with a solo performance of his or her choosing. Lythgoe said the three judges were "unanimous" in deciding both which male and female would be eliminated, adding they were "upset" about having to make the decision.
"We are not basing our decision purely and simply on the dancing this evening, but taking everything into account across the entire season," he said before turning his attention to the girls. "Shauna, there is no question you are absolutely a wonderful dancer. And the only reason you are here is because we believe that... However we don't think the growth has been here across the season that we'd like to see. We don't think your personality has always been as strong as we'd like to have seen. But there is no question you are going to have a glittering career as a dancer."
Lythgoe then turned his attention to the guys, and wasted no time in telling Gardner it was the end of his So You Think You Can Dance journey. "But we believe that this is just the beginning of your journey in dancing," said Lythgoe. "Thank you so much for gracing our stage."
"My whole entire life, I've always been the underdog when it comes to dance," said Gardner during a video montage of his So You Think You Can Dance experience. "Dance is the only thing that I really, truly love to do."
So You Think You Can Dance 3's Top 12 finalists are: Goodwin and Konishi; Garnis and Tidwell; Sabra Johnson, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Roy, UT, and her partner Dominic Sandoval, a 21-year-old B-boy/hip-hop dancer from Roseville, CA; Lacey Schwimmer, an 18-year-old swing and international Latin dancer from Redlands, CA, and her partner Kameron Bink, a 20-year-old contemporary/hip-hop dancer from Coral Springs, FL; Lauren Gottlieb, an 18-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer who currently lives in Sherman Oaks, CA, and her partner Neil Haskell, a 20-year-old contemporary jazz dancer from Clarence Center, NY; as well as Sara Von Gillern, a 23-year-old hip-hop/B-girl dancer from Ft. Collins, CO, and her partner Pasha Kovalev, a 27-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Fort Lee, NJ.
Next Wednesday, July 18 at 8PM ET, the Top 12 finalists will remain with their same partners from this week but will all be performing new routines during the 90 minute broadcast. Then on Thursday, July 19 at 9PM ET, one male and one female finalist will be eliminated from the competition during the live one-hour results show, which will reveal the Top 10.