'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts two more finalists, reveals Top 14
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/29/2007
Jessi Peralta and Jesus Solorio were sent packing during last night's live results show of So You Think You Can Dance's third season, becoming the third male and female finalists to be eliminated from the Fox reality competition series.
While "over 5 million" viewer votes were cast after Wednesday night's two-hour performance episode -- none of them were for Peralta, a 24-year-old hip-hop dancer from Valley Village, CA, who did not have the opportunity to dance with her partner Pasha Kovalev, a 27-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Fort Lee, NJ. Instead, she spent the day in the hospital where she was eventually "ordered to rest" and unable to perform while Kovalev danced the couple's cha-cha routine with its choreographer's assistant.
"We just did a run through... we danced on the stage," said Kovalev, describing what happened to his partner earlier in the day. "[Peralta] felt weak... she felt a pain in her chest... she [could not] breathe freely."
Following Kovalev's performance during Wednesday night's broadcast, he received a standing ovation from the studio audience as well as the three judges -- executive producer and permanent judge Nigel Lythgoe; fellow permanent judge Mary Murphy; and special guest judge, Fame star Debbie Allen. Lythgoe told Kovalev viewers would still be able to vote for him and determine if he'd be in the bottom three during last night's live results show.
But Peralta didn't have the same opportunity, as Lythgoe informed viewers that they were unable to vote for her and she would automatically have to dance a solo during the results show -- that is if she was even healthy enough to make it. So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley revealed during last night's results show that Peralta had been "cleared by doctors" and even though it was too late for her cha-cha routine with Kovalev to be voted on by viewers, the couple still performed it.
"I get very dehydrated. This is a very rigorous undertaking. So I just got dehydrated. My [electrocardiogram] was off..." explained Peralta last night as to why she couldn't perform on Wednesday night.
Peralta performed her solo with the three females in the bottom three who actually received viewer votes -- Sara Von Gillern, a 23-year-old hip-hop/B-girl dancer from Ft. Collins, CO who was Solorio's partner; Lauren Gottlieb, an 18-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer who currently lives in Sherman Oaks, CA; and Anya Garnis, a 25-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from New York, NY.
While Lythgoe informed the girls the three judges' decision was not unanimous, they did all agree the solos weren't good enough, and he specifically signalled out Gootlieb for wasting time. However it was Peralta who was sent packing with no further explanation beyond, "I'm sorry we're going to lose you tonight," from Lythgoe.
"I'll remember Pasha probably the most," said Peralta of her time in the competition. "I left it up here... so I'm okay."
Solorio, a 23-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer from Paso Robles, CA, and Gillern danced a crump routine during Wednesday night's performance episode, and the three judges seemed impressed with his ability to do it smoothly. Allen said she couldn't take her eyes off him; Murphy said he was "hitting it hard the whole way through;" and Lythgoe called the couple "together" and added he "thoroughly enjoyed" the routine.
Solorio was joined in the bottom three with Danny Tidwell, a 23-year-old contemporary/Jazz dancer from New York, NY who is Garnis' partner; as well as Neil Haskell, a 20-year-old contemporary jazz dancer from Clarence Center, NY who is Gottlieb's partner.
Lythgoe said the judges were unanimous with their decision -- and after calling both Tidwell and Haskell "outstanding" -- he revealed Solorio was eliminated. While Lythgoe said Solorio had been "outstanding throughout the season," Tidwell and Haskell were just too tough of competition.
"Thank you... this was an awesome experience. It's been beautiful all the way through," said an emotional Solorio when he learned he was sent packing. "My goal was to help someone achieve their dream, and I got a call last night that I helped a lot of kids where I grew up... which we pretty much call the ghetto."
So You Think You Can Dance 3's Top 14 finalists are: the new duo of Kovalev and Gillern; Tidwell and Garnis; Haskell and Gottlieb; 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; 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; 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; as well as Cedric Gardner, a 23-year-old hip-hop dancer from New Berlin, WI, and his partner Shauna Noland, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from North Hollywood, CA.
Due to next week's Fourth of July holiday, So You Think You Can Dance 3 will continue Wednesday, July 11 at 8PM ET, when the Top 14 finalists will remain with their same partners from this week but will all be performing new routines. Then on Thursday, July 18 at 9PM ET, one male and one female finalist will be eliminated from the competition during the live one-hour results show.