'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts two more finalists, reveals Top 16
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/22/2007
Faina Savich and Jimmy Arguello were sent packing during last night's live results show of So You Think You Can Dance's third season, becoming the second male and female finalists to be eliminated from the Fox reality competition series.
"This experience has been truly, truly by far the most amazing I've ever had in my life," said Savich upon learning she was eliminated. "I'm really, really happy that I'm here and I spent this time with the most amazing people."
Savich, a 21-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Brooklyn, NY, and Arguello, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Miami, FL, may have been eliminated together during last night's live broadcast, however they weren't partners during the competition. Savich had been paired with Cedric Gardner, a 23-year-old hip-hop dancer from New Berlin, WI, while Arguello had been paired with Shauna Noland, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from North Hollywood, CA.
"It kind of felt like Ginger Rogers and an insecure Michael Jackson," said So You Think You Can Dance guest judge and choreographer Mia Michaels following Savich and Gardner's fox-trot. The pair was presumably hoping for better feedback considering they were members of last week's bottom three couples based on viewers votes.
"Tonight I think you'll probably find yourself in the bottom three again," correctly predicted one of the show's two permanent judges, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, following Savich and Gardner's Wednesday night performance.
While they were placed in the bottom three as a couple, the judges decided to save Gardner despite So You Think You Can Dance's second permanent judge, Mary Murphy, commenting how she thought Gardner let Savich "down" and had to "pick it up."
"We were unanimous with our decision on the girls," started Lythgoe before revealing the results. "Faina... we know how difficult it is for ballroom people to do solo routines. It didn't really happen for you tonight. We have discussed you and your partner, should you even be [in the bottom three] because your fox-trot was very, very good indeed. Were you let down by your partner? Were you let down last week by your partner? We don't know. We do believe that you didn't let your partner down, but we have to judge you tonight against the other two girls you are with. Tonight we decided you will not be with us next week."
Gardner was saved for elimination in favor of Arguello, who performed So You Think You Can Dance's first ever stepping routine with Noland during Wednesday night's broadcast.
Michaels, Murphy and Lythgoe all liked the performance, however they decided to keep the more "unique" Gardner in the competition and eliminate Arguello, whom they considered a better dancer. Lythgoe described the judges as "not unanimous in their decision," and further explained Murphy lobbied for Arguello while Michaels championed for Gardner.
"I was right in the middle to be frank with you," said Lythgoe before revealing he was also supporting Gardner, followed by some words of wisdom for him. "If you screw-up and find yourself in the bottom three next week Cedric, I will not be supporting you."
Gardner will now be paired with Noland for at least next week's performances since both lost their previous partners last night.
"Do not lose another partner otherwise I will not support you ever again," continued Lythgoe to Gardner.
The other couple in the bottom three based on viewer votes from Wednesday night's performance episode was Jessi Peralta, a 24-year-old hip-hop dancer from Valley Village, CA, and her partner Pasha Kovalev, a 27-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Fort Lee, NJ. Michaels said she was "surprised" by the bottom three couples, except for Gardner and Savich, whom she felt deserved to be there. Murphy said her "biggest shock" was Peralta and Kovalev.
"I basically agree with everything that's been said," added Lythgoe. "[Kovalev] and [Peralta] shouldn't be in the bottom three. I can understand why [Arguello] and [Noland] are, although I thought they were great last night. But there's always got to be a bottom three... I'm starting to worry a lot -- to be frank with you -- about Cedric... you're own dance style is unique without question. However I'm not sure if this competition is right for you... I think you will always find yourself in the bottom three."
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. Both Peralta and Kovalev survived to dance another day, even though were told by the judges they need to step-up their solo routines.
So You Think You Can Dance 3's Top 16 finalists are: Gardner and Noland; Kovalev and Peralta; 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; 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; 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; Sara Von Gillern, a 23-year-old hip-hop/B-girl dancer from Ft. Collins, CO, and her partner Jesus Solorio, a 23-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer from Paso Robles, CA; as well as 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.
Next Wednesday, June 27 at 8PM ET, the Top 16 finalists will remain with their same partners from this week but will all be performing new routines during the two-hour broadcast. Then on Thursday, June 28 at 9PM ET, one male and one female finalist will be eliminated from the competition during the live one-hour results show.