'So You Think You Can Dance' reveals Top 20 sixth-season finalists
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/22/2009
So You Think You Can Dance revealed the identities of its Top 20 sixth-season finalists during last night's broadcast of the Fox reality dancing competition.
Thousands of hopefuls auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance's sixth season by attending open casting calls in Boston, MA, Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, New Orleans, LA, Phoenix, AZ and Salt Lake City, UT -- from which 152 contestants were invited to attend the "Las Vegas Round."
During last night's conclusion of the pre-taped round, the Top 20 -- 10 males and 10 females -- were selected by regular So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and newcomer Adam Shankman as well as choreographers/guest judges Debbie Allen, Mia Michaels and Tyce Diorio.
So You Think You Can Dance's sixth-season also includes a few Top 20 firsts for the series, including first-ever husband and wife duo Ryan and Ashleigh Di Lello; first-ever krumper Russell Ferguson; and first-ever tappers Bianca Revels, Phillip Attmore and Peter Sabasino.
Fox will airSo You Think You Can Dance: Meet the Top 20 on Monday, October 26 at 8PM ET/PT. The one-hour special will showcase each of the finalist's in their own style and also include group numbers.
At the conclusion of the episode, So You Think You Can Dance's judging panel of Lythgoe, Murphy and Shankman will put the Top 20 in partners for the sixth season's first performance episode -- a two-hour broadcast that will air on Tuesday, October 27 at 8PM ET/PT.
During the performance episode, the paired finalists will work on a dance routine chosen at random from various dance genres. At the end of the broadcast, Lythgoe, Murphy and Shankman will deliberate and eliminate the first two dancers from the competition without the aid of home viewer votes.
Then on Tuesday, November 3 at 8PM ET/PT, the Top 18 finalists will perform again for the judging panel -- which will eliminate two more finalists at the end of the two-hour broadcast sans home viewer votes.
Home viewer voting has been cut from the first two week's of the sixth season because So You Think You Can Dancewill be preempted by Fox's broadcast of the 2009 World Series on October 28 and November 4.
The Top 16 sixth-season finalists will take to the stage and perform on Tuesday, November 10 at 8PM ET/PT, and home viewers will be able to cast their votes immediately following the broadcast to help determine which two finalists will be ousted during the next night's results show, which will air live at 8PM ET/PT.
- Channing Cooke, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Haverhill, MA
Channing Cooke grew up competing in local dance competitions around her hometown. She loves animals, especially cats, and likes to watch auto racing and football with her dad. Cooke once won a national lawn mower obstacle course competition.
- Ariana Debose, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Newbern, NC who currently resides in Wake Forest, NC
Ariana Debose has been dancing since she was 3 years old and loves to express her creativity through dance. She also enjoys scrapbooking and playing the clarinet. Her goal is to attend college and study musical theatre.
- Ashleigh Di Lello, a 26-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Orem, UT
Ashleigh Di Lello graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah with a degree in political science and served as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Ryan Di Lello, used to compete against each other in local ballroom dance competitions and became dance partners a week before they were married.
- Mollee Gray. an 18-year-old jazz dancer from Orem, UT who currently resides in Upland, CA
Mollee Gray has been dancing for 15 years and has appeared in all three High School Musical films. She has a hearing impairment in one ear, but doesn't let that stand in the way of her love for dancing. Gray's interests include singing, acting and gymnastics.
- Karen Hauer, a 27-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Valencia, Venezuela who currently resides in Queens, NY
Karen Hauer was born in Venezuela and came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 8 years old. She has been dancing for 19 years, and currently works as a professional dancer and personal trainer.
- Noelle Marsh, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Sanford, NC
Noelle Marsh is a small-town girl who grew up on a farm. She recently graduated from high school in Sanford, NC, where she now teaches contemporary dance.
- Pauline Mata, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from West Covina, CA
Pauline Mata teaches dance at Dellos Dance Studio in Walnut, CA. Aside from dancing, her interests include singing karaoke and eating.
- Kathryn McCormick, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Augusta, GA who currently resides in Burbank, CA
Kathryn McCormick has been dancing for 15 years, and competed in dance team competitions during middle school and high school. With her parents' support, she recently moved to California to pursue a career in dance. McCormick admits that before she performs she gets extremely nervous, but can't stop dancing once the music starts.
- Bianca Revels, a 20-year-old tap dancer from Detroit, MI who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA
Bianca Revels appeared on Showtime at the Apollo and considers it to be one of her most memorable moments. In addition to dancing, she competes in beauty pageants, paints, swims, sings and plays the piano.
- Ellenore Scott, a 19-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer from Santa Cruz, CA who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY
Both of Ellenore Scott's parents are dancers and serve as her inspiration. She describes her personal dance style as "lockerina," or a ballerina who locks. She speaks Japanese, loves to paint and cook and one day hopes to own a family restaurant.
- Phillip Attmore, a 25-year-old tap dancer from Pasadena, CA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA
Phillip Attmore has performed on stage in White Christmas, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fosse with Ben Vereen and Stormy Weather with Leslie Uggams. In addition to dancing, he enjoys singing, acting and writing poetry.
- Billy Bell, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from West Palm Beach, FL who currently resides in New York, NY
Billy Bell currently studies dance at The Juilliard School. He considers working with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey on Back to Back to Broadway one of his greatest accomplishments. He is trained in everything from hip hop to classical ballet, and enjoys skiing and grocery-shopping.
- Ryan Di Lello, a 28-year-old ballroom dancer from Springville, UT who currently resides in Orem, UT
Ryan Di Lello was first introduced to dancing by his mother, who is a dancer and dance-studio owner. When he is not dancing with his wife, Ashleigh Di Lello, he enjoys snowboarding, skiing and wakeboarding, and would love to be an action-film star.
- Russell Ferguson, a 20-year-old hip-hop/krump dancer from Boston, MA
Russell Ferguson started dancing when he was 3 years old and began dancing professionally at age 6. He trained at the Boston Art Academy and has worked with Boston City Lights. His interests include acting, singing, drawing, rapping and making music.
- Kevin Hunte, a 23-year-old hip-hop dancer from Brooklyn, NY
Kevin Hunte has been dancing for nine years and cites Michael Jackson as his inspiration. He has performed with Lil Mama and Beyonce. Hunte also models and has appeared in fashion shows.
- Jakob Karr, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Windermere, FL who currently resides in New York, NY
Jakob Karr is a sophomore at Fordham University in New York. In 2008, he was named New York City Dance Alliance's National Senior Outstanding Dancer. In addition to dancing, he also enjoys scuba diving.
- Legacy Perez, a 28-year-old hip-hop dancer and b-boy from Miami, FL who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA
Although Legacy Perez has no formal dance training, he has appeared in the film Stomp The Yard and has performed on tour with Gwen Stefani. His interests include writing poetry, making music, video editing and playing soccer.
- Peter Sabasino, a 22-year-old tap dancer from Philadelphia, PA
Peter Sabasino has been dancing for 16 years and is trained in various dance styles. He has been teaching dance in Philadelphia since 2001 and was a featured dancer in the city's Thanksgiving Day Parade. His other interests include playing the drums and doing impressions.
- Victor Smalley, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Miami, FL
Victor Smalley has been dancing for five years. Although his first passion was art, he was inspired by his mother to start dancing. He loves to eat and considers himself a fast-food junkie.
- Nathan Trasoras, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Downey, CA
Nathan Trasoras began dancing at age 10 and trained at the West Coast School of the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. His other interests include playing the trumpet and table tennis.