'So You Think You Can Dance' wraps auditions and reveals Top 20
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/10/2011
So You Think You Can Dance revealed the identities of its Top 20 eighth-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 eighth season by attending open casting calls from which 160 contestants were invited to attend the "Las Vegas Round."
The Top 20 -- 10 males and 10 females -- were selected by regular So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, as well as choreographers/guest judges Robin Antin, Tyce Diorio, and Lil C.
The Top 20 will be paired into 10 couples and learn a choreographed dance routine from a variety of genres -- including hip-hop, Broadway, disco and ballroom, among others -- before performing during the performance episode. Home viewers will be able to vote for their favorite couples immediately following the broadcast.
The following night on Thursday, June 16 at 8PM ET/PT, So You Think You Can Dance will air its first live eighth-season results show -- in which the three couples who received the lowest number of home viewer votes will be announced. All six individual dancers will then be given one last chance to impress the judges with his or her solo routine.
After each dancer within those bottom-three vote-getting couples perform, the judges will send one male and one female finalist home, revealing the Top 18.
Thursday night's broadcast will also feature British singer Jessie J. performing her new single "Who You Are."
Once the Top 10 eighth-season finalists are selected, it will be solely up to home viewers to decide who remains in the competition, as one male and female will be eliminated each week.
In addition, similar to last season's format, So You Think You Can Dance's Top 10 contestants will be paired with a rotating all-star (rather than a fellow contestant).
- Jordan Casanova, an 18-year-old jazz dancer from Chino Hills, CA
Casanova graduated from Ruben S. Ayala High School in 2010 and has been dancing since she was eight-years-old.
- Alexander Fost, a 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Alhambra, CA
Fost was named Mr. Dance USA in 2006 and also won the Mr. Dance International title in 2007. He earned a spot with the Los Angeles Youth American Grand Prix one year later and subsequently danced with the Media City Ballet, San Pedro Ballet and the Festival Ballet Theatre companies.
- Tadd Gadduang, a 25-year-old hip-hop dancer from Salt Lake City, UT
Gadduang began dancing when he was 15-year-old as a hobby but eventually developed a passion for it after graduating from high school. He is currently in his sophomore year of college studying psychology.
- Marko Germar, a 22-year-old jazz dancer from Dededo, Guam, who currently resides in Canoga Park, CA
Germar was originally from the South Pacific island of Guam but moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue a career in dance. He has had nine years of studio training.
- Ricky Jaime, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Miami, FL who currently resides in Tampa, FL
Jaime graduated from Newsome High School in Lithia, FL, last year and aspires to be a member of a professional ballet company in California, New York or Europe.
- Wadi Jones, a 24-year-old break dancer from Ossining, NY
Jones was born in St. Ann's, Jamaica, and moved to the U.S. in 1988 when he was three-years-old. He is passionate about art, poetry and music and inspired by his older brother.
- Mitchell Kelly, a 20-year-old contemporary dancer from Chicago, IL who currently resides in Atlanta, GA
Kelly attended Henry W. Grady High School. He began dancing when he was 14-years-old and has been dancing professionally for six years.
- Chris Koehl, a 21-year-old hip-hop dancer from Garland, TX
Koehl began teaching himself hip-hop when he was 14-years-old. He has divided his time between training at local studios, in college classes, and teaching dance over the last few years.
- Caitlynn Lawson, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Moses Lake, WA
Lawson will earn both her diploma from Moses Lake High School and her associates degree from Big Bend Community College this June. She has been dancing since she was three-years-old.
- Jess LeProtto, an 18-year-old Broadway dancer from Little Falls, NJ
LePrott is currently a senior at Passaic Valley High School and has been dancing since he was three-years-old.
- Iveta Lukosiute, a 30-year-old ballroom dancer from Klaipeda, Lithuania who currently resides in New York, NY
Lukosiute began dancing when she was six-years-old. She is a native of Eastern Europe but moved to the U.S. in 1997.
- Miranda Maleski, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Pittsburgh, PA who currently resides in North Hollywood, CA
Maleski moved from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, to Los Angeles when she was just 18-years-old. She has been dancing since age three, and her dance specialty has evolved over the years.
- Sasha Mallory, a 23-year-old contemporary dancer from Bakersfield, CA
Mallory began studying ballet technique at the Royal Academy of Dance when she was just five-years-old. She trained at the Houston Ballet, the Boston Ballet and the Ailey School's summer intensives. She recently toured with former American Idol eighth-season runner-up Adam Lambert.
- Melanie Moore, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Marietta, GA who currently resides in New York, NY
Moore is currently a freshman at Fordham University in New York and has been dancing since she was just two-years-old.
- Missy Morelli, a 20-year-old jazz dancer from Arvada, CO who currently resides in Studio City, CA
Morelli has been living in Los Angeles for the past two years as a professional dancer. She has been dancing since she was just three-years-old.
- Clarice Ordaz, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from Whittier, CA
Ordaz is currently a student at California State University, Long Beach. She has trained in many styles of dance since the age of two.
- Ryan Ramirez, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Morgan Hill, CA who currently resides in North Hollywood, CA
Ramirez has been pursuing her dream of becoming a well-known dancer and choreographer. She began dancing when she was four-years-old and choreographing at age 11. Ramirez considers dance her language, and she is the happiest and most free while performing.
- Ashley Rich, a 22-year-old contemporary dancer from Antioch, CA who currently resides in Emeryville, CA
Rich began training at a local dance studio when she was just three-years-old and continued dancing there until age 18. For the past two years, she has been employed as a dance teacher in her hometown. Rich is also a talented cook who enjoys baking.
- Robert Taylor Jr., a 31-year-old hip-hop dancer from Brooklyn, NY who currently resides in New York, NY
Taylor Jr. is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a bachelor's degree in dance. His credits have included participating in television shows, music videos and the national tour of Hairspray. Taylor is honored to have once performed for Michael Jackson, and he has trained with numerous professionals and performed in some of the country's most prestigious dance shows.
- Nick Young, a 19-year-old tap dancer from Franklin, WI
Young graduated from high school in 2010, and he has been dancing since he was four-years-old. His favorite style of dance is Tap.