'So You Think' dance ends for Chelsie Hightower, Mark Kanemura
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/01/2008
Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura became the fifteenth and sixteenth finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's fourth season during last night's live results show on Fox.
"I'm so, so grateful. I really am," said Chelsie, an 18-year-old Latin dancer from Las Vegas, NV who currently resides in Orem, UT, as tears rolled down her face.
"I'm not crying because I'm sad, I'm just really overwhelmed right now. I'm really, really grateful for the opportunity."
Chelsie and Mark found themselves were ousted based on the "more that 11 million" home viewer votes -- the "biggest vote of the season" -- that were cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance episode, in which each finalist performed two couple routines and a solo.
"I'm so grateful just because I'm so different that I'm just so appreciative that people were able to hear my voice and support me and keep me in this competition so that I could learn and grow," said Mark, a 24-year-old contemporary dancer from Honolulu, HI.
Chelsie was paired with Twitch Boss for Wednesday night's performances, and the couple's first routine was a mambo choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. Since Chelsie is a Latin dancer, the routine was right in her wheelhouse and judges' comments reflected that.
"Chelsie Hightower, those hips move faster than lightening!" had commented host Cat Deeley after the performance.
"You are on fire," agreed this week's guest judge -- Hairspray director and choreographer Adam Shankman. "You are an animal out there, burning up the floor. Seriously, I have yet to see something that you can't do... All in all I was completely entertained and I thought it was a good performance."
"Chelsie just kept drawing my attention," added judge Mary Murphy. "She's a firecracker. She's in hot tamale red out there and she just brings that dress to life too. You are so fabulous when we get you into the Latin style that nobody can touch you on this show. Tremendous job."
"She's in her element, she's one of the most fantastic dresses I think I've seen up there this season," commented So You Think You Can Dance executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe. "We've always said she's got great legs, she uses them really well. Her feet tonight were fantastic. That whole routine made her sparkle."
Chelsie and Twitch's second Wednesday night routine was a hip-hop number choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo. Despite it being more geared towards Twitch's genre, Chelsie still received compliments for keeping up with him.
"Chelsie, I'm still just like... Wow. I want you guys to try and find something you can't do now because I want you off the show because I just don't believe that this is possible," said Adam "Thank you so much for making me so happy and entertaining me so much."
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"Chelsie, we're not supposed to believe you whatsoever in this style, and you're keeping up with Twitch tonight," added Mary. "It was unbelievable."
Mark was paired with Courtney Galiano for Wednesday night's performances, and the couple's first routine was a Viennese waltz choreographed by Jason Gilkinson.
"I don't even know how America's going to vote because right now the Top 6 is so strong and this is terrifying for all of us up here. Every dance matters a lot, and this was a good one for you. This was really beautiful," said Adam. "Mark, I actually think your rise and fall one the waltz was the best any guy has done so far this season... You guys were just gorgeous."
"It just seemed to float across the floor, and you're the ones who brought it to life like that," said Mary. "The lifts seemed effortless, and that has to do with both of you putting it together. Mark I feel like you have been growing every single week. I just really see you just coming alive week after week to another level. This number did it for me tonight."
"It was romantic and it was beautifully romantic," added Nigel.
Mark and Courtney's second Wednesday night routine was a jazz number choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.
"That was sick! That was so good!" gushed Adam after the performance. "I love you individually, but together you are unbelievable. That is like the power of togetherness."
"That was crazy, raw, interesting -- the weirdest fight scene I have ever seen in my life," added Mary. "I loved it!"
"Mark, anybody that's seen your 'Bohemian Rhapsody' knows what a unique style you have," said Nigel. "As soon as I saw you come forward, I thought, 'Here we go.' It really suited you... The pair of you together on this routine was absolutely one of the highlights of tonight. There's no question about it."
Prior to the home viewer votes being revealed during last night's live broadcast each of the Top 6 finalists performed his or her solo routine one last time, however it had no impact on the outcome. Cat then revealed Chelsie and Mark were given the boot.
In addition to the results, Adam revealed that he was adding to So You Think You Can Dance's fourth-season grand prize package by including a "feature dance role" in a movie he's currently producing. The winner will also receive a $250,000 cash prize.
So You Think You Can Dance's final fourth-season performance episode will air Wednesday, August 6 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox, with each of the Top 4 finalists -- Twitch, Courtney, Katee Shean and Joshua Allen -- performing one last time for home viewer votes.
So You Think You Can Dance's live two-hour fourth-season finale will then air on Thursday at 8PM ET/PT, with the winner being revealed based on home viewer votes.