'So You Think You Can Dance' cuts Randi Evans and Kupono Aweau
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/17/2009
Randi Evans and Kupono Aweau became the next two finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's fifth season during last night's live results show on Fox.
"Dance is my life and everything I do really comes from within," said Randi during a video montage of her So You Think You Can Dancejourney. "An opportunity like this only comes along once in a lifetime. I really feel so lucky to have gotten this far."
Randi and Kupono were ousted based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance episode, in which each finalist performed a couple routine, a solo and a group number.
"Dancing to me is like breathing," said Kupono in a video montage that proceeded his ouster. "I just found a new sense of me. It's taken me beyond where I thought I could go, and I'm just grateful for it all. I'm totally grateful for this."
Randi, a 23-year-old jazz dancer who currently resides in Springville, UT, and Kupono, a 23-year-old lyrical and contemporary dancer who currently resides in Kailua, HI, were partnered together for the first time this season during Wednesday night's performance episode.
They performed a Paso Doble choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin.
"It summed up everything that this routine is supposed to be -- strong, passionate," lead judge Nigel Lythgoe had commented about the choreogrpahy.
"I'm not sure that the dancing was as good as the choreography. I'm sorry that I feel that, but Kupono, I don't feel as you carried the strength... [This is] the strongest the male dancer has to be in any routine. It didn't work for me. It was all a bit too light... I lost you about half-way through the routine, You lost me to be honest."
Nigel also criticized Randi for wearing a brunette wig over her blonde hair.
"At this stage of the game, you've got to be recognizable to the audience so that they know who they're voting for. I know why you did it -- to try and give it passion -- but the chemistry was lost between the pair of you, so there was very little passion between the pair of you. It just didn't work as a couple for me... Most of it I didn't feel felt authentic in any way."
Fellow judge Mary Murphy said the fact that Randi and Kupono were performing in-front of a studio audience together for a first time was not a valid excuse.
"It is hard for everybody tonight, and you're going to see people emerge and rise to the challenge -- and some who are not," said Mary. "This is falling in below not for me... I did not believe this. This was so cautious.... Mediocre will not cut it in this competition."
This week's guest judge -- choreographer Debbie Allen -- said it was "hard not to agree" with Nigel and Mary.
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"I think the matter of trust may be part of what's not there. There were times where I thought there was a bit of awkwardness, and maybe it was because there was not enough trust," Debbie said. "Even though you executed many things I thought really well, you really just needed more time. And you don't have anymore time."
During last night's live broadcast, Randi found herself among the bottom two female vote getters with Melissa Sandvig, a 29-year-old ballet dancer from Los Alamitos, CA. This week represented the first time Randi had found herself among the bottom vote-getters, while Melissa had been among the bottom three females just last week.
Kupono found himself among the bottom two male vote getters with Melissa's partner Ade Obayomi, a 20-year-old contemporary dancer from Chandler, AZ who currently resides in Orange County, CA. This week marked the third time Kupono had found himself among the bottom three vote-getters.
Once all four bottom vote getters were revealed, they each performed a solo routine -- however it had no affect on the voting results since they had already been tallied.
Nigel was not in attendance for last night's episode because he was instead receiving an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Bedfordshire in England, according to host Cat Deeley.
In addition to Melissa and Ade, So You Think You Can Dance's Top 8 fifth-season finalists are Kayla Radomski, an 18-year-old jazz and contemporary dancer from Aurora, CO; Evan Kasprzak, a 21-year-old Broadway dancer from West Bloomfield, MI; Janette Manrara, a 25-year-old salsa dancer who currently resides in Hialeah, FL; Brandon Bryant, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Miami, FL who currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT; Jason Glover, a 21-year-old lyrical and contemporary dancer from Fresno, CA; and Jeanine Mason, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer who currently resides in Pinecrest, FL,
So You Think You Can Dance's next episode -- which will also be the series' 99th episode since its Summer 2005 premiere -- will air Wednesday, July 22 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox.