By Peterson Gonzaga
Front Row Features Wire / Pacific Rim Video
Hollywood – As season 9 wrapped up its Las Vegas auditions, “So You Think You Can Dance” celebrated its 200th episode taping this past Monday, June 25, along with the announcement of the Top 20 dancers competing of the top prize of the show.
It’s a big surprise to Nigel that the show has reached its two hundredth episode. Before the taping of the episode, Nigel told the studio audience, “When my co-creator Simon Fuller came to me, suggest that we do this show, I said that it’ll never work and no one will watch dancing.” He was wrong as his co-creators, judges and host celebrated the show’s milestone with a cake cutting ceremony on stage.
Preston Mui of Front Row Features Wire / Pacific Video spoke more about the 200th episode with Nigel backstage on the press line explained, “I didn’t even think we’d be successful or make one episode and so to make two hundred, I’m thrilled.” For Lythgoe the journey to the 200th episode is not considered work. He says, “The entertainment of actually being there and watching these amazing routines, terrific creative choreographers, brilliant dancers – that’s not work.”
Through “So You Think You Can Dance,” the show has illustrated to America how dancers have to be athletic and gymnasts along with the amount of work and creativity goes into the choreography. Nigel Lythgoe adds, “The audience recognizes it. It’s real talent.”
For the show’s host Cat Deeley, when she first started out in the industry, she auditioned for MTV. She was a bit surprised they hired her as she explained that her tape she sent out was so bad. “I just recorded it on my mum and dad’s camcorder and it was really badly edited. There was no finesse to it at all. It was really amateur. But somehow they called me back and I had to go in for later auditions.”
However, for her current hosting gig with “So You Think You Can Dance,” Nigel approached her and asked if she was interested and now she’s onstage celebrating the 200th episode of the show along with introducing America to the Top 20 dancers of Season 9.
For Deeley, the judges and choreographers, this season’s dancers are exceptional from the first ever step dancer to a martial arts wizard, the upcoming episodes will be interesting. Choreographer Sonya Tayeh is hoping to work with martial arts dancer Cole Horibe. “Cole! Cole! Cole! Cole! I’m praying to the gods I get him,” excitedly says Tayeh.
Dance shows are not foreign to Horibe as his sister Cara Horibe is part of the dance crew Fanny Pak from “America’s Best Dance Crew” Season 2 and Season 7. “I’ve always been in my sister’s shadow. I’m always known as Cara’s brother! Cara’s brother! This is my first time to actually step out of that shadow and be myself.”
One of the overall shining stars early on in the show is George Lawrence II. Nigel Lythgoe mentioned to George that he would be shining bright even when the lights are off on stage.
The top 20 dancers include the following:Dareian Kujawa, Amelia Lowe, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, George Lawrence II, Daniel Baker, Janaya French, Nick Bloxsom-Carter, Brandon Mitchell, Alexa Anderson, Amber Jackson, Witney Carson, Matthew Kazmierczak, Eliana Girard, Will Thomas, Lindsay Arnold, Cole Horibe, Audrey Case, Cyrus Spencer, Janelle Issis and Tiffany Maher.
“So You Think You Can Dance” airs every Wednesdays at 8pm/7pm central on Fox. Video interviews of are available at youtube.com/frontrowfeatures