‘So You Think You Can Dance’: Jamie Bayard and Rayven Armijo head home and the others do a happy dance


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It was 5:45 p.m., and the audience at ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ was downright giddy. ‘Are you ready to be on TV?’ Bellowed Cory, the warm-up guy, just 15 minutes before the first elimination show of the season. Hundreds of fans shrieked in the affirmative.

We chanted for Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe, and they emerged on cue, all waves, smiles and playful bows. This is gonna be a blast!


But when Cat Deeley took the stage, a pouty expression had replaced her trademark smile. ‘We have to say goodbye to somebody,’ she whined over the blaring music. And she was right. But the truth was, it didn’t really matter to us yet. Most of us still couldn’t tell ‘Chelsea’ from ‘Chelsie.’

The show began, and Cat reiterated her somber point. ‘The journey ends for one guy and one girl.’ And the music played. ‘Woo!’

Twitch and Kherington Payne –- or Twitchington, as they like to be called –- were declared safe, and there was no surprise there. If any star couple has emerged in the group thus far, it’s Twitchington. Twitch lives to amuse, and Kherington lives to be amused. Thus, the twosome seems genetically engineered for fun.

One by one, seven couples discovered that they were safe ... and most of them looked way too happy about it. On competition shows, reacting to your safety is an art. Every time you discover that you’re safe, you also discover that one of your colleagues is on the cutting block. Shake your head, ‘no!’ Cry! Convulse! Yell aloud, ‘There must be some mistake!’ (I suggest watching David Archuleta tapes for other tricks of the trade.)

Do whatever dramatic gesture you can conjure up. Just do not, under any circumstances, behave the way Courtney Galiano did when she found out she’d made it through; do not erupt with glee and place your hand on your rear, flapping it like a little tail as you saunter off the stage.

Comfort Fedoke knew how to cope with her win. She went for ‘shock.’ She placed her hand over her mouth, agog, as she exited the stage with her partner, Chris Jarosz. When Chris lurched toward Comfort to attempt a celebratory hug, she smacked him. Chris caught on fast, and placed his own hand over his mouth in ‘shock.’


By the time all of the safe contestants had either sulked or sauntered off stage, six dancers remained. The bottom six.

Each was then granted a comically short dance number with which to prove their worth in the competition. Rayven Armijo’s dance was a twirl-twirl-smile-smile affair. Nothing to write home about. Afterward, Nigel chastised her for going on demi-pointe instead of full pointe. She played it too safe.

Rayven’s partner, Jamie Bayard, took his final seconds on stage to the other extreme. His dance appeared passionate and daring, but it was so intense that it bordered on maniacal. ‘You’re dancing like your life depends upon it,’ observed the ever-positive Ms. Deeley, adding, ‘It’s good, it’s good!

But would it be good enough for the judges? During the Pussycat Dolls segment, the judges retreated, and, in what felt like seconds, reached their verdict.

In what they called a unanimous decision, all three agreed to send Rayven and Jamie home. And with that, the first couple to perform on the stage became the first couple to leave it.

There were boos, sure, but the audience was far from inconsolable. As the weeks go on, however, all that will change. As fans unite behind their favorites, these eliminations are going to get personal. And let’s hope that by the time they do, the remaining contestants have learned to tone down their happy dances.


-- Stephanie Lysaght