The elimination of Chelsea Hough and Evan DeBenedetto on “So You Think You Can Dance” didn’t exactly come as a surprise. In the first live show they were criticized for both of their dances: a jazz routine where the judges felt they lacked chemistry, and a tap routine where they felt Hough was out of her depth. Our users who predicted the first elimination thought they were the likeliest two to be sent home, but most of the readers we polled still thought they got a raw deal. Scroll down for the complete poll results at the bottom of this post.
DeBenedetto was the only tap dancer who made the top 10, and he was the male dancer our readers were most rooting for coming out of the Academy. Tap is such a specialized style of dance that it’s often underrepresented on the show. And no tap dancer won the show until season 12, when Gaby Diaz prevailed. It’s a shame he didn’t get a chance to show off his unique set of skills on the live stage. The only tap routine he performed for America’s votes had to accommodate Hough’s relative lack of experience, so voters at home didn’t get a chance to see him at the height of his powers during the live round.
Hough was at a serious disadvantage when she was paired with DeBenedetto. Because every contestant in the top 10 had to dance one routine in their own dance style and one in their partners’, Hough had to tackle tap. That was the first time a non-tapper has attempted the style on the show, so it felt like Hough was hung out to dry by the judges when it didn’t go well (though Nigel Lythgoe‘s comments when she was eliminated suggested that she volunteered for the challenge).
When our readers weighed on, only 46% thought Hough deserved to be eliminated, and only 45% thought DeBenedetto deserved to go. Do you agree with our readers? If so, who should have been eliminated instead?
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