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Gev Manoukian

If you thought Utah's time in the reality-TV spotlight ended when "American Idol" did last month, think again.

We've got Charley Jenkins, one of the 12 finalists on NBC's "Nashville Star" (8 p.m., Ch. 5).

We've got Rhiannon (no last name because MTV is weird), one of the 10 finalists on the cable channel's "Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for the New Elle Woods" (11 p.m.).

And four of the finalists on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" have Utah ties.

Newsweek tried (sort of) to answer the question about why so many Utahns (and so many Mormons) are on reality shows, but Jenkins has his own ideas.

"In the Utah culture, there seems to be a unique opportunity ... to go out and sing in front of people — whether it's in church or in the community," he told the Deseret News. "I think the more opportunities they have to do that, the more refined they become. So when they get the opportunity to perform in front of somebody on the national level, they're more prepared.

"Also, the culture in Utah promotes clean living. Having your body and mind taken care of really gives you an edge in these competitions."

That's a better theory than one advanced by ex-Utahn Sabra Johnson, who won "So You Think You Can Dance" last summer: "There's nothing to do there so we all just decide to dance."

THE FOUR FINALISTS (out of 20) with Utah ties on this season of "So You Think You Can Dance" are:

• Chelsie Hightower, 18, of Orem, who was a U.S. Worlds finalist in 2005.

• Thayne Jasperson, 27, of Springville, who was a featured dancer in the first two "High School Musical" movies.

• Gev Manoukian, 21, who was a featured dancer in "HSM2," is originally from Kazakhstan and now calls Centerville home.

• Matt Dorame, 22, is from Glendale, Ariz., but he studied at the Odyssey Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City for two years.

The top 20 perform on Wednesday (7 p.m., Ch. 13); two will be eliminated on Thursday (8 p.m., Ch. 13).

"THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT Elle Woods" almost ended last week for Rhiannon (no last name because MTV is weird).

Judges said the 19-year-old from Logan had a "wonderful spirit" and a "great sense of joy" and called her "adorable," but they also said her vocal performance made them "nervous," that she was "too young" and worried about her "goofiness.'

When the field of 15 was trimmed to 10, Rhiannon (no last name because MTV is weird) was the last hopeful to advance.

BY THE WAY, Julianne Hough — the Utahn who's a two-time winner on "Dancing With the Stars" — is returning to television.

Hough, Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler will host "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" this fall.

The two-hour special, scheduled to air Monday, Sept. 8, will feature footage from the June 5-8 CMA Music Festival. There's no word on whether we'll see Hough sing her new single, "That Song in My Head."


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