And then there were two ...
For the second consecutive week, a Utahn has been sent home from the hit Fox reality-television series "So You Think You Can Dance."
This week, it was Thayne Jasperson, 27, a Springville resident who has appeared in both of the "High School Musical" television movies. (Last week, it was Matt Dorame, who has performed with Salt Lake's Odyssey Dance Theatre.)
Ever since the top 20 dancers in the competition were selected, Jasperson has been a semi-regular in the dreaded "bottom three." And judge Nigel Lythgoe, also an executive producer and co-creator of the show, has been a frequent and harsh critic of Jasperson's dancing and recently his lack of chemistry with competition partner Comfort Fedoke, who was eliminated as well.
A clearly emotional Jasperson called the experience of being on the show "amazing."
Two Utahns do remain in the competition: Gev Manoukian, 21, a native of Kazakhstan attending the U., and Chelsie Hightower, 18, a ballroom dancer from Orem.
Manoukian and Hightower, and their respective partners, remained safe when the results of viewer voting for the dance-competition show were announced. The much-praised Hightower continues to be a favorite of the three judges as well as audiences.
Dancers perform on the program on Wednesdays (7 p.m., Ch. 13), and then to an viewers cast votes for their favorites. On the Thursday results shows (8 p.m., Ch. 13), members of the couples with the fewest popular votes dance solo routines and the judges eliminate one male and one female dancer based on those performances.
Hightower and Manoukian, and eight other dancers, will perform again on Wednesday. The fourth-season finale, featuring the top four contestants, will air Aug. 7. In previous years, that show has included a return performance by the dancers were eliminated earlier in the competition.