A Utahn will not win on "So You Think You Can Dance" for the second year in a row. Orem's Chelsie Hightower was eliminated from the competition on the hit Fox competition show Thursday, a week short of the finale.
"Even if I go home (without winning), this has still been a great experience," Hightower told the Deseret News before this week's vote. "It's definitely been worth all the work. I've loved it."
"I'm so, so grateful," Hightower said on the air. "I'm not crying because I'm sad. I'm crying because I'm overwhelmed right now."
A year ago, Utahn Sabra Johnson was the big winner on "So You Think You Can Dance." The show brought its tryouts to Salt Lake City back in February, and four dancers with Utah ties were in the top 20.
Hightower was the last Utahn to go following Wednesday night's fan voting. Matt Dorame, Thayne Jasperson and Gev Manoukian preceded her.
(The show doesn't release vote totals, but, according to judge/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, each of the six dancers who competed this week polled over a million votes on Wednesday night.)
Hightower's elimination came despite another week of rave reviews from the judges.
"You are on fire. You are an animal out there burning up the floor," Adam Shankman said. "I have yet to see something you cannot do."
"She's a firecracker. ... You are so fabulous when we get you into the Latin style that nobody can touch you," Mary Murphy said.
"Chelsie is always going to look good," Lythgoe said.
And she's not done with the show quite yet. Hightower, Manoukian and Jasperson will all be part of the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour, which makes a stop at West Valley's E Center on Sept. 23.
The four remaining contestants will dance on Wednesday's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance"; after viewers vote, a winner will be declared on Thursday.
Over on NBC, West Jordan's Marcus is one step away from being named this season's "Last Comic Standing." Three finalists were eliminated on Thursday's show, but the Utahn was one of five advanced to next week's finale.
"We're competing for 250 grand. There's pressure tonight!" he said.
Marcus is one of five finalists who performed Thursday night; following on-line and phone-in voting by viewers, a winner will be declared this coming Thursday (7 p.m., Ch. 5).