To some viewers, reality shows seem
bright and brash and maybe silly. To others, they're life-changing.
Caitlynn Lawson and Ricky Jaime can
attest to the latter. Both were ousted Thursday from “So You Think
You Can Dance,” just missing next week's four-dancer finale.
“We don't even have to go home,”
said Lawson, who will rehearse for the finale and then the tour. “If
you're going to be cut, this is the best time.”
In many ways, they're opposites. She's
small-town, he's big-city … she's jazz, he's contemporary and
ballet … she's from the Northwest, he's from the Southeast. What
they share is the “Dance” impact.
“I'm from such a small town, I never
would have experienced the outside dance world, if it weren't for
this show,” Lawson said.
That's Moses Lake, a town of 20,000 in
the eastern part of Washington. She was 3 when she started dance
classes. “When you're little, you start dancing because your mom
put you in class.”
As she was nearing her teens, “Dance”
debuted in 2005. Its contestants became her heroes.
For Jaime, “Dance” revived his
interest. Jeanine Mason, his friend and dance partner, was the show's
2009 champion. “I thought, 'Well, Jeanine did it ...'”
Both grew up in Miami, where he became
a fan of Jennifer Lopez, the Backstreet Boys and more. “My mom
would enter me in soccer or baseball …. I said, 'Mom, I'm a dancer.
I'm not going to kick a ball.'”
So he danced at 10 and Mason pointed
him toward a dance school when he was 12. He stopped for a couple
years after the family moved to Tampa, but returned to it at 17,
about the time that she won.
Now he's intense. Jaime hopes to get a
Los Angeles apartment with “Dance” contestant Clarice Ordaz (his
platonic friend; “she has a boyfriend, unfortunately”) and look
Lawson already has an LA apartment and
supportive parents. Her dad, who works for Exxon Mobil, returned from
a month in Turkey. “He kept saying, 'Make it into the top six so I
can see you again.'”
She did. On Wednesday, he saw her samba
and do a fiercely sensual jazz piece. On Thursday, he saw her ousted;
next week, he'll see her back in the finale – far from the world
one expects in Moses Lake.
– “So You Think You Can Dance”
– Finale is 8-10 p.m. Wednesday and
– Final contestants are Melanie
Moore, Sasha Mallory, Marko Garmar and Tadd Gadduang