So the spoilers turned out to be true after all. Nigel was indeed pulling our leg. In an earlier interview he stated that only Billy Bell or Alex Wong made the Top 10. Semantically he was correct, since the cast list was extended to a Top 11 to accommodate Billy Bell.
Overall I’m quite happy with this years selections. There was no epic Natalie Reid-type robbery going on like in Season 5. Before Dan takes over the SYTYCD Season 7 coverage, I thought I’d rank the Top girls and boys battling it out to become America’s Favorite Dancer.
5. ASHLEY GALVAN
Hometown: Burbank, CA
Thoughts: Out of all the girls, she’s received the least amount of airtime. Is she simply cannon fodder or a hidden gem like Janine Mason who rose from anonymity to win the title? With such a strong field of ladies with huge fanbases already, I expect her to be a prime candidate for an early ouster. It’s too bad, the cutie shares the same birthday as me.
Ashley Galvan began dancing at age 3. She appeared in 2009’s “Fame” and toured with the Broadway show “Wonderland.” In addition to dancing, Galvan loves swimming, shopping, movies and fast food.
4. CHRISTINA SANTANA
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Thoughts: In the battle of the ballroom dancers, Christina beat out Giselle Peacock for the token ballroom slot. I find her braces and accent adorably cute. She pulled out a decent contemporary routine during Vegas week, but I don’t she’ll transition as easily to other genres during the live shows. She’s no Heidi Groskreutz (Season 2).
Born in Mexicali, Mexico, Cristina Santana started dancing at age 7 when a friend invited her to ballet class. Santana took up Salsa dancing six years ago after moving to the U.S. Santana enjoys singing, eating and listening to music, and counts Mikhail Baryshnikov as one of her favorite dancers.
3. MELINDA SULLIVAN
Hometown: Culver City, CA
Thoughts: At first impression, I didn’t like Melinda. I thought she came off across a bit snotty, but she’s won my favor in her subsequent interviews and highlights. Plus, I’m really rooting for a tap dancer to finally do well in this competition. The contemporary lyrical dancers have dominated the show for too long. How stunning does she look in the picture above? Simply GORGE.
A native of Long Island, NY, Melinda Sullivan is this season’s sole tap dancer. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old, and has appeared in “Cats,” “High School Musical,” “High School Musical 2” and “Wonderland.” Sullivan is passionate about music and dance education, and is a fan of tap-dance legend Gregory Hines.
2. ALEXIE AGDEPPA
Hometown: Rowland Heights, CA
Thoughts: After trying out for four years, former LA Laker Girl Alexie finally made the cut. And she made it in a season where they took half the girls they normally take. You go GURL. She’s cute, bubbly and importantly talented. Will she place better than previous Filipina SYTYCD’ers Melody Lacayanga (Season 1) and Pauline Mata (Season 6)? She has a good shot considering her talent and producer pimpage.
Alexie Agdeppa is a UCLA graduate and former Los Angeles Laker Girl. She has performed in music videos for Prince, The Pussycat Dolls and Nelly Furtado. Agdeppa loves to cook, act and travel, and has been to the Philippines, Mexico, Europe, Brazil, Japan and Cuba.
1. LAUREN FRODERMAN
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Style: Contemporary Jazz
Thoughts:Ummm. How amazing was her “At Last” performance. STUNNING. I literally stood up from the couch and gave her a standing O. Brian must’ve thought I was completely insane. With so many talented male contemporary dancers this year, Lauren has an excellent shot of making it far due to the fact the boys are going to cannibalize each other and split votes from the teeny-bopper female fans.
A recent high school graduate, Lauren Froderman was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old. At age 10, Froderman performed with the Phoenix Rockettes. Her life’s ambition is to perform on Broadway and become a school teacher.
6. JOSE “FULL DECK” RUIZ
Hometown: Miami, FL
Thoughts: Meh, I don’t get it. Breakers like Legacy, Hok, Joshua from previous seasons are way better than Jose, IMHO. I will say though, he’s toned down the cockiness from his initial audition in Miami. It sometimes sucks they have to save a spot for a breaker since we lost a couple of really great contemporary dancers in Adrian Lee and Anthony Burrell. Especially in a year where only
5 6 male dancers advance.
Jose Ruiz is a self-taught B-Boy who has never had professional dance training. He describes his dance style as “smooth, flowing and explosive.” Ruiz has competed in international dance competitions and performed on cruise ships. He also enjoys yoga and plays several musical instruments.
5. ROBERT ROLDAN
Hometown: North Hollywood, CA
Thoughts: Out of all the male contemporary dancers, he’s received the least amount of pimpage from the producers. Like Ashley Galvan, he’s a prime candidate for an early elimination. It’s a shame since he’s cute and has amazing extension.
Robert Roldan took his first Hip Hop class at age 11. After graduating from high school, he performed with the “Bad Boys of Dance” for a year and a half. In addition to dance, he enjoys singing, acting and fashion.
4. BILLY BELL
Hometown: Palm Beach, FL
Thoughts: I honestly thought I would’ve placed Billy Bell much higher on my list, but that just goes to show you how deep the male pool is this year. Hopefully Billy will take advantage of his second chance on STYCYD. I’m still curious to know what mysterious illness took him away from the competition last year. Does anyone know?
After making it to the Top 20 in Season Six of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and having to leave due to illness, Billy Bell joins this season’s Top 11 finalists. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he is trained in everything from Hip Hop to Classical Ballet. Bell owns the dance company Lunge Dance Creative, and considers working with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey on “Back to Back to Broadway” one of his greatest accomplishments.
3. ALEX WONG
Hometown: Miami, FL
Thoughts: I never really noticed it before til now, but don’t you think Alex looks an awfully lot like figure skater Michelle Kwan in the pictures above. LMFAO. Besides Kent Boyd, this kid has a fervent group of online fans already in his corner. Based on that alone, he should make it far. As we all know in SYTYCD land, sometimes its how lucky you get with the choreographers and their routines than talent alone.
Alex Wong is a former principal soloist with the Miami City Ballet. He was awarded his position with the ballet at age 17 after winning the prestigious “Prix de Lausanne” competition. Wong also sings and plays the piano.
2. KENT BOYD
Hometown: Wapakoneta, OH
Thoughts: If this kid was just a couple of years older, he would’ve claimed my top spot. I feel a tad creepy gushing how adorably cute this kid is? He’s got that same small-town likability that Carrie Underwood possessed on Idol before taking the crown. Could the kid from Wapakoneta be this season’s winner? Based on the amount of buzz and online crushes this kid is generating, I would say so. Talent and cuteness is a lethal weapon when texting and teenage girls are involved.
A recent high school graduate, Kent Boyd has been dancing since he was 8 years old. Boyd appeared in several high school musical productions, including “Oklahoma!” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
1. ADECHIKE TORBERT
Hometown: Queens, NY
Thoughts: Ade.. what? Yup. He’s my favorite male dancer this year. Not only is he talented, but he is HOT HOT HOT. The things I would do to him if I were single and had a chance. LOL. Even if you take away my lustful crush out of the picture, Adechike’s talent stands on its own merits. I got misty when I saw his joyous reaction upon hearing he made the Top 11. ADECHIKE FTW.
AdéChiké Torbert was inspired to begin dancing at age 6 by his older brother, who is also a dancer. Torbert describes his style as “contemporary…with a hint of flavor.” In addition to dancing, he enjoys cooking and fashion.
There you go, boys and girls, my rankings for this years talented crop of dancers. I’m really looking forward to watching tonight’s showcase of the dancers and how they’ll cope with the pressure of their first live performances next week. I can’t wait to see which SYTYCD All-Star, each contestant is paired with. In my fantasy, it would be Neil Haskell and Adechike. YUMMERS.