For the third week in a row, a female dancer was eliminated from Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance, begging the question: Does America hate women?
It's no secret that the Dance audience skews young and female, a group that might be more likely to vote for cute boys. But head judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe thinks it's more than that. "I think they're being absolutely honest," he said backstage on Thursday night. "I think the strong boys are far stronger than the strong girls, and I think some of the weaker boys are far stronger in personality than any of the girls."
This week's victim was 22-year-old Melinda Sullivan, whose tap-dancing style and quirky personality ultimately didn't connect with the audience. "It's always a surprise," Melinda said backstage after her ouster. "I was just going with the flow, [though] I'm excited I made it this far."
"She's a lovely person outside of the competition," Lythgoe said of Melinda, adding that he lobbied to cast her because he loves tap so much. "[Her elimination] may have been because she didn't show any vulnerability. I'm heartbroken that she's gone."
For now, Melinda is looking forward. "Something that's important to me is making tap dancing accessible to people," she said. "The world is my playground and I would love to continue acting. I'm going to take it one day at a time."
Were you surprised by Thursday's elimination?