Heartbreak and anger as Sne and Mthabela are voted out

2010-10-07 00:00

IT was heartbreak city yesterday evening when Xolani Mthabela and Sne Mbatha were sent home from So You Think You Can Dance. Their surprise elimination left the studio audience furious and the judges shell-shocked.

The axing of extrovert 18-year-old Durban dynamo Mbatha and 30-year-old Jo’burg professional dancer Mthabela shows that anything and everything can happen in SABC1’s reality dance show.

Mbatha’s departure means that KwaZulu-Natal has no more dancers in line to win the title of South Africa’s best dancer and the R250 000 prize in the finale on October 16.

Many viewers had thought Boipelo Maphafo of Pretoria and Ash Beyers of Johannesburg would have been on the chopping block after their shaky perfor­mance of the salsa, particularly after the scathing comments dished out by chief judge Harold van Buuren.

He told them, “That number did not have a place in the top eight. It was pathetic, and the timing was out.”

But the public clearly disagreed, and the SMS votes sent in after the show saved the couple, as well as Lulu Mlangeni and Carl Winleigh Davids, both from Johannesburg, from elimination.

Instead, Mthabela and Mbatha — a natural dancer who grew up following Janet Jackson until krumping came along — Darren Hammond of Pretoria and Shelley Nicole Christians of Cape Town found themselves having to dance for their survival.

After the four had danced their solo routines, the judges said it had been a close call for the ladies and their decision was not unanimous. However, they opted to save Christians.

When it came to the guys, the judges were clearly upset about having to evict either dancer. Van Buuren said it was “the duty of South Africa to vote” and if it were up to the judges, neither of them would be standing waiting for elimination.

“You both don’t deserve to be here … sadly, South Africa has let you down.”

He complimented Mthabela as “an example of what this competition is all about”, before announcing that the Jo’burg dancer would be the one to leave. Mthabela had to hold back his tears at the news, and the angry crowd went ballistic.

Viewers can expect more drama on Saturday at 6.30 pm, when the final three couples will each have to dance two routines.

The next two dancers will be eliminated on October 13 at 7 pm, when guest artist Khuli Chana will perform his popular track Freshe.

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