Eliminated Dancer: 'Anything Can Happen' on 'SYTYCD'

Photo: Mathieu Young/FOX

Another female contestant said goodbye on So You Think You Can Dance Thursday, and this week the curtain closed for salsa dancer Cristina Santana. With only three girls left and all six boys standing, season 7 is starting to look like a boys club, and the judges couldn’t be more excited for what the competition has to bring.

“I love male dancers unless the girls are just as strong,” Mia Michaels said after the elimination. “We have some strong girls and I want them to step it up.”

Nigel Lythgoe isn’t surprised at all by the show’s current two-to-one ratio. “How many girls have we had win? Two girls out of seven seasons,” he said. “If it’s great dancing, I don’t care. It’s always going to be a boys club unless we have an outstanding girl.”

Joining Santana in the bottom three for a second week in a row was tap dancer Melinda Sullivan and contemporary dancer Robert Roldan.

While last week’s decision to let Alexie Agdeppa go was unanimous, the judges were divided on which of the girls to let go this week, with Lythgoe pulling for Santana to stay and Michaels and Adam Shankman choosing to give Melinda another chance to find a sense of vulnerability and connect with the audience.

“We feel like Melinda grew the most last night because she did something completely out of her genre,” Michaels said of her panel-pleasing performance on Wednesday. “And she was pretty awesome. Other than that dress.” When it came down to making their final decision the judges took everything from the opening number to the individual solos into consideration and both Shankman and Michaels agreed that Santana wasn’t as strong as Sullivan in comparison.

Lythgoe, however, couldn’t have disagreed more. After giving Santana high praise for her paso doble and calling it his favorite performance of the night, he wanted to see more from her throughout the competition. “I think she’s grown across the season,” he said. “And I thought she was fabulous last night.”

While Santana couldn’t deny that Lythgoe’s compliments were flattering, she wasn’t completely surprised she was in the bottom for a second consecutive week. “Anything can happen on this show,” she told PEOPLE. “I wasn’t expecting not to be in the bottom three. I’m actually pretty happy with what I’ve done, but it’s sad to go home.” –Mussarat Bata

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