LOS ANGELES – Bloggers lambasted the judges in Fox 5’s “So You Think You Can Dance” program after Maryland’s Filipino American dancer Karla Garcia and Vitolio Jeune of Florida were eliminated from the contest July 2.
The bloggers said there were other couples who should have been eliminated instead of the two who they said performed very well. Some accused the judges of favoritism.
With their elimination, only six couples or 12 out of the 20 top finalists that started June 5 remained in the contest.
Karla and Vitolio were among the three pairs who received the fewest votes after the July 1 performance. Each of these six dancers were asked to perform solo routines the next night so judges could decide whom to eliminate. Although in the opinion of bloggers Karla did better than the others, the judges eliminated her.
Karla, 24, is the daughter of well-known Filipino American lawyer Rodney Garcia of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Many still considered it a feat that she lasted for more than three rounds.
Karla is a graduate of New York University and now resides in New York. Her parents reside in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Her early dance experience included learning traditional Filipino folk dancing. She performed on Broadway in “Hot Feet,” danced in the ensemble of the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” and went on to tour with “Wicked.” She is a member of “Boogie Bots Crew.”
Before Karla was eliminated, Rod Garcia forwarded this “public confession” to the “Manila Mail” and other friends about his feelings and Karla’s response to his words of encouragement:
“When a friend or relative starts an email or phone call with ‘Rod, I have a problem’—I know it’s going to be one of those pro bono engagements again. But yesterday, I shamelessly peddled my legal services in exchange for the promise to watch my daughter Karla compete in So You Think You Can Dance, and maybe to give serious consideration to sending a vote or two in her favor.
“That’s my confession —a public confession. I could have said, as in the past, ‘Okay, I’ll do this for you if you donate an amount to Feed The Hungry or to Gawad Kalinga.’ Instead, I — pathetic, mercenary and borderline ethical —said ‘I’ll do this if you watch Karla this Wednesday at 8 p.m’
“She’s still in the competition, believe it or not. The only Filipina in the remaining group of seven guys and seven girls.
“This Wednesday night at 8 p.m. she’s suppose to dance the ”Quick Step” with her new dance partner (her former partner has been cut.)
“In response to my letter of support to her, she emailed me this Sunday, and I’ll share what she said. (She doesn’t know I’m doing this.)
(Karla’s response to her dad)
“Thank you for the words of encouragement. I will continue to pray and just be myself… I’m so blessed to have you and mommy, JItter, Rocky and everyone in my life. I will follow in your example and learn from this experience. It is very humbling and I will come out of it stronger than I was before.
“Prayer is helpful. Love you daddy. HOpe you are well and I miss you!!!”