With sniffles and a brave smile, 11-year-old Merrick Hanna saw his $250,000 TV dream end on Monday’s episode of “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation.”
He was cut by All-Star Joshua Allen, who told the Encinitas youngster: “I’m going to have to let you go. Please train as hard as you can because you’re a star.”
Wearing the same bright-red pants and blue-and-gray shirt from his Los Angeles audition, Merrick — who won raves for his robot animator style of hip-hop — tearfully said he was going to take classes and “come back next year.”
Among his thousands of fans was one in Australia, who posted: “Oh man. We are only up to episode 2 here in oz. So far behind. Best wishes little man. The world is going to see lots more of @merrickhanna.”
Allen, who won in Season 4, chose as his partner in coming live Fox episodes Sheaden Gabriel, 12, of Murrieta. The field of 40 was trimmed Monday to 10.
A week earlier, 11-year-old Ava Brooks of San Diego was cut during the Broadway Round. She had been a member of five-dancer Team Gaby (Diaz) at The Academy, an unnamed locale in Los Angeles where dancers teamed with previous stars of the 13-year-old show.
Monday night on Instagram, Merrick posted: “I had such an amazing time on SYTYCD. I did not expect to even be on the show! I made great friends, learned so much, and hope to try again next year! Thank you to all the nice people who were supportive of me.”
Despite the disappointment, which he kept private for weeks, Merrick has continued performing, including a gig last Friday with a YMCA dance troupe at the San Diego County Fair.
He also was reported to be auditioning in Los Angeles, making a TV commercial and has finished filming a TV pilot. He also dances in high-top shoes for Los Angeles-based Vlado Footwear.
Earlier this month, the son of Shawn and Aletha Hanna told the Coast News: “I definitely never want to stop dancing. But I also want to be a robotic engineer.”
I had such an amazing time on SYTYCD. I did not expect to even be on the show! I made great friends, learned so much, and hope to try again next year! Thank you to all the nice people who were supportive of me.?? #sytycdnextgeneration #sadgoodbyes #dance #sytycd13 #untilnextyear #roboticanimator #ididmybest #wasnotexpectingthis
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