Reality show update: Local contestants on ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ ‘Masterchef,’ and ‘Great Food Truck Race’

Originally posted Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta had a promising dancer who fell short of the top 20 on the 16th season of “So You Think You Can Dance”: former  Harlem Globetrotters “hype man” Frank “Ghost” Crisp Jr.

The Norcross resident and street dancer impressed the judges in his initial audition with a semi-improvised dance. 

“You are the definition of dance, my friend,” said D-Trix, a former contestant and current judge after Crisp’s initial audition. In an interview, Crisp said that praise and validation almost made him faint. 

Once the auditions were over, the show entered the Academy phase with 79 dancers cut down to 54, then 43. 

Crisp said he spent $1,500 and 30 hours in private lessons to prepare for the Academy. But was it enough? 

During the Academy cutdowns, he cruised through hip hop but faced some challenges doing ballroom. 

“Definitely out of my element,” Crisp said before the ballroom round. 

“The qualities that make you a great hip hop dancer is what you brought to ballroom,” said Laurieann Gibson, a veteran choreographer and judge. “Stay with that.”

He made it past that round, but in the episode that aired earlier this week, he was cut before the top 20 was announced. 

Crisp, 27, said his nickname is not a reference to the Omari Hardwick character on Starz’ hit drama “Power.” Rather, it came from his speediness in middle school. “Instead of speedy or flash, I was given ghost because I was so far, it seemed like I disappeared. And when I got into dancing and was asked for a nickname when I did battles, I said Ghost, like I’m untouchable on the dance floor.”

His parents were dancers and he began his career working on a dance team for the Phoenix Suns for several years. Then he met a Harlem Globetrotters producer and became their mascot. 

He then fractured his sternum in a car accident and that convinced him to become the Harlem Globetrotters operations manager. He moved to metro Atlanta because the Harlem Globetrotters are based in Peachtree Corners.

He loves the job but he still had the itch to dance so he tried out for “So You Think You Can Dance.” As a street dancer, he wanted to showcase those skills and he made it. 

Crisp’s enthusiastic charisma showed during his time on the show, in part because he developed stage presence doing mascot work at sports competitions.

“You learn to cater to the audience,” he said. “Not being a show off. Not being cocky. They’re there to be entertained, to be amazed. They’re there to have a good time.” 

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MASTERCHEF: L-R: Contestant Noah with host/chef Gordon Ramsay and special guest chef Masaharu Morimoto in the “King of the Crabs” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Greg Gayne/ FOX.
Photo: CR: Greg Gayne/ FOX.
MASTERCHEF: Contestant Dorian in the “King of the Crabs” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Greg Gayne/ FOX.

Meanwhile, two Georgians remain on “Masterchef” and are now in the top 13, vying for the $250,000 prize season 10.

Dorian Hunter, a textile worker from Cartersville, got solid reviews for her steak during the barbecue challenge that aired July 18 and the judges were especially impressed with the sophistication of her French toast. 

“I love the acidity and creaminess,” said Gordon Ramsay. “I’m amazed you got dessert that refined in such a short period of time. That’s the difference between you and many others behind you. You don’t take things easy.”

 Noah Sims, a septic system foreman from Epworth, considers himself a grill master and was super confident going in, but his dishes disappointed the judges. 

His bone-in ribeye ended up overcooked. “You were overconfident,” said judge Aaron Sanchez

His dessert, a grilled peach melba, underwhelmed. “For the first time in this competition, I feel embarrassed,” he said to the cameras. “I feel like a fraud.”

Noah ended up in the bottom three but survived. 

Episode 12 airs tonight on Fox at 8. 

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NOLA Creations, who are actually based in Atlanta, are in the finals of "Great Food Truck Race."
Photo: Food Network

NOLA Creations from metro Atlanta have made the finals of the “Great Food Truck Race” season 10 and could pocket $50,000. 

They are recent transplants of New Orleans, which is why they are offering up Creole-inspired food. 

Couple Anna and Darrell Johnson and Darrell’s long-time sous chef Terrell Gaskin make up the team. 

NOLA broke out of the gate, winning the first two challenges, earning more money that any of the other teams. 

They then had one scary week in Ft. Lauderdale when they had a $600 health-code violation that almost eliminated them. They survived by literally $1. 

They finished third or fourth the next three weeks, then came in second on the challenge before the finals in Miami. 

“You guys crushed it here in Miami,” said host Tyler Florence. “We heard nothing but rave reviews about your food.”

They are now in the final two against the Brunch Babes, who won three challenges in a row, including Miami. 

This Sunday will be the finale at 9 p.m. and they will be competing in Key West. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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