With the Season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance winding down, with the finale next week… this weeks episode was a great one. There were no bottom 2 guys & bottom 2 girls… they all danced a solo in addition to dancing one routine with an all-star & one being pared up with one of the top 6.
Jessie Tyler Ferguson was the guest judge this week & he was not disappointed… especially after we learned he has had a crush on dancer Aaron!! After all the contestants danced their hearts out, Cat Deeley delivered the news of who had made it into next weeks finale… Aaron Turner, Amy Yakima (how can you NOT root for her, she has Yak in her name!!), Fik-Shun & Jasmine Harper made up the top 4… Leaving Paul Karmiryan & Hayley Erbert to say their goodbyes, just short of the finish line.
Going this whole process and getting so close to the finale, what are the emotions like now? Is it joy because you made it so darn far in the competition and you had so much praise, or is it just frustration that you were one step away from the finale?
Hayley: It’s a really bittersweet moment at this point, because we were so close to the finale. But I am so proud of Aaron, Fik-Shun, Jasmine, and Amy for making it, because they’re just amazing, obviously at dance, and they’re just like incredible human beings too, because I got so close with them over the week. But, yes, I’m really upset that I didn’t get to show America my last bit, but I’m still so happy that I even made it this far because I had never expected that I would make it this far to begin with so I’m just so blessed to have even gotten this opportunity at all.
Paul: It’s practically the same thing. Of course it’s everyone’s goal to make it to the finale and to make it all the way. But just thinking back to, for me the L.A. auditions and just the journey I made from L.A. to now, it’s amazing even thinking that I’ve come this far. And I have no regrets, and I think that’s the most important thing, and it’s just been such a great journey and such a great experience and I’ve learned so much and grown as a person. Of course it is bittersweet, like Hayley said, where you would want to go all the way to the end of the experience and actually have the full potential of dancing each possible dance that you could have on the show, but then again everything happens for a reason and Fik-Shun, Aaron, Amy, and Jasmine, they all deserve to be there, and it really was a hard decision for America, I think. This season has been so strong, and I wish them the best. Yes, no regrets. No regrets.
What are your plans for the future now that you have this experience under your belt?
Hayley: Well, I’m planning on moving out to L.A. to start my dance career and whatnot, and I’m going to try to sign with an agency and just kind of figure out my dancing career in that way. And also I’ve always wanted to try to get into the acting field and be in movies, or even commercial work or anything, so I would love to go into acting. But I would also love to be a backup dancer for Justin Bieber or someone, just really anything right now. The show has opened a ton of doors, but I’m just kind of excited to see what my future is going to be like now after this.
Paul: I would definitely want to continue dancing. It is something that I love to do. And I would love to be on Dancing with the Stars or any of the ballroom shows that are going on right now. And definitely, like Hayley said, I’ve always wanted to act, and I would love to get into acting and just be out in the entertainment industry and just take any opportunity that comes from this. It’s such a great opportunity to start off your career. And it’s really not the end, it’s only the beginning.
You guys already discussed the emotions you’re feeling right now, but going back to that night, are you both surprised that you got eliminated? Paul, the judges mentioned many times this season they could picture you winning the whole thing, and Hayley, they always raved about you. So what are your thoughts on that?
Paul: For me it wasn’t really a surprise, because going into the top six yesterday, we all just got together and we just discussed that, like everyone just deserved to be there and everyone was such an amazing dancer and such an amazing person. And I guess going in we just thought of it not as something that was very competitive and that it was the end to something, it was more like we had gone through this journey and we had to think of it as more of a celebration that we had come to the top six. So it wasn’t a shock. Definitely Fik-Shun and Aaron deserved to be in the finale and the top six, and so did Jasmine and Amy, but the idea was that everyone did deserve to, and anything that would happen, it happens for a reason, I believe, and it wasn’t a shock to me. I would love to be in the finale, of course, but they also deserve to be there, so I’m not disappointed. And especially from the guys, everyone, they’re so talented and I’m just happy for them.
Hayley: Yes, basically exactly what Paul said. It really wasn’t that much of a shock to me. I think it was more of a shock to me that I even made it that far to begin with, and so I was not disappointed at all. I was a little disappointed, because of course everyone wants to make it to the finale and the main goal is to win the show, but it was just so great to be just a part of the show because of the camaraderie that we had. We were just like a huge family and we were all just so supportive of each other. So we didn’t really consider it a competition very much. It was not that big of a surprise at all that I was going home. And I’m just so, so proud of Jasmine and Amy because they’re just amazing and they deserve it so much I’m just blessed to have made it this far, for sure.
When you both danced the contemporary routine together, Mary Murphy and Nigel cracked a couple of jokes that you’d make a great looking couple and should date in real life. What was going through your minds at that moment? And is there any hope of that actually happening down the road?
Paul: That’s so funny. Throughout the season there have been so many accusations and just relationships that people would want to see. A lot of people would constantly tell me and Makenzie to get married. I love Makenzie and I love Hayley, but I don’t know if I love them in that way. Do you know what I mean? Really, behind the scenes everyone has their own personality, everyone has their own thing towards who they like and whatever it is, so it could go anyway. I don’t know. Relationships just don’t happen because they look right. There have to be other things that are going on personally.
Hayley: Yes, Paul basically nailed it. I have a boyfriend right now, so it wouldn’t have happened any time soon if it were to happen. But yes, like he said we’ve all been trying to get to know each other over these past few weeks and it could be a complete possibility, like anybody in the top 20 could end up being in a relationship. We’ve just been getting to know each other and so we don’t know everyone’s full personality or anything to go into a serious relationship or any of that. Paul is a gorgeous person, so that would be great.
Paul: Thank you.
Hayley: …So I guess you never know, but as of right now I don’t really see anything because I have a boyfriend …
Hayley, you had several different partners throughout the competition, Curtis, Nico, last night Paul, not to mention the All Stars, what does working with all these different partners bring to your experience?
Hayley: Dancing with different partners definitely was amazing, because everybody has their own strengths. And so it was great to experience because there was never once that I was like feeling the same way with a partner. And in dance you have to connect with a partner really fast, so I think that was kind of to my advantage, because I was just given the opportunity to connect with so many different partners so quickly that I feel like that’s really going to help me out in the future. Every partner that I worked with was amazing and I had such a great time with all of them, so I think it really just added to my experience throughout the entire thing. And I wish I could have made it into the finale and gotten to dance with literally all of them, but we’ll all be together for a tour and so you never know what dancers they’ll put in or add in, so I’m really excited for it.
Paul, do you have a favorite moment or a favorite dance routine that you did while you were on the show?
Paul: That’s a very hard question, because I feel like every week was its own highlight and it was its own moment, really thinking about how each genre literally brought a different aspect to the table and I enjoyed every single genre differently. And there wasn’t one routine where I was like, “Oh my God, I hate this routine. I don’t want to do it.” And I feel like that’s very rare because sometimes there are moments where people just are not content with their genres. And in my case I really enjoyed all of my genres.
I was thinking about it today, that if I could think about one genre that I like the most which one would it be, I really can’t. Not even my own genre I can isolate from the other ones. And in a sense if you want me to give an answer, I would totally say the Edge of Glory dance by Mandy Moore, the contemporary that we did, me and Makenzie, it was our last dance together and it was just one of those, the moment that we shared together on the stage was very genuine and it just meant a lot to us. But then again, the week after I worked with Witney and we did a cha cha, and then I worked with Comfort and we did a hip hop, and then Kathryn this week, and Hayley, every week was just its own great moment. And the thing is I had no regrets with any of them, so the whole experience was great as a whole.
You were on So You Think You Can Dance Armenia, and I was wondering how the two experiences compared to each other.
Paul: Armenia’s So You Think You Can Dance brought so many great moments for me, and it was just a life changing experience for me. It made me grow as a dancer. I think, because I’ve only been dancing four and a half years, it really made me mature very quickly, and through that experience I strived to participate in So You Think You Can Dance America because I knew that I would grow even more. Because there’s no doubt that when comparing Armenia and America the level is different, because Armenia’s population is less than Los Angeles’ population and there are different choreographers there and there’s different contestants and competition there, and here it’s on a different level also. We have choreographers that are known worldwide, although both of these experiences I would never take back and never regret any moment of. So, yes, there are many differences between Armenia and America. They were the same show but both of them were completely different in my life as a whole.
Now that the tour will be coming up soon, which dances, whether it’s ones you’ve done or ones that other contestants, other dancers have done, would you like to see featured on the tour?
Paul: I would love to see Mark and Janelle dance the, what is it called, the K-pop or jazz funk. It was such a unique genre that it was like, I can’t even say what genre, but that’s totally one. I would love to see Tucker and Robert’s, the medicine dance that they did. Hayley, anything that you’d want to see?
Hayley: There are so many dances to choose from that were amazing this season. It’s so hard to say.
Paul: It really is, because it’s like whenever you’re behind the scenes and you just see the growth of the dancers and you see what they become and how amazing each individual, like from the choreographer to the dancers, puts into the dance to create this masterpiece, every one just grows on you because that’s what creates the season, all the different dances. And there were so many that were so impossible. Even if the audience didn’t like it, it was very impactful to us.
Paul: Because you saw the difference of the dance, like, for example, there were so many people that did dances that were out of their genre and it was just very amazing to see them do so great in that genre. And it made that dance great for me.
Hayley: I think my ideal show would probably be just like to combine every single piece – the entire season, keep like rotating them through, that way it’s not too long. That would be my ideal show.
Of the dancers that were partnered with the All Stars, is there one dance you would love to dance, is there one routine that either of you would want to dance in place of the All Star?
Hayley: Oh, that’s so hard.
Paul: In place of the All Star, oh my God, this is a hard one.
Hayley: I know. I honestly cannot pick a dance. Really any of them would be amazing, because I think this is definitely one of the best seasons. There hasn’t been a single dance with an All Star that looks weak. They’re all so strong, and I think that’s just amazing for us. So I don’t even think I can pick one of those, I feel so indecisive, but this season has been amazing.
Hayley, when you left Topeka in May to go audition in Texas, what you thought you’d be doing right about now is settling into a dorm and starting your freshman year of college instead of preparing for a 42 city tour. Has it really settled in for you yet how much life has changed for you in just a few months?
Hayley: It is actually so strange. I auditioned in Austin in January, so I knew that I was going to Vegas for quite a few months until Vegas actually happened, but I never imagined that I was even going to make it through to Vegas, and then when I made it through Vegas I didn’t think I’d make South Pawnee, and then when I made South Pawnee I never thought I’d make it this far. So it’s just been crazy.
Yes, I was planning on going to Chapman University this fall, and as I just kept going further and further in the show, I was like, okay, I guess I’m not going anymore. But it’s just kind of crazy to even think about that, because right before I left for the show I was graduating high school and then I was planning on going to college, and now I’m here. And now I get to go on tour and it’s just completely mind blowing to me because my life has just changed in so many ways, and I think it was for the best. Like Paul’s been saying, everything happens for a reason, and I truly do believe that so maybe going to college now wasn’t what was meant to be for my life, but we’ll just kind of play it by ear and everything really will happen for a reason. We’ll just see what God throws at me, I guess.
With the success both you and Fik-Shun have had on Season 10, what’s that say about Kansas being a pretty good breeding ground for topnotch dancers?
Hayley: Yes, I don’t think people think of Kansas as being very, I don’t really know, like very resourceful or anything, so it really proved to people that just because you’re from a small state or a small town that doesn’t mean anything, as long as you put the work and effort into it. And all of the studios in Kansas are amazing, and I don’t think people really realize that, so it just really does prove to people that you can get training anywhere, as long as you have good training and you have the work ethics that you need to be successful, you’ll be totally fine.
It’s been established that you have a boyfriend and that Curtis took you on a date earlier in the season just to work on your chemistry onstage as partners, and Kat Deeley kind of focused in on that during one episode and made it seem like you two were really dating. So taking into account that situation and the one about you maybe potentially dating Paul down the road and how you guys would make a cute couple, was that a little frustrating for you at all, or make you a little bit uncomfortable?
Hayley: I know what’s going down and I know that they’re just pretty much kidding about me and Paul dating. The Curtis thing was kind of taken out of proportion, but it doesn’t really bother me as much as I think it kind of bothers my boyfriend. But I’ve told him it’s for the show and he knows that I’m just friends with all of these guys, so I mean, it really hasn’t caused any problems or anything. I think it’s fine.
Reflecting on both of your performances last week, Paul, you did an awesome job with the hip hop routine and you really surprised the judges – Hayley, you performed that great rumba. Do you guys have any insight as to why maybe your votes weren’t coming in?
Paul: Well, the thing with the show is it’s so unpredictable. I hadn’t fallen to the bottom at all and I had a great run with the hip hop. And the thing is it’s not always what we’ve come to understand. It’s not always about America’s best dancers. It just depends on what America thinks. It has to do with being a favorite dancer also. And I guess, like we just … it’s not tragic because Aaron and Fik-shun and Amy and Jasmine, they’re all great people and they’re all great dancers, so it could have gone either way. And it’s just everything happens for a reason. So it’s just how America saw it this week and it happened the way it did.
Hayley: I was basically going to say the same thing. It is all based off of America’s votes, so you never know what’s going to happen. A lot of times people don’t connect with a ballroom dance because America doesn’t know how cool ballroom truly is, and that could have been a part of it. But also America obviously loves Amy and Jasmine, and they totally deserve it, so I’m completely content with leaving the finale to them.
Paul, You spent much of the competition dancing alongside Makenzie, and you were an absolutely beautiful couple to watch. She had said that she was so lucky to have you as a partner because you were the reason behind the two of you doing so well. What is your reaction to that?
Paul: Makenzie is just – I was so shocked that Makenzie got cut so early, not early but she didn’t go all the way, I thought that she definitely deserved to be in the finale at least. She’s just such an amazing person. And really working with her was just so different because we connected on a different level. And we became so close and we became such great friends, and she’s just been so supportive of me through this journey, even after she got cut. And you know the fact that she is such a great person and such a great dancer, I respect her so much for that. And I know that it’s not the end, we’re going to be dancing together in the finale and on tour, and I just love working with her and I know that she has such a bright future ahead of her and I know that she will be successful in what she does.
And I just wish that America saw what a great personality she had, because backstage she was so goofy and she was just so fun to be around and not only beautiful in terms of her looks, but beautiful on the inside too. And I just wish her the best and I thank her for being such a great partner, because the time that I spent with her, we never got our genre, my genre, sorry, we never got Latin ballroom, and we always got contemporary or jazz and it was mainly her genre, and she just helped me so much throughout those genres and made it such a great work process and it was great working with her, and her work ethic is amazing. And I wish her the best.
Is there anything that either of you have learned, or that you take away from the experience that has either changed you as a person or changed your perspective about dance?
Paul: Well, every single day changed my perspective about dance and changed me as a person, because every single day it was literally this obstacle that we had to succumb and pass and just going through practices that were literally draining of your not only physical self, but also your mental self. And being able to overcome those challenges and being able to conquer routines that you’ve never really danced before, and being able to just do the best that you can every single day, even though you know that you have no energy in your body, especially this last performance that we had, everyone was really drained, even if we wanted to continue and we had the fight to continue and do our best, our bodies were literally not complying with us.
There were moments where it was like we would fight to finish the routine until the end, but your muscles just give up. We’re still human after all, and the fact that we had to overcome these challenges, it really made us grow and mature as people. And it’s a great experience, so … an amazing experience, and I truly wish that everyone could experience it, because it makes you grow so much as a person. And of course it makes you grow as a dancer, but dance, I will be dancing for many years continuing after the show, but I know that what I will take with me even more is how much I grew as a person and the experiences I gained, and the knowledge and maturity I gained throughout the show. So that’s really one of the biggest things that I know I will remember from the show.