We started the Top 12 show off with a very high energy and interesting group Bollywood routine by Nakul Dev Mahajan, followed by Cat Deeley explaining why there were only 11 dancers. We learned dancer Tucker Knox had an infection in his knee which kept him from rehearsing with his partner Jenna Johnson for their routine, but it did not stop him from “Dancing for his life” as he and his partner landed in the bottom six, along with Alan Bernsen, Malece Miller, Nico Greetham and Amy Yackima. The judges gave immediate safety to Jenna & Nico, leaving Alan, Malece, Amy and Tucker to dance in their genre’s hoping to impress the judges enough to make it through to the Top 10, and into the SYTYCD Tour!!
The 11 dancers (minus Tucker who could not dance with Jenna this week due to his knee infection preventing him from rehearsing) gave some high energy and breathtaking performances. After the partners performed their routines, we seen a group performance by the Top 5 guys (minus Tucker) dancing a hip hop routine by Nappy Taps and a group performance by the Top 6 girls who danced a beautiful contemporary routine by Stacey Tookey. Then, before the elimination, Nigel explained how hard the decision was, and the he was going to personally make the suggestion that the one’s eliminated would be allowed to tour with the Top 10 as alternates. Then, Nigel gave the news to Alan & Malece that they would be leaving the competition, which we could all see everyone, including the remaining Top 10 dancers.
The Yak got to listen in to the interview conference call this week and here are Malece and Alan’s thoughts on their elimination, fellow dancers and the possibility of going on the SYTYCD tour as alternates…
Malece… You were considered a frontrunner throughout the competition thus far. The judges always seemed to gush about you. You had never landed in the bottom six before, but Jenna and Mackenzie both landed in the bottom three times apiece this season and they’re still in it. Knowing that, were you surprised to get eliminated and how does that make you feel?
Malece: Yes, I was definitely shocked to be eliminated the first time that I was in the bottom, but I adore Mackenzie and Jenna both. I think they definitely deserve to be there.
Alan, you had landed in the bottom six, three times this season, but just got eliminated this week. It’s kind of the opposite perspective… Why do you think the judges were holding on to you? And because of that track record, did you kind of sense this week was going to be your time to go?
Alan: Yes, I have no idea why the judges were holding on to me. I’m hoping that they liked the way I danced because they kept keeping me on the show. Yes, after I heard that I was in the bottom again I sort of expected that I was going to be cut, but I didn’t give up hope. I still tried my best.
Malece, we just talked a little bit about Jenna and Mackenzie. Do you have any idea what the judges and choreographers’ fascination with them is? What do you think they saw in those girls that maybe America was missing, since they weren’t really getting the votes each week?
Malece: I don’t know. Mackenzie and Jenna are both amazing, technically strong. I think all six of us girls were great. So I think no matter what the decision would’ve been hard.
Alan, because you landed in the bottom a few times, what do you think America wasn’t seeing in you? Do you wish they had seen anything in particular that you believe they were missing? Can you recall anything you would’ve liked to do on that show that might’ve boosted your votes a little bit that maybe you didn’t get a chance to do?
Alan: Starting from the beginning, I believe I was one of the only people who didn’t get a solo shown from the audition practice. So people only recognized me starting with the top 20. While the other dancers already had some fan base from their auditions, I was like starting fresh. Maybe if I was just shown a little bit more personality towards the beginning America could’ve connected better with me.
Does it kind of worsen the blow of your elimination a little bit more knowing you were just shy of making the So You Think You Can Dance tour? Are you both considering taking Nigel’s advice in that he suggested audition to be alternates, I think he said?
Malece: I definitely think that made this whole elimination a lot harder knowing that we were just one week away from top ten, but I hope we both get to be alternates on the tour. I’d love to audition for that.
Alan: Same. It’s nice to know that we made it this far, but it’s so much harder getting cut right before the tour. Of course I would love to be on the tour. So if Nigel could help us out—
In the jazz dance you both performed, it pretty much seemed to be the consensus that you were kind of missing chemistry and the way you executed some of the moves made Nigel disappointed. He said he was a little uncomfortable watching it. What’s your reaction to that? Why did you seem to struggle with that dance?
Malece: I am a little bit shocked at Nigel’s comments just because Alan and I had so much fun doing that dance together.
Alan: Malece and I connected, I thought, pretty well in the dance. We had a lot of fun working with each other. I thought we executed it pretty well. I think that the judges might’ve just been like nit picking so it would’ve been easier to cut us for that night.
Last week you both received raving reviews for your salsa routine in that the lifts were amazing and you two kept up your energy as best as possible. As a result, Anna Kendrick noted she’d love for you two to make a baby together. You both clearly laughed at that. What went through your mind? Is there any hope of a little romantic chemistry between you guys or no?
Alan: I don’t think so.
Malece: I don’t know. Yes, I don’t know. I was kind of shocked when she said that. I didn’t really know how to feel or what to think.
Alan: It was a shock to me as well. Malece is awesome, but with the height difference our baby might be short. No, I’m kidding. Malece is a wonderful girl.
Malece: Yes, I love Alan.
When we talked to Curtis last week he explained he took his partner Hayley out on a date just to work on their connection and chemistry as dancers. Since that was kind of one of the main critiques you two had, about your chemistry, did that ever cross your minds that maybe spending a little time together outside of the competition might improve your showmanship?
Malece: Yes and no, but we didn’t have a lot of time to do a lot of other things.
Alan: Yes, this week was very hectic. We didn’t have a lot of time to go out at all. Also, Hayley and Curtis have been partners since the beginning and Malece and I just started together.
Why did you originally audition for the show? How many times did you try out before actually making it into the top 20?
Malece: This is my second year trying out. I didn’t even make it to Vegas last year.
What made you originally want to audition, Malece?
Malece: Just watching it growing up. Definitely … I was just really obsessed and that’s all I wanted to do my whole life.
And how about you, Alan?
Alan: It’s been a dream to be on this show. Right when I got the first opportunity to do it I tried out. This is my first time auditioning. I really just wanted to dance. It gave me a great opportunity to learn and dance at the same time.
What’s next for you? What are your future plans and goals now that you have the strong foundation of the show to build on?
Malece: I just want to continue dancing wherever I can. I’m hoping to just keep the momentum going and hopefully stay working.
Alan: Same. I want to use this momentum and move forward with more commercial work. Maybe not just do ballroom anymore but go outside of my element and dance in other styles as well.
Malece: And maybe we can tour.
Alan: And hopefully we’ll tour. Hopefully we’ll be on the tour.
Next week as the Top 10 dancers compete, they lose their partners & will now be partnering up with an All-Star veteran dancer from previous seasons. This is always a favorite part of the show… seeing returning favorites mentor the current dancers and it always seems to take on a more intense and passionate feel as the dancers are getting closer to being named “America’s Favorite Dancer!”