Last night, So You Think You Can Dance trimmed it’s Top 8 by eliminating one guy and one more girl from the competition. En route to finding America’s Favorite Dancers (remember, we have a guy and girl winner this season), ballroom dancer Lindsay Arnold and contemporary king Will Thomas were eliminated from the competition last night after a night full of nearly flawless performances. Judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe were joined by Modern Family star and Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who once again proved that a fan boy can be more as he was entertaining and critical at the same time. While we’re at the point of the competition when tough when the talent is this good, it has to happen. Witney Carson, Eliana Girard, and Tiffany Maher were safe and will compete in the Top 6 alongside Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, Cole Horibe and Cyrus Spencer. This afternoon, we had the pleasure of chatting with Lindsay and Will, who couldn’t be more grateful and positive about this experience of a lifetime. Check it out below!
Before discussions about their experiences on SYTYCD, Will was given the opportunity to discuss his supportive community in southeastern Michigan and appeared very grateful for the support he’s received.
Lindsay, what was it like being in this whole experience with your best friend, Witney Carson?
Lindsay Arnold: Me and Whitney have been best friends since we were like eight, and just auditioning together we were like okay, we’ll just try it this year, and then maybe hopefully next year we’ll be able to make it for real. But then we both made it, and it was just so amazing, and I was so happy to have her with me, because it was just, it was helpful to have someone that you’re so comfortable with there with you through that experience.
On Their Hardest Style to Pick Up This Season
Will Thomas: For me it was this past week, the hip hop with Christopher Scott. The movement was a different kind of style hip hop that I never even knew existed, so that was a huge challenge I guess, but also the props and the emotion that went with the dance, too. It was just really, really big struggle, but by the time I was showed it, I was like forget it. I’m just going to have fun and so I did. It was very fun.
Lindsay: Same for me, mine was probably hip hop with Christopher Scott. It was really hard and it was hard getting into the character of that piece, so I feel like that probably was my hardest dance on the show.
On Whether Judge’s Comments Foreshadow An Elimination
Lindsay: I think it goes both ways. I mean, yes, when you do get a bad critique, you kind of automatically think, okay, well, I’m going home then. At the same time, they’ve surprised us in a lot of ways, and it’s not always predictable every single night.
Will: Right, yes, I agree with Lindsay. I mean, they know who’s in the bottom already before the show starts, so that is in the back of their head. Then so while we’re performing, say me and Lindsay were in the bottom, while we’re performing, they’re thinking should they stay, should they stay, should they stay; so yes, they might be a little bit harder on us, just so that they can like reason to themselves maybe why, who or what who’s going home. But at the same time, you really never know. I mean this past show they said really nice things to me and I ended up going home, and same with Amelia when she went home, so you never know.
On Their Future Plans
Lindsay: I’m hoping that from this, we’re going to go on tour in the next couple weeks, which is going to be really fun. Then I’m hoping after that, I would love to do TV shows, music videos, everything. I really want to be on “Dancing With The Stars,” so I’m hoping that that will work out for me.
Will: Yes, and for me I would say I just want to keep growing and working as an actor or and a dancer. I’m in acting classes, so I really want to keep going in that. I would love anything like “Gle”e or I don’t know, “Smash”, anything like that. I just want to keep growing and keep taking class and keep auditioning and just see where it takes me.
What pieces are you most looking forward to performing on tour?
Lindsay: From this season I would really love to do my Paso that I did the first week, just because I was in my own style, and it was really fun, and I just feel like me and Cole did really good.
Will: Yes, that Paso was so good. I kind of want to do what I did my first week – the Nappy Tabs hip-hop routine with the trash can. It was just a really good, fun way to start off the season for me, so I don’t know. I’d like to bring that back because it was so much fun.
In addition, they would like to see the “titanic” piece redone on the tour, as well as the Stacey Tookey routine Tiffany and Ade did this week.
On The Emotions of Elimination Night
Lindsay: I cried more tears of happiness and excitement. It was tears of sadness too, because it was hard to leave all my friends and to leave Witney. But at the same time it was just watching my video back and showing when they just showed my experience and stuff. It was just that I was so happy and just so like proud of myself for how far I’ve come.
On Splitting Votes from Utah
Lindsay: Yes, I mean, it was funny because yes, we both were back and forth with being in the bottom. Like if I wasn’t, [Witney] was; if I was, she wasn’t. I think yes, we might have been splitting votes, because we were so much alike. But I don’t know. I mean we ended up being at the bottom together, so hopefully now that Whitney is staying, the people who voted for me are going to vote for her, so she can win, because that would be amazing, and I hope they do that.
On Which Choreographer or Piece They Learned Most From
Will: For me I think it was my very, very, very opening first show when there was “Meet The Top 20.” We all did little small little group dances in our own genre, and Tyce was my choreographer. I learned the most from him. He literally is so inspiring and just brings things out of you that you didn’t realize you could and yes, he’s amazing.
Lindsay: I think for me it was when we did the tribute to Mia and I did the addiction piece. That was just like a really hard week for me, because I have so much to live up to just because that’s the first time that piece was so amazing. But then it was just so helpful because through the week, Mia helped me gain confidence in that piece, and then I just realized that I just had to do it to the best of my abilities and not really worry about living up to anything.
On The Seemingly Polarizing Mia Michaels Week
Lindsay: I mean it was hard going into that week just because we all knew that we had to live up to so much. I think it was good and bad. I mean it’s hard, because you can’t ever replace something. You can’t redo the pieces that were already done because they were so amazing. So it was hard because I feel like the judges are expecting a lot, and even though we gave something different, it was really hard to top the performances that had already been done.
Will: Yes, I think it was a great week, and I’m so honored to be able to be a part of that week; but at the same time it was very hard going into it trying to recreate a moment that was so amazing on the show that was unlike any other routine that we would have done. So just trying to recreate that moment all over again was intimidating.
On Their Perceptions About Different Styles of Dance
Lindsay: Being on the show really just like made me honestly appreciate all the other styles, because they’re all do different and all so hard. You really do have to bring a different vibe to every dance. So I feel like I learned that from this show and I learned that like even though I’m a ballroom dancer, if I get another style, I have to bring something to that style to make it what it is.
Will: Yes, I think it’s definitely brought in me I never in a million years would I imagine myself in Bollywood, but it was so much fun and like honestly in a heartbeat I would do it again. So I think it just made me more excited about going forward from here.
On Will Tapping Into his Serious Side
Will: It really actually wasn’t that bad. I know they make it seem like it was, but like I’m a contemporary dancer, so I’m used to being like more on the emotional side, especially when I’m on stage. So it wasn’t that hard to channel that and the frustration of this piece itself with the movement and the style was already really hard for me, so honestly I just used that while I was dancing. So that’s literally what my face was doing while I was dancing, but it was also telling a story about what was going on in the piece.
On The Importance of Arts in Schools
Will: I was always down. I really never came home from school. I would come home and just run in my room and just not come out. I was just always sad. I just wanted everyone to like me, but it’s hard to find that. Whereas if I’m dancing, it’s literally a new me, so I was still me, but I channeled all my creative energy more in the positive way rather than a nonsense way. I think that the arts would be most important because then if you don’t have art and something kids can find fun in and reach out of their element and then it’s just going to be school; math, history, science and English. You can look for that one hour of relaxing and fun and just let them go and do what you want.
On SYTYCD’s New Format
Lindsay: I think the new format was a little bit hard, because it was hard doing a performance night and having the height of that and then all of a sudden going straight into eliminations. It was really hard emotionally every night because it was like we can never just have a night of fun performances. It was like it always ended with a sad note, but I mean I think that’s just how I have to go with it. It helped us all grow a lot, I think, because we had to deal with those things emotionally and so it helped us like to be able to cope with it much better.
Will: Yes, I completely agree with that. I think in another way, I feel America didn’t really get to know us as they did maybe other seasons, where they get to see us two nights a week, rather than just one night a week. So that was also another hard thing, but mainly, mainly because we were just so happy with our performance, and then boom, they kick off eliminations so fast. The most crazy rollercoaster ever.
Lindsay and Will also addressed rumors that this might be the final season of SYTYCD. They both believe and hope that the show will continue, so that other dancers will get the experience that they did. Lindsay noted that those behind the scenes are preparing as if a season 10 is in the future. They were both a pleasure to talk to and we wish them the best in their future endeavors!