SYTYCD – Interview With Eliminated Tappers Alexis Juliano and Curtis Holland

This weeks SYTYCD started out with yet another injury report… seems Curtis Holland injured his shoulder and would not be able to dance this week. Unfortunately for him, he also landed in the bottom six along with  Alexis Juliano, Alan Bersten, Makenzie Dustman,  Nico Greetham and Jasmine Harper. The judges felt they didn’t need to see any of the guys Dance for Their Lives, but did not send them to safety. They did however send Makenzie to safety once again this week and asked the other 2 girls, Alexis and Jasmine to show America their best in their style of dance. 

Then after all the couples danced their routines, they did 2 group numbers at the end that were absolutely amazing. The last group number, which included Jasmine Harper, Alexix Juliano, Paul Karmiryan, Tucker Knox, Du-Shaunt ‘Fik-Shun’ Stegall, Aaron Turner and Amy Yakima was very touching, as it was based on an anti-bullying theme, and was very moving.



After all was said and done, Nigel broke the bad news to tap dancers Alexis & Curtis that they would be leaving the competition that night….

Alexis & Curtis


It seems like, traditionally, tappers tend to leave the competition early.  Was that’s something that you were worried about as you headed into the Top 20.

Alexis: I was definitely concerned that that might have happened.  But I definitely think the run I had on the show was amazing.  Just to make it to Top 14 was an amazing thing for me because I didn’t even think I was going to make Top 20. I think, maybe, tappers don’t normally make it far, but I feel like Top 14 is pretty good.

Curtis: I agree. I think that Top 14 is a big feat.  I think that, sometimes, tappers do get the lower hand, but I think that we’ve had an amazing run because of the dancers and the choreographers that we’ve been able to work with.  So I don’t think that our run was specifically bad and I don’t think, this year, tappers have gotten a bad rap.  I just think that with certain circumstances, two people had to go and they just both happened to be tappers.


Did you have a favorite style or choreographer that you got to work with?

Alexis: I definitely loved my contemporary piece with Sonya, just because she pushes you.  She, like, knows everything about you.  I don’t know; she just knows who you are and the kind of person you are.  Just the way she talks to you, she can definitely change you as a dancer for the better.  To get to do that piece with her was an amazing way to leave the show.  Yes, she’s definitely my favorite and I love contemporary.

Curtis:  I think my favorite piece was – I actually loved them all, I can’t even pick one.  Probably my hip-hop, Chris Scott, because I feel like that was the time that I really got into the groove on the show.  That was my first piece. My other favorite piece would, I think, be Dee Caspary’s piece, just because I feel like I had to reach a farther place than I usually like to go.  Dee helped me bring out something in me that I knew was in there but I was afraid to touch.  So it was good.


Were you surprised to get eliminated, or did you sense it coming beforehand at all?

Alexis: I think once I found out I was in the bottom, I kind of prepared myself for the worst but, you know, hoped for the best.  You never really know, so you just have to hope for the best.  That’s just not what happened that time. But it was still an amazing run.  Jasmine Harper is absolutely amazing.

Curtis:  I don’t think that I knew that it was going to happen, but I definitely, just like Lexie said, I considered it just because I considered the fact that I wasn’t able to show the judges anything this week because of my injury.  I prepared myself for going home, but I always try to be optimistic and look for the better parts in things.


As tap dancers, how much, if any, training did you have in all the other dance genres that are featured on the show?  How difficult was it to learn and pick up on all the other styles throughout the season?  Do you two feel like you two had it especially hard considering you’re tappers?

Alexis: Honestly, I trained in all the other styles, except ballroom, just as much as I trained in tap.  But, I think tap was definitely my strongest suit and just what I really love.  I definitely think the challenge as a tapper was more the partnering work, just because I’m not used to the major lifts that we did on the show.  And to have to connect to a partner because, when you’re tapping, you’re usually by yourself.  You don’t have to connect so much with other people on the stage, just with the audience.

So, it was definitely a struggle.  But having to do the choreo part of it wasn’t too challenging.  It was definitely challenging, but not in the aspect that I’ve never done it before.  Except for the ballroom; that was definitely very challenging because I’d never done it before.

Curtis:  I feel the same way.  I’ve had training also.  I trained at a studio that my dad actually owned since I was four.  So, just like Lexie said, I just liked that more.  It wasn’t specifically hard, but it was just certain techniques and certain things that I usually did not get exposure to because I trained in tap more diligently than I did in the other styles.  So some of the moves were specifically hard, but I think with the work ethic that both Lexie and I have, we were able to try and pick up as much as we could.


How proud are you of tap’s strong showing this season and the role that you two have both played in that?

Alexis: I’m very proud.  Just the fact that there were three tappers this season is so amazing.  We both, Curtis and I, have made it far.  This Top 14 is a big accomplishment, I feel like.  Yes, tap is definitely growing in the world, and I think more people are starting to love it and try it.  It’s amazing to see where tap is going.

Curtis: I think that, also, it’s such a great thing when you go into a competition and you’re not the only one of your style there because you feel like you have other people by your side.  I feel like we’ve all been able to help each other grow.  That’s why, especially in our solos, we’ve been able to help each other.  I think that’s why we’ve been able to make it as far as we did because we had the support of others in our same style.


How much fun was the routine for the Top 20 show with Aaron, set to that Jason Mraz song for you guys to do?

Alexis: That was amazing, just to be able to tap with Curtis and Aaron.  There’s such a feeling that you have on stage with them.  They’re amazing people; they’re just so energetic.  It was just amazing to work with them and Anthony Morigerato and just getting to tap dance on stage is amazing.

Curtis: And the boards were awesome, too.  Sliding all over on the boards was awesome.  It was all about pushing ourselves and it was great to push ourselves and just tap and do what we love because that’s one of the only times that we get to on the show.  So we really tried to take advantage of it.


Which routines that you’ve done throughout the season up until your elimination have pushed you the most, be it emotionally, mentally, or technically?

Alexis: I think the piece that definitely pushed me the most in all those aspects would have had to have been Sonya’s contemporary piece.  Emotionally, that was a very sad and devastating one to have to play the part of someone who’s heartbroken and who’s dying inside.  It definitely hit me emotionally-wise, just getting connected into that character.

But then, also, technically because that contemporary piece was so – it was just so much on the body and it was so full out all the time.  There were a lot of things that you had to do in that piece.  I definitely think it just made me grow as a person and as a performer.

Curtis:  I’ve had two pieces that have pushed me.  The first piece was Dee Caspry’s … piece.  It pushed me emotionally because it made me go to a place where, you know, I don’t usually explore and feelings and thoughts that I don’t usually like to think about.  So it made me be able to be vulnerable and to dance from my heart.

The second piece would have to be, although I didn’t perform it, the Argentine tango, with Leonardo and Miriam.  Technically, it’s very, very, very tough because it’s the Argentine tango.  I really just had to get grounded in the flow and pick up on the technique very quickly.  So it was tough.  I was doing well, but my shoulder gave out on me.


Because there were three tapping in the season, and all of you have such unique styles, how would you describe each other’s tapping style?

Alexis: I think that Curtis’ style is very fun and energetic and just full out all the time.  He’s just so amazing at what he does.  The stuff that he does, even though they’re small, intricate steps, he just makes them so big and so full out that no one’s ever bored watching them. Then, I feel like Aaron’s style is just very – it’s cool, but you’re going to watch him just because he’s so in it with his whole body.  Everything’s always moving.  He’s just a great performer on stage, as well.

Curtis: I think that Lexie’s style is very fast.  Very fast and very clear and crisp.  I think that she’s very smooth and poised with what she does.  She never looks like she’s about to break a sweat and I think that’s a great thing.


Question for Curtis… It was obviously revealed that you asked Hayley out on a date.  Was that just a random idea to really just build your connection as dancers?  Or were you kind of feeling like you both had mutual romantic feelings for one another throughout your time on the show and maybe you felt it was finally time to explore that?

Curtis:  Oh, no.  It was just for our connection on stage.  It was definitely just for our connection on stage because our one piece was about a relationship, and in order for us to actually pretend that we were in a relationship, I felt like we needed to go out on a date and be in a relationship.  So it was all for the piece and it was all just for the piece.


So clearly nothing romantic going on now, it sounds like?

Curtis: No.  She has a boyfriend, actually.


One critique that you kept getting, Curtis, was about your core strength and an issue with your shoulders.  Does that relate to being a tap dancer, since it’s obviously a lot of the lower body that you use more?  Was that something that you really tried hard to correct during rehearsals and performing?  Or were you kind of focused on other things that you thought were more important?

Curtis:  I don’t even think it was because I was a tap dancer, but I wasn’t usually told when I was dancing about my core.  So when I got here and I was told about it, definitely I took that into consideration and I tried to work on that.  That actually was one of my main focuses whenever I was practicing.  I was always trying to just focus on my core and focus on my shoulders and just make sure that everything was solid.

But when you get on stage and you get nervous, sometimes you tend to forget things.  So as I walked away from the show, I just remember to always keep key things like my shoulder and my core in my head as I perform.  That was always on my mind.


Last week the judges, Nigel in particular, had some pretty harsh criticism for both of you and both of your routines.  How much do you think that the judges and what they have to say affects the way America votes?

Alexis: I definitely think they affect the way America thinks about how the dance was and how we portrayed the dance.  They have to give America something to go off of.  So yes, I definitely think when Nigel says you kind of died towards the end, America might not have noticed that at first, but then watching it again maybe they can see oh, wow, I kind of agree with Nigel.

So yes, I definitely think that some of the corrections that we get go into play.  But I also think it’s America’s favorite dancer, so it’s really whoever America wants and if Nigel went a little hard on your favorite dancer, you’ll maybe vote for them a million times more, you know what I mean?  So it just plays both ways.


Curtis… we didn’t hear much about your shoulder injury.  What happened there, and how bad was it?

Curtis: I sprained my rotator cuff in rehearsal about two, three days ago.  I went and I got an x-ray and the x-ray says that there was no bone fracture, so I have to get an MRI, so I’ll be getting one soon.  Then we’ll be able to see from there.

It was just bothering me.  And it was a point of pain that I could not ignore and I could not push through.  So I wasn’t able to dance because of that.


Alexis, you got great reviews from the judges this week following your contemporary routine.  Do you have any idea why you were the one that got eliminated this week?  Do you have any insight into that?

Alexis: Not really. I think it’s more just about how the judges feel about us as dancers.  I think that I was up against amazing dancers and all the girls and the guys are just amazing.  I just think when it comes down between me and Jasmine Harper, Jasmine Harper is just phenomenal.  She’s amazing at her craft and she’s amazing at other things as well.  It’s just however the judges feel.


Alexis, going back to your jive performance last week, the judges’ main critique was that you guys kind of lost energy halfway through.  Could you talk a little bit about that?  Was it simply the choreography was exhausting, or did you have a little bit of trouble connecting to the performance, or something like that?

Alexis: I definitely think that jive is very energetic and you’re always bouncing, you’re always kicking, you’re always flicking, you’re always smiling and lifting.  So jive is definitely – you need a lot of adrenaline and endurance for it.  But I definitely think that maybe I just didn’t have enough endurance at that time.  I do feel like I probably died a little bit towards the end just because I was giving it so much in the beginning.  Jive was amazing to do and I would love to keep doing it.


What are your plans now that you’ve been eliminated?  For the short term, and then, consequently, for the long term after the show is over?

Alexis: I would love to go to New York and dance there, whether it’s shows or tap companies or any companies.  I would love to be in New York dancing, or wherever a show can take me.  Wherever life wants to take me, I’ll go.  But right now, New York is my next dream.

Curtis: I’m the same way, I just want to dance.  For now, I’m going back home to Miami and I’m just going to teach and dance from there.  Then, hopefully, I’ll just get a call and I will just go wherever I’m needed.


What have you, either of you, taken away from being a part of this process and being a part of the show?

Alexis: I definitely think I took away confidence with me.  Going into the show, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself.  I never thought I’d even make Top 20.  To make Top 14 just shows me the kind of dancer that I am and that America does love me enough to make it this far. I definitely think it’s boosted my confidence.  More, it just makes me want to keep dancing for the rest of my life.

Curtis:  I’m definitely taking away a lot of confidence, also, just in myself and …  I think I’m taking away a lot of self-evaluation about myself.  I’m learning a lot more about who I am, what I can do, what I cannot do, and working on what I cannot do.


Curtis… Nigel was pretty tough on you last week, especially saying something like it’s almost like you forgot how to perform.  What was your reaction to that.  Did you think he was a little too hard on you at times, especially when talking about your lack of alleged core strength and all that?

Curtis:  No, I think that it’s all constructive criticism.  Honestly, I never take criticism as a batting session or anything like that.  So I can’t honestly say that he was out to get me or anything like that.  All of the criticism, no matter how bad people think it is, I always take as a chance for me to grow.


Why did you originally want to try out for So You Think You Can Dance?  How many times did you audition until you actually got onto the show into the Top 20?

Alexis: I only auditioned one time, the first time, and then I made it to Top 20 this time.  I think I just really wanted to inspire people to tap dance.  I felt like an amazing way to do that was just to be on TV tapping.  I just felt like tap was kind of dying as an art form, and it’s just getting to be a really small world for tap dancers.

I just want it to keep growing.  As the next generation of tap dancers is coming up, I just want it to be a big group.  I definitely think that’s happening because on Twitter and everything – people have been tweeting me, like, you’ve inspired me to learn tap and I’m going to get tap shoes now.  It’s just an amazing thing to know that the reason I wanted to be on the show is actually happening.  It’s great.

Curtis:  I know that I didn’t intend on auditioning for the purpose of getting on the Top 20.  I was just auditioning just to do it.  I think that I just wanted to try it because I was in college and I was bored of it.  So I said why not and I went and auditioned and look where I ended up.

SYTYCD: The Yak Talks To Eliminated Dancer Jasmine Mason

After watching their friends Brittany & Carlos be eliminated last week, the remaining 18 dancers gave it their all in this weeks SYTYCD! Before the dancers took the stage, we found out that this week they would not be eliminated at the beginning of the show, but at the end as in the previous season of SYTYCD, because producer/Judge Nigel Lythgoe listened to the fans after last weeks show and tweaked the format. We also learned contestant Jade Zuberi had to withdraw from the competition this week, due to a torn meniscus that will require surgery followed by a recuperation period of three or four months.

So the energy was high, and I’m sure nerves were crazy as they danced for regular judges Nigel Lythgoe & Brittney Murphy and along with guest judges Paula Abdul & Erin Andrews!  After the dancers finished their performances, the bottom 2 guys.  Curtis Holland and BluPrint,  found out they got a pass from elimination due to Jade having to drop from the competition. All bottom 3 girls, Jasmine Mason, Jenna Johnson, and Alexis Juliano, were asked to Dance For Their Lives… we then found out we had to say goodbye to Jasmine!


The Yak got to participate in on a conference call this week with Jasmine Mason…

All the judges seem to kind of agree that you didn’t really let loose and just have as much fun in the routines as you could have, to a certain extent, how do you feel about the way you performed it.  Do you believe it was as quirky as you could have made it and given it as much energy as you could have?

Jasmine: Well, when I was doing the routine I felt that I was being quirky and I was having fun.  But obviously the judges know what they’re talking about, and I’m sure I could have loosened up a little bit.  But I was so focused on trying to be this prim and proper queen that I think I kind of let that take over a little bit.

You weren’t in the bottom six last week, so did it surprise you that you landed in the bottom six this week and also that you were the girl that ended up getting eliminated?

Jasmine: Yes, I was a little bit surprised.  But the show is so unpredictable.  The bottom three last week I didn’t think was going to be the bottom three.  You’re just always prepared and you always are practicing your solo, so I was a little surprised.  But I wasn’t too surprised, because it’s so unpredictable.

How did you feel about the twist last week in which they revealed the results at the beginning of the show, and this week they revealed them at the end.  Do you think that was the right move to make?

Jasmine: Honestly, I think eliminations, no matter what, are going to be hard, and they’re going to be sad.  So if it was at the beginning or the end it doesn’t matter, because it’s still so hard.  I think it’s a little bit better because it’s really hard to go back on the stage and perform, but knowing that it’s your last time, you can probably be in it a little bit more, do you know what I mean?  So I think either way it’s tough.

Nigel last week was pretty unimpressed with everyone’s Dance for Your Life performances.  Do you feel like the bottom six dancers this week kind of felt pressured to up their game and improve their dance for the live performances, or at least feel the pressure to deliver it better?

Jasmine: Yes, I feel like everyone upped their game, because you have to really dance for your life on that show and the judges are really looking at that solo, and you have to show what you can do, because that’s how you got on the show.  I feel like everyone, we had another week to kind of pull ourselves together.  We saw Brittany and Carlos go home, and nobody wants to be that person, so we all practiced a lot, put our head in the game, and I feel like everyone really stepped it up.

 What do you plan to do next?

Jasmine: Oh my gosh, I’m not stopping here.  I want to obviously continue my dance career, get back with my dance agent, see what we can do, but I had so much fun on the stage acting and playing different roles that I think that I really want to get into some acting stuff and see where that goes.

What was your favorite performance that you did?

Jasmine: Definitely the blindfold with Alan, because I was so proud of us, because it was our first week together, and anybody’s first week together is the hardest, because you have to find that trust in that person right away, instantly, and a connection, and not only did we have to do that, but we had to do it with blindfolds on.  I felt so accomplished when we pulled that routine off, so that was probably one of my favorite routines to do on the show.

I wanted to know what brought you back to try out again for the show and if that was a tough decision to come back.

Jasmine: Once I heard a “no” last year I was like, I’m probably not going to come back, because it was really hard to bounce back on your feet because you prepare yourself to be on the show, of course.  But once the time came to decide if I was going to … or not, I was like, I have to do this because I made it so far last year that I know I can do it again and I know I can get on the show.  So I really trained hard and I wanted it so much more than I did last year, because last year I was very like, you know, whatever happens, happens, it was my first year, and I didn’t expect to get that far, and then I had gotten that far and I was like, I have to do it again.  It would be not very smart if I didn’t try out again, so yes.

It seems like being on the show can be tough.  There’s a lot of information being thrown at you, there are a lot of emotions flying around, so how did you stay focused throughout your time in the competition?

Jasmine: Well, everybody there is with you and we’re all going through the same thing, so I was like everyone really helped each other, all the other contestants, and we always were rehearsing, we were always practicing, you’re also taking in what the judges are saying.  So you and your partner are going over all the corrections you might get, and I just really tried to focus on me and my partner’s connection and just rehearsing all the time.  If we weren’t rehearsing in the studio with our choreographer, we were finding a spot where we could rehearse, whether it was on the street corner, but no matter what we were always trying to focus on our routine, no matter what.  We weren’t getting sidetracked or social networking all the time.  We were really just focusing on us and making our routine better.  And you have no time really to do anything else, because you’re always rehearsing.  Everyone thinks we have that one day in rehearsal which is on camera, but no, you have another six hour rehearsal the next day.  And it’s really tough, but I loved it.

Is  there any choreographer in specific that you wish you got to work with that you didn’t?

Jasmine: I would say that I wish I got to work with Stacey Tookey, because every single piece she puts out on the stage is beautiful, and her concepts are beautiful.  She’s beautiful.  So I really wanted to work with her, because looking at past seasons everyone seems to have really gotten a good routine with her, and I wish that I could have worked with her.

What do you think Alan brought out in you as a partner… How did he help you or enhance your performance?

Jasmine: Alan is seriously the hardest worker ever.  It’s 10:00 at night and he’s like, “Let’s rehearse.”  And I’m just lying in bed like, “Okay, let’s go.”  I feel like he really made me, I had to step up my game just to be with him, because he was always trying to practice and working hard, and if he didn’t get one thing he was doing it over and over and over again, so he kind of taught me to be more persistent.  And he was such a good partner.  I had so much trust in him.  And if we messed up a lift, he always had me and he just made me feel a little bit more confident in us, because it’s your first time partnering with somebody and it’s going to be hard, but he was like, “No, we’ve got this.”  And he believed in us and he believed in me and he helped me a lot through this competition.

Was there any particular dance genre that you wish you would have been able to accomplish or take on that you didn’t get to?

Jasmine: Oh my gosh, hip hop.  I wanted to do hip hop so bad, because it just seemed so fun on the show and not as stressful as the tango or a blindfolded dance.  I really wanted to do hip hop so bad, and probably work with Nappy Tab or Luther Brown, I don’t know, but I just wanted to get the opportunity to do that.  And I feel like if I was on the show that would have been my next genre, but I’ll just take a lot of classes here at home.

Knowing that you guys build good relationships with your partners, what kind of words of encouragement or advice did you leave him with when you left?

Jasmine: I was just like, “You need to find the trust that you found in me with your new partner, and go for it.  Don’t be afraid.  Don’t hold back.  You have this.”  He is such a hard worker and I know that he’s going to be amazing at every single genre that he gets.  He did jazz, and he’s never done jazz before, and he really trusted in me, and we helped each other out.  And I feel like Malece, that’s his next partner, and they’re just going to go out there and they’re going to kill it.  And I told him just to “Go for it.  Be happy.  You’ve got this.”  That’s what I told him.






SYTYCD: The Yak Chats with Brittany and Carlos

First off, let me give a sincere apology for getting this out so late! With the holiday weekend, things got delayed so as the saying goes… “better late than never!”

The top 20 show started out like no other in the history of SYTYCD… with a group dance to “Puttin on the Ritz”, which went from outside to backstage to center stage, dancers starting out in sweat pants and jogging suits to them making their way into a black tie event attire! It was the most inventive and entertaining group performance to date… and all this included some fun cameos by Nigel Lythgoe, Travis Wall, Marie Murphy and many more. Personally, I watched it about 4 times… so I thought I should at least mention it!

Group dance pic

With that said, this year’s elimination process has been revamped yet again, but just slightly. All 20 dancers were paired up and danced their hearts out in the top 20 show. Then on the following weeks show, we got to see the bottom 6 individuals with the least votes from America at the beginning of the show, instead of like in the past where the eliminations were announced at the end of the show after all the dancers did their routines. The judges then decide which dancers out of the 6 they want to dance for their lives… followed by the judges eliminating 1 girl and 1 boy.

This weeks bottom 6 dancers were Makenzie Dustman, Alan Bersten, Mariah Spears, Jade Zuberi, Brittany Cherry and  Carlos Garland. The judges decided to save Makenzie and Alan right away, leaving Mariah, Jade, Brittney and Carlos to dance for their lives. All 4 give it their all but in the end, the judges decide to eliminate Brittney and Carlos from the competition. And since the dancers are eliminated at the beginning of the show, they are still being asked to dance with their partner during the show. Which leads us into our 1st question on our conference call last Wednesday…

Brittany and Carlos

Can you try to describe how difficult it was for each one of you to perform right after you were eliminated?

Brittany: It was actually difficult to pull it all together and perform after we were eliminated, but that’s the name of the game.  That’s what we’re trained to do.  We are dancers and and no matter what the circumstances the show must go on. We ended the show celebrating dancing and our success this far and being able to be there for our partners made it so much better.

Carlos: Yeah it’s definitely a message that you have to send to other dancers of what we did because like Brittany said the show must go on.  You have to realize the greater task is at hand.  You have to kind of pull all your emotions together and just perform and do our duty.

Is there anything that either one of you wish that the show could have highlighted that you think might have gotten you to stay a little bit longer…  another week or so or is something you really don’t want to wrap your brain around because then you start overthinking everything?

Brittany: There are so many factors as to what they do show and what they don’t show, and to think of all the possibilities like, “Oh I should have done this” or ‘”Oh they should have done that,” there are so many different scenarios that could have played out it’s a lot to wrap your brain around.

Carlos: Yeah definitely.  You have to take advantage of the time that you are given on air and it’s kind of hard to wrap your brain around there could have been so many possibilities but we’re thankful for what we got and what we were given.

Which choreographer do you feel like was able to pull the most out of you?

Brittany: Oh man, I feel like each of the choreographers I worked with had something different to bring to the table and to pull out of me, and I definitely learned something different from myself each time I worked with somebody new.  It’s hard to pinpoint one choreographer.

Carlos: For me definitely it was Stacy from last night’s performance.  It was definitely more of an emotion side that I don’t display that much and she definitely helped me soften up my qualities and helped me to achieve something new.

Can you tell me your favorite thing about your top 20 partner?

Brittany: My favorite part about BluPrint is that he is so funny.  He’s the funniest person on the earth.  He just like turns in to these characters.  He has these different voices that he does and it’s just the funniest thing in the world.

Carlos: I love that Mariah is such a hard worker.  She always seems perfect and she tries so hard, and I think that helped me as well to get us on the same page and I felt our chemistry was greater that way.

Were you surprised to be voted in to the bottom six dancers, and then also were you surprised the judges eliminated you?

Carlos: I wasn’t surprised to be in the bottom because I did the jive last week and I think that’s a hard dance for people to vote on.  But when we were in the bottom, I was surprised that the judges did eliminated us… as would anyone be surprised because you never know their reasoning for who they chose or what they chose but you know it’s for some reason.

Brittany: Yeah exactly what Carlos said, it was definitely surprising hearing your name, but also at the same time it’s not surprising because people do have to be in the bottom three. It was definitely a shock to be eliminated, and like Carlos said, everybody has their reasons.  There was a reason we were cut.  There was a reason we made it to the top 20, so you kind of just have to expect it and take it with a positive note.

Nigel was not impressed with all 4 of your dance for your life performances… how do you feel about your own performance?  Do you feel like you gave that dance your?

Carlos: You can always do better than what you’ve done before, but at the time you do give your best, and I think that’s what we did given the circumstances.

Brittany: Yeah I feel as though like there’s always room to grow, and we can always improve, but last night I put myself out there and I did the best I could be, and you know it didn’t come off that way, but I am very happy with my performance.

What is the one thing that either of you take away from this overall experience of being a part of the audition process and the show So You Think You Can Dance?

Carlos: Definitely meeting new friends and family.  We’ve grown so close to each other and we all went through this process together so that was definitely going to be the most I will take away because we all worked together doing the same thing.  We woke up together.  We ate together.  We went in to the same process and learned choreography and worked hard and pushed our bodies and minds to the limit.

Brittany: Yeah exactly what Carlos said, like we’ve all become such great friends.  We’ve been through this entire journey hand-in-hand supporting each other, being there for each other, crying together, working so hard to get where we are so I think I’m going to take away the amazing friendships and this entire journey has been the greatest thing.

Do you guys have any plans in the short-term or the long-term now that you’ve been eliminated from the show?

Brittany: I think we can only go up from here.  Honestly I just hope to keep dancing and doing what I love and working, and hopefully be working with Dancing with the Stars.  There are so many possibilities in the future and I’m so excited for what is in store.

Carlos: Yeah, the plan is always the same even before the show, just to keep dancing and work as much as you can.  Eventually I would like to start my own company and start branching in to choreography as well as performing at the same time so hopefully some new doors will be opening for me.

I’m sure leaving your partners behind was hard, but what kind of advice or words of encouragement did you leave them with?

Brittany: I told Blu, just to kill it out there.  He is such a character and I just want him to be able to show that to America and open up and let them in.  I just told him to open himself up and just kill it.

Carlos: I told Mariah to just to keep doing what she’s doing.  She’s a great performer and she really taps in to the piece that’s she’s given so really all she has to do is keep growing, don’t change anything.

Did your partners or fellow dancers leave you with any encouragement or words of advice moving forward for you guys?

Carlos: Yeah of course, everyone did.  Everyone was sad to see us go, and we all just remind each other that it’s not the end of the road; it’s just the beginning of this journey.  We’re all coming back for the finale so it’s all going to be great.

Brittany: Yeah exactly what Carlos said, everyone was so sad to see us go, especially for the first people eliminated. For everyone, it was such an emotional night, and before the show we all reminded each other that we made it to the top 20 and that we are here as a family, and we did this together.  Everyone is here because they’re amazing at what they do, and that everyone just loves each other, and just stay ourselves and be there for each other, keep being supportive because that’s what we’ve been doing from the beginning, and that we’ll see each other in a few weeks for the finale.

Carlos, as a contemporary dancer you had to perform the jive with Mariah last week and the judges main criticism was kind of that the moves seemed a little too fast for you guys to keep up with. Do you think it was the kind of the choreography lead to your demise rather than the skills that you showcased during that performance?

Carlos: Yeah, the dance was difficult but that has nothing to do with our job as dancers and the ways to execute them.  Once we’re given the choreography it’s our responsibility to perform as well as we can, and I feel I did my best and so did Mariah.  The jive is a whole new language for a hip hop dancer and a contemporary dancer.  We focused on performing it well, and I thought we did.

Brittany, as a Latin ballroom dancer you performed Afro-Jazz with BluPrint, and you got raving reviews from the judges.  What do you think happened or why you think you didn’t connect so much with the audience?  Do you think maybe the style itself was less popular amongst viewers?

Brittany: There are so many different factors and Afro-Jazz is a very different style. It’s not one of your normal dance styles, and I don’t know if it was easy for America to really feel or maybe they thought that we had it in the bag because sometimes when the judges praise one couple America won’t vote for them just because they’re like, “Oh I’m not going to vote for them they’re good.  They’re great.  I’m going to vote for these other people.”  There are so many different reasons and explanations and theories that I have or other people have and to think of them is—like it doesn’t matter because it is what it is and I am grateful for what I have accomplished.

How many times did you guys actually audition for the show, and what made you want to try out for the how originally?

Carlos: This was my third time auditioning.  I auditioned in Season 4 and 5.  I sucked back then so I didn’t even make it to Vegas but this time I had more confidence in myself and I had more training, and I thought I showed that to the judges.  They did remember me from previous seasons.

Brittany: This was my first time auditioning for the show, and I am so excited and thankful that I did make it to the top 20 because a lot of people like Carlos have tried out many times before.  I had wanted to do the show since Season 2 and I put my mind to it and succeeded.

Brittany, You and Surge had auditioned together and were together throughout the entire audition process.  How did it feel when you made it on to the show and he did not, and do you think he’ll come back again in a future season?

Brittany: It was definitely the most bittersweet thing I think I’ve ever experienced.  Surge is the best partner I could have asked for and he is such a hard worker and I was so sad that he didn’t make it because he had tried out in previous seasons.  The judges brought us in together and they told us that Surge was no longer in the competition and that I had succeeded, and I just cried so much.  I just bawled.  I was so sad to see Surge go just because we’d been in it together since the beginning, and he wasn’t going to be experiencing it with me anymore so it was definitely really sad.  If there is a next season I think Surge will audition.  I don’t know what the future holds though and I hope he does audition and succeeds and moves on to the show because I think he would do a really great job.

Brittany Murphy Dies from Heart Attack at Age 32

As the year draws to a close, we just caught wind of another bit of news to add to the 2009’s list of intriguing news breaks. The star of Clueless and 8 Mile, Brittany Murphy, has been pronounced dead at the age of 32 due to a Heart Attack. She went into Cardiac Arrest early Sunday morning, December 22nd. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Brittany’s family and friends. Join us in the forums to talk about the news with us!