"It was such big shoes to fill that I felt it was unfair to even take another guy's spot. So I was happy the way it turned out because I didn't think it was fair for me to come in and take another guy's spot," Dumlao told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.
"Everyone earned it and I want to earn it myself, so I really hope for Season 7 they let me come back so I can prove it myself."
The reason why the 21-year-old hip hop dancer from Concord, CA, might be able to come back for So You Think You Can Dance's seventh season is because co-creator and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said that -- due to the "unfortunate sequence of events" that landed Dumlao in the Top 20 -- he's going to try and waive the rule that states he's now ineligible to be a finalist again.
"I did not expect him to say that. I really thought that was my only chance to be in the Top 20 and I wanted to make the most of it," Dumlao told reporters.
"So for him to propose that to me and let me come back for Season 7 if that's possible, that's really crazy."
Dumlao was cut on the cusp of making it to the Top 20 before he received a call last week to replace Bell, who reportedly couldn't continue in the competition due to mononucleosis.
"I got the call on Friday at 11AM and they told me that I was able to replace another dancer, and it was Billy in this case. I got on a plane two hours later -- it was an hour flight -- I landed, got picked up, went to the studio, found out [Pauline Mata] was my partner in front of everyone and then we went straight to rehearsal for smooth waltz," said Dumlao.
"It was such a whirlwind. It was really crazy. But it was such an amazing experience."
Tuesday night's So You Think You Can Dance broadcast taped early Sunday evening, according to Dumlao, who said the lack of rehearsal time he had was made worse by the fact that he and Mata had randomly selected a smooth waltz for their routine.
"My reaction was really, really nervous because I had never done a smooth waltz before," he explained.
"But I was really comfortable to do it with Pauline because we had been partners for the cha-cha in Las Vegas. So we already had a feeling for each other's body and what we could do with our chemistry. So I felt pretty confident that we could pull it off somehow."
Dumlao said he and Mata were actually friends before being partnered for the competition.
"Pauline, she's so amazing. I met her last season -- in Season 5 -- we were together and we both got cut [in Las Vegas]. So we had some history together," he told Reality TV World during the conference call.
"She's a really sick dancer. She's not just a jazz dancer, but she really knows how to do hip-hop and I really feel like she's Top 10 material. She can win. I was really excited to be her partner and really glad we got to dance together."
However Dumlao and Mata's smooth waltz was not well-received by the show's judging panel and they subsequently found themselves up for elimination at the end of Tuesday night's broadcast. Dumlao said had he been an original Top 20 member, he thinks the routine would have gone better.
"I think I might have had a better chance just because the judges would have known me -- I would have the same standard as everyone else," he said.
"When I did the waltz they kept saying, 'You didn't have enough time because you had replaced Billy.' So I feel like I would have done a better job and they would have seen that I did a better job and would have taken that into consideration with the results."
Dumlao was one of the bottom two males along with Russell Ferguson, a 20-year-old hip-hop/krump dancer from Boston, MA.
"I was so surprised because Russell is of course is a fan favorite. The judges, I'm sure, just love him too," said Dumlao. "When he was announced [in the bottom two], I kind of knew that I might have been going home because he was amazing and this cast was amazing."
Had he been able to stay another week, Dumlao thinks he could have made a good impression on the judges and viewers.
"I feel like I could have proven myself because I didn't get my style," he said, adding he has no regrets.
"But I'm really happy I got to show and learn a new style and show America that I can do another style. I'm really happy with my adventure so far, so hopefully it continues with the show next year."
Dumlao said he's already preparing for the show's seventh installment if he's invited back.
"I'm going to be taking classes if I can come back next season," he told reporters.
(Photo credit Fox)
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