Exclusive: 'So You Think You Can Dance's Alan Bersten: Judges may have been nit-picking to make cutting us easier
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/12/2013
So You Think You Can Dance eliminated Alan Bersten, a 19-year-old ballroom dancer from Minnetonka, MN, during Tuesday night's live show on Fox, which determined the tenth season's Top 10 contestants.
Alan, along with Malece Miller, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Los Angeles, CA, were eliminated by So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy as well as guest judge Kenny Ortega after they found themselves in the week's bottom-six dancers based on home viewer votes cast for the Top 12 finalists immediately following last Tuesday night's show.
Reality TV World: Alan, you had landed in the bottom-six three times this season but just got eliminated this week. Why do you think the judges were holding onto you, and because of that track record, did you kind of sense this week was going to be your time to go?
Alan Bersten: Yeah, I have no idea why the judges were holding on to me. I'm just hoping that they liked the way I dance (laughs) for why they kept keeping me on the show. And yeah, 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.
Reality TV World: 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 the show that might've boosted your votes a little bit that maybe you didn't get a chance to do?
Alan Bersten: 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 just showed a little bit more personality towards the beginning, America could've connected better with me.
Reality TV World: 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 considering taking Nigel's advice in that he suggested you audition to be an alternate, I think he said?
Alan Bersten: It's nice to know that [Malece and I] 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!
Reality TV World: In the jazz dance you performed with Malece, 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 even said he was "uncomfortable" watching it. What's your reaction to that and why did you seem to struggle with that dance?
Alan Bersten: 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.
Reality TV World: Last week, Malece and yourself 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 clearly laughed at that. What went through your mind? Is there any hope of a little romantic chemistry between you guys or no?
Alan Bersten: I don't think so. 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.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Curtis Holland last week, he explained he took his partner Hayley Erbert out on a date just to work on their connection and chemistry as dancers. I guess 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?
Alan Bersten: Yes, but 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.
Reality TV World: Right, so they definitely had more time for that.
Alan Bersten: Right.
Reality TV World: Why did you originally audition for So You Think You Can Dance and how many times did you try out before actually making it into the Top 20?
Alan Bersten: 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.
Reality TV World: 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?
Alan Bersten: 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. And hopefully we'll tour. Hopefully, we'll be on the tour. (Laughs)
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