Matt Dorame knew he'd be booted from 'So You Think You Can Dance'
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/09/2008
Matt Dorame found himself among the bottom three vote getters three out of four times during his So You Think You Can Dance experience, so it's a good thing he enjoyed performing his solo routine.
"I love doing it. Everyone's like, 'I hate Thursdays,' and I hate them too, but I loved doing my solo. I was like, 'It's so fun.' You're just doing what you made up, and you're showcasing yourself to America, and they always gave me a hard time about my personality, and I'm like, 'This is perfect. Now they can see who I am,'"he told reporters during a Tuesday conference call.
"Actually, Thursdays were kind of my favorite days because I did my solo so much that I love doing my solo and I love dancing my own style in front of America, letting them see who I was. So I was never nervous about Thursdays. When they were like, 'You're in the bottom three,' I was like, 'Oh, okay, thank gosh, I can do my solo again.'"
However it was one solo too many, as the 22-year-old contemporary dancer from Glendale, AZ and his partner Kourtni Lind found themselves among the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last Wednesday night's performance episode and were subsequently ousted from So You Think You Can Dance's fourth season by the show's three judges.
The music Dorame performed his solo routine to on Thursday night -- "Sweet Contentment" -- was something that he didn't initially choose.
"I had been in the bottom three twice already and I was like, 'I'm all out of songs and I don't have anything,'" he told reporters, adding what he ended up dancing to was suggested by the show's "music lady" but immediately struck a chord with him.
"I listened to it and it was perfect -- just because I had a really strong feeling that I was going to go home that week. I don't know what it was, intuition or what, and I just knew I felt like I was going to go home," he told reporters.
"Even if you listen to the words, it's kind of like I don't know where I'm going to go and I don't know if I'm going to an office or to a stage, so it was perfect for what I was feeling. So the words kind of just told me what to do, and it was more of an 'I don't know what the judges want from me, and I don't know what America's looking for, but this is who I am, this is how I dance.'"
Of the four male finalists who have been eliminated so far three of them have been contemporary dancers -- including Dorame, who said he feels like the fourth season has been more difficult for contestants with that background.
"I feel like each season has had great dancers, for sure. I don't think you can say one season was better than the other. This season, they were looking for more of a hip-hop-type dancer, so I felt like that's why it was harder for us," he explained. "But I don't think it was really any harder than any other season, it just seemed like they were harder on us because we knew what they were looking for from the beginning."
Dorame and Lind were criticized during last Wednesday night's performance episode for lacking the necessary chemistry, and he said the two tried their best to ignite a spark on the dance floor.
"I feel Kourtni and I have that really strong brother/sister relationship -- but being a dancer, I've had that relationship with a lot of the girls I dance with," he explained. "You just have to overcome it. I felt like you only know your partner for so long before you're in that scenario, in that situation you have to look like you're intimate and stuff. That's really hard to do right away because it's so fast and you get thrown into it so fast. I think we did as good of a job as we could."
As for the judges criticism that Dorame wasn't hitting his hip-hop moves hard enough, he explained that's not how he was instructed to do it.
"It's hard because they don't see the choreographers and they don't see what they say to you, and so [choreographers Olisa Thompson and Cicely Bradley] were totally like, 'It needs just to be so smooth and so chill,' so that's what we were going for because every time we would do it, they'd be like, 'You just need to relax more, relax more,'" recalled Dorame.
"So that's what they wanted, but apparently, it didn't read well to the judges, and that goes for a lot of the teams. If you ask a lot of the dancers, they try to do what [the choreographers] ask them to do, but a lot of times the judges don't agree with that."
"I learned a lot about the different styles of dance, I think," he said. "Probably the biggest thing I learned was about [how to adapt] as a dancer. Like, you need to adapt to every single style and you need to do it at a really fast rate because that's pretty much the only way I'll make it in the dance world, and just about how to work with other dancers, not just contemporary dancers, or like work with hip-hop dancers and work with ballroom dancers. That was a really big learning lesson because everyone has a way different learning style than your genre."
In addition, Dorame said he also received some quality advice from an unlikely source.
"I think it was from our seamstress, and she said, 'Reality TV is not reality,' and that was probably the best advice I got," he told reporters.
"I am just going to go and work on getting my agent, and I'm not going to move too fast because I don't want to get into anything that I haven't really thought through, so still working on getting an agent and talking with them and seeing what options are available to me and what career decisions I want to try to make," he said.