Molle Gray "bummed" by 'So You Think' exit but gets "fairness issue"
By Christopher Rocchio, 12/11/2009
Mollee Gray said she was "bummed" that home viewers ousted her from So You Think You Can Dance instead of Ashleigh Di Lello -- who didn't even perform this week due to an arm injury.
"People voted on Ashleigh based on what she's done throughout the season and I am so proud of her and how much she's grown and impressed America," Gray told reporters during a Thursday conference call.
"It was a tough one, any of the Top 8 could have been in the Top 6. I'm very proud to even be where I am right now."
The 18-year-old jazz dancer from Orem, UT who currently resides in Upland, CA was eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's sixth season during Wednesday night's live results show based on the "more than 8 million" home viewer votes cast immediately following Tuesday night's performance episode, in which each couple performed two routines and a solo.
Gray said she has no problem with the fact that Di Lello was allowed to stay and move onto next week's finale despite her inabaility to perform because the same rule kept her friend Noelle Marsh in the competition earlier this season.
"I actually think that they handled it perfectly because with Noelle being able to advance to the next round, it wouldn't be fair if Ashleigh had to be cut immediately because it's a fairness issue," explained Gray.
"So I think it was very well handled that even though she didn't get to dance, America still got to vote on what she has done the previous episodes throughout the season. Regardless of the finale, she got all the way up to the final episode so she obviously deserves to be there and America loves her. So I think they handled it really well. And I'm proud of Ashleigh."
Gray's biggest knock throughout the sixth season was her immaturity -- and while she's used to it, it was still hard to hear.
"That's really funny because I've kind of grown up with people either liking how bubbly I am or people hating it. So I've learned to just accept basically who I am because I am a very happy person and I love just to be outgoing and be remembered," she told Reality TV World during the conference call.
"So it was kind of difficult to hear that they thought I was immature because I didn't feel as though I was immature but I was just more outgoing. I felt they thought I was immature because of my age but it showed my growth even more when I got in the Top 10 so that was a bonus for me."
"I was perceived as the immature one so I had to figure out a new way to get people to like me and not think that I was a little girl," she told reporters. "So I definitely learned a lot about myself and I've grown as a person and I learned a lot through this whole experience."
Gray added that she really feels like she came out of her shell when she made the Top 10 and was partnered with krumper Russell Ferguson.
"I felt like I've always had a sense of maturity in my dance. I felt that my packages may have shown a little more immaturity of me because I was always bubbly and the little girl type," she explained.
"But I think when we got in the Top 10 and split our partnership when I was able to do more mature movement with like the lyrical jazz and doing the jive and having more mature partners such as Russell, I felt like I leaped forward a ton in the competition."
Still, Gray said she doesn't mean to slight her original partner Nathan Trasoras -- who was also knocked for being immature before being booted last week.
"Actually I am very grateful that I got Nathan in the beginning because I felt like it brought a lot of the younger people to like the show because Nathan and I did have that younger feel to us," she said.
It was often an emotional journey for Gray, who could be seen crying at the conclusion of almost every results show -- however she said the tears she shed after her own ouster were out of joy.
"The shock of me even getting to Top 10 was so thrilling that I was so proud of myself to even be there last night that if I had any tears it was definitely tears of joy and tears of being proud of all the Top 6 making it to the finale," she said.
Gray initially started out as a gymnast but was forced to choose between that and dance as a teenager -- and her decision obviously paid off as she appeared in all three High School Musical films.
"That was pretty crazy. I was 13 years old and I was just a little teenager and I went into this audition and it just was supposed to be a little tiny film that no one was really going to know but I was like, 'Well, might as well start my career off early,'" she told reporters.
"And then I ended up booking a job and it ended up being a huge world phenomenon. So I was very, very lucky and very grateful to have got a jumpstart so early in my life for this career."
Similar to her role in High School Musical, Gray said she plans on combining singing, acting and dancing in her future.
"I don't know what's in my future but I hope that it involves acting, signing, and dancing because I have been acting for seven years, I've been singing for about five," she said.
"I feel like I have the title of a triple threat because I've been training in dance, singing, and acting -- so I hope that my future involves anything in the entertainment industry whether it be Broadway, movies, just anything I can be performing in."