'So You Think You Can Dance' eliminee Paul Karmiryan: Makenzie Dustman definitely deserved to be in the finale
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/03/2013
So You Think You Can Dance eliminated Paul Karmiryan, a 21-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Glendale, CA, which determined the tenth season's Top 4 finale contestants during last Tuesday night's live show on Fox.
Paul, along with Hayley Erbert, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Topeka, KS, got eliminated from the competition based on home viewer votes cast for the Top 6 finalists.
During a recent conference call with reporters, Paul talked to Reality TV World about his So You Think You Can Dance experience. To read what he had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from his interview.
This whole process and getting so close to the finale, what are your emotions like now? Is it joy because you made it so far in the competition and you had so much praise, or is it just frustration that you were one step away from the finale?
Paul Karmiryan: It's practically the same thing. Of course it's everyone's goal to make it to the finale and to make it all the way. But just thinking back to, for me the LA auditions and just the journey I made from LA to now, it's amazing even thinking that I've come this far.
And I have no regrets, and I think that's the most important thing. It's just been such a great journey and such a great experience and I've learned so much and grown as a person. Of course it is bittersweet, where you would want to go all the way to the end of the experience and actually have the full potential of dancing each possible dance that you could have on the show.
But then again, everything happens for a reason and "Fik-Shun," [Aaron Turner], [Amy Yakima], and [Jasmine Harper], they all deserve to be there, and it really was a hard decision for America, I think. This season has been so strong, and I wish them the best. Yes, no regrets. No regrets.
I just wanted to ask, what are your plans for the future now that you have this experience under your belt?
Paul Karmiryan: I would definitely want to continue dancing. It is something that I love to do. And I would love to be on Dancing with the Stars or any of the ballroom shows that are going on right now.
And definitely, I've always wanted to act, and I would love to get into acting and just be out in the entertainment industry and just take any opportunity that comes from this. It's such a great opportunity to start off your career, and it's really not the end, it's only the beginning.
Do you have a favorite moment or a favorite dance routine that you did while you were on the show?
Paul Karmiryan: That's a very hard question, because I feel like every week was its own highlight and it was its own moment, really thinking about how each genre literally brought a different aspect to the table. And I enjoyed every single genre differently.
There wasn't one routine where I was like, "Oh my God, I hate this routine. I don't want to do it." And I feel like that's very rare, because sometimes there are moments where people just are not content with their genres. And in my case, I really enjoyed all of my genres.
I was thinking about it today, that if I could think about one genre that I like the most which one would it be, and I really can't [pick]. Not even my own genre, I can isolate from the other ones. And in a sense, if you want me to give an answer, I would totally say the Edge of Glory dance by Mandy Moore, the contemporary one that we did, me and [Makenzie Dustman].
It was our last dance together and it was just one of those, the moment that we shared together on the stage was very genuine and it just meant a lot to us.
But then again, the week after I worked with [Witney Carson] and we did a cha cha, and then I worked with [Comfort Fedoke] and we did a hip-hop, and then [Kathryn McCormick] this week, and Hayley, every week was just its own great moment. And the thing is, I had no regrets with any of them, so the whole experience was great as a whole.
Can you explain a little bit, you were on So You Think You Can Dance Armenia, and I was wondering how the two experiences compared to each other.
Paul Karmiryan: Armenia's So You Think You Can Dance brought so many great moments for me, and it was just a life-changing experience for me. It made me grow as a dancer, I think, because I've only been dancing four-and-a-half years. It really made me mature very quickly, and through that experience, I strived to participate inSo You Think You Can Dance America because I knew that I would grow even more.
Because there's no doubt that when comparing Armenia and America, the level is different, because Armenia's population is less than Los Angeles' population and there are different choreographers there and there's different contestants and competition there. And here, it's on a different level also.
We have choreographers that are known worldwide, although both of these experiences I would never take back and never regret any moment of. So, yes, there are many differences between Armenia and America. They were the same show but both of them were completely different in my life as a whole.
Now that the tour will be coming up soon, which dances, whether they're ones you've done or ones that other contestants have done, would you like to see featured on the tour?
Paul Karmiryan: I would love to see [Mark Kanemura] and [Janelle Issis] dance the, what is it called, the K-pop or jazz funk. It was such a unique genre that it was like, I can't even say what genre, but that's totally one. I would love to see [Tucker Knox] and [Robert Roldan]'s, the medicine dance that they did.
It really is [hard], because it's like, whenever you're behind the scenes and you just see the growth of the dancers and you see what they become and how amazing each individual is -- like from the choreographer to the dancers, [what they] put into the dance to create this masterpiece, every one just grows on you, because that's what creates the season, all the different dances.
And there were so many that were so impossible. Even if the audience didn't like it, it was very impactful to us. Because you saw the difference of the dance, like, for example, there were so many people that did dances that were out of their genre and it was just very amazing to see them do so great in that genre. And it made that dance great for me.
You spent much of the competition dancing alongside Makenzie, and you were an absolutely beautiful couple to watch. She had said that she was so lucky to have you as a partner because you were the reason behind the two of you doing so well. What is your reaction to that?
Paul Karmiryan: Makenzie is just -- I was so shocked that Makenzie got cut so early, not early, but she didn't go all the way. I [thought] that she definitely deserved to be in the finale at least. She's just such an amazing person. And really, working with her was just so different because we connected on a different level.
We became so close and we became such great friends, and she's just been so supportive of me through this journey, even after she got cut. And you know, the fact that she is such a great person and such a great dancer, I respect her so much for that.
And I know that it's not the end. We're going to be dancing together in the finale and on tour, and I just love working with her and I know that she has such a bright future ahead of her, and I know that she will be successful in what she does.
I just wish that America saw what a great personality she had, because backstage, she was so goofy and she was just so fun to be around -- and not only beautiful in terms of her looks, but beautiful on the inside too. And I just wish her the best and I thank her for being such a great partner, because the time that I spent with her, we never got my genre.
We never got Latin ballroom, and we always got contemporary or jazz and it was mainly her genre, and she just helped me so much throughout those genres and made it such a great work process, and it was great working with her, and her work ethic is amazing. I wish her the best.
Is there anything that you have learned or that you take away from the experience that has either changed you as a person or changed your perspective about dance?
Paul Karmiryan: Okay. Well, every single day changed my perspective about dance and changed me as a person, because every single day, it was literally this obstacle that we had to [overcome] and pass, and just going through practices that were literally draining of your not only physical-self, but also your mental-self.
Being able to overcome those challenges, and being able to conquer routines that you've never really danced before, and being able to just do the best that you can every single day -- even though you know that you have no energy in your body -- especially this last performance that we had, everyone was really drained.
Even if we wanted to continue and we had the fight to continue and do our best, our bodies were literally not complying with us. There were moments where it was like we would fight to finish the routine until the end, but your muscles just give up. We're still human after all, and the fact that we had to overcome these challenges, it really made us grow and mature as people. And it's a great experience... an amazing experience.
I truly wish that everyone could experience it, because it makes you grow so much as a person. And of course it makes you grow as a dancer, but dance, I will be dancing for many years continuing after the show.
But I know that what I will take with me even more is how much I grew as a person and the experiences I gained and the knowledge and maturity I gained throughout the show. So that's really one of the biggest things that I know I will remember from the show.
To read what Hayley had to tell Reality TV World, click here. Check back with us soon for some additional highlights from her call with reporters.