'So You Think You Can Dance' eliminees shocked by results and twist
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/24/2011
Iveta Lukosiute, Wadi Jones, Nick Young, and Missy Morelli, were the first four Top 20 finalists eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's eighth-season live results show Thursday night.
Iveta, a 30-year-old ballroom dancer who currently resides in New York, NY; Wadi, a 24-year-old break dancer from Ossining, NY Nick, a 19-year-old tap dancer from Franklin, WI; and Missy, a 20-year-old jazz dancer from Arvada, CO were ousted after they found themselves in the week's bottom-three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance show and were subsequently eliminated by So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy and guest judge Debbie Reynolds.
During a conference call with reporters on Friday, Nick, Iveta, and Wadi -- Missy, was unable to participate unfortunately -- discussed their So You Think You Can Dance experience and told Reality TV World whether their eliminations came as a surprise to them or they had been expecting a bottom-three couple finish, how they felt about the judges' decision to not send any of the contestants home last week, and whether they believed they were unfairly eliminated because the bottom-three vote-getting couples were saved the week prior to their ousters.
Reality TV World: Were any of you surprised to be eliminated or had you been expecting it or anticipating at least that you were going to be in the bottom three?
Wadi Jones: I wasn't anticipating anything really, because everything happened -- like for example, last week, nobody expected all of us to stay and nobody expected to be in the bottom three, and this week, I never expected even Ryan or Ricky to be in the bottom three.
So, it was shocking for us all. So, I went in with a mindset that whatever happens is meant to happen, and to be prepared -- be prepared to be in the bottom three, be prepared to go home -- but none of this was expected.
Iveta Lukosiute: I was surprised because I thought this show was about versatility and showing different genres of dances and how we're going to pursue different styles.
I was the only ballroom dancer, Nick was the only tap dancer, and Wadi was the only freestyle. It was strange to me that the first elimination, they got rid of all these different styles. So, that was a bit surprising to me, but [Ryan Ramirez and Ricky Jaime] were a really strong couple.
Nick Young: I 120% percent agree with you that it's -- like Wadi said, you never know who's going to be in the bottom. I think it's kind of ironic a little bit that the bottom three this week was completely different than the bottom three last week, but you just gotta think that the judges did what they thought was right... maybe it just wasn't right for me.
So, yeah, I was a little disappointed. I definitely thought I was going to get a little bit farther than the first week, but maybe there's a reason that they didn't cut anyone last week and they cut us this week, you know?
Reality TV World: How do you all feel about the judges' decision to not send anyone home last week? None of you were in the bottom three last week, which means that at least two of you would still be in the competition if they'd sent two people home earlier. So do you think the twist was fair?
Nick Young: Yeah, it's hard looking back on it just knowing that we weren't in the bottom three last week and they didn't cut anybody. And you think any results could have been different this week if they had cut someone last week.
You just never really know, like all the styles we could have picked totally could have changed. So, "unfair" might not be the word, because they can do whatever they want. So, you know, unfair or fair, it's their decision. But, I'm definitely a little upset about it now. It makes you think about it a little bit.
Wadi Jones: I felt that -- I don't know, last week it was kind of cool because we all got to bond with each other and it was nice having everyone still there, and it made it seem more fair because everyone -- America -- had an opportunity to get to know everyone.
But at the same time, the fact that no one got eliminated last week and the bottom three completely changed -- not even one couple from last week was in the bottom three [again this week] kind of changed that aspect of it and did make it a little bit more unfair, because the way the elimination round... the bottom three would have been completely different.
I feel everything happened the way it should've happened, and you can't take any of that back. We all love each other and we all fell apart [afterwards].
Iveta Lukosiute: Well, I gotta go with the guys. I think because they didn't eliminate anyone the first week, it gave America the opportunity to see the couples once more.
Of course I'm upset that I'm going home, but I still think maybe that if they did that the first week for all 20 couples that they didn't go home, I think it maybe would have been fair if every single couple at least had a chance to show that they themselves can do all different styles.
Some couples did only jazz and contemporary, and some couples had to do some styles completely out of their own genre. So, I do feel that that wasn't that fair, because not everyone was out of their comfort zone all three weeks.
So, I think if they wanted to be fair, every couple has to do ballroom and every couple has to jazz, and every couple has to do hip-hop. Because they eliminated so many people. That's what I think.
Also during the call, Nick, Iveta and Wadi told reporters whether they believed the So You Think You Can Dance judges should take a dance style's difficulty into account when sizing up the competition.
Do you think a degree of difficulty should be factored into the judging? Because many dancers end up randomly selecting genres out of their comfort zones, while others get to perform in their preferred style of dance.
Nick Young: I think I love that they keep it random, you know? Just this past week, we got Bollywood by chance. That was picked out of a hat, and we were there for it.
First week? I'm not so sure if that was random, but it is hard to, for me especially, to have danced outside of my style twice in a week -- twice in a row -- and two of the hardest dances that the show's ever had when at the same time, you have a lot of people still dancing in their own styles.
I think it would be kind of cool and unique if they could have at least a couple -- a week -- before they eliminate anyone where you're not dancing in your own styles. You see contemporary dancers either have contemporary or jazz, you know?
I kind of compare the two. If you can dance contemporary, then you can dance jazz, but that doesn't mean you can dance Bollywood. So, it would -- I don't want to be bitter about this, and I'm not, but it is hard to get eliminated on a week where people were still even dancing in their own styles.
Wadi Jones: I'll talk about the judging process a little bit. I'm very proud of myself for what I've accomplished, and yeah, I got the cha cha, and yes it was very hard, and yea I probably -- possibly -- could have done much better considering the fact that I've never done ballroom ever or had any real training.
They could have possibly been a little lighter on what they said, because what the judges say determines how the audience feels. They might have liked it, but I think after hearing the judges and what they have to say, they might change what they feel... Nick is absolutely right about the fact that there are a few couples who still have danced the genre that's there's yet, and that may not have been fair.
Iveta Lukosiute: I think if everybody on the same show would do something outside of their genres, maybe the show itself wouldn't be so great, because some people would keep shining and standing out -- I mean performance wise -- because everyone would be uncomfortable, and the show wouldn't be as good if everybody in one day did something outside of their own styles.
I think it would be fair if in different weeks, everybody at least had at least one week where they had not their own style. So, that way, the judges could really -- and America could really see people out of their comfort zones, because I feel like some of the couples never dance out of their comfort zone.