'So You Think You Can Dance' finalist Jasmine Mason: I could've loosened up a bit
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/12/2013
So You Think You Can Dance eliminated Jasmine Mason and determined the tenth season's Top 16 contestants during Tuesday night's live show on Fox.
Jasmine, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from Placentia, CA, was eliminated by So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy as well as guest judges Erin Andrews and Paula Abdul after she found herself in the week's bottom-six dancers based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last Tuesday night's show, which featured the season's Top 18 finalists performing.
In addition, Jade Zuberi, a 21-year-old animation dancer from Dearborn Heights, MI, was forced to withdraw from the reality dancing competition due to a leg injury which will require surgery and at least two months recovery time.
Reality TV World: All the judges seemed to kind of agree that you didn't really let loose and have as much fun in the king and queen routine as you could have to a certain extent. So I want to get your opinion on how you felt about the way you performed it. Do you believe it was as quirky as you could have made it and you gave as much energy as possible?
Jasmine Mason: Well, when I was doing the routine, I felt that I was being quirky and I was having fun. But obviously the judges know what they're talking about, and I'm sure I could have loosened up a little bit. But I was so focused on trying to be this prim and proper queen that I think I kind of let that take over a little bit.
Reality TV World: You weren't in the bottom-six dancers last week, so did it surprise you that you landed in the bottom six this week and also that you were the girl that ended up getting eliminated?
Jasmine Mason: Yes, I was a little bit surprised. But the show is so unpredictable. The bottom three last week, I didn't think was going to be the bottom three. You're just always prepared and you always are practicing your solo, so I was a little surprised. But I wasn't too surprised, because it's so unpredictable.
Reality TV World: How did you feel about the twist last week in which they revealed the results at the beginning of the show and this week they revealed them at the end? Do you think that was the right move to make?
Jasmine Mason: Honestly, I think eliminations, no matter what, are going to be hard and they're going to be sad. So if it was at the beginning or the end, it doesn't matter, because it's still so hard. I think it's a little bit better because it's really hard to go back on the stage and perform, but knowing that it's your last time, you can probably be in it a little bit more, do you know what I mean? So I think either way it's tough.
Reality TV World: Last week, Nigel was pretty unimpressed with everyone's "dance for your life" performances. Do you feel like the bottom-six dancers this week kind of felt pressured to up their game and improve their "dance for your life" performances, or at least felt the pressure to deliver it better?
Jasmine Mason: Yes, I feel like everyone upped their game, because you have to really dance for your life on that show. And the judges are really looking at that solo, and you have to show what you can do, because that's how you got on the show.
I feel like everyone, we had another week to kind of pull ourselves together. We saw [Brittany Cherry] and [Carlos Garland] go home, and nobody wants to be that person. So we all practiced a lot, put our head in the game, and I feel like everyone really stepped it up.
Reality TV World: Is there any choreographer in specific you wish you got to work with that you didn't?
Jasmine Mason: I would say that I wish I got to work with Stacey Tookey, because every single piece she puts out on the stage is beautiful, and her concepts are beautiful. She's beautiful. So I really wanted to work with her, because looking at past seasons, everyone seems to have really gotten a good routine with her, and I wish that I could have worked with her.
Reality TV World: I want to know what you think Alan Bersten brought out in you as a partner. How did he help you or enhance your performance?
Jasmine Mason: Alan is seriously the hardest worker ever. It's 10 o'clock at night and he's like, "Let's rehearse." And I'm just lying in bed like, "Okay, let's go." I feel like he really made me -- I had to step up my game just to be with him because he was always trying to practice and working hard, and if he didn't get one thing, he was doing it over and over and over again.
So he kind of taught me to be more persistent. And he was such a good partner. I had so much trust in him. And if we messed up a lift, he always had me and he just made me feel a little bit more confident in us, because it's your first time partnering with somebody, and it's going to be hard. But he was like, "No, we've got this." He believed in us and he believed in me, and he helped me a lot through this competition.
Also during the call, Jasmine talked to reporters about her plans for the future, why she kept auditioning for the show and how she stayed focused throughout the stressful competition.
What do you plan to do next?
Jasmine Mason: Oh my gosh, I'm not stopping here. I want to obviously continue my dance career, get back with my dance agent and see what we can do. But I had so much fun on the stage acting and playing different roles that I think I really want to get into some acting stuff and see where that goes.
I wanted to know what brought you back to try out again for the show and if that was a tough decision to come back.
Jasmine Mason: Once I heard a "no" last year, I was like, "I'm probably not going to come back," because it was really hard to bounce back on your feet because you prepare yourself to be on the show, of course.
But once the time came to decide if I was going to... or not, I was like, "I have to do this because I made it so far last year that I know I can do it again and I know I can get on the show." So I really trained hard and I wanted it so much more than I did last year.
Because last year, I was very like, you know, "Whatever happens, happens." It was my first year and I didn't expect to get that far, and then I had gotten that far and I was like, "I have to do it again. It would be not very smart if I didn't try out again." So yes.
How did you stay focused throughout your time in the competition?
Jasmine Mason: Well, everybody there is with you and we're all going through the same thing, so it was like everyone really helped each other -- all the other contestants -- and we always were rehearsing, we were always practicing, you're also taking in what the judges are saying.
So you and your partner are going over all the corrections you might get, and I just really tried to focus on me and my partner's connection and just rehearsing all the time. If we weren't rehearsing in the studio with our choreographer, we were finding a spot where we could rehearse [even if] it was on the street corner. But no matter what, we were always trying to focus on our routine, no matter what.
We weren't getting sidetracked or social networking all the time. We were really just focusing on us and making our routine better. And you have no time really to do anything else because you're always rehearsing. Everyone thinks we have that one day in rehearsal which is on-camera, but no, you have another six-hour rehearsal the next day. And it's really tough, but I loved it.