Victor Smalley: 'So You Think You Can Dance' ouster was a "shocker"
By Christopher Rocchio, 12/02/2009
Victor Smalley said since he received praise for his So You Think You Can Dance growth from judge Nigel Lythgoe, he was surprised to be ousted on the cusp of making the sixth-season's Top 10.
"It's not a happy situation. I'm not going to be very happy. I don't think I was depressed. I was kind of prepared for it, was mentally prepared for it," Smalley told reporters during a Monday conference call.
"I was very happy, actually, when Nigel told me the things he told me. It was a shocker because I wasn't expecting to get cut after what he told me, but it is what it is and when one door closes, another one opens."
The 21-year-old contemporary dancer from Miami, FL and his partner Karen Hauer were eliminated during last week's live results show by the judging panel after they found themselves among the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last Tuesday night's performance episodes.
Lythgoe told Smalley that he wasn't the unanimous choice to be booted amongst the judges after he found himself among the bottom three males with Nathan Trasoras and Ryan Di Lello.
"Everybody wants to stay longer, but as far as deserving it, I think Nathan and Ryan are two very talented dancers. I feel like as far as everybody on the show, everyone is at such a high caliber, it's like when you go into an art gallery, you don't walk in and say this painting is better than that painting. No, they're all in the same art gallery. Each artist is very talented just like us. We are all a bunch of artists and we're all equally talented. You can't say one is better than the other," explained Smalley to reporters.
"I felt like I danced my life out and I wasn't expecting to get cut. It is what it is. One door closes and another one opens. I had a great experience and if I had to go, I'm glad that I left on that note."
Hauer was the third partner Smalley had in the competition, as he was previously paired with tapper Bianca Revels and Channing Cooke -- both of whom were ousted before he was.
"It's hard getting a bunch of different partners because everyone in the Top 10 right now has had their partners since the beginning. You understand how your partner works. It's very easy to get married to your partner. When I had Bianca and I only had her for three weeks, I was married to her. So when she got cut, I was devastated and it's really hard when you're married to someone and then, boom, here's your new partner," said Smalley.
"You need to be connected with that person. You need to get to know the person. You have to be comfortable with the person and then, boom, that person gets cut and then I get another partner. It's tough, but that's what you have to do. A good dancer is expected to be able to dance with anyone. We're actors and even if you don't like someone, you have to make believe that that person is world if that's what the dance is portraying."
Still, Smalley said "working with Karen was great" due to her "passion" and "confidence."
"I think that if we would have gone one more week, it would have made a big difference because America just saw us like for the first time. I think if they would have been able to see what more we can do and offer, I think people would have been very impressed because I do feel that it was a very good partnership and it was a strong partnership," he told reporters.
"When we danced our tango, it looked like we were dancing since the beginning of the show together. It's not easy getting a new partner and just connecting like that, having that chemistry. I felt that we had a lot of natural chemistry."
Smalley said he plans on continuing to pursue dance opportunities and encouraged others to do the same, regardless of experience,
"For all the dancers out there that just started dancing, it's never too late to follow your dreams and to start dancing," he said. "I've only been dancing five years and I was in the Top 20, so I motivate all the dancers out there to go out and dance and dance their heart out."