Kherington Payne was ready for the worst-case scenario during last Thursday night's live So You Think You Can Dance results show, however it still didn't soften the blow of being eliminated.

"It's always going to be a shock, but you always have to prepare yourself for the worst," she told reporters during a Friday conference call.  "That's what I did so it wouldn't be that much of a shock.  But it's always a shock and it's still sad."

The 18-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer from Placentia, CA was ousted from So You Think You Can Dance's fourth season based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance episode, in which each finalist performed two couple routines and a solo. 

Payne and her new partner Mark Kanemura first performed a country two-step on Wednesday night, a technically difficult routine that left the judges wanting more.

"It honestly probably didn't help me at all in the competition," Payne told reporters about receiving the genre.  "It really bummed me out that I had such a hard dance, and it was the last dance I ended up going out of the competition with.  I wish I would have had like another opportunity.  But I take it for what it was worth and I tried my best, I think that's all I could have done."

Despite the touch criticism, Payne said she and Kanemura had hoped that their jazz routine would fair better with the judges and home viewers.

"I thought I did the best that I could in that literally I think the country two-step is the hardest dance that I've ever had to learn in my entire life," she told Reality TV World during the conference call. 

"I thought we did really well in our jazz routine, and I thought that was going to redeem us, but it didn't.  You're never going to completely agree with the judges, but they're going to have to be tough at this point in the competition and I'll totally take it for what it's worth."

It was Payne's first week working with Kanemura after being paired with Twitch Boss throughout the competition -- a partnership that had worked wonders since they only found themselves among the bottom three couples once in five weeks.

"Twitch was awesome to work with," Payne explained to Reality TV World.  "I think why we worked so well together was because we were just both easy to work with, we took corrections from one another very well, and we knew how each other worked -- so we played off of that."

However Payne wouldn't call being coupled with Kanemura a disadvantage.

"I don't think it was a disadvantage not being with him that last week, but just because you were with that partner for so long and then you have to have that same connection with your new partner even though you were only with him for a few days, that was the hard part," she told Reality TV World.  "But I wouldn't say it was a disadvantage."

Payne was generally regarded as one of the more upbeat fourth-season finalists, always wearing a smile on her face and cordially accepting the judges' criticisms.
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"It's definitely tough," Payne told reporters about always keeping her spirits up.  "You have to tell yourself, 'It's really mind over matter.  Keep your head up.'  I've always tried to keep a positive attitude about this whole experience no matter what."

She added while she might not have won the competition, her attitude paid off.

"I've learned how to be a stronger person," said Payne.  "This experience has made me grow as a stronger person, a stronger dancer.  It's awesome.  It was really, really a great learning experience."

While So You Think You Can Dance was a learning experience for Payne, it also stopped her from attending the culmination of her high school experience.

"It was sad not being able to go to my graduation because that's only a once in a lifetime thing," she said.  "But then again, I had to tell myself that this was a once in a lifetime thing and not many people get this opportunity.  That totally made my mind set go the other way and think positive about it."

Payne said she plans on attending Rancho Santiago Community College in Fall 2009 since she'll be busy this fall with the So You Think You Can Dance tour.  As for what comes after that, she said she's unsure.

"It's all up in the air," she said.  "I definitely still want to keep dancing, see where that takes me.  A dance career is so unexpected, like you don't know what's coming.  So I just hope it has something to do with dance."

In addition, Payne said she wouldn't mind trying her hand at acting as well.

"I hope it does take me somewhere," she said.  "I will definitely still be auditioning for all those things."