'So You Think You Can Dance' eliminee BluPrint: It's actually more difficult to perform in your own dance style
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/29/2013
BluPrint, a 20-year-old animation dancer from Atlanta, GA, was eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance during Tuesday night's live show on Fox, determining the tenth season's Top 14 contestants.
BluPrint and Mariah Spears, a 19-year-old hip-hop dancer from Phoenix, AZ, were eliminated by So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy as well as guest judge Carly Rae Jepsen after they found themselves in the week's bottom-six dancers based on home viewer votes cast immediately following the season's Top 16 performance show.
BluPrint and Mariah were paired together and most recently performed a hip-hop routine followed by a jazz routine during the last two live shows.
Reality TV World: So, a couple of weeks ago when America voted you into the bottom six, you had performed the hip hop routine with Mariah and it was highly praised. Does your elimination almost sting a little bit more considering you both were pretty much in your element? I can imagine that kind of being the worst way to go out, you know what I mean?
BluPrint: Doing our own style is actually kind of more difficult because the judges are looking for you to do so much. They're expecting more from you, especially when it's your style. So, doing that... was actually not -- it was challenging... but it was actually fun at the same time.
Reality TV World: It was clear that the hip-hop routine had a lot of choreography. It was fast paced and seemed to exhaust you two. Do you feel like out of all the hip-hop routines you could have learned, that was almost the most difficult one? Did you feel like it was kind of the most challenging-type of dance you could've been presented with from that genre?
BluPrint: In a way it was because of the energy level that we had to have, but it was actually more fun to learn than any hip-hop routine that I've learned so far.
Reality TV World: Following that hip-hop number, the judges and your choreographer said your "freestyle is ill," but you kind of lack emotion in your face and the judges wanted to see the performance quality come out a little bit more. Did you kind of notice that missing from your end, and was that something you were really starting to work on but didn't have a chance to correct since you got eliminated shortly afterwards?
BluPrint: Yes, I was really working on that, especially last week. Like after the judges said what they said, I really went home and worked on it like to the max. I am kind of upset that I didn't get a chance to show that part, but I did definitely work on it.
It's going to help me in the future for my future performances too. So, I took that in. I actually thank the judges for saying all that because now I know what I'm missing in my performance.
Reality TV World: When Nigel was critiquing your hip-hop performance a couple of weeks ago, he also said it was vital to maintain personality since you're "not a great dancer yet." Did that comment surprise or offend you at all? Because I know some viewers thought to themselves, "How would he have made it to the Top 20 if he wasn't 'a great dancer' yet?"
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BluPrint: Okay. Well, I mean, it didn't really take offense with me because I just sort of brushed it off and like ignored that part of the comment.
But, the personality part, I mean I knew I was lacking in that area and I really didn't get a chance to show them that part because of what happened yesterday -- I got eliminated. But, I mean, I'm glad he gave me that critique though, because I know what I need to work on.
Reality TV World: Why did you originally apply for So You Think You Can Dance, and how many times did you audition before actually making it to the Top 20?
BluPrint: This was my first time auditioning and originally, I wasn't going to audition. Some friends kind of pushed me into it because... they all wanted to audition and I just wanted to go for the ride, but it was like, "Well, since you're here, you might as well audition." So, I went ahead and did it and made it here.
Reality TV World: What's next now after the show? What are your future plans?
BluPrint: Well, I'm just going to go back to my crew and travel with my crew to shows and... [make] YouTube videos. And I'm also going to take choreo classes because the show has really helped me fall in love with choreo stuff. So, I'm going to take more classes on that so I can get fluent in that area and just keep doing my thing.
Below are some additional highlights from BluPrint's call with reporters.
Is there still a challenge in learning a hip-hop routine when you're an animation dancer even though the two genres are kind of linked? It seems like you have the extra challenge of basically doing something different from your style every single week.
BluPrint: Yes, it is because [Mariah and I are] both completely out of our element in each style. But, yes, it does help. It does push us to want to even make a little, like, that is our style on the show.
So, what was it like going from working with one partner to another? I mean, is that another challenge, or is that kind of exciting in a way? You get to know another dancer in a way that some of the other pairs maybe don't.
BluPrint: It's actually cool because I get to experience what it is like to work with different people instead of keeping it the same every week. We all bond like really quickly. So, I mean, having chemistry wasn't a problem. We got right to having fun. That was a great experience.
As an animator, that is such a different style from so many of the other things you've been presented with on So You Think You Can Dance. Has learning and working with any of these other styles affected your own style of dance? Do you think you'll bring that into any of your dancing in the future?
BluPrint: Yes, it affected it in a good way because I'm like a little bit more versatile now and I have been practicing my own style as well every day too. So, it actually helps me to be more open and just do more things with my original stuff.
Could I get your opinion on the guest judges this season? I mean there's been a lot of criticism about the fact that maybe all the guest judges don't necessarily have the proper background in dance to be able to give the proper critiques. I wondered if you had any thoughts on that.
BluPrint: I actually liked some of the guest judges because they actually did give good critiques even though some of them don't really have dancing experience.
But, they actually gave like good critiques. They didn't say anything out of the water or anything. I actually took what [Carly Rae Jepsen] said and went with it. But, yes, I really liked the guest judges, especially because I mean... everybody loves them and all that.
Does the lack of a result show kind of make it more difficult in the sense that you're immediately preparing for the performance with the knowledge that there's going to be eliminations on the very same show?
BluPrint: We all know that it might be our last performance. So, it actually pushes us harder to try to make the judges change their mind if they do have a decision to send one of us home -- just makes us work harder.
How hard was it to see your friends on the show get eliminated week after week? How close did you get to people over the course of the show?
BluPrint: Yes, everybody here, we basically grew into one big family. So, to see like everybody leave, and to leave yourself, is very hard. But, they give you the... aspiration and we all keep in touch, which is a good thing.
Of those that are left, what guy and girl do you think might win it all?
BluPrint: Everyone is really great. So, I can't really even wrap my mind around who is going to win right now.
Would you be interested in coming back to the show as an all-star if given the opportunity?
BluPrint: Yes, I would definitely be interested because everyone there -- like when we were new, we didn't know what to expect. So, we were like kind of just going with the flow, but then an all-star came in and showed us what to do like during rehearsals and how to do things.
I just want to be that person to help the next group, the next Top 20 -- help them get what they need and show them what to expect and all of that. Basically, just help everybody out.