Caitlynn and Ricky talk about being eliminated right before 'SYTYCD' finale
Caitlynn Lawson and Ricky Jaime were eliminated from “So You Think You Can Dance” during the Top 6 Results Show, meaning they would not compete in the finale.
Lawson, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Moses Lake, Wash., and Jaime, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Tampa, Fla., spoke to the media during a recent conference call about what it was like to be eliminated so close to the end and their future plans. Excerpts are below.
On whether becoming friends with ‘SYTYCD’ winner Jeanine inspired Ricky to do the show:
Ricky Jaime: Yes, definitely. She actually introduced me to Focal Point Dance Studios in Miami, Florida when they first opened, and that’s when I just started dancing at that studio with her. And as the studio grew I just looked up to her, and just (saw) how amazing of a dancer she is. And so after I took off a couple of years I was just like, well Jeanine did it and she was an amazing person and an amazing dancer, so I’m going to try and do it, and hopefully I can live up to that expectation, and I think I did. I had an amazing time and I hope I’ve been inspiring others.
On the two dances the judges called “standout moments” for Caitlynn (‘To Love You More’ and the Sonya Tayeh piece):
Caitlynn Lawson: Yes, they were definitely the most memorable. I mean any opportunity to be on the stage at all is an amazing moment for me, but it’s definitely extra amazing (when) you get a good response from the judges and from the audience. And both of those pieces are really touching pieces to me and it was really fun to get into and they’re actually in my style. And I had a lot of things that were out of my style, so whenever you get something that’s actually what you’re used to, it’s a lot easier to just totally go all out in it. So those are the two most amazing moments. That and then the tango with Pasha was probably my three favorite moments of the show.
On whether Caitlynn feels like she’s grown throughout the process of the competition:
Caitlynn Lawson: The whole reason I wanted to audition for the show is just to finally get an opportunity to be around so many amazing people and amazing dancers and just learn as much as I possibly could. And so when the judges told me that they thought that I had really grown and came of age, it meant a lot to me because that was really my whole goal with this show, was just to learn and get better. And so hearing that from them I couldn’t feel any more accomplished and any more happy that I had reached a goal that I’d set out to accomplish.
On their future plans:
Ricky Jaime: After the tour is over, I am planning on moving out here, hopefully with Clarice. So I’m up for anything, I’m really excited to just come out here, hopefully get into the acting business and start dancing even more and harder, and dance with anyone; maybe Sonya Tayeh, it doesn’t matter, I’m just really, really excited for the future and to work with anyone.
Caitlynn Lawson: After the tour I actually already have an apartment set up down here and everything so I’m planning on moving down here. And I’ve always done like singing, and acting, and dancing, and modeling, and I just want to basically go to any audition I can. And I just want to try to do as much as possible. And I’m so excited to be down here and just to try to see how many jobs I can get and just keep learning and growing like I have been on the show and hopefully get to stay in contact with the show and maybe come back as an all-star or something, that would be a great after effect.
On the interesting panel of judges this season:
Caitlynn Lawson: I personally think that (Nigel Lythgoe) wanted to invite them just because they’re all a type of performer and so much about the show is about acting and telling a story, and just all the different aspects of performing are really involved. It’s not just about your dancing ability; it’s about your performance. And so I think it’s nice to hear corrections from someone who’s a different kind of performer and it’s not just about your dance technique or about the moves; it’s about the emotion behind it. So I thought that was really nice and it was really cool because we’d see all those people on TV and they’re all such icons, so it was a really great experience getting to hear from all of them.
Ricky Jaime: I feel the same exact way; especially when Lady Gaga was on the panel. It was just amazing to hear what she has to say because she’s such a performer and she’s such an artist and the appreciation that she has for dance and all the arts is amazing. And with everyone else it was really great to hear from them because they see what America sees, but even in a better light, I feel like. And they know what to say, they know what to tell us to keep us going in the competition. And there hasn’t been one judge that I was like, you’re crazy, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I’m just really grateful that we got all these amazing opportunities to meet these people and be judged by them. Hopefully they remember us.
On the best piece of feedback they got from the judges:
Ricky Jaime: I may have to say again, Lady Gaga just saying she has a sweet spot for me because I really love her, and just like hearing everything from everyone was just amazing, and it’s stuff that you can take with you even if it wasn’t directed to me. If it was directed to Caitlynn or anyone else, I just took it all in and I could put it in my pocket and walk away with it because that’s the best thing about being judged. You can always take it with you no matter who it’s for and make yourself a better person and a better dancer.
Caitlynn Lawson: I have to say, because I really just wanted, out of this whole experience, I just wanted to get better and I wanted to have the opportunity to grow and to learn as much as I possibly could and just to grow as a dancer and as a person. And so anytime the judges told me, like after my tango, and after the performance Wednesday night when Nigel told me that I came of age, or that I grew, and that I’ve gotten better, it meant the world to me because that’s really all I wanted out of the show was just to become a better dancer myself. And I feel like, from taking all of the their critiques throughout the season and just from being around all these amazing people, I’ve learned so much and I’ve totally accomplished the goal that I set out for myself. So it’s been an amazing run.
On being eliminated right before the finale:
Caitlynn Lawson: I definitely see a silver lining in it. It’s sad to get cut obviously, just because you want to go as far as you can. But I really just, out of the six years I just wanted to learn and I wanted to grow and I just wanted the opportunity to get better. And I feel like I really got that and I feel like every day I was here I learned more and more. So I’m just really happy with my whole experience here. Getting cut right before finale is sad just because you really want to be competing for that last show.
But the good thing about it is that we never even have to go home. I mean we’re in rehearsal right now, and we still get to be a part of the show, we’re just not competing in it. So I think if there’s a time to get cut, this is definitely the best time. But yes, I’m just really happy with my whole experience with it. It’s bittersweet, but I’m mostly just happy to have gotten the opportunity to have gone this far. I was worried about making top 20, let alone top 6.
Ricky Jaime: Same. I think getting cut at this point of the competition is great, just because it’s shown me how far I can come… I just didn’t want to leave anyone, so I’m really glad I wasn’t sent (on) a plane back home. And I don’t know, like top six, I don’t know, like top three boys, top three girls; that’s crazy and it just like gives me goose bumps to even think about that.
On what is was like to have their families in the audience and what the support has meant to them over the years?:
Caitlynn Lawson: Oh my gosh. My parents mean everything to me. I mean I wouldn’t be here and have the confidence to even audition for the show without them. My mom, especially, has always really told me that I can do whatever I want… It just meant so much for me to have them there, and I really wanted to make it to this point because my dad’s been out of the country, and so he had just gotten (back) and so he got to see me live. They honestly are just the most amazing supportive parents. I can’t even describe how happy it made me to have them sitting there and be so proud of me and see how far that I’ve come and that I accomplished all the goals that I set out to do.
Ricky Jaime: (My mom always said you) should go to school, you should get a degree and just go on with your life and that’s how you build a career. But I think I’ve shown her that dancing can be a career and it’s my passion. I can take that to the next level. This show, she’s just seen me so happy, and it’s awesome to see my mom smile and she’s just like, wow, you’re smiling because you love dancing and the fact that you’re dancing on stage right now is the best feeling for me.
And just seeing her; I mean I couldn’t even look at her whenever they call my name to tell me that I was eliminated, because I know how proud of a mom she was. And every time someone comes up to her and they’re just like “Your son is great, I’m so happy he had the chance to get on the show and show America his talents,” or whatever, I can just see her choking up. And it means the world to me to make my mom proud.
Find out who will be crowned the Season 8 winner on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 8/7C on CTV!
Missed an episode? Catch up with full episodes online at CTV.ca.