First booted ‘SYTYCD’ contestants have a lot to say about the new elimination process.
After three weeks of rehearsing and performing without any eliminations, the Top 20 dancers couldn’t have been happier on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
But the last three weeks made it much harder for the group to say farewell to ballroom dancer Nick Bloxsom-Carter, lyrical-contemporary dancer Janaya French, and the dancing duo of contemporary dancer Alexa Anderson and Aussie ballet dancer Daniel Baker during the first live elimination round of Season 9.
Instead of having a dedicated results show, this season, the votes are tallied from last week’s performance and, the judges already know who make up the bottom three couples. The judges then take into consideration the week’s new performances by the bottom three girls and the bottom three guys to determine which guy and girl they will save.
“I kind of like the new format, but it was hard because we didn’t really get to experience it so there’s not really much we can compare it too,” began Janaya. “But for what we got to experience, we were together as the Top 20 longer than any other season, which was really nice, and we got to meet so many amazing new people.”
Both Nick and Daniel agreed. Nick added that the second performance round before the elimination could help a dancer’s chances at staying in the competition.
“When we do perform our duos, it’s kind of nice because the judges can change their minds,” he says. “They know who’s in the bottom three but they don’t tell you until after you perform, so your performance can sway their mind to either a good side or a bad side.”
He added, “No matter what, if America didn’t vote for you, you’d be in the bottom three.”
However, Daniel had a much different opinion on the new process, believing the judges can manipulate their critiques depending on who landed in the bottom.
“I liked the idea that we had the ability to change their minds, but also I’ve been reading things where there have been double standards in the critiquing, especially if the judges know who’s going home,” Daniel explains. “I feel like they can potentially manipulate the audience if they know you’re going home to justify it. They could be easier on one (person) and not the other to justify you being in the bottom.”
Despite the differing opinions on the elimination process, all three dancers admit they had a very memorable experience on the “SYTYCD.”
“I loved that routine (with contestant Amber Ashley),” says Nick. “It was an Argentine tango and you’re drawn towards the agility and the fierceness of the woman and the man is there to show that intensity. I think I did that my job really well. The man is the frame and the woman is the picture and that’s what we’re taught being a ballroom dancer.”
Daniel was disappointed his dancing didn’t shine through with all of the props he ended up with on stage.
“The prop was a big part of the number, and we didn’t get to move around as much, that’s for sure,” he says, “but again, pieces like that, or concepts, don’t come across well to the TV audience, so yes it was difficult, but I loved working with Sean Cheesman and it was really inspiring.”
When asked what’s next for the contestants now that their run in the competition has come to an end, Janaya and Nick are both going to pursue and audition for different dancing opportunities. Nick in particular hopes his relationship with “SYTYCD” choreographer Jason Gilkison continues, as he’d love to work on his Broadway show, “Burn The Floor.”
Don’t miss an all-new episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” next Wednesday at 8PM ET on CTV.