I am still not sure how I am liking the new format on So You Think You Can Dance 2012. I do miss the two nights on SYTYCD 2012, but at the same time it is nice to see it all in one night. However, Amber Jackson and Brandon Mitchell had an amazing routine last night on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 and it just seems like it was for nothing, as they were both sent home. They still made Top 16 on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9, so you can’t complain. Today they spoke to Gossip and Gab and other reporters in a conference call about their experiences on So You Think You Can Dance 2012 and the new format.
Q. Todd, GossipandGab.com: Nigel said last night if America could vote on your routine last night, you’d be safe. Do you feel last night’s routine was just lost because of the new format for the show?
A. Amber: I don’t feel like it is lost. I feel like I wish I would have done it earlier in the season versus last night because I feel like I wasn’t safe and I would have been if I was paired with Brandon and done this amazing piece. It was a great moment and I went out with a bang.
Q. Todd, GossipandGab.com: You were all smiles and laughing last night after Nigel told you you were going home. What was going through your mind at that time?
A. Brandon: I was just thankful for the journey and for making the Top 20 and getting that far and having a successful night. Like Amber said, going out with a bang. I had a lot of fun doing my solo and finally getting a chance to let America see what I do. I was just happy and just thankful for being in that position in the first place.
Q. During Vegas and Top 20, what style was the toughest for you to pick up?
A. Amber: For me, I think it was ballroom just because I am always nervous about ballroom. I already had my mind set that that was the one that was going to freak me out. Then I ended up doing it on the first show.
Brandon: Likewise, ballroom. It was fun, but the technique in itself and the hits and the partnering. It was all new and hard to pick up, but that hour or so that we had before we had to show the judges our routine.
Q. Nigel mentioned the judges trying to get emotion out of you when you dance, but it didn’t seem like it was an issue on the show until he brought it up last night. Was this a note you got repeatedly?
A. Amber: I always got that note from the judges. They just wanted to see me. I’m really a contained person, I’m really shy. They just wanted me to open up and just let go because they knew I had it in me. Last night, on the show period, I like to perform and it showed. I love my pieces and all the joy I had in me just showed onstage.
Q. Are you happy, you being a stepper, made it far as you did and blazed a trail for, hopefully, future steppers on future seasons?
A. Brandon: Oh yes, I’m very happy. It was a blessing to be able to represent for that genre of stepping. It’s such a huge culture across America, especially dealing with colleges, fraternities and sororities. There is stepping all across America. I’m sure there are a lot of steppers and specialty genres period that are saying to themselves I can do this, I can dance, I can do what I do and still shine in my own light, in my own way.
Q. The judges raved about your chemistry last night. How were you able to find that connection with only working together one week?
A. Amber: We were friends before we were even paired, so the chemistry we had was really natural. It was already strong, so when we started dancing together it was even stronger because we already had a connection before we were even paired.
Brandon: When I found out Amber was going to be my partner, I was very excited. I’m a huge fan of Amber, she is an amazing dancer and we were friends from first making the show, so the connection was there immediately. On top of that, what made it even more easier to connect with her was that jazz routine by Ray Leeper.
Q. Last night, the judges only made two of the bottom three dancers in each group dance for their lives. Did you feel added pressure because of that in your last few moments on the show?
A. Amber: Of course we feel pressure. You just take it all in and you just remember why you are there in the first place. For me, I was just thankful for being in the Top 20 period and I guess it was just my time to go. I don’t know what I was really thinking, but at that moment I wanted to leave America with a note of this is why I’m there and I showed them why I made Top 20 during my solo.
Brandon: I feel you are always dancing for your life, whether it is your solo or you’re dancing with your partner for the routine. It’s always pressure, regardless. At the same time, it’s an extra opportunity to be able to show America what you got and another opportunity to dance for America period.
Q. What are your plans for the future now that you finished up on So You Think You Can Dance 2012?
A. Amber: For me, I’m planning to move to New York and start my career, whether it is Broadway or commercial. I just want to start it somewhere fresh and just work.
Brandon: Tomorrow, I have a movie coming out, Step Up Revolution, so I’ll be enjoying that. Pretty sure I’ll be doing some promotional things for that. I think the next push for me will be acting. That’s another passion of mine and I’ve been taking classes for the past year now and it’s been going pretty well and I think the next thing for me will be acting.
Q. How has being on So You Think You Can Dance 2012 affected your approach and perfection of dancing in general and/or your dance career in the long term?
A. Amber: I think it has made me a stronger person, period, not even just dance-wise. This whole process makes you stronger, it pushes you. It opens up so many doors. You get to dance with so many amazing dancers and the dancers push you as well. You just learn you should enjoy every moment and attack every single moment you are given. For me, I feel I’ve grown so much. I’ve opened up to America and I don’t open up at all. I’m the most shy person you’ll ever meet and it’s just brought me out of my shell.
Join us next week on GossipandGab.com for our So You Think You Can Dance 2012 LIVE recap. Bookmark us or friend us on Facebook or Twitter for all our latest updates. Read more from Lead Writer Todd Betzold at his Blog.