My favorite show of the summer, So You Think You Can Dance 2012, returned last night after a two-week break for the London Olympics 2012. After the long break, the Top 14 took on some of the best routines from choreographer Mia Michaels during her time on So You Think You Can Dance! I am in love with Mia, so this was my dream episode. After seeing some great routines from the Top 14 on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9, we had to say goodbye to four more dancers. It was a shocker on SYTYCD 2012, as Amelia Lowe, Janelle Issis, Dareian Kujawa and Matthew Kazmierczak were all sent home by the judges and America. Today Amelia, Janelle and Dareian spoke to Gossip and Gab and other reporters in a conference call about their experiences on So You Think You Can Dance 2012.
Q. Todd, GossipandGab.com: It was Mia Michaels week, as you all did some of her best routines from previous seasons. What was it like working with Mia?
A. Amelia: I think it was a really great experience getting to work with her again because we had gotten the short chance of working with her in the Top 20 dance, but this is a more personal one-on-one situation and I felt honored just to get to work with her so closely and I feel that now if I were to run into her in another job sometime in the future we have a really strong connection because we’ve done all this together on the show.
Dareian: It’s been an honor working with Mia Michaels. She’s so amazing and I’m happy I got the chance as well to work with her one-on-one. When she choreographs everything, her process is so amazing and she really brings something out of you. She brings that fire out of you and it was just amazing working with her.
Q. Todd, GossipandGab.com: During this season, what style was the toughest for you to pick up?
A. Janelle: I guess I would have to say the cha-cha stressed me out the most because I would get caught up a lot in the technical aspect of it and trying to focus a lot on that. It’s a foreign language as is trying to learn belly dancing. It’s completely different than belly dancing. There is nothing similar between the two. I think they expected me, for some reason, to be better at the cha-cha. I never danced in heels. The biggest challenge for me was to be that sexy, cha-cha feel to “Call Me Maybe.” The song really twisted my head a little bit.
Q. If you had last night to do over again, what would you do?
A. Janelle: For me, there’s really nothing I would have done differently. Everything happens for a reason and we all have to go at some point and this is unfortunately our time. I’m happy with how I went home and there’s nothing I could have done to make that different.
Dareian: Going into this, I went full force in everything. I don’t have any regrets going into the show. I gave everything 120% and gave it my all. I don’t think there is anything I would do differently. I took every dance and tried to make it my own. I went and gave it all, so I don’t have any regrets or wish I would have done anything differently.
Q. What do you have coming up next as you move away from So You Think You Can Dance 2012?
A. Amelia: I’m looking to branch out into movies, like acting and film. That would be something that would be exciting for me. I know when I get home I am going to be enrolling in acting classes and start off on that. This just opened the door for so many things.
Janelle: Like Amelia said, doors are opening. The belly dance community is rather large, so I’d love to teach. That is something I would love to do and maybe someday have belly dancing cooking show or modeling.
Dareian: I am considering moving out to L.A. now since I’ve been on the show. It’s a huge advertiser for a dancer. I’ve tried the Vegas scene and I just feel there is so much more commercial work out in L.A., so I kind of want to get into that. Maybe get into singing and acting as well and open my options up to that. Maybe underwear modeling as well (laughs).
Q. Who was your favorite choreographer to work with?
A. Amelia: I think it is a toss-up for me because each choreographer is so different, but one of the funnest of choreographers to work with was Nappytabs that first week because they are just a riot to be around. We still get so much work done, but they just have so much fun with what they do and you can tell they love it. I think for me they were the most fun to work with.
Janelle: It is hard for me to pick, like Amelia said, they are all different. They all brought something different to the table. Sonya is intense and goes for blood. Sean Cheesman pretty much went for blood with us. That was probably one of the toughest times we had, but it was so good at the same time and definitely worth it. Pasha was definitely fun to work with. Mia was a lot of fun. We were a little bit scared of her, so it was a little surprising in that sense, but she was a lot of fun to work with. I can’t really pick, I’ve learned so much from all of them.
Q. Who do you think might win this season?
A. Janelle: I think it is a toss-up. It could be any one of them really. Every week is different, like when Matthew got caught last night, I didn’t even think he would be in the bottom. You can’t really think of who might be in the bottom because you just don’t know. We have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes and who is in the bottom and who isn’t.
Dareian: We are all so different and that is what is so amazing about this season. Everyone is so different in so many different ways. Just like Janelle said, it is almost impossible to say who is going to win this because you just never know who the judges are leaning towards or who America is voting for. They are all just so amazing I wouldn’t even be able to guess who might win.
Q. Nigel said last night that he was finally seeing some of your personality. Do you think that is true? Do you think you had enough time over the course of the show for people to see who you are as a dancer?
A. Dareian: Honestly, I don’t feel I had enough time, I feel like I was just getting there. When you are on the show and you get certain dances, the choreographers demand certain emotions. I feel like I was just getting there. The routine last night was a really good one where I could connect to and show that emotion. I felt like I showed emotion in My Girl and the cha-cha a little bit, even though it was difficult for me. I felt like I was just getting there and unfortunately I got the boot.
Q. How much did it kill you each week to hear about your feet over and over again?
A. Dareian: (laughs) All you can do is laugh. Nigel brought it full circle from the first audition he mentioned my feet and at the very end he mentions my feet again. All I can do is laugh. They did say everything else was amazing. They really liked everything except for my feet. I just found it funny at the end they mentioned it one more time.
Q. What’s been the highlight of your journey on So You Think You Can Dance 2012?
A. Janelle: I think making the relationships and connections we’ve all made with each other. Just being able to work with these choreographers. For me, it was about competing against each other. We all felt that we were there to help each other learn and to help each other with the styles we had. For me, everyone took me in and wanted to help me with everything and that meant a lot to me. Being able to learn and grow was the process we were all after. We were hungry to learn and grow and I do feel like I’ve grown and learned so much and it’s just sad it had to end.
Dareian: There are just too many to pick from. The show as a whole, being on national television. To tell my story, not only just be a dancer on stage, but to tell my story of what I had to go through to get here. It’s possible if you have a dream you can make it come true and mine just happened to be dance. Being on the show has been a dream come true for me, literally. The entire show has been a highlight for me, the ups and the downs.
Amelia: I would agree. A lot of the highlights for me are the things that people don’t see on TV. They are the moments we have together in rehearsals and we are hanging out in the apartments and we are just being ourselves and hanging out with the hair and makeup people as they do all their work. I think it’s all those little moments that add up to me in the end because those are the things I’m going to remember. Of course I can look back on the episodes and remember that, but it’s all that behind the scenes stuff that no one gets to see besides us because we were there for it and I’m always going to remember that as a highlight for me.
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.