Eliminated Dancers Jordan and Jess Talk About 'So You Think You Can Dance'
Eliminated Dancers Jordan and Jess Talk About 'So You Think You Can Dance'
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Their eliminations may have been a slight surprise, but Jordan Casanova and Jess LeProtto were fully prepared to talk to reporters following their eliminated from the So You Think You Can Dance Top 8.

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On whether they were surprised by their SYTYCD eliminations:
Jess LeProtto: "Well for first hand, you can never say that you're immune from the competition for sure. Everbody is one pins and needles because they don't know. You never know what the public is going to do. You may think that you danced brilliantly on Wednesday night, and people are probably thinking he's got it, he's safe. It's OK, don't worry about it. But sometimes it doesn't work on Thursday night. So you're never sure, but you always have to be prepared for it."


On getting feedback from Lady Gaga:
Jordan Casanova: "I never would have thought in my whole life that Lady Gaga would sit in front of me and tell me things about the way I dance... I was so excited and so thrilled that she came, because she comes from  such an interesting background and she's so interesting. She dresses interesting. She talks interesting. Everything about her is again so interesting, so I was so intrigued by what she was going to say. And once she started giving her comments, I like probably peed in my pants, but you just couldn't tell on stage."

Jess LeProtto: "I was really excited. And for a public who knows her so well, you never know. You can never know what she's going to dress like. And when she made that entrance on Wednesday night in that flamboyant outfit... It was absolutely nuts."

"I think her presence on the show was very professional. She is coming from a background from humble beginnings to where she is now -- she's a humungous superstar -- so she knows so much about this business. She knows so much about performing that her critiques and comments were so useful and helpful to us throughout the night. So I was really fortunate to be in the same room as Lady Gaga."


On whether Jess being a Broadway dancer hurt him in competition:
Jess LeProtto: "No, I don't think so, because for any type of special genre dancers have, like for me Broadway or for hip-hop dancers or especially sometimes tappers or any type of special genres that are featured on the show... I think we get kind of the same respect because we are different. We're not currently on the show every season, and then we come up and then people are so happy. I think people are so happy to see our genres pop up."

"So I never feel against it. It's just like I feel like I'm a part of it now, because I fill the slot back up for a Broadway dancer. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to bring back my old-fashioned style, my old beater background to the show, so they could see something different."


On Jordan's solo performances and judges' criticism:
Jordan Casanova: "I'm pretty happy with how I performed. I agree that I didn't switch it up a little bit, and that's why I went on to the contemporary solo. I just had a lot of fun, and I left my heart out on stage and that's all how you really mean it. When it comes down to it, you have to just take the best moves and the best things in your solo, and you only have 30 seconds. So I think I did actually well."


On their proudest dances:
Jess LeProtto: "I think probably the two hip-hop routines I think I was the most proud of, because during Vegas week, it wasn't a pretty sight for me doing hip hop for the very first time... And then when they did it twice to me, first with Christopher Scott and with Tabitha and Napoleon, both of them were a joy. It was just tremendous choreographers and with great concepts and just understanding the whole hip-hop swagger is something that I wasn't so used to."

Jordan Casanova: "For me, I think I'm proud of all of the dances, because I did get almost every genre that is possible on that show. So I would just have to say that I'm proud that I've made it this far by being able to do every genre but my own. And I can't even explain what it feels like to accomplish a waltz, because I was so scared and actually ended up doing a waltz twice, so that's something I'm very proud of."


On getting this far in the competition:
Jess LeProtto: "The competition is so tight this year, and everybody is just phenomenal. I don't think you can have a better group of people who are part of this experience as of this season. Whatever [the judges'] decision was, I'm sure it was for a specific reason, but I don't think that matters to me, because I think from where I've started back in Brooklyn with the auditions, I never saw it. I never saw that I'd actually get this far."

"It was amazing to find out that I made it to Top 20, but then when we made it to Top 10, it's just like, pinch me. So I'm really happy that I've been able to show my talent for so long in the competition. And no matter whatever the judges thought about it, it doesn't matter because I know that I danced from my heart and that I know that America has appreciated it for quite awhile on the show."


On what they learned by being on the show:
Jordan Casanova: "For me, I just learned that it was actually possible for me even to be here. I lacked a little faith in myself, because in this industry, it's really hard to book jobs, and you have to have a look and people say no to you. It's really hard coming from just graduating to the industry, so I had no faith in myself, in my dance career, and I auditioned for the show."

"I think it taught me that you can do something. You can accomplish a goal with hard work and dedication. Being here, I also learned so many different styles. I got a chance to do two waltzes and a rumba, and I've never done ballroom in my life."

Jess LeProtto: "I think what the show has taught me that you don't have to present yourself as different to attract an audience for sure, because when people think of being on the show, that they think they're characters, they're casted. It's just like, no, we're here because we think that America can really appreciate us for who we are. "

"And also with this experience, what this taught me is that I can be so many things that I never thought I could, as well as certain genres. You never know what you can be good at."


On how they got interested in dance:
Jordan Casanova: "For me, I always wanted to perform, so any chance that I could get. When I was three years old, I started standing on top of my coffee table, singing to my family and putting on shows... Finally, they put me in dance, and I was hooked. It was like the moment I set foot in the studio, I was like, OK, this is it. This is where I want to be. So for me, it was just a natural interest inside me that I just wanted to get into it, and I did."

Jess LeProtto: "For me, I started out because my sister started out. She is three years older than I am. My story is like one of the characters of the show **A Chorus Line. My mom would take me to her dance studio, and I just looked under the door crack and I would just watch her dance. And then I just got the bug from there, and then my parents were like, OK, we'll give this a shot and see if he likes it."


On their plans after So You Think You Can Dance:
Jordan Casanova: "I've been dying to get into film and singing and so I would like to take on that challenge and see how far I can get. I've always been interested in it, but dance has always been my first love. I think I'm just really excited for any opportunities that open."

Jess LeProtto: "For me, I think after the tour will bring me back to New York and starting to get back into the whole audition process... and then maybe explore other things, including movies and TV, as well as branching out -- not as a dancer in front of an audience -- but hopefully something behind-the-scenes as more of a choreographer...  Because honestly you never know where life is going to take you, but I always feel like you should be prepared for anything, so I look forward to it. I look forward to the future."

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(Image courtesy of FOX)


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