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Interview With Eliminated So You Think You Can Dance Contestants Caitlin Kinney and Phillip Chbeeb

SYTYCD: Caitlin and Phillip Say Good-Bye — But Only Till Tour

The most recent two So You Think You Can Dance eliminees, Caitlin Kinney and Phillip Chbeeb, actually got some good news to go along with the sad: they'll be heading on tour with the top 10 dancers. Maybe that accounted for the upbeat nature of their chat with reporters today, because both were in good spirits and shared some fun stories about their time on the show. Here are highlights:

  • Phillip, on his emotional farewell speech: "You're never really prepared to get cut. It's always kind of a shock, and you're standing there, and all of a sudden you have to say those final words before you're off the stage. I wanted to go down to the basis of why I was on the show. . . . There's so many people that aren't given the same opportunities as others. I really wanted to show that you can find something within that can really take you places, and you don't necessarily need to have the money or know the right people or have all of those things."
  • Caitlin, on finding out she'd be going on the tour: "It was such an overwhelming night. Just such excitement, I think, from the whole group — we had a big dinner afterward and it was more of a congratulations dinner and a celebration because we've bonded so well as the group, we've meshed. . . . It was really touching for [Phillip and me] to have them have that kind of stake in us and know right away we add something to the group and they want us on tour. That really meant something to us."
  • Phillip, on keeping up as an "untrained" dancer: "I definitely can guarantee this is one of the best seasons as far as training. Everyone here has been pretty much bred for this kind of competition — it's almost incredible. . . . When I first got on the top 20 I was almost dreading it, because I knew I was going to be fighting an uphill battle the whole time because I knew my lack of training in those styles. Most of the styles on the show center around the exact same thing — ballroom has the exact same arm positions as classical ballet. All the trained dancers had a lot of familiarity with the technique that was going on there, and it was really difficult."
  • Caitlin, on surviving the bottom three multiple times: "For me, getting that confidence that a lot of these contestants have has been my struggle and my fight, and I think the best advice I got on the show was never doubt yourself. Always question yourself but never doubt yourself. I was the bottom three champ. I was kind of the mom of the bottom three."

To see Phillip's plans on his future in dance and Caitlin's thoughts on her chemistry with Jason, just read more.

  • Phillip, on his best moment on the show: "The greatest experience on stage I had was during "Love Lockdown" for week four, mostly because the disaster that that piece was leading up to that day was hilarious. Like, the chain broke, we slipped, we fell, we tore our body apart trying to make that dance work. . . . The amount of problems that you could have when you have your ankles attached to each other was insane. So just getting through that piece and making Napoleon and Tabitha proud."
  • Caitlin, on being told she and Jason didn't have chemistry: "Jason and I always struggled when they said that to us, because my God, of all the couples, we've really bonded as friends. I think my boyfriend was probably thrilled that they kept saying there's no chemistry. . . . At some point you're like, 'We're putting our heart and soul into this, you can only do so much' — they only see it or they don't. I think the Bollywood routine — it ended with a kiss, so it started with a bang. . . . Some of the pieces didn't really call for that."
  • Phillip, on blending his science-nerd background and his hip-hop style: "The [enginering] major itself is so stressful that I really needed an outlet of some sort and I feel like dance has provided that. But at the same time, it's kind of helped me in my dance because my dance is more mathematical-minded than human-emotion-driven."
  • Caitlin, on taking on so many eclectic styles: "It was kind of an ongoing joke between the contestants — 'What are Caitlin and Jason going to get?' The Bollywood — coming into the competition, to get something so foreign [off the bat], that was really hard. The alien piece, I thought [Brian Friedman] was joking when he first told us what he was expecting us to do and what the storyline of the piece was. . . . It was just a chance for me to break out of everything that's just so opposite of who I am as a dancer. For me to get out there on national TV dressed up, as Nigel so lovingly put it, as a dancing condom and dance like a crazy alien was kind of like breaking out of my shell."

  • Phillip, on his future plans: "I cannot wait to get to choreography, like, tomorrow. That's truly my passion, choreography, and hopefully in a year or two you'll see me choreographing for the show."

Photos courtesy of Fox

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