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Interview with So You Think You Can Dance Eliminated Dancers Tony Bellissimo and Paris Torres

SYTYCD's Tony and Paris: Happy to Make Top 20 But Sad to Go


The fifth season of So You Think You Can Dance is in full swing with the first two dancers now eliminated. This morning, Tony Bellissimo and Paris Torres spoke with reporters about how this year's top 20 is perhaps the most talented the show has ever seen, and both contestants seemed really proud to have made it into this group.

They also discussed their disappointment in being the first to go, the pressure of pulling off that hip-hop choreography, and how the costumes didn't exactly help matters. Here are highlights:

  • Paris, on the caliber of dancers in the top 20 this season: "Oh man, it is insane. Just to see the difference between last year's Vegas and this year's Vegas. Everyone in the top 20 this year could have been the winner. It's just a matter of what style you get each week. The talent level is just amazing."
  • Tony, on the choreography in their routine: "They gave us choreography that would stand out in the competition. It's not lovey-dovey. I could have [stood] out a lot more than I did. We didn't execute it the right way. It's not really my style of hip-hop, I usually do funk style. But no excuses, it was a great piece that was not executed the right way."

To see what Tony had to say about loving football and dance, and to learn about Paris's thoughts on the costumes, read more.

  • Paris, on their challenging hip-hop routine: "I've done hip-hop in the past but nothing like what . . . they gave to us. It was jam-packed with different moves. We had threading, we had like, locking, all these different things that were being thrown at me. I tried to attack it as best I could. The costumes were amazing but they actually constricted our movement pretty badly. It was just a lot to take on. It definitely didn't help the stress situation much."
  • Tony, on whether it was an advantage or disadvantage to get hip-hop first: "I was torn. Is this gonna help me or is this gonna hurt me, you know? I didn't really know what to expect. What do they really want to see? What am I going to do to prove I'm good in this field, you know? I was excited but scared at the same time. It is what it is, it happened, but I don't think I executed it the best of my ability. But I put a lot of time into it and a lot of work into it."
  • Tony, on his biggest fear going into the competition: "My biggest fear was not being respected as a dancer. I don't know if I was able to prove that because I was cut so early. The audition process in Vegas, they didn't show all the dancing in my solo. I wanted to really prove that I'm a good dancer, a good performer, not just a cute face on TV like the judges said."

  • Paris, on Nigel's comment that there were better contemporary dancers in the competition: "I knew going into this . . . I knew being through it last year that they are typecasting for the show. They need certain personalities, they need ethnicity, they need certain styles of dance. When Nigel made that comment to me, it actually eased me a bit. They weren't eliminating me solely on the fact that I wasn't a strong dancer. There were eight of us contemporary dancers . . . it was a shame that I had to be the first to go."
  • Tony, on playing sports and dancing: "I'm very active. I don't want to say I have ADHD, but I have the hyper part of it. I can't sit still. I was always moving. The only time I rested was when I was sleeping. Turned out, I loved the dancing. I got more attention with the dancing than the sports. Dancing I stood out in."
  • Tony's retort to his football friends who made fun of his dancing: "You guys are tackling guys and I'm picking up girls all day."
  • Paris's final words to fans: "Thank you so much for everyone who voted for me. It means so much that people pick up the phone and are rooting for me. It's so inspiring that you can be a role model to other people. It's amazing. You feel like a star, you know? It's crazy. The people who are left are wonderful people and I'm so happy for them."

Photos courtesy of Fox

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