Author's web site: http://realitycheckbygina.com/
This season of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance has proved to have shocking elimination results and last night was no exception as hip hop dancer Jessi Peralta & contemporary dancer Jesus Solorio were sent home. What seemed like an easy ride to the top 10 ended abruptly for the two & they’re here to talk to RealityWanted about their experience.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jessi, first of all, how is your health?
Jessi: I’m feeling as good as can be expected after just being kicked off the show.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): I spoke to Faina last week who said you had suffered from dehydration then. Was your illness this week in part because of that?
Jessi: Last week, I did get really dehydrated again & I was admitted to the hospital. It wasn’t on show day so the cameras weren’t following me around. I had the same symptoms this week but the doctors were focusing on my dehydration. There’s not enough time for me to take care of myself. Everyone is on schedules and the show has to run like a machine otherwise, the viewers will be disappointed.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Can you both tell me about your dance background?
Jessi: I started dancing at the age of 2 & have been taking classes ever since. I was on scholarship at Broadway Dance Center in New York. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve gone to street battles & tried to hang with the boys. I just love every single form of dancing so anything I could get my hands on, I’ve tried to do.
Jesus: I actually, when I was smaller, I started break dancing, believe it or not. I went into jazz then to lyrical then to training when I was 12.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Was this your first year trying out for So You Think You Can Dance?
Jessi: I actually had never even seen the show & this was my first year. I haven’t been able to afford television. All I knew was that it was about dancers from different backgrounds.
Jesus: This was my second year trying out for the show. The first time I auditioned was unorganized. It felt very unorganized & was harder than this year. I didn’t know the process but this year, because I knew the process, I made it through. It was stressful to a certain degree but not to the point where I wanted to collapse & faint & cry, feeling I wanna go home.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jesus, you said something last night about getting a phone call saying you had helped kids. Can you elaborate?
Jesus: I got a call from my rec center that I grew up in, a non-profit organization in Oak Park. They said I had inspired all these kids to pursue their dreams & that no dreams are too big for them even if they don’t have money because I was poor & homeless at one point. There’s a lot of that going on in Oak Park. Hearing that was the greatest thing for me.
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GINA (REALITYWANTED): So there is time to communicate with your family & friends while on the show?
Jesus: Yes, totally there is. It’s not a lot of time & I decide not to talk too much so that I can focus on my dance & rehearsals. I don’t want to stay out of touch & I don’t wanna be an ass. But it’s because that’s how focused I am.
Jessi: Yes & if that were not the case, I would’ve been eliminated sooner. There was a lot of pressure on me & drama. They keep reminding me that I’ll overcome anything.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jesus, you received great reviews for your krumping dance with Sara. Were you surprised to be in the bottom? What do you think happened?
Jesus: It did come as a surprise because I thought America liked us & the dance. We got good reviews from the judges. That’s what confused me a little but I understand that it’s a show & it’s all good.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jessi, was it difficult to be cleared by your doctors to dance last night?
Jessi: It was frustrating because I could overcome everything in my mind so my mind is saying, “You’re fine, you can dance”, My body is yelling at me to slow down a little. My mind is saying to the doctors, “I’m fine, please let me go” and the doctors are looking at the monitors saying, “No way”. I kept thinking of Pasha, I didn’t want to leave him to dance alone. I’m glad he was safe. That’s my guy.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jessi, your elimination in particular was very abrupt. Why do you think Nigel chose to do it that way?
Jessi: I would assume they were going for the shock of it. As a businessperson, he has to make a good television show. As a dancer, we’re in the background a lot so we’re taught to be poised. He was probably trying to pull that out of me. I don’t know, I felt like … that was rough. It was a little harsh. I don’t think he was taking into consideration all the other crap I had gone through that week. Giving me that last blow, I was in round 10 after being knocked down so many times & that was it.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): What do you think of the new pair Sara & Pasha?
Jessi: I’m jealous! I really feel like what Pasha & I had was special, it was more than the show, it was more than the performance. You know, girls, let’s be honest. It’s hard not to have a crush on that guy. I felt like our chemistry was more than a performance. That’s why I was so inclined to tell that to the country last night.
Jesus: Well, I was talking over the situation with Sara. I think they’ll be good. Pasha is a strong lead & Sara is a good follower & hard worker. She takes notes to heart & makes it professional. It’s a good mix & they’re both entertaining! I don’t know if he’ll be good as me because nobody can replace me for her but, all jokes aside, I think they’ll do well.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): What was the reaction from fellow contestants that you would be leaving?
Jessi: They were sad, they were sad. But it’s a competition, they want the good people out. It makes it easier for them. Not to pat myself on the back, but I feel like they lost a good person last night. I felt like they lost a big player.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Mary Murphy, in particular, was extremely harsh with Cedric. Did you think he & Shauna would be in the bottom 3?
Jessi: Cedric had kind of been their “risk”, they were taking a risk on him letting him in the top 20. He knows exactly who he is & what he’s capable of. He agrees with everyone’s opinion that he needs more training & education. That’s the beautiful thing about America being in control – they love the underdog. I think it’s great!
Jesus: I kinda had a feeling that they wouldn’t because of sympathy votes. Cedric is my friend but the judges were trying so hard to kick him off that it backfired. They need a new strategy: don’t antagonize, find another tactic.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Do you have a favorite dance performed by your fellow contestants so far?
Jessi: I would say … Wade’s piece for Hok & Jaimie. But … honestly? I love my performances with Pasha. What you see us doing on stage, that’s the real thing. I look at him & I say, “This is the truth!”
Jesus: That would be Sabra & Dominic’s lyrical dance. I helped Dominic with it while trying to learn my own routine & he’s so passionate about what he does. They both are, so it really touched me.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jessi, how was it to say goodbye to Pasha?
Jessi: That was tough but Pasha is a very centered human being. He said, “I’m sorry, you’ll get through this.” After this, will there be something between us? I hope. But I can’t expect his head to be anywhere else but the show. I think he feels the same way I do.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): Jesus, do you have a favorite moment of being on the show?
Jesus: The pasa doble with Sara.
GINA (REALITYWANTED): What are your plans for the future?
Jessi: I have been pursuing this professionally since I was 16. The office job, the day job, was something I had to resort to. The pursuit of dance wasn’t taking care of me financially. Hopefully I won’t have to dance at bar mitzvahs again. I would rather dance at a bar mitzvah for $100 than spend another day in the office. I do have some opportunities coming up with some movies. I don’t think this was a bad thing.
Jesus: I’m not going to stay here, I want to do professional work & I have been doing so since I was 17. I did Hannah Montana & the Latin awards. I wasn’t sure if people were looking at me so that’s why I did this show. I’m hoping I did inspire people. I’ve been doing acting as well so I’ll be working on acting & singing.
So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesdays & Thursdays on FOX
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Filed under: So You Think You Can Dance