Image Credit: Mathieu Young/FoxIn a not-so-surprising elimination last night, AdéChiké Torbert was sent packing on So You Think You Can Dance. Although Torbert won’t be joining Kent Boyd, Lauren Froderman, and Robert Roldan in next week’s season finale, the dancer said he’s “super excited and ecstatic” about going on tour with his fellow season 7 dancers. Torbert called the EW offices today to talk about his elimination and experience on the show.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling after last night’s elimination?
ADÉCHIKÉ TORBERT: I’m in pretty good spirits. My brothers are out here, so they are helping make the transition a lot smoother.
Did you know you were headed home after Wednesday night?
I don’t know. It’s kind of weird. I kind of sensed it with all the negative criticism I got, but I didn’t go on [the show] thinking, “Oh, I’m going to go home.” But I was ready for it to happen. I felt like they kind of set the tone for the Thursday show already.
The judges have been tough on you since Vegas. Have you noticed that they are tougher on you than the others?
Yeah, but it’s cool. I can take it. I see why they dished it out. They were tough on me, and I guess they were trying to get me to crack, but that’s the last thing that’s going to happen, you know? I’m a born fighter and I’m just going to keep fighting no matter what. If somebody tells me that I can’t do something, it’s just going to make me prove to you that I can.
Especially on the night where Cat came to your defense. Did you feel they were being hypocritical when they critiqued you for incorporating your own style into your Bollywood routine, while praising Jose for doing the same thing weeks before?
It’s so hard because I love Jose. He’s like a brother to me, and I understand why everybody loves him too, but I don’t know. I would do these dances and they were like, “You need to add your own flair to it,” and then once I did it I was knocked for it. It was confusing. You tell me to do something one week, and then I do it and I get smashed for it. I don’t know. It was just so confusing, but it’s cool. I’m just so thankful that Cat came to my defense. Totally caught me off-guard. I respect her and thank her so much for that.
What did you learn from this experience?
Just learning how to take negative criticism and convert it to positivity and just convert it to passion and just be enthralled. No matter what anybody told me, I didn’t doubt myself. I think I could have done a great piece and [the judges would] tell me it was crap. I’m not going to base my success off of what other people say.
What was your favorite moment from this season?
The introduction show when we first got to Los Angeles and we got to perform a Wade Robson piece. That was a fantastic thing. Just to hear the audience screaming and [see] the lights — it was so surreal. That would probably be one of my favorites. That and being able to work with Desmond Richardson this past week. It didn’t really matter to me what [the judges] said because it didn’t change the fact that I got to work with him and share that experience. I was good either way. He was my favorite choreographer to work with. I wish it would have happened earlier in the season. I felt so fatigued in the end of the show. I think I did the piece justice. He said I made him proud.
Who was your favorite partner?
I loved everybody, but Lauren Gottlieb was definitely one of my favorites. She’s just fantastic. She just reached out to me from the moment we got out here, and she was just the sweetest girl. I think our chemistry it was just real. We didn’t have to act or anything.
All the guys just loved the Laurens this season, didn’t they?
All the girls on the show are absolutely beautiful. I have a girlfriend, so I can’t get in trouble. Now I have to be careful about what I say! But they’re all beautiful. I know I had to warn my girlfriend every week. Just get ready. They’re going to say some things, so please don’t be mad. It’s TV at the end of the day, so it’s all fun. We’re all just friends. We’re more of a family.
Who do you think will win next week?
I don’t know, man. I think it’s going to be a close call. All three of them are equally deserving. They are all hard workers. They are all excellent at what they do. All three of them have a pretty solid fan base. They’re all going to do great and no matter who wins, they’re all still winners.
What are your post-tour plans?
I definitely want to do some Broadway stuff. I’m from New York, so I definitely want to tap into Broadway. And I love to act. I actually started out as an actor before I got into dance, so I’d love to get back into it. Get into movies, TV, and just work with some dance companies. I really want to just reach out and I want guys to think that dancing is cool. Hopefully, I can inspire some boys to do that.
Any last words?
I encourage all dancers to audition for the show whether or not you make it to the actual show or you just make it to Vegas. Just audition. It’s such a life-changing experience. I already grew as a person through Vegas week. That changed me. I think everyone should audition. It builds such strong character and self belief.