This season is moving right along — it’s crazy. It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to say goodbye to people. You start to recognize the potential in everybody, and that’s the hardest part about the competition part of this show. Sometimes you have to go, so it’s unfortunate.
There were so many standout moments in the top 18’s performances. Jaja and Neptune both did contemporary and were incredible. The commitment to their characters — I’m really excited for Neptune, because he’s really starting to shine through. The first week, he found himself in danger of being eliminated just because during the casting process and all of the audition specials, he wasn’t really highlighted that much. That kind of gets you sometimes with the first week of votes. But I think America’s starting to see the genuine heart and warmth that he brings. And then Jaja — I don’t know if there’s anything that she can’t do.
I wanted to be in the routine that Virgil and Hailee did last night. I just wanted to do it. That was so fun. That’s the first one this season besides the first group routine and then last night’s group routine. So last night I was hit with two dances that I really wish I would’ve been in. They got me really excited about dance again.
As Team Street, we get to show the various textures, shades, and colors of the hip-hop culture as far as the dance style goes. Not all hip-hop is as aggressive as one would think. You can be very smooth and very in control but still be killing the hip-hop routine, and that’s what last night’s group routine was about. It was an honor to have Marty Kudelka come through and choreograph. I think they all did awesome. They did amazing.
With the bottom three, we’re still finding a way for Ariana to connect with America. Twitter saved her twice, which means obviously they have love for her. We just need to find the bridge between wanting to keep her on the show and making sure that she gets the votes in after the show. And as far as Burim and Asaf are concerned, it’s hard. I’ve seen the social media upheaval. People are very upset. People have threatened to stop watching the show and all that. I’ll say this, though: It is a part of the game. Those are tough eliminations, and when it comes down to it, nobody is safe. In that regard, you can’t be so mad, because that would imply that you did all that you could to vote and make sure Burim wasn’t in that position in the first place.
The judges have to take everything into account: not just the performances of the night, but work ethic, attitude. Attitude is huge. What do you bring to the work environment week after week? While Asaf picks up choreography very slowly and is very new to choreography, something you cannot doubt is his heart and his spirit. You can’t deny that. He’s working incredibly hard and often, believe it or not, without any attitude behind it. And that’s huge.
I hope America sees how hard the members of Team Street are working, whether they’re inside their style or out of it. I think everybody’s gotten a taste of being right outside their style and doing the opposite of what they do. You have Jaja doing contemporary, Neptune doing contemporary, Virgil and Megz did contemporary last week, Asaf did cha cha, Ariana did jazz/ contemporary last week and African jazz this week. We’re getting run through the gamut right now.
Everyone on Team Street is so focused, and they’re doing everything they can to make sure they have the best product possible. The egos have dropped, and they’re all there for the love of dance, and I’m just incredibly proud. Whether the overall vote goes to Stage or Street, I see how hard they’re working and how focused they are, and I hope America sees that as well.
As told to Kelly Connolly