Friday, June 15, 2007

A Reality Check With ... Ashlee Langas & Ricky Palomino (FOX'S "So You Think You Can Dance")

Last night's first live elimination of season 3's "So You Think You Can Dance" ended the journey for contemporary dancers Ashlee Langas & Ricky Palomino. Named two of Mia Michael's favorite dancers, their time on the show was cut short after their performance of the Argentine Tango. The dancers sit down with RealityCheckByGina to talk about their time on the show & what the future holds for them.


RC: Can you each tell me a little bit about your dance background?
Ashlee: I started dancing the typical situation – when I was 2, my mom put me in tap & ballet. I started getting more serious competing as I got older.
Ricky: I was trained very unconventially. I had 3 simultaneous mentors starting when I was 16.

RC: Ashlee, does it frustrate you when someone advances without as much training?
Ashlee: I don’t think I’m frustrated because I’m so blessed to even be classified with that group of people. I think I had a lot more to learn just from the show & all the choreographers.

RC: Ricky, you started late in life. What peaked your interest about dance when
you were a teenager?
Ricky: It was just an innate thing. I was almost a mover & once I got with my first mentor, it came so naturally. I just went right through it. When I took my first class in high school, I didn’t know what a plie or tondue was. But once I was talked through it, it was like I already knew. I was lucky to have the unconvential path.

RC: Was this your first year trying out for So You Think You Can Dance? What was the experience like?
Ashlee: Yes, it was. It just seemed to work & I was never thinking, “I don’t feel good about myself.” There were definitely moments I had to lift myself back up but the judges liked me all the way through.
Ricky: Yes, it was. I had lots of success on the way through & enjoyed every minute of it. The most frustrating part was the waiting.

RC: What is the rehearsal process like for the first episode?
Ashlee: We had a few practices with the choreographer learning & perfecting the dance. It was pretty strenuous! They expect a lot out of you which is good because otherwise, there would be no challenge & no growth.
Ricky: The rehearsal process isn’t that long. To learn one piece, you get three hours one day, two hours the next, and one hour the last day which is the day you perform.

RC: Mia Michaels gave you both very high praises during the audition process – she must be devastated you’re gone. Did you talk to her last night?
Ashlee: I did! I was thinking, “I’m not going to cry or anything” But when I saw her, that’s when I broke down. It was very upsetting that I wouldn't have the opportunity to work with her.
Ricky: I did, I did. She was devastated and I was too because I didn’t get the opportunity to actually work a piece with her. I think together we would’ve created some crazy, amazing movement. I said goodbye to everyone, the producers, and she was the very last person. When I talked to her, I lost it. I shed a couple of tears, I’ll admit it.

RC: Nigel felt it was perhaps bad luck that you drew the Argentine Tango first. Were you worried when you were given that dance?
Ashlee: I really wasn’t worried and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s totally different than anything else I’ve done. I was nervous learning it but we felt really good right before we performed it.
Ricky: We felt so good about it, I thought they’d take into consideration the height difference since they paired us up together. We felt we pulled it off, we were in line, but it wasn’t enough.


RC: Do you feel that people like Faina, Danny, and Lacey have an advantage since they have family ties to previous contestants?
Ashlee: I don’t really think they have an advantage. I think maybe it gives them a little more of an interesting story but it’s not an advantage with the judges.
Ricky: Absolutely! It’s just an inheritance of fans & viewers.

RC: I saw many season 2 contestants in the crowd this week. Did you get a chance to talk to them?
Ashlee: Yeah, a little bit. I knew Jason from last season (we took lessons at the same studio) and he started right after I left so we had never formally been introduced. It was great to finally meet him & be in the same shoes as him. Last night, I met Benji & he was really nice!
Ricky: Yeah, we conversed & got to meet. They were nice & humble kids.

RC: What dancers in the competition really impress you?
Ashlee: Oh my gosh, there’s just so many of them. They did an amazing job casting the show. Everybody is just phenomenal.
Ricky: All of them! They’re all so crazy! The top 20 should be the touring company, that would be an amazing show.

RC: Will we see you on any of the future episodes?
Ashlee: We’ll be able to come back to any of the shows we want to so I’m planning on coming back to watch!
Ricky: Oh absolutely! I’ll be there for some tapings & to watch as well.

RC: What are your plans now that you’re out of the competition?
Ashlee: Only the Top 10 tour so unfortunately I will not be able to be a part of that but I am planning on staying here in L.A. & getting an agent, continuing to dance, and maybe even modeling.
Ricky: I’m super busy! I’m getting signed with a dance agency, I have nationals in Vegas in a month, and I’m releasing my 2nd recording album on ITunes in September.


An all new episode of So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesday night on FOX with the live results show airing on Thursday.

2 comments:

Asher said...

Great interview! I'm glad the contestants are able to come back to watch the shows week to week. Good luck with your careers, Ricky & Ashlee!

Anonymous said...

Ashlee should definitely try modelling or acting. She's gorgeous! WOW!

Ricky- cute, loveable Ricky! I love his dancing! I'm a big fan!!

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