Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Checking In On ... Jessi Peralta (FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance")

Since being eliminated 2 weeks ago, Jessi Peralta has created a firestorm on the internet. Fans (and critics) have come out by the thousands to voice their opinions and try to learn more about the dancer whose time on "So You Think You Can Dance" was cut abruptly short. Readers submitted questions & Jessi made a stop back at RealityCheckByGina to answer them & clear up those nasty internet rumors.

RC: How much have you read of the fan reactions and what are your thoughts on it?
Jessi: I’m kind of embarrassed to say this because the people from the show encourage us not to see them but I’ve probably read most of the comments. I’ve read 70-80% of them – the good and bad. I’m grateful people even took the time to give their opinion. Even some of the bad comments were coming from a place of concern, for my health. Hey, any publicity is good publicity!

RC: What has the last 2 weeks been like for you?
Jessi: They’ve been boring! I had this dream job, this opportunity to dance every day of the week. I suck at being bored & I pull my hair out at not having anything to do. If you need a dancer who can type, let me know because I need a job!

RC: Did any of the judges speak to you after your elimination that night?
Jessi: Unfortunately, I didn’t get to talk to them. Mary & Nigel didn’t approach me & I’m sure they have their reasons for that. Debbie Allen was the only judge to come up to me & give her condolences. She said, “Girl, I was pullin’ for you!” I knew then that she was the one judge that was the other vote. I really appreciated her support.

RC: Many people want to know how your health is. Are you back to being 100%?
Jessi: Yeah, absolutely. I just want to say: I did not have a pre-existing heart condition, I do not do drugs, I’m definitely not pregnant. A lot of people were dogging me saying I should have kept myself hydrated. No matter how much Gatorade I drink, it’s hard to keep up. I went from sitting at a day job 8 hours a day to dancing 8 hours a day. I’m totally fine, I was fine that day. I kept saying I didn’t need to go to the hospital but it was taken out of my hands. It’s protocol to take someone to the hospital if they complain of chest pains.

RC: We asked fans to submit questions & chose some for you to answer. Carmel from Alberta, Canada wants to know if you’ll be attending any tapings of SYTYCD?
Jessi: Good question! I’ve been asked that question so much. Right now, my main focus, not to take away any enthusiasm for the rest of the dancers, is finding a job. I have to pay my rent & keep living out in LA before I can go back & be a fan for the rest of the kids. As soon as I take care of my business, absolutely! If fans don’t see me the first few weeks, it’s because I’m hittin’ the pavement. I’m a single girl, I don’t live with my parents & I have to make my living.

RC: Sarah from California wants to know what’s currently playing on your Ipod?
Jessi: I would say right now, just because it’s summertime, I’m listening to a lot of Bob Marley. Summertime & Bob Marley go together … with a pina colada! Of course, Lauryn Hill, I’m a big fan! I’m a huge fan of reggae in general. I love Akon right now, too!

RC: Autumn from Washington DC asks, “What is your ethnic background?” and says you’re stunning!
Jessi: My dad is Spanish, his family is from Spain. My mom is good Southern girl, from Georgia. If people think I’m pretty, they should see my unbelievably beautiful sister. She looks like Jasmine from Aladdin!

RC: Ideanna from Orlando wants to know what 3 things you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
Jessi: My bible, a toothbrush because I’m particular about my dental hygiene, and my Ipod. But I’m gonna need battery power. As long as I have music around me, I’m a happy girl!

RC: Emmie from Alabama asks, “Do you have a webpage or MySpace where your fans can contact you or see what you’re up to”?
Jessi: Yes, I do! I’m new to the whole technology thing because I can’t really afford a computer. But there are some people working on that for me. I do have It’s nothing right now, it just leads them to a MySpace page. I read all of the messages & comments & I’m learning how to respond, I promise. The full website will be up soon.

RC: Our featured reader is Linda from Alberta, Canada who wants to know if you’re going to go back to your day job or if you’re going to pursue dance full-time.
Jessi: My day job was something I had to resort to. I’ve always pursued dancing professionally sine I was a teenager. Living on my own in LA is expensive. They replaced me at my day job, so there isn’t a job available. I’m absolutely pursuing dance with more fervor than I ever have in my life. I have a springboard to jump off of, a really small one, but I’m going to use it as best I can. I’m going to do the Vagina Monologues in Toronto in March of 2008. I need a job before then though! I have auditions for movies coming up. No more day job!

A very big THANK YOU to Jessi Peralta who took the time to stop back & answer fan questions.

An all-new episode of So You Think You Can Dance airs tonight on FOX at 8pm EST

1 comment:

Linda said...

Jessi is so amazing!

Thank you so much Gina for doing this interview & getting questions from the fans!