Ashley Valerio, Max Kapitannikov
It was the end of the So You Think You Can Dance road for Ashley Valerio and Max Kapitannikov but neither has any regrets about how they handled things in just two weeks of the Top 20 competition.
Kapitannikov, a Russian-born ballroom dancer from Brooklyn, said his pop jazz routine this week was "definitely ... out of [his] comfort zone" — but he did the best he could with Brian Friedman's high-energy choreography.
"I kind of predicted that I was going to leave, when the judges were giving us the [final] comments, when it was just between me and Kupono [Aweau]," Max told TVGuide.com. "I don't have any regrets ... every other guy on the show deserves to be there."
Ashley, a contemporary dancer who divides her time between Arizona and Hollywood, took another look at her hip-hop routine with partner Kupono to understand why she was cut. Their performance came under fire with the judges for lack of synchronicity and, as Lil' C said, not finding calm in the "chaos" of hip-hop.
"I re-watched it to see where we went wrong, what we could have done better," she said. "There's always room for improvement, but I think we looked great. ... I got a lot of good feedback from other professional dancers that thought the dance was really good. ... Some people like you, some people don't. It's all a judgment game. You can't please everyone."
While Ashley had nothing but praise for Shane Sparks, who choreographed the number, she thinks that dancers' routines are key to their Dance success. "The pieces that you're given are crucial to your position on the show," she said. "If the choreographer showcases you, you have better chances."
Although Max and Ashley's Dance days are over, they leave behind a new team, as their respective partners will now be paired together. So how will the new duo fare? "I think Kupono and [Max's former partner] Kayla [Radomski] are going to be phenomenal together," Ashley predicted. "[Kupono] always made me smile ... I think he'll bring out the best in Kayla."
What do you think of Max and Ashley's departures — and how will Kupono and Kayla do in the weeks ahead?