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'So You Think You Can Dance' exit interview: Kathryn McCormick on crying, dancing and (rumored) romancing

When the So You Think You Can Dance competition began, we only knew Kathryn McCormick as the girl with the inappropriately high crying voice. But as the season progressed, we began to cry the contemporary dancer’s name as we watched her unleash her beautiful dance skills. Just hours after landing third place in the competition, Kathryn called us up to talk about those notorious tears, her favorite dance, and her rumored romance with Legacy.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We all thought you were going to at least land second place last night. Third place isn’t shabby, but are you surprised at the outcome last night?
I wasn’t surprised at all. I think that Russell deserves to win. He’s just an amazing person, and such a hard worker. I think that he deserves everything he’s gotten. It’s an honor to be third-place beside those two guys. And to be the top girl is an honor and a blessing in itself. So I’m very happy.

KATHRYN MCCORMICK: As we all know, Russell was injured last night. Were you sad that you weren’t able to reprise your hip-hop performance with him because of his injury?
A little bit just because I love that dance and it’s so much fun to do. But I understand. It was fine that we didn’t get to do it.

Going into the top 20, we hadn’t seen very much of you at all. Were you worried that you would suffer in the competition because we only knew you as the crying girl?
At first, absolutely, I was. I was like, “Man, I look like such a crybaby and I can’t handle anything. All these people are going to think that of me and they don’t know me. “But then I realized that they didn’t know me. So I came in with a clean slate and nobody had really seen my dancing and there were no expectations and I think everybody thought, “Oh, she’ll be gone really quickly.” In my mindset, I was like, “OK, people only know me for my crying. Some people can relate to this, and some people will be turned off by it.  So, I’m just going to go into it and work as hard as I can and show them why I’m here, just dance my butt off and hopefully they’ll see that side of me and respect me.” So it was kind of good, I think.

Are you that emotional often or did you surprise yourself with your reaction?
They kind of cut all the quotes to make it look a lot more dramatic than it was. I didn’t cry all the time. I really didn’t. Because my voice goes high, it makes it look like I’m crying constantly. It’s reality TV. They have to have drama. They have to have things like that on there. I understand that, but I’m not going to lie. At the beginning I was thinking, “Man, I don’t want people to think I’m just a baby.” But if you really listen to what I was saying, my mind was just blown because it’s such a blessing to have made it where I did. I couldn’t help but cry, because I was just in awe, and I was just amazed.

You landed Legacy as a partner, someone totally different from you. How did that feel?
[We’re] completely different, but we’re kind of like the same person. I’m not going to lie, when I first heard he was my partner, I was nervous. I was, like, “OK, he’s a b-boy, he doesn’t dance, he doesn’t do choreography. I’m a technician and I’m a perfectionist.” I’m like, “OK, how is this going to work?” And it turns out to be that I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my partner in the beginning. He’s such a wise person and I felt like we connected on such a great level, and the chemistry that we had because we’re so similar and we’re like best friends. He taught me so much about myself and so much about being a performer instead of a technician and to rely on my feeling of the music and emotion as opposed to relying on thinking so hard about every step and trying to be perfect. He really helped me to get out of that mindset and be a better performer and just enjoy the experience more. It was a blessing for him to be in my life for those five weeks. I think things would have been a lot different if he hadn’t been.

Do you have a favorite dance of the season?
Everyone asks me that. Honestly, I loved everything that I did. Favorite hip-hop: Definitely the one that I did with Russell last night and the night before. Contemporary: I loved the one me and Jakob just performed. It was so special and just natural. But I also liked “2 Steps Away” with Legacy. And then for ballroom, I would say the cha-cha. Definitely, without question. It was amazing, it felt so good. Ryan is an amazing partner.

Is there anything you wish you would have done differently, besides maybe the crying?
Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything because I don’t think my journey would have been the same if I were to have done it differently. I think that everything was perfect, how it should be. Any struggles that I had, I don’t think they’re a bad thing, because I wouldn’t have learned anything if I didn’t have them.

There were rumors that you and Legacy had a romantic connection…True or false?
No. That is not true. I think that people think that because we have such an amazing chemistry and connection when we’re on stage, but that only comes from us really taking the time to really get to know each other. We’ve become best friends. When we’re on stage, it feels like no one else exists, but it’s not in a romantic way. Depending on the dance, it can seem that way, but it just comes from a place of friendship and not anything more than that.

What’s next for you?
That’s a good question. I’m about to go home for Christmas and I just need to process things and figure out what my goals are and what exactly I want to do. I know, for sure, that I want to keep performing and auditioning and training. Just become better at more things. I’m not exactly sure what’s in sure, but I’m ready to just be open to any opportunity. So we’ll see.

Photo Credit: Joe Viles/Fox

Originally posted December 17 2009 — 5:55 PM EST

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