Elimination Interview with Jose and Billy

We said goodbye to Jose Ruiz and Billy Bell.

On Thursday’s Top 6 results show, we lost the two Florida natives – Jose Ruiz and Billy Bell. The morning after their elimination, Jose and Billy opened up about life on the show, the upcoming tour, and more.

B-boy Jose Ruiz came into the Season 7 competition with no formal training, but he left So You Think You Can Dance as a well-rounded dancer. The judges called him one of the most likable contestants in the show’s history. Jose said this commentary from the judges meant so much to him because, “I didn’t try to be like anything I wasn’t. I was just myself and I think people really appreciated it…I surprised myself. I didn’t know I’d make it this far.”

Nearly everything Jose danced on the show was out of his comfort zone, but he said that Bollywood was the hardest choreography for him to learn, but he loved every number he got to do on the show and was particularly inspired by Mandy Moore’s Contemporary piece he danced with Lauren Gottlieb. In fact, this experience has inspired Jose to pursue dance training. “I want to really branch out and get into Contemporary. I’m going to work on technique and get more familiar with other styles, and not just stick with Hip Hop. The show has given me a chance to expand and I want to keep expanding.”

Jose can’t be too sad about his departure. “I accepted [the elimination] and rejoiced in it, and in two weeks I’ll be back at the finale. Then, a week later, we start tour rehearsals. It’s not over; it’s just a brief hiatus.” What about the tour is Jose most excited for? “I’m looking forward to traveling across the U.S. and performing in arenas and getting to see the fans and performing in front of thousands of people with no judges and no critiques.”

In honor of National Dance Day, Jose has a message for future dancers, “Just love dance and keep the passion for it. Don’t let it become a job or a competition. Just love it, love to do it, have passion for it and it will take you places you never imagined.”

Billy Bell originally made it onto Season 6 before having to leave the competition during the first week because he became ill. He auditioned again for Season 7 and made it all the way to the Top 6. Throughout the competition he has showed unbelievable lines and flexibility, and on this press call he admitted something shocking – he doesn’t stretch at all! “I actually work on the opposite. I work on gaining strength in my legs, which my ballet training has helped with.”

Season 7 holds the record for most injuries in one season, and Billy wasn’t immune. Why have there been so many injuries season? “A lot of them were flukes,” Billy believes. “When you’re giving dance your all, and when you put your heart into it, it can happen.” Billy also explained why he didn’t dance last week despite being cleared by the doctors, saying he was still in pain and didn’t want to make it worse and miss out on tour.

Were there any all-stars Billy didn’t get the chance to dance with that he wished he got to work with? “I wanted to dance with Allison! I was supposed to dance with her a few weeks ago when her injury flared up. I hope to dance with her on tour.” He’d also love the opportunity to perform his Step routine with Kent Boyd on tour since Billy had to sit out of that dance last week because of his injury. He’s also excited to learn new choreography for the upcoming fall tour.

The most helpful critique Billy said he received from the judges was “Just about connecting with my partner. It’s what they kept saying, and I think that’s the only way we learn – when somebody repeatedly tells you.” By the end of his journey, Billy had no problem connecting with his partners or the choreography, and Nigel Lythgoe said that dance professionals and choreographers have taken notice of Billy’s work on the show.

Billy had the following advice to offer for aspiring dancers. “The key is staying so open. Try everything there is. Don’t put up a wall because that will keep you from growing. Even if you hate the style, ask yourself why and you’ll grow from there.”

>>Watch Billy’s Signature Move
>>Watch Jose’s Signature Move


25 comments on “Elimination Interview with Jose and Billy“

  1. SeriouslyDoNotUnderstand - wrote:

    I do not understand what America is thinking! All of the dancers are great but I cannot understand why Billy got lower votes than other dancers He is beyond amazing. I am hoping America makes the proper choices and Kent Lauren and Robert are the top 3 if that is the way the finale will be I think of all of the dancers that have been left since Alex Wong got hurt they are the three most deserving. Let us pray America comes to their senses and makes the proper choices before it is too late. I am basing my opinions on growth in dance and those three have just come leaps and bounds above all others…it is a shame billy bell will not be there to be a part of that but if he cant those three need to be come on America keep them around make it the best finale so you think you can dance has seen come on Kent Lauren and Robert!!!

    8/1/2010 12:05 PM UTC


    It was quit clear why Billy Bell was constantley tossed into the bottom 3………..Middle America could not bring itself to vote for a Gay contestant……………….Every single judge pointed out numerous times that Billy was clearly one of the best dancers ever to be on the show………..so sad

    8/2/2010 1:29 PM UTC

  3. Debbie - wrote:

    I think this was a good decsion by the judges, I think Billy should have gotten voted off last week, really. I really like Jose but he has more to learn. Lauren and Kent already dance like professionals and Robert and Adecheke are not far behind. I do miss Alex and hope he is recovering well.

    8/2/2010 2:37 PM UTC

  4. Violet - wrote:

    I’m so mad that Billy has been eliminated!!!! He was my favorite. He deserved to win! I don’t get why he has been in the bottom more than once. Yes, America voted him in the bottom but JUDGES how could you have let him go after all his remarkable performances????

    8/2/2010 3:05 PM UTC

  5. Keith M Myers / Sarah Pergrossi - wrote:

    Sarah Pergrossi is the Editor and publisher of the Grapevine, the Square and Round Dance magazine for North East Florida. Please contact her, thank you. Keith

    Dear Dancers,

    How are you doing with these record high temperatures? We are so fortunate that the daily highs don’t have to affect our daily dose of square & round dancing. Our dance halls are usually quite comfortable. Please note the listed dates for these events in August. Several updates have occurred since we mailed out the July 2010 issue of the magazine, or made the last posting to the online calendar.

    As reported at our July Delegates’ Meeting, our association magazine, The Grapevine, continues to see a decline in subscriptions. The Grapevine isn’t subsidized by NEFSARDA and therefore our subscribers and advertisers are the financial life blood of the publication. Along with the Association Board, the editors have been searching for ways to augment of numbers of subscriptions, without further increases in the subscription price or ad rates.

    We are asking for your assistance and support. As you share these monthly dance updates and the Joys & Concern notices with other dancers, encourage them to take a personal subscription to the magazine. Each issue contains so much more than just a Calendar of Events and Joys & Concerns listing! How about giving a gift subscription to your dancing and non-dancing friends? Let your non-dancing friends see and read about of all the fun and exercise they are missing by not joining you on the dance floor. Let’s find ways to entice folks to join us! You can visit the magazine website (www.pergrossi.com/grapevine.html) for information or contact The Grapevine editors, Sarah & Charlie Pergrossi, by phone (352)463-3829 or email thegrapevine@pergrossi.com for details and assistance.

    August 2010


    Creekside Promenaders are dark tonight.

    Monday Night Mayhem are also dark tonight.


    Dixie Dancers will be able to dance at their usual location, Teen Town, 533 NW Desoto St, Lake City, club dance 7:00-9:30 PM, Bill Chesnut caller, Ralph Beekman cuer. The work on the hall flooring has been delayed.


    Creekside Promenaders will be dark tonight.


    Silver Fox will host a Black Cat Dance at St Catherine’s Episcopal Church, 4758 Shelby Ave, (near Park St & Cassat Ave), Jacksonville, FL 32210. Caller Gary Murphy, Plus Workshop 7:00-8:00 PM, club dance 8:00-9:30 PM. Call Bill or Jane Dando (904)771-2406 for more details. (Please note – The Silver Fox will dance at this location throughout the summer, returning to Jax Heights Elementary School on August 24th.


    The Teddy Bear Squares will hold a Back to School Dance and asking dancers to bring along donated school supplies, 7:30-9:30 PM at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 6801 Merrill Rd, Jacksonville, FL. Caller Gary Murphy and cuer Lisa Wall. Contact Lisa Wall (904)699-7833 for more details.


    Creekside Promenaders will host an Ice Cream Sundae Dance at Westminster Woods on Julington Creek, 25 SR 13, Jacksonville, FL 32259, dancing Mainstream with announced Plus, 7:00-9:30 PM. Caller – Ken Miller. Contact Ken Miller 904-465-0759 or Roger & Linda Minard 904-342-0777 for additional details.


    Mandarin Marauders present a SPORTS NIGHT dance – Support your favorite sport team. Wear their colors. Dress for the game. Bring tailgate snacks, Dance begins at 7:30 PM at First Christian Church, 11924 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL, caller Lawton Smith. Contact Rich Tomich & Cheryl Trescot (904)303-9439 for more details.


    Vagabond Squares will hold Graduation activities for their newest dancers at Hale Recreation Center, 215 NE Duval St (CR 136), Live Oak, FL, 7:00-9:00 PM, Caller/Cuer Ralph Beekman. Contact Roberta Simpson (386)362-2456 or Ralph Beekman (386)752-2544 for additional details.


    Silver Fox will dance their last dance of the summer at St Catherine’s Episcopal Church, 4758 Shelby Ave, (near Park St & Cassat Ave), Jacksonville, FL 32210. Caller Gary Murphy, Plus Workshop 7:00-8:00 PM, club dance 8:00-9:30 PM. Call Bill or Jane Dando (904)771-2406 for more details. (Please note – The Silver Fox will return to Jax Heights Elementary School on August 24th).


    Benefit Dance for St Catherine’s Episcopal Church, hosted by the Silver Fox, has been cancelled.


    Moose Promenaders will hold a Roaring 20s Dance at the Moose Lodge, 5051 Collins Rd, Orange Park, FL, Bill Chesnut caller, Plus workshop 7:00-8:30 PM, Club dance 8:30-10:00 PM. Contact Tom or Pat Herscha at 904-406-0275 for additional info. [*Psst…knock 3 times and the password is Square Dance]


    Silver Fox will host a School Supplies Dance to celebrate their return to Jax Heights Elementary School, 7750 Tempest St South, Jacksonville, FL, Plus workshop 7:00-8:00 PM, Club dance 8:00-9:30 PM. Caller Gary Murphy. Contact Stephen Bigelow (904)771-7249 or Jane & Bill Dando (904)771-2406 for additional information.


    The Rollaways are proud to host their annual Dog Days of Summer dance, 7:30-9:30 PM at Sandalwood High School, 2750 John Prom Blvd, Jacksonville. This will be their 1st dance back in their home location AND they will welcome their new club caller Mark Fetzer with Lisa Wall on rounds. Call Walt & Dianne Syphard at 904-221-1368 for more information.

    Sarah & Charlie Pergrossi

    Editors of:

    The Grapevine, official publication for Northeast Florida – Email: thegrapevine@pergrossi.com

    NSDCA Times, official publication for National Square Dance Campers Assoc. – Email: nsdcatimes@nsdca.org

    Visit the magazines at http://www.pergrossi.com

    “Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.”

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable

    to “The United States of America” for an amount of “Up to and including life.”
    That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.


    8/2/2010 4:51 PM UTC

  6. Keith M Myers / Sarah Pergrossi - wrote:

    We (Dancers of North Florida) need your connection.

    8/2/2010 4:52 PM UTC

  7. BillyShouldWin - wrote:

    I seriously question Nigel’s comment in the elimination show last week about Billy’s “androgynous” nature. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it was such an underhanded way of commenting on Billy’s more effeminate nature and hinting that he’s gay. For someone involved with dance for so long, it just shocked me that he would make a comment like that that came across as intolerant. Maybe he wasn’t. Like I said, I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he just was trying to find some reason for the voters voting the way they did and so my beef is solely with the voters. In any case, it’s terribly disappointing and sad that the voters (and possibly Nigel) would allow a dancer’s mannerisms have such an effect on their decision-making process.

    8/2/2010 5:56 PM UTC

  8. Tolerant Dancer - wrote:

    To say Billy got voted off because “middle america” can’t stand to vote for a gay person is utterly ridiculous. Why would “middle america” be watching the show if it were intolerant of gay people? What an ill-educated guess. Billy got voted off because he never connected with the audience – his last performance with Ade was the best but all others fell flat b/c he had no emotion.

    8/3/2010 8:07 AM UTC

  9. MARA - wrote:

    I completely feel it’s unfair Billy got to stay an additional week when doctors stated he was capable of dancing …I think it was biases because the prior week’s contestants had to leave because of injuries I think the judges especially Nigel since he is the TOP judge showed favoritism and that’s wrong…especially once again since the Docs told him to dance..Billy should have went home the week before …and maybe Jose would have had a better chance,,,Since I feel he is the best dancer when he gets thrown all kinds of styles and performs it 100%. WHAT WERE THE JUDGES THINKING GIVING JOSE THAT SIT ON THE EDGE OF THE STAGE ROUTNINE NO ONE COULD HAVE MADE THAT LOOK INTERESTING NO FAIR

    8/4/2010 5:18 AM UTC

  10. Sue - wrote:

    Your “Judges” have ruined the show this year for me. Their comments are silly. I quit watching after about 3 weeks. I can just check the web to see who is left.

    8/4/2010 6:26 AM UTC

  11. Patricia - wrote:

    I am just trying find a place to vote at.

    8/4/2010 6:28 PM UTC

  12. Mimi - wrote:

    The dancer who motivated me the most to watch the show this season is Billy Bell. His dancing is breathtaking! His artistry and attention to detail is evident in all of his movements. I wish you a long and successful dance career, Billy. As the judges themselves said….one of the best dancers ever on the show!

    8/5/2010 12:17 AM UTC

  13. g - wrote:

    They are dissing adechike when hes doing really good and im sick of it.

    the judges this year are bias and unfair

    8/5/2010 4:51 AM UTC

  14. ron - wrote:

    I feel the judges are biased, especially Mia. The judges appeared to me to take every oppurtunity to ensure adecheke is eliminated with negative comments. It reminded me of a couple of weeks ago when they complained about adecheke adding his style of dance to a different style; Kat came forth to defend adecheke by reminding them they commended another dancer for the same thing. Furthermore, I don’t think the best dancer even made the show this year (the black guy that was the last person eliminated by the judges to get down to the final dancers before america begin voting; he fought through an injury to do his final dance). I now better understand why Debbie Allen has had little to do with the show this season.

    8/5/2010 7:11 AM UTC

  15. Stan - wrote:

    I’m very disapointed with FOX for leaving their judges SYTYCD make comments about overturning the ruling for same sex marrage. This is a show of all people young and old and the judges should not make it their soapbox. I watch this show for the entertinmant, not a political show. I would hope Fox would at least have an apology from the judges to their viewers. Thank You Stan

    8/5/2010 12:06 PM UTC

  16. Another BillyFan - wrote:

    First, I would like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this year’s contestants dancing with former contestants. It strikes me as being collegial and supportive; plus, I get to see some favourites from previous seasons. I hope this format continues in the future.

    Maybe next year, SYTYCD will have a “House” routine. The music in last night’s disco reminded me of last year’s house routine by Tara Jean and Everett on SYTYCD Canada. What an exciting dance!

    Now I do have to say that I am really disappointed that Billy was voted off last week. I think that we lost the opportunity of seeing more wonderful routines from him. He was really coming into his own during the last few weeks. I also have to agree with a previous posters comment. BillyShouldWin – wrote: I seriously question Nigel’s comment in the elimination show last week about Billy’s “androgynous” nature. This comment took me back as well as it seemed inappropriate in the wording.

    Anyway, good luck Billy. I think you’ll go far.

    8/5/2010 12:52 PM UTC

  17. Nicole - wrote:

    Last night I was so disappointed again at the continued negative comments made toward Adecheke. It is very difficult for those dancers to perform in front of the judges the audience and people nationwide. I gave all the dancers credit for the excellent work that they do, but I am so tried of those awful judges. I am very disappointed in Nigel he has let this show fall in a hole this season.

    8/5/2010 2:12 PM UTC

  18. Alana Orosco - wrote:

    I was so very sad that Billy got eliminated. America was just basing their opinions on personality. Unfortunately, Billy, though I love you, you never gave vulnerability which made you seem unreachable to people. I want you to know that you have inspired me so much. SO sad you’re leaving and we wont get to see you perform again on the show. But… hopefully it wont be the last of you. God bless you and good luck on all you do!

    8/5/2010 3:59 PM UTC

  19. T. Carroll - wrote:

    Great show, but I’m starting to feel uneasy about some of the liberal comments on the show. I hope the producers know that we are engaged in a moral civil war in this country.

    Liberals against conservatives. It’s common knowledge that Hollywood is trying to force feed liberal idealogy to the conservative half of the country, and to be honest its getting pretty old.

    My family loves ‘So You Think You Can Dance’; but if we are force fed more personal liberal agenda junk like the judges comments last night on Prop-8 or gay lifestyle; were gone. No show is that good!

    8/5/2010 7:52 PM UTC

  20. lucy - wrote:

    My entire family is disenchanted with this show, in that the very, very best dancers are continually eliminated (we’ve seen all the seasons), and it is not right. I would have LOVED to watch Billy Bell perform in the finale, as we eagerly waited for his brilliance every time. The judges also seem to forget what they say from one show to the next and often contradict themselves. They should be more careful, as this could sway less attentive viewers and the goofball screaming teenagers in the audience. We’re sick of criticism about dancers’ “connecting” with the audience and the insulting remark about Billy’s “androgynous” style. The absolute top requirement for the show should be the skill and performance of the dancer; why bother to conduct auditions if you put such weight on personality? I say…introduce a weighting system that includes a rating by the choreographers. So for this season, so sorry Billy Bell (and Alex–you were wonderful.)

    8/5/2010 8:46 PM UTC

  21. John - wrote:

    I was disappointed to see Billy voted off, his technique was nothing short of amazing. It was clear throughout the competition that he is an extremely talented dancer. That being said, in addition to being a dance competition the show is also a reality television show based on entertainment. For whatever reason, those who call in to vote didn’t find him as entertaining as the other dancers. If it were truly a competition based solely on talent, I doubt the American public would have much of a say on who continues on in the competition (that is assuming, as a general rule, people don’t have technical knowledge of the types of dance styles featured on the show).

    That being said, however, I wanted to say how disappointing I found My. Lythgoe’s comment about Billy’s “androgynous” dance style. I think it was completely off the mark and it has not been the first time hel has received criticism regarding his out-of-turn comments (circa 2009). Whatever personal opinions Mr. Lythgoe has about “effeminate” characteristics or “androgyny” really has no place being aired on a show based, ostensibly, on talent and entertainment. I also think it did not give the viewers of the show enough credit that they may be capable of overlooking the question of a dancer’s sexual orientation or gender mannerisms. I hope *most* people can see the show for what it is, a platform that is entertaining and brings dance to the masses.

    I hope that in the future the judging will be restricted to relevant criteria such as performance and technique and not be squandered on irrelevant criteria such as clear personal biases that belong on the cutting room floor.

    8/5/2010 9:35 PM UTC

  22. Pat - wrote:

    As soon as Billy was voted off, I quit watching..I looked forward to his amazing and original performances each week..(:-(

    8/6/2010 7:32 AM UTC

  23. Camila - wrote:

    Billy is the best I can´t believe that america voted him off!
    I´m from Brazil and I’ve watched all the seasons. He´s absolutely one of the greatest dancers EVER !!
    Good lucky billy

    8/6/2010 3:04 PM UTC

  24. Ann - wrote:

    Loved this season 2010. I believe using the All Stars was a great move to the program. I believe if the show is going to use 3 standard judges each week it would be nice to have a fourth judge and rotate that judge out. I missed work from some of the other choreographer’s this year. Seemed to use a few and just stuck with them this. Mind you they were great but it would have been nice to have seen some work from Wade Robson. Really missed his creations as well as Mia. Glad to see her judging but would love to have seen some of her work used this year. Nevertheless awesome year! Some of the BEST dancers you have had. That is soooo many. All 11 were off the chart good! That to me is a first for this show. The dancing quality just gets better and better each year.
    Well Done! Oh! Oh! even loved how you visited the contestants at their homes to tell them they got on the show. GREAT YEAR! One of my FAVORITE shows on TV I actually make time for to watch each week.
    THANK YOOOOUUUUU! For bringing it on this year!

    8/11/2010 5:32 PM UTC

  25. Ann - wrote:

    reading the comments posted about the judges, I must agree. Sometimes they have been quite harsh with the dancers when the dancers have been awesome. I believe honestly that a fourth judge needs to be added and rotated out in that it allows for a fresh new perspective when judging the dancers. Using the same 3 judges from week to week ahhh! not a good idea. Other than that I enjoyed the show this year. BRAVO!

    8/11/2010 5:39 PM UTC

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