Ashley and Chris’ SYTYCD Journey

Ashley and Chris

The morning after Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl were eliminated from Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance, they hopped on a press call to talk about their time on the show and their plans for the future.

After getting mixed reviews of their Wednesday night Salsa, did they expect to go home?

Chris said, “I definitely didn’t see it coming but I think we both gave amazing solos and worked hard in every routine. Someone had to go and it happened to be me. Both Ashley and Chris talked about how they’ve come along way and put their all into each dance and their solos.

The couple’s most memorable dance was their Broadway routine behind bars. Ashley commented that they were one of the “cutesy” couples, so it was fun to play out the mature dance. Even though the Salsa sent them home, Ashley loved the Salsa. “I thought of it as another challenge and was lucky to be given it,” she explained. Hip Hop dancer Chris did all he could to prepare for genres outside his style. “I went out and tried to get as much training in every style I could. I crammed with Ballroom teachers,” he shared.

If you’re interested in auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance in the future, Ashley and Chris offered up this advice. “I auditioned three times and had to find what I needed to have to make the show. I needed confidence, not only in my dancing but in the other person. You’ve got to believe in yourself,” Chris told us. Meanwhile, Ashley’s advice is to “Never give up and always put your best foot forward. Stay true to yourself. The good thing about dance is that you don’t have to be like everyone else; you can bring your own special thing to it.”

After months of auditions and four weeks of competing on the show, Chris said, “The greatest thing I learned is how much more I have to offer. I didn’t realize how much I could put out. The show brought a new challenge that was so foreign to my body. I don’t think I knew that I had it in me.” Ashley is thankful for the experience and said, “I have just grown as a dancer in every way. I have a lot more confidence, and I’m not nervous to try anything new. I feel like I can tackle any style of dance now.”

SYTYCD has inspired both dancers to explore more genres outside their style. “I can’t wait to move forward,” Chris shared. “Contemporary is something I want to expose myself to more. Each Contemporary performance on the show made me feel something and made me cry. I’d also love to work with Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo and Travis Wall.” Ashley hopes to delve more into Ballroom. “I’m not going to change my style, but I would like to learn more about Salsa because I had a blast doing it.”

At the end of Thursday’s results show there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Ashley explains, “We’ve been with each other 24/7. We all love each other and we’ll probably be best friends for life. When you’re plunged into this situation you kind of have to become best friends. It’s been an amazing experience seeing all these dancers improve every week and being around these great choreographers is such a blessing.” Chris added, “When you’re in a competition like this, there’s so much stress and everybody does everything to lift each other up. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. Even the people that left week one I feel like I’ve known for years.”

We wish Ashley and Chris the best of luck. Next week, the Top 12 perform in a pivotal week to see who gets a coveted spot in the Top 10.

Watch Chris and Ashley’s Salsa.


19 comments on “Ashley and Chris’ SYTYCD Journey“

  1. Jason - wrote:

    It is time for Ryan to go home point blank!

    7/10/2011 10:45 AM UTC

  2. nick hronis - wrote:

    Why do they keep saving Ryan Ramirez? I was shocked when they showed on the show that she’s a protege and has lived with Mia Michaels, the great choreographer who is a major judge/choreographer on SYTYCD. I think its more than a conflict of interest, even if Mia is not judging this year. She’s very influentual and I think its unfair favoritism that she is even on the show.

    7/10/2011 2:49 PM UTC

  3. dancefan - wrote:

    sorry to see these 2 go. one question though…why do they keep saving Ryan? Ricky overshadows her every time. If she stays, at least give her a partner she can keep up with.

    7/10/2011 5:49 PM UTC

  4. JackieM - wrote:

    Ryan totally needs to go home. Her dance for her life was a joke on Thursday’s show. Come on!!

    7/11/2011 1:57 PM UTC

  5. Babs - wrote:

    I would really like someone to explain to me why in Hip Hop they have to grab their crotch??? I find it looks stupid and dirty. It is not so bad when it is just a little grab, but when they grab it with such gusto, it looks stupid. I have never understood why they have to do it.

    7/11/2011 7:13 PM UTC

  6. mercy - wrote:

    What is going on this season? When Nigel Lythgoe became a producer for American Idol did this program get compromised? This season sucks compared to last season. The choreography is uninspiring, the music does not match the styles/dances and the guest judges are hit or miss. The choreographers from last season are still good and have created some good performances but overall this season is a big disappointment. I hope we get to see some all stars, the couples split and dancing with others and better choreography. I used to love this program.

    7/11/2011 9:52 PM UTC

  7. Jessica - wrote:

    I think Ricky is a beautiful dancer but now that everyone knows that she has worked with Mia Michaels it has turned tables.

    I like all of the dancers that are on the show, but some I like more than others. Even though Ashley & Chris’s salsa was beautiful, it just didn’t have that extra little spark in it that I’m used to seeing from these elegant dancers.

    Good luck to all who are on the show. :-)

    7/12/2011 5:45 AM UTC

  8. donna - wrote:

    I feel that the addition of some new choreographers was a great addition; the opening number for this past week was FANTASTIC, by far the best “group number” of this season. Don’t get me wrong, still love the old choreographers (Tyce, Travis, Nikhal (sp?) w/the exception of Mia…glad she’s gone), but new ideas and concepts keep the show fresh. I would like to see better hip-hop, though, this season it’s been extrememly watered down…the words lyrical and hiphop should NEVER be put together. I don’t know why we haven’t seen something stronger, yet. Personally, I would rather see the “crotch-grabbing” (see above comment) than the “barely-there” and skimpy outfits. I would rather have the dancers be covered more; I don’t need to see almost every inch of their body to figure out what they look like…My daughter dances at a school affiliated with a church, and their dancers are all appropriately dressed without their bodies on display for the world to see and they still bring home Platinum awards and blow people away with their DANCING, not the amount of skin they bare.

    7/12/2011 6:43 AM UTC

  9. donna - wrote:


    7/12/2011 6:58 AM UTC

  10. Jose - wrote:

    I wish the best of luck to both, Chris and Ashley! They are great and inspiring dancers! I hope to hear more from them in the future! This season rocks! I love this show! :-)

    7/12/2011 7:48 AM UTC

  11. donna - wrote:

    THANK YOU :::TYCE:::: for the fantastic dance (Alexander & Sasha)…LOVED EVERY SECOND…you gave Alexander the ticket to let loose and just dance with his soul, you could see it happen! I knew he was fantastic, but it’s almost like the song’s words..”that’s life” just allowed him to dance with carefree abandon. Sasha was great, too..but Alexander just laid it out on the table and gave it his all…I’ll be up for two hours voting for Alexander & Sasha. loved the broadway…loved the song…loved the spirit…loved the message…Now we just need some tap., or more bollywood.

    Caitlyn & Mitchell’s second number was fantastic. Love to see the dancers come back so strong after an average performance and then kill it!

    WTH>???? What is it with the stinking, boring, lame, watered down, lollipop hip hop this season…ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Enough…geez, even if this watery hip hop is danced well, it’s just so..just so..LYRICAL!!!!! as if we don’t have to sit through dance after dance of lyrical already, now we have to watch it in the hip hop.

    Last week’s opening number by Nikhal (sp?) was SO GOOD!!! I loved seeing a different style of dance beside boring lyrical or contemporary. I had to watch it multiple times because I loved it so much. Give us more of these types of numbers…..Loved it!!

    7/13/2011 5:39 PM UTC

  12. Shannon - wrote:

    This is the WORST season to date! The music is so boring and the routines are even worse! Oh how I miss all the old choreographers. Come back and save this show!!!! This used to be our favorite show but we are absolutely hating it this year!

    7/13/2011 5:55 PM UTC

  13. Lindsay - wrote:

    Seriously? they kept Ryan again? I mean come on her solo was so mediocre and you could tell that Ashley really put her heart into hers. Was the salsa great? no, but Ashley has shown week after week that she deserves to be there and Ryan has not. Chris was a great dancer too and I was sad to see him go, but I love all the guys this season. I knew before the show started this season that Ryan had been working with Mia and I thought wow if she works with Mia she must be great right? I was wrong and I don’t know how she managed to catch Mia’s eye, but I’m a better dancer than Ryan and I wouldn’t audition for the show, because I know I’m not at the level yet and neither is she. It’s pure favoritism from the judges keeping her on the show as America clearly wants her to go home. Hopefully this week the judges will finally listen and hopefully Ricky won’t be punished for having the bad luck to get stuck with her as a partner and end up going home himself.

    7/13/2011 6:18 PM UTC

  14. Supa FAN - wrote:

    Not FEELING THE LYRICAL HIP HOP it’s too much like contemporary….NEED MORE HARD HITTING (no crump) but definitively HIP HOP WHERE IS NAPPTABs???

    With the musicality of the contemporary choreagraphers….there is NO NEED for the lyrical hip hop

    7/13/2011 7:15 PM UTC

  15. Bill K - wrote:

    I love SYTYCD!! The only knock is the hostess, Kat Deely. I think the show can find someone better. Every season I get more irritated with her crooked nose. Now I’ve noticed even her mouth is starting to be crooked. Then tonight it looks like she was punched in the the left eye and “makeup” tried to hide it. Her dress selections are hopeless. But ultimately the show is incredible. To see these young amazing up and coming dancers is great to see. Thank you FOX.

    7/13/2011 7:21 PM UTC

  16. charlie burse - wrote:

    I wish Nigel would stop being stop negavtive on jess. That young man is awesome. It seems as though he makes comments about his lifts are not good. They are wonderful. That young man is the shortest male and he is keeping up with all the young men who are taller. You really need to stop. You found alot to say about a big girl keeping up with the smaller females. Why can’t you do the same for him? You are not being fair to him!!!!

    7/14/2011 9:54 PM UTC

  17. Brittney - wrote:

    Can someone explain to me why the dancing has to be so sexy? I have three little girls 3,5 and 7 who pretend they are going to vegas during their pretend play. I don’t appreciate having to explaining why they are moving like that. The dance “addicted to love” a fiew episodes back was inappropriate for family television. As a former dancer, the artistic value in choreography is lost in their raunchy attempt to sell sex. Come on people!

    7/14/2011 10:01 PM UTC

  18. Angie - wrote:

    Did Chris Koehl faint at the end of the show the night he was voted off? At the end of the show, you see all the dancers running up on the stage and then you see Chris standing & then he falls to the ground. Anybody know what happened?

    7/15/2011 9:26 PM UTC

  19. Cindy - wrote:

    I am so bored with this season!!!! Where’s the umph? In the past I fought for the TV on SYTYCD dance nights. Not anymore and that is sad.

    7/17/2011 8:07 PM UTC

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