'So You Think You Can Dance': Karla Garcia and Vitolio Jeune, future Rockette and author
Karla on her week with Vitolio:
It was really hard, because after [former partner ] Jonathan [Platero] got eliminated I was really emotional, because we got attached and then all of a sudden I got paired up with a brand-new partner. I had to find an emotional connection in very little time, plus had an added layer of the hardest dance style to work with, so it was a challenge, but we're both professionals and we both had that motivation to show America that we could attack this kiss of death. That's what brought us together, and that made it easier.
On the quickstep being known as the "kiss of death" on "SYTYCD":
I think I was already practicing my solo when I opened that card that told us we'd be doing that dance, especially when everyone else around us had a genre in their comfort zone. I felt almost defeated, but there was motivation to attack the dance's hard style. The blessing was having Jean-Marc [Généreux] as a choreographer. He was very involved and invested in us, and he knew it would be a difficult task and that it's a hard dance to learn: Your feet have to work very fast, and you have to work intimately with your partner, and that was an additional challenge. I think Jean-Marc guided us a lot with the analogies he used to help us with frame and finding that connection physically. He gave us a great routine choreographically to make it easier because there were other things to focus on, like the story and acting, so we weren't too focused on doing the quickstep perfectly.
Relaxing and spending time with family. I got a few offers the day after the elimination episode to teach and to perform and to do the Radio City Rockettes show and maybe get into acting.
Vitolio on how dancing saved his life:
I saw a Michael Jackson video in early age and that inspired me: Once I got out of an orphanage [in Haiti] I used dance as a way to survive and make money in the street and take care of myself and my grandma.
How it felt to be in the bottom three the third time:
I was a little surprised because, from the judges' critiques the night before, we thought we had done an awesome quickstep. I knew we were somehow going to be in there because America had its favorites and wasn't going to put its favorites aside to vote for us, but I was hoping for a miracle still.
I'm back in Miami and I'm looking for an agent in L.A., so I'm planning on moving to L.A. and keep on dancing and choreographing and getting into acting and modeling, and maybe writing a book about my life story.
— Claire Zulkey