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October 4, 2015

'So You Think You Can Dance Canada' Sends Home Francois and Yuliya

by Bryan Cairns, posted Aug 24th 2011 2:35PM
'So You Think You Can Dance Canada's Top 10 definitely did not disappoint on Tuesday night. In fact, the dancers displayed some of the season's best routines.

Alas, with viewers now voting on individual dancers instead of couples, ballroom's Francois Pruneau and Yuliya Zavadska were sent home. The two obviously have a lot to be proud of and spoke with AOL TV Canada about finding their rhythm, nicknames and their fellow contestants.

Francois, Jean-Marc called you the Mambo King, and Yuliya, Mary Murphy said your contemporary piece was your best to date. Between the good reviews and your solos, did you feel confident you were safe?
Francois: Yeah, actually I was shocked about what happened. I didn't know I was going home last night. I didn't see that coming.
Yuliya: I don't think anyone is ever safe. It's not just about being professional because so many people decide. It's hard to say. Every Tuesday I was kind of freaking out. My philosophy is to live every single moment.

Why was this contemporary routine so emotional for you, Yuliya? What was racing through your head?
Yuliya: Sabrina probably pushed me during rehearsal because she once told me I should imagine dancing for the last time in my life and how I would do this. I'm kind of living this situation for someone else, someone who is important to me, and is on the way and still dancing. It was just a painful topic for me.

You were consistently dubbed the "swagmaster" and "Fran-swag." Francois, what exactly is "swag" anyway?
Francois: They all gave me these crazy names like "Fran-sexy," "Fran-contemporary" and "Fran-tastic." I just enjoyed it. Swag is a hip-hop expression meaning you can represent that style. I guess I have swag.

Speaking of, as ballroom dancers, were you both surprised how well you rocked hip-hop?
Yeah, it was really cool. I do love hip-hop. I trained a lot in that style and I think I am going to train a lot more now.
Yuliya: I don't think I rocked it at all! I was trying to perform it as much as I could. I'm not a hip-hop dancer. My style is really elegant, so it was very different for me. Fake it until we make it, right? I tried to do as much as I could.

Yuliya, Gustavo Vargas choreographed you two weeks in a row for samba and mambo. Can you talk about working with him?
Yuliya: It was fun because he has a great understanding. He's a street dance choreographer, so he's more about dancing through feeling and not through knowledge. It's a different point of view because all my life, I have learned to dance, practice and know how to control my body. Here, I had to forget all those things and just do what I feel.

Jean-Marc seemed to have a soft spot for you, Francois. Did he say anything to you after you were eliminated?
Francois: Yeah, he said he was going to help me in the ballroom world. I'm just happy he supports me that way. I'm really happy now and just can't wait to get back to work. This has given me wings and energy to pursue my dream as a dancer.

You've been paired with Matt twice, Yuliya, and he's the only one who has never landed in the bottom three. Does he have what it takes to win this whole contest?
Yuliya: Everyone does. I can't generally say one person didn't work hard enough. Everyone is an incredible dancer, so special in their own way, and very strong. Matt was a great partner and I helped him in ballroom, and he helped me in contemporary. It was really fun.

Francois, the bottom three guys were especially strong this time but overall, who was your biggest competition?
Francois: That's a good question. I didn't really think about it and just worried about my performance. I think Shane is very versatile also, so this was a very good competition for me.

'So You Think You Can Dance Canada' airs Mondays and Tuesdays on CTV.

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