Kupono and Randi's SYTYCD exit interviews
Randi and Kupono get booted off So You Think You Can Dance and step up to the microphone for their SYTYCD exit interview.
SheKnows: You and Evan were magic together, what do you think was the secret to your success?
Randi Evans: It's almost like the "It Factor" that I didn't know – I don't really know what it was with Evan. We just hit if off right at the beginning. We only have four and a half hours, just a couple days to get a number together, get the chemistry together, so with Evan I'm not sure what it was – it just happened. I feel like I was used to working with Evan and then when we had to switch partners, I just felt like we didn't have enough time. But, it is what it is; we did our best and Kupono's a great guy. We had a lot of fun together and we really did put ourselves out there and do everything that we could. Unfortunately, it just wasn't the best number of the night.
SheKnows: Of all the numbers from the show, which ones with Evan do you hope to do on the fall tour?
Randi Evans: Oh, I would love to do the number that we did the first week – our jazz number; I absolutely loved. I also loved our Mia Michaels dance, butt dance as it's, I guess, called. I would really like the opportunity to do that over.
SheKnows: What was the memory that you will always take away from So You Think You Can Dance?
Randi Evans: I think probably – one of was probably when they announced that I had made the show. I've been trying to make the show for three years now so when they finally told me that I did, it was – it's like unforgettable. But I also think it's hard to pick out just one moment; it's really a collaboration of many moments put together that has made this experience just unforgettable.
SheKnows: When you found out you were in the bottom three, what raced through your mind?
Randi Evans: When they told me I had to do my solo, it wasn't that big of a surprise because I kind of had a feeling that I would be just because the numbers the previous night had been so great. But, I don't know, the other girls that I was competing against, look at them, they're so amazing. So really, someone had to go and I really felt like I had a really good run. So it wasn't really sad; it was more just content and I gave it all I had and had a good run. Now we're looking forward to tour.
SheKnows: What ended up being your final performance as a pairs dancer, you wore a wig and caught some flack from the judges. Just for yourself as a dancer, was it difficult to dance with that thing on (laughs)?
Randi Evans: It was, it was, because it wasn't just the wig, it was like the whole persona that you needed to embody with the whole dance. I was supposed to be like this gypsy and so, yes, it was definitely hard. It wasn't my choice to wear the wig, they wanted me to wear it, so when I kind of got some crap for it, I'm like "It wasn't me that chose it." But it is what it is so I basically did the best with what I was given.
SheKnows: Was that even the most challenging costume for you?
Randi Evans: I feel like the Bollywood costumes because since they're so elaborate that I'm not used to dancing with that much on – with the head piece and the scarves and the long heavy dress, so that was a bit restrictive but you deal with it and, yes.
SheKnows: How was your husband during this entire competition?
Randi Evans: My husband couldn't be more on the opposite spectrum of a dancer, he can't even keep a beat, but he thinks it's so neat that I'm finally – this has been a dream of mine so he really is so supportive that I'm actually living a dream right now.
SheKnows: What did people not get to discover about you during SYTYCD?
Randi Evans: Oh, I am a huge outdoor junkie because I live really close to the mountains and the lake, and I love to do anything outdoors – going boating with my family and camping, going four-wheeling. Me and my husband have four-wheelers and we go to the sand dunes all the time, which is one of our favorite things to do. Yes, I'm definitely more of like a rough, go-camping kind of girl, not so much with the makeup every day.
SheKnows: Lastly, what words of advice would you give up-and-coming dancers?
Randi Evans: Perseverance pays off more than you know. Just to never give up and if you want it bad enough, that you will get it, you will – it's inevitable no matter if it takes one year or ten years. Yes, just never give up; if you want it, fight for it.
Randi exits and Kupono enters ready to share his So You Think You Can Dance experience.
SheKnows: Hi Kupono!
Kupono Aweau: Hi. Aloha.
SheKnows: You began studying dance relatively late, at 15, what first drew you?
Kupono Aweau: Well the crazy thing is that I had just gone to a new school and we had a fifth grade play. And in the fifth grade play, you had to pretty much, my classroom, we had the crappiest scene in the whole play and this one girl, this other classroom that had all the cool kids in the school, the whole classroom was full of cool kids, they had like the coolest scene in the whole play. And on top of that, there's this girl that did a solo, like a dance solo, and that was the first time I've ever seen something like that. I don't know, there's something so cool about her and I just wanted to just be that. So she's kind of the person that inspired me to be that. She became one of my best friends later on. And then, just because I lived in Hawaii, we don't have access, the dance industry is not that big and predominant so there's only a couple of studios. So I didn't have access to studios until I was older and actually able to physically go myself and make it happen. Once I did, though, it kind of just cannon-balled from there and just kind of got better and better, and better. I don't know, it really helped me just perfect my technique, just perfect it as much as possible. You can only do so much by yourself with the help of others...
SheKnows: The Crash Test Dummies routine was so stellar. What was it like for your to work with choreographer Wade Robson?
Kupono Aweau: With Wade, when I found out I got him, I was just ecstatic. When you're working with Wade, he's just a very positive person and I'm all about energies and all that kind of stuff. He's just, I don't know, he really took into consideration Ashley and myself. It was funny because before we had gone out, he told us that he doesn't think there is any other two people in the entire top 20 that could have pulled that routine off any better than we had. And I mean, I honestly feel the same way because it's almost like we found ourselves in the characters that he gave us. It was heaven sent. I don't know – it's really weird but I feel very comfortable doing the stuff that he does. As weird as his movement is, I actually, it's like I feel like I do it best or better than some other techniques, which is crazy to me but I enjoyed it. So he's an amazing, amazing visionary and genius.
SheKnows: The addiction piece that Mia Michaels crafted truly touched you, looking back on it – was that performance too personal?
Kupono Aweau: The crazy thing is that, I was telling Mia about it, I feel like she brought stuff out that I didn't know was there. My family is so much better at everything – they're much healthier and all that. And I've dealt with everything, but clearly, there is something in there that I just didn't know was still there with me, and it was almost like therapy. So it's like I needed Mia Michaels in my life, I needed her, I needed that piece, I needed Kayla, that whole moment I needed it. It was therapy – that whole piece was therapy for me and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
SheKnows: Was your being touched by addiction from a close family member?
Kupono Aweau: Yes, actually my father and my sister were ice addicts, were crystal meth addicts, and so when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, it was just a really unhealthy, just a really bad time, a really rough time for my family. Thank God, we got through it; thank God, they fought for it. They're so much better and healthier. My friend, one of my best friends also was addicted to crystal meth as well, but she's much better, and now they're just living healthier lives and my family is that much stronger because of it. I honestly believe that. As horrible as it was of an experience, it brought us to where we are today so I'm completely grateful for that. So that number was just therapy; it was complete therapy for me.
SheKnows: Is it any easier to be voted off by America than by the judges?
Kupono Aweau: It makes it easier, I guess, because it's kind of out of your hands; you only can do so much and then that's all you can do. There's not any more like when we had to dance that one last time, it's not like I'm dancing for my life; it's seriously just like I'm dancing just to dance and just to live on that stage. It's kind of nice that after they leave it up to America, I enjoy it – I definitely don't mind it because now it's not a matter of "Am I good enough?" It almost is like a popularity contest so I was good enough to make top 10, or make top 20, and then I made top 10 so I'm totally happy with it. If people don't like me or they do like me even more, I'm cool with it either way, so it's good, I like it.