Oh, Noelle Marsh, we hardly knew ye. On last night’s So You Think You Can Dance results show, the contemporary dancer — who suffered from severe lack of screen time at the outset of the season — was sent packing after hip-hop and smooth waltz routines failed to energize voters. Shortly after her ouster, Marsh called up EW to chat about partner Russell, being under-the-radar, and how she begged to stay on the show. (Also check out EW’s interview with this week’s other eliminated contestant, Nathan Trasoras.)
EW: Did you think you were going home this week? Any suspicions?
NOELLE MARSH: I just always told myself to never expect the unexpected. You know, it happened for a reason, and I try not to think about it too much or try to understand why it happened. I just know that it did for a reason.
Were you worried leading up to the results last night?
I wasn’t really sure how I felt at that time, because I thought everyone was so brilliant. Everyone is such a talented dancer that there was no telling who was going to stay. I think we all didn’t know. None of us had a clue. To see anyone get sent home was going to be weird.
You were a little under-the-radar when the season began. Were you disappointed that you didn’t get much screen time at first?
I wasn’t disappointed, but I think that definitely is what set me down so low throughout the whole competition. Everyone else had stories. America got to know them better. For me begin an underdog, and not being able to perform the first week, I think really set me back.
Yeah, that was a real bummer, not being able to dance the first week because of an injury.
That was definitely the hardest thing I had to do the whole competition is sit out and not perform.
That injury looked pretty bad when we first saw it. Did it seem dire to you?
Yeah, they actually had told me that I was probably not going to come back, because the doctor was not going to give me a note to dance. I sprained my ACL, and the muscles around my meniscus, and pulled my hamstring. He said that my injury was too bad and he didn’t think I was going to be able to perform for a few weeks. But I begged and begged and did everything I could to let the doctor write me a note. They put me through a series of tests and they told me if I didn’t complain, they would write me a note and I could perform.
Did you feel pain when you were dancing?
I did. It hurts very often, but it’s easy to push through it whenever you know you’re doing something so special and important. It was a little more painful than maybe I showed, but they had a lot of people that were helping me out. I was in really good hands.
Because you didn’t get much screen time, were you glad that you got paired with a partner who did, Russell?
I was extremely glad to be paired with Russell. But I think also, I was partnered with the star. As someone who wasn’t as well known, I think that might have hurt me. But I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way. I absolutely loved working with Russell.
Did you two have to overcome any obstacles with the differences between your dancing styles?
We actually clicked really well right away. It was a really good balance. We really balance each other out, because what I was good at, he wasn’t necessarily as familiar with, and what I wasn’t as good at, he was more familiar with. So it always really worked out. We never bumped heads.
How did you help each other?
For me, he was very hard-hitting and energetic, so hip-hop and African jazz—those were all in his element. And for me, contemporary and stuff like the slow ballroom, that’s all more my style, so I was able to help him with his lines and his technique and that sort of thing.
And he got you funky.
Yes, of course.
What was your favorite dance to perform?
I think my favorite dance was probably either Afro-jazz or contemporary. Contemporary because Tyce had given us a piece [“A Case of You”] that meant so much to him, and it was my style. And it was the first time I had anything my style or even close to my style on the show. And so, for me, that was a great moment, to just show who I really am as a dancer. And then, with the African jazz, that was the first time we ever had that on the show, so Russell and I got to debut that. And that was awesome. We had the most fun ever. It was the first time Sean Cheesman was on the show, so we just had a blast.
Was Sean your favorite choreographer?
Yes. Sean Cheesman was definitely my favorite to work with.
We saw that you were close pals with Mollee. I’m guessing you two were pals ‘til the end?
Of course. We have been best friends throughout it all. It was sad to leave her. That was the hardest part about leaving the competition. It wasn’t leaving because of the competition, it was leaving because of the people. So it was really hard to see them all go.
Who else did you bond with? Anyone else you’re going to miss?
Well, I really did bond with everyone. Especially also, me and Ellenore got really close. We were roommates. And Kathryn. Me and Kathryn were roommates as well. All of us were really close. And it was hard to let anybody go.
Luckily, you’re all going to tour together.
That’s what keeps me going, and keeps me from being so upset. I know I’m going to see them in just a few weeks, and we’ll all be back together.
What dance do you hope to perform during the tour?
I really hope I get to do African jazz on the tour.
What do you plan to do after the tour?
I don’t have a plan. But all I know is that I never want to stop. I never want to stop dancing. And I never want to stop going on the path that I’m headed on now. Now that the competition is over, I have that much more drive and push to succeed as a dancer. And I can’t wait to see where life takes me next.
Who do you hope wins the whole thing this year?
I can’t pick just one person. Everyone is so deserving. Everyone is such a hard worker, and everyone in the cast is just such an amazing person.
Photo Credit: Joe Viles/Fox