'So You Think You Can Dance' exit interview: Kathryn McCormick on crying, dancing and (rumored) romancing

When the So You Think You Can Dance competition began, we only knew Kathryn McCormick as the girl with the inappropriately high crying voice. But as the season progressed, we began to cry the contemporary dancer’s name as we watched her unleash her beautiful dance skills. Just hours after landing third place in the competition, Kathryn called us up to talk about those notorious tears, her favorite dance, and her rumored romance with Legacy.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We all thought you were going to at least land second place last night. Third place isn’t shabby, but are you surprised at the outcome last night?
I wasn’t surprised at all. I think that Russell deserves to win. He’s just an amazing person, and such a hard worker. I think that he deserves everything he’s gotten. It’s an honor to be third-place beside those two guys. And to be the top girl is an honor and a blessing in itself. So I’m very happy.

KATHRYN MCCORMICK: As we all know, Russell was injured last night. Were you sad that you weren’t able to reprise your hip-hop performance with him because of his injury?
A little bit just because I love that dance and it’s so much fun to do. But I understand. It was fine that we didn’t get to do it.

Going into the top 20, we hadn’t seen very much of you at all. Were you worried that you would suffer in the competition because we only knew you as the crying girl?
At first, absolutely, I was. I was like, “Man, I look like such a crybaby and I can’t handle anything. All these people are going to think that of me and they don’t know me. “But then I realized that they didn’t know me. So I came in with a clean slate and nobody had really seen my dancing and there were no expectations and I think everybody thought, “Oh, she’ll be gone really quickly.” In my mindset, I was like, “OK, people only know me for my crying. Some people can relate to this, and some people will be turned off by it.  So, I’m just going to go into it and work as hard as I can and show them why I’m here, just dance my butt off and hopefully they’ll see that side of me and respect me.” So it was kind of good, I think.

Are you that emotional often or did you surprise yourself with your reaction?
They kind of cut all the quotes to make it look a lot more dramatic than it was. I didn’t cry all the time. I really didn’t. Because my voice goes high, it makes it look like I’m crying constantly. It’s reality TV. They have to have drama. They have to have things like that on there. I understand that, but I’m not going to lie. At the beginning I was thinking, “Man, I don’t want people to think I’m just a baby.” But if you really listen to what I was saying, my mind was just blown because it’s such a blessing to have made it where I did. I couldn’t help but cry, because I was just in awe, and I was just amazed.

You landed Legacy as a partner, someone totally different from you. How did that feel?
[We’re] completely different, but we’re kind of like the same person. I’m not going to lie, when I first heard he was my partner, I was nervous. I was, like, “OK, he’s a b-boy, he doesn’t dance, he doesn’t do choreography. I’m a technician and I’m a perfectionist.” I’m like, “OK, how is this going to work?” And it turns out to be that I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my partner in the beginning. He’s such a wise person and I felt like we connected on such a great level, and the chemistry that we had because we’re so similar and we’re like best friends. He taught me so much about myself and so much about being a performer instead of a technician and to rely on my feeling of the music and emotion as opposed to relying on thinking so hard about every step and trying to be perfect. He really helped me to get out of that mindset and be a better performer and just enjoy the experience more. It was a blessing for him to be in my life for those five weeks. I think things would have been a lot different if he hadn’t been.

Do you have a favorite dance of the season?
Everyone asks me that. Honestly, I loved everything that I did. Favorite hip-hop: Definitely the one that I did with Russell last night and the night before. Contemporary: I loved the one me and Jakob just performed. It was so special and just natural. But I also liked “2 Steps Away” with Legacy. And then for ballroom, I would say the cha-cha. Definitely, without question. It was amazing, it felt so good. Ryan is an amazing partner.

Is there anything you wish you would have done differently, besides maybe the crying?
Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything because I don’t think my journey would have been the same if I were to have done it differently. I think that everything was perfect, how it should be. Any struggles that I had, I don’t think they’re a bad thing, because I wouldn’t have learned anything if I didn’t have them.

There were rumors that you and Legacy had a romantic connection…True or false?
No. That is not true. I think that people think that because we have such an amazing chemistry and connection when we’re on stage, but that only comes from us really taking the time to really get to know each other. We’ve become best friends. When we’re on stage, it feels like no one else exists, but it’s not in a romantic way. Depending on the dance, it can seem that way, but it just comes from a place of friendship and not anything more than that.

What’s next for you?
That’s a good question. I’m about to go home for Christmas and I just need to process things and figure out what my goals are and what exactly I want to do. I know, for sure, that I want to keep performing and auditioning and training. Just become better at more things. I’m not exactly sure what’s in sure, but I’m ready to just be open to any opportunity. So we’ll see.

Photo Credit: Joe Viles/Fox

Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • wd

    Love this girl, hope to see her at the Oscars (as Adam promised).

  • viki

    thanks so much for doing this interview. Great to hear the backstory to one of my favorites. Kathrine is an awesome dancer and amazingly beautiful. I like how she began to live the dance more and more. Loved the final hiphop routine.

  • M

    It’s a tremendous accomplishment that she came so far from being anonymous in the top 20 episode to then being the girl who cried to eventual become the top female this season. She also sounds like a great young lady and gives a good interview too. Best of luck to her.

  • Annie O

    Oh, well. I’m almost sorry to hear there’s nothing between her and Legacy. They make a great pair. But they say the best romances start as friendship. ;-)

    • meg

      true :)

  • Adam

    Great interview, it was nice to hear her talk about the pre top 20 edit and the way her and Legacy related.
    I love Kathryn and hope to see her in the future.

  • DancerinDC

    Looooove Kathryn! An amazing dancer and a self-assured young woman. What a pleasure she’s been to watch all season.

  • Jenn

    I know that Kathryn and Legacy are a good 9-year age difference, but they were by far the most connected couple this year. I believe them when they say there’s nothing there, but I kinda wish there was. It really didn’t help that when Legacy got the boot and told the group he loved them, that it immediately went to Kathryn nodding her head, making it look like he was talking to only her. Or when Kathryn got third place, it showed Legacy, grinning like a fool and standing in front at the side of the stage. Those two are cuties. Please just go out on a date.

    • Lyla

      LOL. I agree.

    • keating

      Totally agree! My favorite couple ever!

    • Mandy

      I agree!! =D Also, remember when Legacy did his amazing solo a while back and Cat said something about hearing Kathryn scream for him backstage??? SO CUUTE!! =D

    • Lily

      I saw more of a romantic connection between her and Jakob! They would be so adorable together!

  • meg

    I’ve notice Kathryn since her partner with Legacy, it was the best couple of this season. She is just amazing to watch and I’m so happy she came number 1 for the ladies. you little vixen, good luck!!

  • Joyce

    Thank you for this interview. Kathryn was my favorite dancer from this season. I admired her skill, her performances, her beauty, her grace as a contestant, her consistency in receiving judges comments (always thankful and open), but most of all, I admired her music choices as a soloist. She was always a blessing.

  • johnfrancis

    That was a really good interview. I loved how honest and humble her answers were.

    I’m going to miss seeing her dance.

  • Mandy

    I felt so bad for her when she said “my voice is going to get high..but it happens”…It must’ve been hurtful to know people think of you that way and it’s not really something so easy to change. I, for one, loved Kathryn!! Everything about her was so beautiful–from her dancing to her personality to even her hobbies! I hope to see her more and more in the future. Even though the judges didn’t give the best reviews of Kathryn and Legacy’s Viennese Waltz, I thought it matched her perfectly. She just has this angelic quality and seemed the perfect “guardian angel” for Legacy..and even her later partners. She really worked well with everyone! =) She made the season for me, personally. ^^

  • Kat

    Kathryn was the best! She was great from the very first hip-hop she did with Legacy–that is when she caught our family’s attention. And stunningly beautiful too! I hope we see her in the future! I would pay good money to see her perform.

  • Shem

    My favorite dancer – Kathryn! She is a born dancer, naturally amazing! I was just enthralled by her performances. I love her passion for charity work also. Keep going, girl!

  • Shirley

    I wasn’t that big a fan of the show – until one late night working got me to catch the song Two Steps Away and finding myself looking up, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

    And before I knew it, a single tear was rolling down my cheek. LOL Pretty dramatic, I know but I’m glad it was her fave too. She is a beautiful dancer, I wish she could’ve been the winner.

  • mckenna

    kathryen is a beatiful dancer and she is a beautiful girl she will always be my roll modle :) love you

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