'So You Think You Can Dance’ Star Cristina Santana on Her Elimination

Last week, Cristina Santana, 24, became the second contestant to be eliminated from the seventh season of FOX’s smash hit, So You Think You Can Dance. The Mexican-born salsa dancer from San Diego, California, spoke to Latina.com about her experience on the show, why she thinks she was eliminated too soon, and why she’d love to be a backup dancer for Jennifer Lopez.

Tell us about your experience on So You Think You Can Dance.
This experience changed my life completely.

Once you made it to the top 11, did you think you had a good chance of winning the competition?
Everybody that makes it to the top 11 is a great dancer, and everybody has a chance to win. But it depends on America’s votes so…

Why do you think you were eliminated so early in the competition?
I don’t know. I thought I was doing well.  And all of the judges’ comments and the comments from people were good. But it has to do with votes and America wasn’t voting for me. They like the guys. [Laughs.] There are six of them and they’re so good.

Do you feel like you got eliminated too early?
Yes. I think that I could’ve stayed for two more weeks at least. I was into the competition—not because I wanted to win first place—but because I wanted the experience and the training that we were getting every week.

Is there a Latina singer/dancer who you would love to dance for one day?
I like Jennifer Lopez. She started as a dancer and she’s Latina. I identify with her a lot.

What’s next for you?
I just want to keep on working and keep on dancing and hopefully more opportunities will come from being on So You Think You Can Dance.