Throughout Season 2 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the writers have danced around when and how we’d see the return of Josh Chan’s other ex-girlfriend, Valencia, played by Gabrielle Ruiz. Fans had their first sighting of the limber fitness guru, who is equally good at yoga and mean putdowns, at the tail end of the fourth episode, chowing down on a carb-heavy doughnut. And on tonight’s episode, “Why is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?” Valencia dances her way back into the show’s ensemble with an upgrade from recurring player to regular cast member.
Let’s emphasize the word “dances,” because Valencia’s first big Season 2 musical sequence — which Yahoo TV is premiering exclusively — is a hilarious dream ballet that’s equally inspired by Oklahoma! and Jurassic Park. While visiting a desert music festival together, Rebecca and Valencia accidentally imbibe a drug cocktail that results in a hallucination involving tutus, tights, and a triceratops. “I’ve had so much fun keeping the secret of Valencia’s return,” Ruiz tells us, who managed to squeeze in a wedding and a honeymoon during her Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hiatus. “They wanted fans to wait for Valencia’s return, because she’s now an ex-girlfriend. And crazy or not, that’s always a nuanced situation.”
It’s no accident that Ruiz was tapped to headline Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s first foray into ballet. Before catching the musical theater bug, she majored in dance performance at Oklahoma City University, which also boasts Tony winners Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara as alums. “Ballet was my first passion, so it was a treat that they asked me to perform this number,” Ruiz says. “Of course, I’m older now, so going back to ballet class was a little harder. I had to start training again right away to get back on that horse. I even took ballet shoes on my honeymoon!”
As you can see from the above clip, all that hard work paid off. Ruiz says that she and Vincent Rodriguez III, who plays her onscreen ex-boyfriend, filmed the sequence over the course of one grueling, but creatively fulfilling, six-hour day. And it’s important to note that no dance doubles were used in the making of this delightfully demented dream ballet. “We performed the entire thing — and breathing heavily in a dinosaur mask can get old quickly! But Vincent and I have the same mindset as dancers: You can’t succeed alone.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on the CW.