I love cuddling up on the couch to watch “So You Think You Can Dance” on TV, but seeing it live is another story. Yesterday, DS editor in chief Alison Feller and I traveled to L.A. for the taping of the finale. The bright lights, crazy-enthused audience members, star-sighting and, especially, watching Cat Deeley dance along to each routine on the sidelines really changed the experience—and made us love the Top 4 dancers even more! At the end of the night, we were beyond thrilled to see ballet-trained dancers Eliana and Chehon named America’s Favorite Dancers. Get excited for more insider secrets to come in our December issue (with Eliana and Chehon on the cover!), but for now, as always, here are our top five moments.
5. The opening number! Nothing beats seeing the Top 20 dancers together again, and watching them being blown across the stage was out of this world. (You should’ve seen the size of that fan.) We’ve come to expect a lot from big group finale numbers, and Chris Scott and Sonya Tayeh’s collaboration did not disappoint. The costumes were beautiful, the concept was ethereal and the dancers were spot on.
4. On the final episode, Cat delivered her best look yet! Super-sleek hair and a sparkly dress (with sparkly-er shoes to match) made the perfect look for our favorite host.
3. We’re not sure why Cyrus got a special customized number, but we were willing to go with it. And thank goodness, because that was really awesome. Chris Scott’s poker routine (which he was in!) with Comfort and tWitch was fun to watch, showed off these dancers’ unique skills and was so complex that even the cameras were involved in the choreography.
2.Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba! I can’t even handle how amazing the final routine of the night was. Nappytabs came back to the show in style with this Lion King-inspired number for the Top 10 plus the All-Stars, and their routine definitely makes my top five “SYTYCD” moments of all-time. It’s Disney remixed—what’s not to love? The only sad part about seeing this number live was that I couldn’t hit rewind and watch it again twelve times.
1. Of course, our favorite moment was seeing two winners crowned! America’s Favorite Dancers, Eliana and Chehon, both seemed genuinely shocked and honored by their new titles. But even better than their reactions were the reactions of their fellow finalists. Cyrus and Chehon’s hug was precious, and when the Top 20 and All Stars rushed the stage, you could taste the love in that room.
The So You Think You Can Whaaat?!? Moment:
Oh Mary Murphy, I love you, but you would not be allowed on my Hot Tamale Train with all those flaming red accessories. Her bracelet, her earrings and her huge shoulder flower—plus what you didn’t see on TV, her shoes!—were sparkly, sequined red. Now, I can appreciate some tasteful sparkle (see moment number 4 above), but this was just too much.
We can’t believe another season of “SYTYCD” has flown by! We’re spending the day today taking gorgeous pictures of Chehon and Eliana, and you can check them out and read their stories in the December issue of Dance Spirit! Until then, tell us what you thought of the show. Were you surprised by the winners? Did you have different favorite moments? And were you just devastated that Jesse Tyler Ferguson wasn’t a judge? Let me know!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to
get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.