Some people say summer is officially over after Labor Day. Others say the end of summer is the day everyone goes back to school. Officially, summer is over after September 21st. But in our world and yours, the end of summer is marked only by one thing: the "So You Think You Can Dance" finale.
Last night, to wrap up Season 15 and, along with it, another summer, Nigel, Mary, Vanessa, and tWitch crowned one lucky dancer as the season's winner. But before getting to that, there was the usual dance down memory lane.
It all started with a Macy's-sponsored opening number. The energy was high, there was that fun element with the audience members throwing a zillion white balloons onto the stage, and the contestants seemed like they'd all finally taken some seriously deep breaths after weeks of high-pressure competition. (But the giant red Macy's star onstage, and the Macy's T-shirts on every single audience member, might have been...a bit much.)
From there, the night launched into a whole lotta #TBT-worthy memories and montages. Each judge picked his or her favorite routines for a reprise: Vanessa went with Jensen and Jay Jay's Tahitian number and Hannahlei and Jensen's heels performance, Mary opted for Cole and Hannahlei's cha-cha and Travis Wall's contemporary routine for Magda and Darius, tWitch was all about Mandy Moore's jazz piece for Magda and Darius and Slavik and Genessy's "House Work" hip hop, and Nigel chose Jay Jay and Lauren Froderman's epically energetic jazz routine and Travis Wall's "What Makes a Man" piece for Darius and Taylor Sieve.
Each Top 4 contestant also got to pick a past favorite for an encore performance. Genessy chose her contemporary routine with past winner Lex Ishimoto, Slavik went with his Luther Brown hip-hop with Genessy from week one, Jensen picked the "Cookin'" hip-hop routine with Jay Jay, and Hannahlei chose her Robert Roldan-choreographed contemporary duet with Marko.
Did anyone else SCREAM when tWitch busted out from center stage to join the Top 4 guys in that oh-so-memorable "Juice" routine?! The piece was amazing to begin with, but we can all agree that tWitch makes everything just a little bit better. AND THEN: Nigel popped up, just in time for a slick strut across the stage. This was SO GOOD.
Afterward, we found out that Slavik took fourth place. Meaning that or the first time ever, "SYTYCD" had an all-female Top 3!
Finally, after many audition rounds, numerous Academy intensives, several weeks of live shows, and millions of votes, the tallies were in. Genessy held it down in third, and Jensen was named runner-up, which means America's Favorite Dancer is officially Hannahlei!
Congratulations to all of this season's stunning dancers. And an extra special congrats to Hannahlei, who'll be Dance Spirit's December cover star!