Season 16's fabulous final four (Adam Rose/Fox)

"SYTYCD" Season 16 Recap: America's Favorite Dancer Is...

In "So You Think You Can Dance" Land, there are really two finales.

First, there's the competition finale. The second-to-last episode—the one that matters. The one where the Top 4 dancers must step it up to an unbelievably high, seemingly unsustainable level, dancing for their lives for a full two hours. It's an exciting episode, that almost-finale. But it's stressful.

That's why the finale finale—the one where we find out the results—is so much fun. When the last finale rolls around, everyone can relax. The results—a tally of the combined votes from the past two weeks—are in. This finale, the real finale, means it's time to take a deep breath and just dance.

It's not that the final episode doesn't matter. It matters! But this one is just for fun. This one is the celebration of surviving the season—for the Top 4, the judges, and, hey, the audience in the studio and at home.

And of course, this show's 16th finale didn't disappoint. Cat Deeley in that sleek, sexy black ensemble definitely didn't disappoint. All the tearful montages didn't disappoint. And the revisiting of the best performances of the season—well, that part never disappoints!

After a brilliant, high-energy, disco-esque opening number for the Top 10 (courtesy Mandy Moore) and nearly two hours' worth of the most memorable routines of the season (chosen by the judges and the Top 4), it was time to reveal the results:

Biggest, sparkliest, happiest CONGRATULATIONS to Bailey! He's your "SYTYCD" Season 16 winner, nabbing the title of America's Favorite Dancer, taking home $250,000, and getting his very own cover of Dance Spirit. (Mariah was runner-up, Gino was second runner-up, and Sophie was third.)

That's a wrap on sweet Season 16. Thanks for hanging out with us all season long.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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