Anybody else still breathless from last night's fabulous "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 15 finale? In addition to finding out who earned the title of America's Favorite Dancer (and the December cover of Dance Spirit!) we were treated to no fewer than 18 performances, including the judges' favorites from the season, the dancers' own throwback picks, and even a brand-new number for the Top 10. But one routine in particular from the jam-packed show had us literally jumping out of our seats.
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.
Genessy. Hannahlei. Jensen. Slavik.
In a week, one of those dancers will be crowned "America's Favorite Dancer" (and, in addition to a cool $250,000 prize and a spot in the upcoming live musical Rent, will also earn Dance Spirit's December cover). But first, let's recap what went down on the final jam-packed night of competition.
After just three live shows and just as many brisk eliminations, we have our Season 15 Top 4! And we'll get to that. But first, here's what went down during the two hours that the Top 6—Hannahlei, Genessy, Jensen, Jay Jay, Darius, and Slavik—performed together last night.
We've officially reached the point in this competition where the finalists are just doing so. much. dancing. Last night, each contestant performed two duets, a solo, and a group routine. Even just typing that sentence made us tired. After all that choreography, the Top 8 became the Top 6. Here's what happened (minus recaps of the solos, because they were all delightful):
"Mister Travis Wall," as Cat Deeley would say, has had one heck of an epic "So You Think You Can Dance" journey. Since first appearing on the show as a contestant during Season 2 (back when he had frosted tips!), he's become one of the series' most respected choreographers and mentors. In fact, his work for "SYTYCD" has earned him Emmy nominations every year since 2011. EVERY. YEAR.
To celebrate his latest Emmy noms—for "SYT" Season 14's "Change is Everything" and "Strange Fruit"—The Wrap magazine talked to T.Wall about what the show has meant to his life. And as always, Travis was full of dancy wisdom.
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And then there were eight. Just as we were starting to get attached to the Top 10, those pesky "So You Think You Can Dance" rules came into play and forced us (er, the judges) to slash two of the finalists from the competition. How rude! (But, Nigel announced ever-so-proudly, the entire Top 10 will be going on tour together once the season wraps.) Before the eliminations, each couple performed twice—and never in any dancer's own style. "So anything could happen," explained Cat Deeley, clad in a splashy, sequined floral minidress and a massive hair bow. And oh boy, a LOT of things did.
Last night marked—finally!—the first live show of Season 15. We made it! And so did the Top 10. Now, it's up to the viewers (that's you!) to determine which contestants end up in the Top 4 and, eventually, which one will snag the sweet prizes up for grabs: $1 million, the cover of Dance Spirit (that's us!), and a role in FOX's live production of RENT, which will air January 27. Also awesome: tWitch is officially on the judging panel for the long haul, alongside Nigel, Mary, and Vanessa. Dreams do come true!
So how'd the two-hour event play out? Each contestant couple performed twice: once in the girl's style and once in the guy's. Here's what went down.
Yesterday's episode was the all-important final step before the live TV episodes begin. Last Monday night, Vanessa, Mary, and Nigel cut half of the remaining ladies after seeing them perform a duet outside their style with a male All-Star. And last night, it was (finally!) the men's turn. Here's what went down.
At the start of last night's episode, we had a Top 20—the number we thought was the goal heading into the live shows. But as we found out last week, this season, the judges actually want a Top 10. So five girls and five guys still had to go.
And last night, we started with the girls. Each of the Top 10 ladies was paired with an All Star from a past season (Lex is back! YAY!) for a duet outside their preferred style. How'd they all fare? Let's break it down.
Happy Nationals season, everybody! It's that time of year when us lucky editors get to watch so, SO many gorgeous solos by dancers competing for big titles. But even among the insanely gifted artists at the top of the comp circuit, Tate McRae stands out. Just ask anyone who's seen the solo that helped her win Teen Best Dancer at The Dance Awards in Vegas last week.
Choreographed by Travis Wall (naturally), "Woman" is virtuosic both technically and artistically. Are the 180-degree extensions and fluid lyricism that captivated "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" audiences two years ago still there? Of course they are. But Tate also approaches the solo with a commitment and maturity that's rare in industry veterans, let alone 14-year-old students.
After four speedy rounds of solo auditions, we've arrived at The Academy!
If you've been living in "So You Think You Can Dance" Land for a long time (shout-out to everyone who was alive and watching back when Nick Lazzarini won Season 1 in 2005), The Academy is the new Vegas Week, when the narrowed-down group of dancers who impressed the judges in NYC and L.A. get thrown to the wolves. (This year, as we found out in last night's ep, Academy sessions happened at the Dolby Theater in L.A.) They're put through grueling choreography rounds, where they're tasked with picking up choreo super fast, then performing it, then hoping not to get cut, and then moving onto the next style—learn, rehearse, repeat.
This week, the choreographers on deck were husband-and-wife dream team Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo and ballroom wizard Jean-Marc Généreux. But first, we kicked things off with a prelim in which the 70 Academy dancers did solos for Nigel, Mary, and Vanessa. Those performances determined whether or not they'd move on to the choreography rounds. And the judges weren't playing—Nigel said he was ready to "break a few hearts."
So, how'd the first Academy episode play out?
It's crazy that "So You Think You Can Dance" is in its 15th season! Time flies when you're revolutionizing dance on TV, right? The show's definitely come a long way since its premiere back in 2005, and tbh, there hasn't been a single season we haven't loved. But which season did we love most? Here's our (sure-to-be-controversial) ranking of 14 seasons of "SYT" goodness.
"So You Think You Can Dance" alum Gaby Diaz has been a familiar face in the commercial dance world ever since she won Season 12 of the hit reality show. Not only did she return to "SYT" as an All Star, but she also performed alongside dance legend J. Lo and toured with Shaping Sound. Now, Diaz is adding a new and exciting plot twist to her career: She's transitioning into concert dance.
We caught up with the dance darling to get details on her new gig with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and to find out why she decided to make the leap.