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:
The one before the last one! Last night on "So You Think You Can Dance," the Top 4—Gino, Mariah, Bailey, and Sophie—took to the stage for the final night of competition. They danced with each other in every possible combination, with an All-Star, and in a solo. And, yay, no one was sent home at the end!
Of course, next week, four become one. But until then, here's what you need to know:
Summer is synonymous with "So You Think You Can Dance." For the past 15 seasons (because there was that rogue sixth season that aired in the fall, remember?), the onset of summer has signaled the start of the audition rounds. And Labor Day weekend has meant it's time to wind down.
But while we've reached that end-of-summer time, this year, it seems like the season should just be getting started. The live shows only began a few weeks ago! The chemistry is finally starting to heat up! Dominic has only cried, like, 12 times! Surely we can't already be down to the Top 4, can we?
We can. Last night, the Top 6 took to the live show stage for a partner routine, a solo, a mini group performance, and a duet with an All-Star. By the end, four remained—the four going on to compete in the grand finale. Here's what happened, and who's still in it to win it.
They say the first cut is the deepest, and surely "they" are people who have been watching "So You Think You Can Dance" for 16 seasons. Because while the cuts actually get a little more emotional as the season goes on—come on, we get attached!—the first round of cuts always feels particularly cruel. These dancers just worked so hard to make the Top 10 and bam. See ya.
Without spoiling too much too soon, here's what went down on the "SYT" stage last night.
We did it! We made it to the live competition shows!
The "we" in question, of course, being the viewers and voters at home, the four hardworking judges, and—yay!—the Season 16 Top 10. Last night, the top five guys and the top five women took to the "So You Think You Can Dance" live stage for the first time, performing for viewer votes. Which is no small feat, as evidenced by the past 15 seasons.
And to kick off the live shows, we had a little something new! Gone are the days of the top dancers strutting onstage to perform a solo eight-count before coming together as a group for that sassy step-ball-change walk downstage and that final "here we are!" pose as Cat Deeley bellows, "Welcome! To So You Think You Can Dance!" Nope: Season 16 is all about that tech. The 10 finalists started onstage, performing those aforementioned eight-counts accompanied by crazy laser beams that were seemingly passed from one dancer to the next. Then the dancers united to perform a joyful routine to "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman, choreographed by Mandy Moore. It was totally lovely and happy.
As for the rest of the episode: Each member of the Top 10 performed once with a partner and again as part of a mini group. Up for grabs this season are $250,000, the cover of Dance Spirit (!!!), and the title of America's Favorite Dancer. Here's who's most likely to take it all after last night's episode.
We almost don't dare to say it, but after last night's final, final, final Season 16 audition round, it appears to be true: Next week, IT'S TIME FOR THE LIVE SHOWS!
We're getting ahead of ourselves, though. First, we (as in Nigel, Mary, Dominic, and Laurieann) had to whittle down the top guys. Remember last week, when the Top 10 women became the Top 5? Last night, the "So You Think You Can Dance" judges made the same round of cuts for the remaining 10 men. Each remaining dude was paired with an All-Star and a choreographer to perform a routine outside his comfort zone. Here's what went down, and who made the final cut.
Well, unless Nigel Lythgoe (sir!) has something wild and crazy up his sleeves—which he very well may after 16 seasons—it is finally, at very long last, after half a summer and so much patience, almost time to meet the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 16 Top 10.
Yeah, we're not there quite yet.
On last night's "Final Cut" episode, the Top 10 ladies were each paired with an All-Star and a "legendary choreographer" to learn some critical choreography. (Choreography from outside their comfort zone, that is.) Then, after one last performance for the judges, the 10 became five. Here's what went down, and which women are headed to the live shows next week.
Last night, "So You Think You Can Dance" gave us The Academy, Part II—which concluded with the judges choosing their Top 10 guys and Top 10 girls. But before that reveal, we got a little more contemporary, a whole lotta Mandy Moore, some solos, and, as always plenty of drama.
"The Academy scares the h--- out of these dancers," Nigel admitted. "And it should." Never one to mince words, that Nigel. Here's how it all went.
"Welcome to the real world, kids." —Laurieann Gibson, Disher of Hard Truths
But seriously! Welcome to The Academy, that magical/terrible place where choreography comes hard and fast, meltdowns are par for the course, someone is bound to get injured, and the cuts are absolutely brutal—every. single. time.
After approximately 14 million weeks of individual auditions, 79 dancers were given "golden tickets" to The Academy, held at L.A.'s famous Dolby Theatre this year. There, they faced four rounds of choreography: hip hop with Luther Brown, ballroom with Emma Slater and Sasha Farber, contemporary with Talia Favia, and the group round with Mandy Moore.
This week's episode documented the first three choreo rounds. Here's what went down at the Dolby.
Get Dance Spirit in your inbox
To quote old-lady Rose Dawson from Titanic:
OK, so maybe it hasn't really been a full 84 years since Season 16 of "So You Think You Can Dance" first graced our screens. But it kinda feels like it, right? The entire summer so far has been dedicated to auditions! Along the way—five episodes, not 84 years, for the record—we've seen some really stellar talent. And next week, we'll get to see how all that talent fares at The Academy.
But let's not get too ahead of ourselves. Let's talk about what went down during the last few auditions.
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.
In many teasers, FOX promised this would be a "powerful" episode of "So You Think You Can Dance." We have to admit that we didn't take that super seriously. We assumed it just meant we'd get one or two emotional contemporary routines sandwiched between the b-boys and the LOL-worthy auditions.
But oh, man: The teasers weren't exaggerating. This episode made us ugly cry—multiple times. Here are the tear-soaked highlights.
It's the second week of auditions in L.A., and everyone's feeling feisty! (Well, Laurieann's feeling feisty, that's for sure.) As the search for America's Favorite Dancer continues, here's what was awesome about Week 2.
A slow-motion, battement-filled opening montage set to music from The Greatest Showman can only mean one thing: To quote the hostess with the mostest, the ever-fabulous Cat Deeley, "Welcome! to So You Think You Can Dance!"
The OG dance competition show is back and, as always, promising to be better than ever. For the show's sweet 16, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and longtime judge Mary Murphy have some new company at the judges' table: tough-as-nails choreographer-to-the-pop-stars Laurieann Gibson and former "SYT" contestant and "America's Best Dance Crew" winner and judge Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval. We've also got a new set, 120 cameras capturing the action on the stage, and a live audience in L.A. from day one.
Here are the hopefuls who wowed us during the first episode.