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.
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.
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Favorite place to shop: Lululemon
Her dance style in five words: "Hard-hitting, lots of tricks"
When Hannahlei Cabanilla rolled up to her Dance Spirit cover shoot—just 36 hours after being named the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 15 champion—she looked impossibly fresh-faced and well-rested. The Anaheim Hills, CA, native may have had "about eight blisters," as she joked, on her feet; she may barely have slept since the big win; and she may have just performed on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." But she jumped right on set, and quite literally didn't stop jumping for the next five hours. The fabulous technique, irresistible personality, and (especially) boundless energy that earned her the title of America's Favorite Dancer were all on full display.
So what was it actually like for Hannahlei to compete on the show she'd watched since she was a tiny dancer—and what's next for the now–19-year-old? Read on.
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.