In the final night of the “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD) season 15 competition the Top 4 danced with each other in every possible combonation. Then they danced with an All-Star, and they had solos. The best part about this week, as host Cat Deeley announced, is that no one is going home. The votes from last week are combined with this week’s votes to result in America’s Favorite Dancer which will be revealed in next week’s finale show.
The winner will receive $250,000, the cover of Dance Spirit magazine, a guest role in “Rent”, along with the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.” This week, all four dancers received special, and touching video messages from their parents.
The judges panel is made-up of Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Vanessa Hudgens, and Twitch who is the only judge who can relate to the contestants from when he was part of the Top 4 in his SYTYCD season. Host Cat Deeley asked him what it’s like for the Top 4. Twitch replied, with a faint voice from his illness this week, that there’s a lot of pressure because both their minds and bodies have been pushed to the limits. But, pressure creates diamonds.
GENESSY & SLAVIK (Luther Brown)
The only couple to make it to the finale together are Genessy and Slavik. Slavik got a lot of criticism last week and Slavik took action this week to turn it around. Luther Brown choreographed their first piece, and now thier last one. Luther said this piece is “just swag, dance and fun.” Slavik called it “saucey.” Twitch said it was the perfect way to open the Top 4 and they look like a “funkiest caution sign ever.” He loved the elements of joy and love in the routine and it’s a great swtich back from last week. Mary said “hello to this week” and “you guys are back on track again.” Nigel said Luther brings out great flavor in dancers, and did this with them. Genessy sits nicely in that groove. For Slavik, Twitch was hard on last week because he’s repeating Twitch’s success by being in the Top 4. Vanessa agreed and said they “fully brought it!”
JENSEN & HANNAHLEI (Brian Friedman)
Jensen and Hannahlei paired-up for a “heels routine” choreographed by Brian Friedman. It’s a combination of jazz, contemporary and burlesque. Friedman said the choreography would be difficult in flats, and they’re doing it in heels. Friedman said they have to outshine each other to show us who is really America’s favorite dancer. Vanessa thanked Brian for showing her something new that she’d never seen before. That’s when the dancers pulled off their fake hair during the routine and whipped it. She said they were “absolutely on fire!” Vanessa also added that she forgot they were wearing heels. Twitch said Brian’s choreography demands so much precision, and that’t why these two ladies are in the Top 4. Mary said she loved the whole thing, and Hannahlei is definitely NOT Bambi. They attacked it amazingly. Nigel said those costumes are “as mind-blowing as what Brian is wearing” (who was in a multicolored, sparkly and jewled sweater).
The first solo of the night came from Genessy Castillo (Contemporary). Genessy said she found her confidence since the start of the show, and it’s up to her to believe in herself and winning the show is her end goal.
GENESSY & JONATHAN (Elena Samodanova)
Genessy and Jonathan danced a Samba choreographed by Elena Samodanova. Elena said Samba is “the most difficult Latin dance.” Jonathan said their characters in the routine are “super models.” Genessy said she has to show America herself. She talked about herself in the third person, “Genessy is out now and not going back into her shell.” The pair got a standing ovation from the judges at the end of their performance. Mary said the name of that song is “watch out for this!” She said she was nervous for Genessy when she heard she got Samba. But, Genessy was like an “unleashed diva!” Mary said most people have a hard time picking-up movements of the Samba, but Genessy did it. She told her “way to step it up tonight!” Nigel loved the “control freedom” in her movement. “There was a fire in your eyes that reminded me of Jennifer Lopez,” stated Nigel. Vanessa said it was “so fierce and confident.” She said Genessy is NOT one to be messed around with! Twitch hoped that what she’d take away is that situation there was her world “and you are a star.”
SLAVIK & MELANIE (Travis Wall)
Slavik danced with All-Star, season eight winner Melanie Moore. The had contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall. The story of the dance is that they’re a couple that’s ready to reveal things about each other. Slavik said it’s the last week that people get to vote and he wants to prove that he deserves to be there and wants to win.
Nigel said listening to Slavik in his video package, win or lose, he totally deserves to be in the competition. Nigel stated that Travis challenged Slavik emotionally, not in dance and Slavik “came through with flying colors.” Vanessa told Slavik that he used all his frustrations from the competiton and used it for the dance. “It was so raw an so beautiful. Great work.” Twitch said they’re lookin for the belife, and the commitment. Twitch said this is the kind of commitment we’re talking about because he belived every second of that. Mary said people remember how you make them feel and Slavik has that capability. He makes them feel something. He’s hitting a chord with America. Cat asked why he wanted to challenge himself like this. Slavik answered that during the Academy he felt something during Contemporary round, a style outside his own, and wanted to take it to another level.
Jensen Arnold (Ballroom) had the second solo of the night. She started her journey on SYTYCD at age 16 when she paired with a partner who was applying for the show. She was too young to be a contestant. Nigel invited Jensen back the next year. Jensen returned season 14 where she was cut. She said she was afraid to come back season 15 to face rejection.
HANNAHLEI & SLAVIK (Sean Cheesman)
Hannahlei and Slavik got an African Jazz routine choreographed by Sean Cheesman. The concept is “the prophecy” where Hannahlei is the prophecy and Slavik is the “God” who conquers the prophecy. There was a lift where Slavik had to throw Hannahei off his back. She almost injured herself badly when she landed on her head. The lift, thank goodness was taken-out of the final routine. The judges responded positively to the dance. Nigel thanked Cheesman for his uniqueness and creativness. Nigel compared Hannahlei to an ant, being fifty times stronger than he expected. Vanessa called Hannahlei a little fierce warrior princess beast. She noted that Slavik’s confidence is back and he’s “bringing it this week”. Twitch stated that team work makes the dream work. Doing lifts at the tail-end, and the way they held their energy together, that’s why they’re here. Mary called Hannahlei “Miss Gumby” who can do anything the choreographers throw at her.
GENESSY & JENSEN (Travis Wall)
They danced a Broadway piece by Travis Wall. The routine had them portray the “dark twist” of dancing inside a theater. It’s about a star (Genessy) and the woman that wants to be that star (Jensen). Vanessa reacted that it was a “smart routine” and the contrast of their characters was “brilliant.” She could feel Jensen’s passion. Twitch said it was incredible to “see two leading ladies take control of the stage” and called it his favorite performance that Jensen’s done all season. Mary told Genessy she’s a star and her vision is becoming a reality. She’s “having a peak night tonight!” Jensen gets every character and annihilates it. She said they both had star performances. Nigel commented that turning the meaning of the song into an understudy piece was “genius” and thinks they performed it the way Travis Wall wanted.
The third solo came from Slavik who’s originally from Ukraine. He joined a dance crew after his mom told him to get a productive hobby. Slavik was inspired by Fik-Shun after meeting him when he moved to America. Slavik told himself that if he made it through the SYTYCD auditions, he was going to go all the way. Then, he took a bunch of dance classes. The turning point for Slavik, he said, was when he got the contemporary piece at the Academy by Travis Wall. Then, he knew he could do it.
HANNAHLEI & FIK-SHUN (Randi & Hef)
Hannahlei, who it was her first time dancing hip-hop on the live show, danced hip-hop with All-Star Fik-Shun who won. She said the pressure is having to match him. The routine was choreographed by Randi and Hef whose concept was that Hannahlei and Fik-Shun were movers and had moving boxes as props. The dance ended with Hannahlei falling through one of the large boxes. Twitch said “that was so crazy” and the choreographers make anything fun. He called Hannahlei incredible for her first time doing hip-hop on the live show. Mary said she typically can’t take her eyes off Fik-Shun every time he gets onto the stage except tonight where Hannahlei was a “special delvery.” She “hit and and slayed it.” Mary said Hannahlei makes it look so easy which makes Mary worry who past dancers who made it look easy, didn’t get the votes. Nigel reacted that there’s nothing that Hannahlei can’t do and she does it brillantly. Vanessa has been rooting for her since day one. She said Hannahlei slays on the stage and slays in the air.
JENSEN & ROBERT (Mandy Moore)
Jensen danced with All-Star Robert Roldan to a Contemporary Mandy Moore routine. Moore said the routine is “one hundred percent dependant on Jensen being vulnerable.” This was difficult for Jensen who said she was raised to be happy and strong all the time, and afraid that showing vulnerability will show as a weakness. The performance got a standing ovation by the judges at the end. Mary told Mandy Moore that she fell in love with that piece. She told Jensen that her strength is in her vulnerability which she delivered in that piece. Breaking down the walls is never easy especially in front of millions of people. Nigel said it was important to show her vulnerability as well as the strength he knows she has. Vanessa told Jensen that being vulnerable is such a strength to have because it makes for a full person and a fuller artist. Twitch said she’s having a wonderful night. Twitch added that he’s glad that she didn’t make it on the show before because all of the rejections have prepared her for going all the way this time.
The final solo of the night came from Hannahlei. She said dancing boosted her confidence where she was really shy and quiet as a child. Hannahlie said “I’m still really shy but when I step onto the stage, it all goes away.” Her partner in the Academy was Jovohn Gentry who’s trained in ballroom and helped her. The two are currently dating.
GENESSY & HANNAHLEI (Talia Favia)
Genessy said her and Hannahlei have an “instant connection.” They were given contemporary choreographed by Talia Favia who said the routine is about two girls who have always relied on each other, then be in a place where they have to fend for themselves. Genessy said her and Hannahlei can relate because they are so close “but at the end of the day, she’s also my competitor.” Hannahlei said Genessy pushes her to be better. Genessy said she needs to shine in this piece to show that she has what it takes to be America’s Favorite Dancer. They received a standing ovation from the judges. Nigel told Talia that “it’s a brillant routine” and can’t believe how tight and in sync she got them. “It was like watching synchronized swimming. But without the water.” He added that all four dancers have made it one of the best Top 4 shows ever! Vanessa reacted that the “mirroring was insane!” Twitch commented that “that warrior spirit just came out” then he asked for the help of Mary to express his excitement. Mary gave out a holler and a sharp yell.
JESEN & SLAVIK (Oksana Platero)
Jensen and Slavik, who were paired for the first time this week, danced Cha Cha choreographed by Oksana Platero. Oksana stated that this Cha Cha routine has a modern kick to it “but still true to Cha Cha.” Jensen said this style is “so far from what he (Slavik) knows which is hip-hop freestyle. Slavik said if he doesn’t match the techniuqe, “I’m definitely going to bring the fire.” Slavik, whom Jensen revealed says “let’s go” a lot, said it’s a difficult style for him to pick-up with the leg and hip action. Mary said Slavik’s been brilliant all night but Latin Dance is his “kryptonite.” The leg action wasn’t there. But, she loves how he fully goes for it. She complimented Jensen for bringing Slavik up and she looked amazing. She told Jensen that it’s difficult to dance with someone who doesn’t know the technique. Nigel observed that it looked like Slavik was dancing with an All-Star because Jensen is that good. Nigel also said he loves how Slavik goes for it. Nigel told Slavik that his shoulders were much better tonight. Vanessa said Slavik has been inspiring to other freestyle hip-hop dancers who see if Slavik can do it, then they should at least try. She said Jensen has been such a star. Twitch thanked Jensen for “being an anchor for Slavik to hang onto and shine” He said she could have out-shined him, but didn’t and invited him in to shine. Twitch added that Slavik was wearing dress pants and Latin heels which shows his commitment.
NEXT WEEK: The total votes will be tallied to reveal who will be SYTYCD season 15 winner of America’s Favorite Dancer.
SYTYCD Judges Interviews Below: