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Finalist Prediction on SYTYCD 16 Auditions Week 5 Recap

Posted on July 12 2019 by Editor

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Finalist Prediction on SYTYCD 16 Auditions Week 5 Recap

It was the last week of “So You Think You Can Dance” season 16 auditions on the FOX dance competition reality show. Host Cat Deeley ushered-in this week’s insanely talented dancers that ranged from Salsa to Hip-Hop. The last audition of the season came from a welcoming returning contestant who blew everyone away with his improved Tap skills. Before his fitting wrap-up to another successful auditions season, judges also saw some gifted and skilled dancers in the genres of Hip-Hop, and Contemporary, some of who were also returning contestants.


Andrew is 25 and Mercedes is 24 years old, best friends both from the Bronx, New York.  Melany explained that they’re audition will be dancing Salsa on two, which is more of a street style, “ballroomish.” But, way more street.  She said they auditioned last season.  After their audition this season, Mary loved it and the “authentic look…you dug into those roots and typically the style was nothing but roots.”  The pair said they took the criticisms from the judges last season to improve their performance. One of which was for Andrew to “smile more.” Andrew said this time he smiled his “ass off.” Nigel reacted that it’s simple, as all the judges held-up golden tickets for Andrew and Melany to continue to the Academy.


Michael is from Jersey and 25-years-old.  He started dancing in middle school and was bullied for being a shy kid.  When no one would accept him on any sports team, he fell in love with a breakin’ club in high school and was able to express himself and get out of his shyness.  In 2017 he placed Top 100 B-Boys in the world   

Michael called Dtrix an inspiration.  After his season 16 audition, Laurieann said there’s something about the “bragadocious swag” of a B-boy that she loves.  She added that he was in the pocket with great transitions.  D-trix told Michael that he’s also inspired by him, then Michael teared-up.  D-trix explained what he liked including, “everything was on beat. great transitions, and said Michael gave them 6-7 moves with great texture. Mary said it’s hard to believe that he’s a shy kid and he’s “just soaring right now.” Nigel loved the “musicality” and he added that Michael’s height to jump up and come down was great.  Of course, Michael also got a golden ticket.

MARIAH RUSSELL (Contemporary)

Mariah is 19-years-old from Nashville, Tennessee.  She said she always wanted to be on the show since she was little.  Her mom was sitting in the audience at her SYTYCD audition to support her, but she explained to the judges that her Dad is in jail and she hasn’t seen him since she was six or seven.  He mom basically raised her and her brother on her own.  Mariah said if she her Mother was struggling, she didn’t show that and she is “very strong.”  Mariah said her mom makes her feel like she can do anything. 

Pictured: Mariah Russell / Photo: FOX copyright.

After her audition, judge Laurieann was crying and reacted that she sees herself in Mariah and told her not to be ashamed of nothing and where she comes from “there’s a reason and a a purpose” and that everything will project her into stardom.”  She also told her to get there quicker.  D-trix thanked Mariah for that performance.  Mary said for a first audition, she “smoked this.”  Nigel said when the choreography fits the impact in the music, it just exhilarates the judges and “take what’s in your life and use that to spur you on.  It was a beautiful performance.”  Mariah definitely got a ticket to the Academy.  Her mom commented that Mariah left it on the stage.

More contemporary auditions came from dancers – Shamus Moriarty, Olivia Alboher, Luke Phillips who all got tickets to the Academy.


Phoebe is 19-years-old from Colorado.  When she was born, her mom was told that Phoebe had down syndrome and would never be able to do the things she’d expect.  At an early age two-and-a-half Pheobe started doing dance moves, so her parents put her in dance school and “she soared,” her mom said. As a past pageant (for special needs kids) contestant, Pheobe now mentors others for the same pageants.  It’s phoebe’s dream to audition for SYTYCD. 

Pictured: Phoebe Kochis / Photo: FOX copyright

Before her audition, Laurieann asked her is she’s overcoming a challenge. Phoebe answered that she is “overcoming being a star on So You Think You Can Dance.”  It was the perfect response!  After Pheobe’s audition, Laurieann said “talk about sass, talk about star!  Your’e my hero!”  D-trix said she is the star and the universe and liked it when she gave him two winks.  He also said some of the moves were shaky, but she did it with confidence and passion.  Mary said she loves Phoebe’s love for dance, and she’s a ham.  Nigel was honest and said they can’t put her through the competition because it would be too difficult for her.  However, he invited her to come along to the Academy as his guest.  Phoebe accepted his invite and was happy with it.

JAMES CODY (Hip-Hop/ Animation)

James is twenty-six-years old from Dallas, Texas.  He auditioned for seasons 10, 11, 12.  Season 12 he made it to Vegas.  Since season 12, he’s been diagnosed with bipolar type two. His dad had the same diagnosis and committed suicide at his same age of 26.  James said managing the disease is challenging and dancing is a “mood stabilizer.”  At his audition, he told D-trix that he’s taken a class or two.

D-trix told him it was a great performance and hopes he can do choreography.  Mary loved every second and liked the “sexy bits” going on. She told him he connected with the audience.  Nigel stated that James annoys him because he’s brilliant at what he does  But, doesn’t believe that James has done his homework. “You deserve to go on this journey. But, you have to put the work in,” stressed Nigel who was worried about James’ lacking in training and working with the choreographers.  Laurieann agreed with Nigel and told him that he has elements of different styles.  If he does the work, it’s already in there and said he needs to “strategize for a bigger win.”  D-trix voted “no” because he needs more training.  Nigel and Mary voted “yes.”  Laurieann said when preparation meets opportunity, destiny steps in and gave him the last “yes” vote he needed to go t the Academy.

MAIA BLIUDINKAS (Contemporary)

Maia is 19-years-old from Leominster, Mass.  She started dancing at nine-years-old and went to study dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Nigel told her he loved how she used the stage and her musicality was flawless.  “It never stopped being entertaining.”  Laurieann told her it was beautiful and noted the strength in her core and extension and felt the energy continue to go and “that is hard to do.”  D-trix said he liked it and absolutely love it.  Mary said in the beginning she thought, she’s talented, strong, powerful.  Then told her she had one of the most perfect auditions of the season.  It was a “yes” from all the judges that Maia went to the Academy.

The last dancer to audition this season was a returning contestant from last season  – tap dancer Eddie Hoyt. 


Eddie, who is 19-years-old, said in last season’s SYTYCD trailer he said he’s gay.   “It was a relief, but it was hard,”  stated Eddie.  His dad said Eddie was afraid to tell them, but they Eddie no matter what and that Eddie doesn’t have to hide anything anymore.  Eddie was offered a job teaching at Center Stage in Orem, Utah which is a prestigious dance studio.  Eddie is also on a Ballroom team. He said it all happened because of SYTYCD.

Pictured: Eddie Hoyt / Photo: FOX copyright.

By the end of his audition, Eddie teared-up and all the judges as well.Mary fought through the tears and reacted that Eddie put so much emotion into his audition and she’s never cried during a tap routine before.  She said last year he was a cute pumpkin tapping his heart out.  Nigel reacted that It was remarkable and so much great choices.  He even got Dominic, a B-boy crying.  Laurieann said “greatness needs no explanation.”   D-trix asked him why he kept looking at his parents.  Eddie explained that last year he came-out on national television.  After that “it was really hard on a lot of people”  He took the time to reflect on what the judges told him and decided to freestyle his audition this season so he could “feel it.”  The judges were super impressed.   All the judges said “yes” to the Academy.  D-trix said if Eddie makes it through the choreography at the Academy, he’ll be a finalist for sure.

NEXT WEEK: It’s the first week of season 16 The Academy where the selected dancers will have to prove their skills be taking on various choreography.

“So You Think You Can Dance” airs Mondays at 9 pm PT on FOX.


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