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Lit Stage on SYTYCD Season 16 Live Show Week 1 Recap

Posted on August 12 2019 by Editor

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Lit Stage on SYTYCD Season 16 Live Show Week 1 Recap

“So You Think You Can Dance” season 16 Top 10 dancers performed for America’s votes for the first time this season. The show lit-up the stage with a top-notch opening group number choreographed by Mandy Moore. Each dancer showcased their style dance while some CGI effects added to their sharp moves. 

Pictured: Top 10 perform opening of show. Photo: FOX copyright.

Host Cat Deeley announced that they had two Emmy nominated choreographers on the show who are Travis Wall and Luther Brown.  “So You Think You Can Dance” has a total of four Emmy nominations this year that include Makeup, and lighting.  

Deeley also reminded viewers that the winner SYTYCD season 16 will take home a quarter of a million dollars, the SYTYCD trophy, the cover of Dance Spirite magazine, and the title of America’s Favorite Dancer.

MARIAH RUSSELL & BAILEY MUNOZ (Jazz / Mandy Moore)

Bailey said he was terrified to go onto the stage, but with Mariah, he’s okay.  Mandy Moore said the key was to dance with personality while moving a million times per minute.  They danced a sassy piece to the song “Love Shack” flawlessly!

Pictured: Bailey Munoz, Mariah Russell / Photo: FOX Copyright.

They got a standing ovation from the judges.  Nigel said whatever Bailey lacks in technique, he makes up for it in personality.  Mary said she’s on the Love Shack train for sure!  She said Bailey is the “biggest shock” her tonight, and “you can’t fake that chemistry.”  Dtrix said Bailey redefined what a B-Boy is and their chemistry leading off the show set the bar high.  Host Cat Deeley asked who’s in charge of the partnership?  Bailey answered Mariah is and she confirmed as they hugged it out.

STEPHANIE SOSA & GINO  (Hip-Hop / Luther Brown)

Gino said he wants to show diversity and he can do more than one style.  The theme Luther gave them was “ice.”  Dtrix said the routine was “good” and he had high expectations for Gino.  He can do better than that.  Dtrix thought Stephanie was “amazing.”  Laurieann said Gino had her, and “brought it!”  She said she didn’t lose Stephanie in it.  Nigel agreed with Dtrix.  He said Gino has to stick with rythm and beats.  The good news was that Nigel said no one can compete with Gino technically.  Nigel added that when Stephanie is “shaking her ass” he needs to be like “Frozen” and “let it go!” Mary said the routine’s nuances were on.  The panel was offically split.  She also said she believed Gino did whatever Luther asked.  Gino said he’ll take the feedback and bring it in the next show.

ANNA & BENJAMIN CASTRO (Cha-Cha / Emma Slater & Sasha Farber)


Benjamin was born in Chili and came to America at the age of elevan..  He dances in a studio with family members.  Anna was born in Lancaster, Ca.  She didn’t get into dance until she moved to Las Vegas.  


They two got a sanding ovation from Nigel after their performance.  Mary said she’s more shocked how it turned-out for Anna and called her “phenomal” for the first time.  She was proud of Anna.  Mary told Benjamin he did a great job and “drilled it home.”  Dtrix reminded everyone that Anna is a Hip-Hop dancer and she’s a great representation of Hip-Hop.  Anna said she’s only worn heels one other time and it was at the Academy.  Laurieann said Sasha and Emma should be proud because they “nailed that.”  Laurieann called them “humble warriors.”

Pictured – SYTYCD Judges (l-r): Mary Murphy, Dominic Sandoval “Dtrix”, Laurieann Gibson, Nigel Lythgoe / Photo: FOX copyright.

Nigel said they’re a really good looking couple.  Anna said she’s only danced with a partner at the Academy.  Nigel gave Anna props by stating, “you are the first Hip-Hop girl I’ve seen do Ballroom on the first night of the show.”  Cat Deeley asked about their connection.  Benjamin said simply “Team Banana.”  He said they worked on it and worked on it.

MADISON JORDAN & EZRA SOSA (Contemporary / Talia Favia)

Pictured: Ezra Sosa, Madison Jordan / Photo: FOX copyright.

Ezra is from Provo, Utah.  The routine they did was about what it’s like to be a light in someone’s life when maybe you don’t see it in yourself.  Madison opened-up to Ezra who was impressed by this. Madison wants America to see her softer side.  They got a standing ovation from the judges for their routine.  Nigel told Ezra that he was a “brilliant partner.” Nigel told Talia that Shirley McClaine said dance is truth and honesty.  Everything he’s seen from Madison is truth and honesty.  Also, everything she’s done in her life has toughened her up and Ezra held his own.  Mary told Madison that she’s a light up there and Ezra is an amazing partner in his own right.  He was there for her when she missed a step in the routine.  Dtrix said it was his favorite routine of the night.  So many great moments.  He called it “perfect.” Laurieann said it was so much power and the truth in this couple, “amazing and wonderful job.”

EDDIE & SOPHIE (Jazz / Brian Friedman)

Pictured: Eddie Hoyt, Sophie Pittman / Photo: FOX copyright.

Eddie was home schooled and didn’t have a lot of friends.  Now he’s in Utah and is a director as a dance studio.  They got jazz funk choreographed by Brian Friedman. Sophie said she likes portraying an opposite character from her personality. Laurieann said Brian is in the details and Sophie “nailed it.”  She said Eddie didn’t lift up to Brian’s speed and the story.  But “well done.”  Nigel said it was a difficult routine to judge.  He agreed with Laurieann that Sophie did great.  But, not happy with Eddie.  Dtrix said Eddie looked weak and Sophie was dancing more “stern and strong.”


The show finished out with group routines of first the five guys, then just the five girls. The girls danced a contemporary routine by Travis Wall. The boys danced Hip Hop while dressed like firemen, choreographed by Luther Brown.

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