'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 11 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...
'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 11 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...
Kim Stempel
Kim Stempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
All of the So You Think You Can Dance competitors' hard work, determination, and sometimes questionable performance costumes (just kidding!) has all led to this moment-- crowning America's favorite dancer this season. So who will it be? Will it be jazz dancer Jessica Richens, tapper Valerie Rockey, contemporary dancer Ricky Ubeda, or tapper Zack Everhart, Jr? I must say it is a pleasure to have two tap dancers in the finale.

Before we get the answer to the big question, I predict there will be lots of great dancing, and a visit from some of our favorite So You Think You Can Dance guest judges. We will also have a musical performance from Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul as they perform the hit single "Bailando."

Buckle up tight, people. This is the So You Think You Can Dance live blog!

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Cat Deeley is once again wearing her most sparkly dress because, after all, it is the finale. The winner will receive $250,000, a part in the Broadway show "On the Town" and be featured on the cover of "Dance Spirit" magazine. Not too shabby!

The Top 20 Dancers

Brooklyn Fullmer
Serge Onik
Emily James
Casey Askew
Valerie Rockey
 Zack Everhart, Jr.
Bridget Whitman
Stanley Glover
Jourdan Epstein
Jacque LeWarne
Malene Ostergaard
Marcquet Hill
Carly Blaney
Rudy Abreu
Teddy Coffey
Emilio Dosal
Jessica Richens
 Ricky Ubeda
Tanisha Belnap
Nick Garcia

Let's welcome our JUDGES! Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined by Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Tara Lipinksi, Adam Shankman, and Debbie Allen.

Let's start the dancing!

The Top 20 Dancers
"Doctor Jazz"
Choreographed by Warren Carlyle


This is a fun, lively number that is certainly a great opening to the show.

Mary Murphy's Choice:

Jessica Richens and Casey Askew
"Like Real People Do"
Choreographed by Travis Wall


This piece is simply stunning, and Casey and Jessica's connection is beautiful to watch. This is one of my favorite performances this season.

We are also taking a look back at some memorable performers who didn't actually make it to the So You Think You Can Dance stage. First up is Courtney Barnes from the New Orleans auditions, who combined a killer Wendy Williams imitation with his unique dance stylings.

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Debbie Allen's Choice:

Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda
"Turn Down for What"
Choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix


This hip-hop routine about a witch doctor and his voodoo doll is amazing. I could watch it over and over again. It showcases Ricky and Valerie's versatility.

Zack's Choice:


Zack Everhart, Jr. and All-Star Amy
"Europe, After the Rain"
Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh


This moving piece is about losing someone close to you, and Zack and Amy really portray the sadness of the subject matter. Not to mention the fact that it is gorgeously danced.

Nigel's Choice:

Rudy Abreu and All-Star Allison
"Dirty Diana"
Choreographed by Ray Leeper


This sexy piece features incredible lifts and steamy chemistry.

Paula Abdul is in the house! She is a judge on the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance, and is a surprise guest this evening. Paula introduces Michael Dameski, the winner of the Australian version of the show.

Michael Dameski
"Unstoppable"

His number is so athletic that I think I pulled a muscle watching it.

We also recall our meeting with  another show hopeful Gerard Swain, who had trouble staying awake while waiting to audition, and also had a bit of a crush on Mary Murphy.

Valerie's Choice:

Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart, Jr.
"Sing"
Choreographed by Anthony Morigerato


This energetic routine radiates joy. It also shows off Valerie and Zack's talent while tapping and sliding on a set of stairs. They also get a standing ovation from all the judges.

Les Twins

This duo has worked for Beyonce and Missy Elliott. I can certainly see why with their entertaining mix of hip-hop moves.

Ricky's Choice:

Ricky Ubeda and Jessica Richens
"Vow"
Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh


This dramatically quiet piece is one of the best dances of the season. It is mesmerizing and almost hypnotic. I don't think I will ever forget it.

Another very young dance hopeful is recalled. The adorable J-4 battled with Cyrus and Fik-Shun at the auditions.

America's Twitter Hip-Hop Routine Winner

Carly Blaney and Serge Onik

"Senile"
Choreographed by Luther Brown

It's the return of the hip-hop skeletons! Another fun hip-hop number.
The finalists received a visit from last season's finalist, Jasmine Harper, and Ciara. That is cool!

Jenna's Dewan-Tatum's Choice:

Tanisha Belnap and Rudy Abreu
"You Need"
Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh


How sexy is this routine about desire? Pretty darn sexy! The dancing is also strong and athletic.

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul hit the stage and perform "Bailando." It is a fun performance.

Adam Shankman's Choice:

Zack Everhart, Jr. and Ricky Ubeda
"The Antidote"
Choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix


Can I just say how much I have missed Adam Shankman's shy personality? He loves this "filthy" hip-hop number, and I am right there with him. I still can't believe that I am watching a tapper and contemporary dancer.

Results:

Eliminated:

Zack Everhart, Jr.
 
Zack finishes the season in fourth place.

Tara Lipinski's Choice:

Emilio Dosal and All-Star Jasmine
"Get Low"
Choreographed by NappyTabs

This number about a snake charmer is full of swag and personality.  Emilio really shines in this dance.

We also recall meeting Dannie Platz, who auditioned in Los Angeles, and recounted her struggle to conquer an eating disorder.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson appears on stage as the host of the show, and reassures us that Cat Deeley is fine. He would also like to audition for season 12, and lets us know that Travis Wall is "his spirit animal." Hilarity ensues when Travis throws out some dance terms for Jesse to demonstrate. Jesse even bought his own ticket to Vegas. 


The Top 10 and the All-Stars
"Sweet Disposition"
Choreographed by Christopher Scott and Sonya Tayeh


This number is set in a bus or train station waiting room. Much of the dance utilizes benches. It is quirky and light-hearted. I really like it.

Dance Crew Winner:

The winning crew, The Wanted Ashiqz, take the stage for a dynamic performance.

Jessica's Choice:

Jessica Richens and All-Star Robert
"When I Go"
Choreographed by Travis Wall

This dark and moody piece is full of emotion, strong movement and fantastic lifts.

Results:

Eliminated:

Jessica Richens

Jessica places third in the competition.

Cat Deeley's Choice:

Ricky Ubeda and Valerie Rockey
"Oh Darling"
Choreographed by Travis Wall


This piece is lovely, with strong movement and fabulous lifts. It is truly breathtaking.

The Winner Is:

Ricky Ubeda

Valerie Rockey takes second place in the So You Think You Can Dance competition.

Ricky is overcome with emotion and treasures his relationship with his fellow dancers and the choreographers.

So, there you have it. Ricky Ubeda is America's favorite dancer!

Thanks for keeping up with So You Think You Can Dance with us here at BuddyTV! 

(Image courtesy of FOX)


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