It’s down to the Top 4 on So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. It’s been a nail-biting season, more so I think because the dancers are so young. But they certainly have risen to the challenge, each week getting better and better.

Tate, Kida, J.T. and Emma are in the final four. Each has a very different style of dance, and each grew every week to win over the judges’ and America’s hearts. In my opinion, I think J.T. or Kida should win. Kida, though not my favorite in the beginning, has really won me over. But I have a feeling Tate may take it all. We do have to wait until another week to crown the winner, but I’m excited to see what each has in store this time.

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The votes from this episode will be combined with the previous episode’s votes to determine the winner of the $250,000 prize, who will be crowned in the finale.

Possibly the Last Dance Together

The show starts with a group number with the All-Stars and the Top 4 by Travis Wall. It’s a pretty funky number set to “You Don’t Own Me,” by Son Lux featuring Hanna Benn.

Later on in the show, the Top 4 will bring back some of their favorite routines of the season. They will also dance out of their style with a brand new All-Star.

But first, they dance together for what could be the last time to a NappyTabs Broadway routine. The kids are crash test dummies, set to “Ease on Down the Road” by Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. NappyTabs seem to have combined all of their styles to celebrate the Top 4. It’s a fun routine, but I think Kida and Tate are a little stronger in their performance.

Out of Their Comfort Zone

Kida is the first up in a different genre. He chose an African jazz number with Sasha. The routine by Sean Cheesman is a tough one, according to Kida. In fact, he says it’s the hardest one he’s done. But he nails it through and through. The number, set to “Din Daa Daa (Radio Edit)” by Kevin Aviance, is filled with flips, turns and fancy footwork, and he keeps up and adds his own personality to it. The judges agree with Paula, saying Kida rises to the occasion, and with Jason, saying it’s amazing to see Kida’s growth.

Emma gets up there for the first solo of the night set to “Someone Who Can Dance” by Icona Pop. It’s a quick number with lots of tap footwork.

Next up, Tate joins Jonathan for a Stephanie Stevenson salsa number. Stephanie thinks the routine is a great way to showcase Tate’s versatility. The number, set to “Robi-Rob’s Boriqua Anthem” by El General & C+C Music Factory, is filled with lots of partner work, high energy and flips! So many flips! At one point, Jonathan lets go for a few seconds and Tate floats in mid-air. Tate seems nervous at first but loosens up somewhere in the middle and has fun with the routine. Jason says he doesn’t even recognize her. Nigel says she’s mature beyond her years. And Paula says she can see that Tate had fun being challenged. I think this routine really did showcase a different side of Tate, which could lead her to win the competition.

J.T. is the second to head out for a solo, set to “Ghost of Sky (Epic Dub)” by Steed Lord. It’s good, but I like to see J.T. perform with a partner.

Emma tackles a contemporary routine with Jenna. It’s an emotional piece by Jaci Royal filled with lifts. The storyline is about a mother telling her daughter that she’s adopted. The piece, set to “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding, is almost filled with too much emotion. However, I actually prefer this number over her tap routines throughout the season. And I’m not the only one who agrees. Jason calls the performance his favorite by her. Paula says it’s a breath of a fresh air to see her doing a true duet and not tapping. Perhaps Emma has a chance.

Tate performs her solo, set to “Easy (Switch Screens)” by Son Lux featuring Lorde. It’s a typical Tate routine with flips, stretches and high legs.

Last to switch it up is J.T. with a Bollywood number with Marco. Nakul Dev Mahajan’s routine, set to “Malhari” from Bajirao Mastani, has a lot of movement with tons of jumps. And J.T. nails all of it, all the way through the end, which has a bunch of Russian jumps. I’m actually surprised that J.T. jives so well with Marco because, as I mentioned above, I like him better with Robert. But I guess this routine solidifies his versatility. All of the judges agree, with Jason calling him limitless and Paula tipping her hat to J.T.

The last solo is Kida’s, set to “Earned It (Marian Hill Remix)” by The Weeknd. And though I normally don’t like the solo portions, I have come to look forward to anything by Kida now.

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Favorite Numbers

Tate and Kathryn perform first in the favorite performance of the season portion of the night. Tate picks the Travis Wall routine set to “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. All of the judges agree that the routine is as equally stunning as it was the first time around. Jason even says Tate pushed the routine to another level this time.

The All-Stars perform next to “Feathery” by Milky Chance.

Kida chooses his very first routine as his favorite to perform with Fik-Shun. The Christopher Scott routine, set to “Winning” by Fingazz, is full of popping and locking and funky dance moves to match the funky suits, and Kida nails it. In fact, it’s even better than the first time around. Maddie is impressed with how much Kida has grown, Nigel says Kida is sprinting toward the finish line and Paula says he added that personality the routine needed the first time around. But Jason doesn’t say anything; instead, he jumps up on the desk and performs his favorite move from the number.

J.T. picks “The Mirror” by Alexandre Desplat as his favorite performance with Robert. The pair performs the Travis Wall routine with much more emotion this time around. And it’s just as haunting and eerie too. For a performance that has been viewed over 55 million times online, according to Jason, he still found it stunning. Nigel says he hopes J.T. stays just as humble as he is now.

Emma and Gabby dance once again to “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Puppini Sisters, a routine by Anthony Morigerato that features a lot of fancy footwork. Of course, all the judges love it.

Who Will Win?

It’s really a tough call of who will win So You Think You Can Dance this season. Normally, I feel there’s a clear frontrunner. But as I mentioned in the beginning, I always thought that Tate would be the winner. Now, however, I feel that Kida or J.T. could sweep that title from under her feet.

The Top 4 performed their hearts out in the hope of getting more votes to clinch the title of So You Think You Can Dance champion. If I had to pick right now, based on this episode’s performances, I’d say Kida should win.

I wish I could like Emma more. And her performance with Jenna really showed another side of her. But I’d like to see more of that, and I just don’t feel like she exposed more of that this season. Perhaps it was the routines given to her. Who knows?

The So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation finale airs Monday, September 12 at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV