Another winner was crowned America’s favorite dancer in the season 13 finale of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. It feels like forever ago that we were at the auditions with the little ones under the age of 13, and now the Top 4 — Tate, J.T., Emma, and Kida — take the stage one last time before one of them wins the $250,000 and gets to be on the cover of Dance Spirit.
They are joined on stage by the other six from the Top 10 this season, along with all of the All-Stars. And throughout the night, they perform some of the judges’ and the All-Stars’ favorite routines, as well as their favorite solo routines.
Welcome to the Finale
The finale opens with a group number set to “Brand New” by Ben Rector. The routine by Christopher Scott and Jamal Sims is fun and filled with not only the Top 4 but also the former contestants and all of the All-Stars.
The Top 10 contestants are introduced, including former contestants Daniela, Sheadan, Jake, Ruby, Jordan, and Tahani.
The Judges’ Favorite Routines
The first judge to pick his favorite is Nigel, which is Kida’s choreographed routine with Fik-Shun set to “I Can Make Ya” by Fingazz. After a quick Class of 2016 recap, Sheadan and Marco take the stage to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars.
Jake takes the stage for his favorite solo set to “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble.
Next, it’s time for Maddie and Paula’s favorite routines. Maddie picks Tate’s salsa routine with Jonathan set to “Robi-Rob’s Boriqua Anthem” by El General & C+C Music Factory, which is one of my favorites, while Paula picks a Jordan and Sasha routine set to “The Light That Never Fails” by Andra Day.
Then the big flirt of the season, Jake, takes the stage with his All-Star Jenna for their “Ain’t Your Mama” by Jennifer Lopez routine.
Tate performs her favorite solo set to “Trophy” by NAO featuring A.K. Paul. Next, Jason picks Emma and Gabby’s “Salute” by Little Mix routine because he loves how both ladies brought tap back to the show.
And after a quick hip-hop tribute, the hip-hop specialists — Kida, Fik-Shun, Sheadan, Marco, Tahani, and Comfort — perform a new Luther Brown routine set to “Ain’t No Time” by Future.
The All-Stars’ Favorite Routines
After Emma performs her favorite solo set to “Expensive” by Tori Kelly featuring Daye Jack, the All-Stars pick their favorite routines of the season. First up is Kathryn. She picks “This Gift” by Glen Hansard. Of course, it’s emotional and beautiful, and Kathryn has a smile plastered on her face the whole time.
Soon after a montage of the season’s highlights, the Top 10 contestants perform together one last time to a brand new Mandy Moore routine alongside So You Think You Can Dance judge Maddie Ziegler. It’s a creepy fairy routine set to “Small” by Lamb, but it’s entertaining as most Mandy Moore routines are.
Kida’s up next with his favorite solo set to “Boogie Bruthaz” by Fingazz.
Nigel picks his second favorite routine of the season. And, of course, he picks his favorite couple, J.T. and Robert. And, of course, he picks a Broadway number set to “Mr. Bojangles” by Robbie Williams. And, of course, it’s as cute as ever.
A ballroom tribute is up next with the ballroom specialists, Jake, Jenna, Ruby, Paul, Daniela, and Jonathan. They perform a new routine by Dmitry Chaplin and Jenya Shatilova set to “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” by Fergie, Q-Tip, and GoonRock.
In the first results of the night, Emma is announced as the fourth-place winner.
More Favorites of the Season
Tahani and Comfort perform their hip-hop routine set to “Pep Rally” by Missy Elliott before a special guest takes the stage. Ballet dancer Sergei Polunin performs a piece from La Esmeralda, set to “Diane and Acteon from La Esmeralda” by Cesare Pugni. It’s very beautiful and a good filler while the dancers take a breather.
Next up is Paula’s second pick of the night, a ballroom number from Ruby and Paul set to “Malevo” by Electro Dub Tango. Then Cat gets to pick her favorite, which is an All-Star routine by Mandy Korpinen and Elizabeth Petrin set to “Feathery” by Milky Chance.
Fik-Shun picks the bee routine set to “The Buzz” by Hermitude featuring Big K.R.I.T., Mataya, and Young Tapz as his favorite to perform with Kida. And soon after, the contemporary dancers — Emma, Gabby, Tate, Kathryn, Sasha, Jordan, J.T., and Robert — take the stage to a new Travis Wall routine set to “Burgs” by Mt. Wolf.
Daniela and Jonathan then perform their routine set to “Marchina (Remix 14)” by DJ DLVG. Right after, Ruby and Paul perform to “Muchacho” by Johnny Good.
Jason picks a Tahani and Comfort routine as his second favorite. And it’s one of my favorites too. It’s an emotional Nappytabs piece set to “I’m Going Down” by Rose Royce. All-Star Gabby picks “We Will Rock You” by Queen to perform with Emma.
And in a surprise to America, but not to me, Tate is announced as the third-place winner!
Break Out the Tissues
An emotional Maddie picks a Nappytabs routine for Tate and Kida to perform. It’s the farmer number set to “Manolo” by Trip Lee featuring Lecrae.
And then the tears start flowing from everyone as Robert performs his favorite routine with J.T. set to “Stand in the Light” by Jordan Smith. Both of them are clearly very emotional throughout the routine but keep it together until the end.
Crowning a Winner
The tears don’t stop flowing as Nigel first gives his words of wisdom to both J.T. and Kida. He tells J.T. that both he and Robert won the hearts of America early on and calls him magical. He tells Kida that while he was the least trained out of all of the dancers this season, he learned so much and took on everything the choreographers threw at him with ease. Nigel adds that both of them set the bar high for the next season.
But since there can only be one winner, Kida is crowned America’s favorite dancer!
While I was skeptical at first of kids dancing this season on So You Think You Can Dance, I am very happy with how it played out. I thought the kids worked so hard to impress the judges and America. And I thought each handled their rejection — if they got sent home — with such grace and maturity. Even through the end, when I’m sure he thought he had it in the bag, J.T. was a graceful second-place winner.
I really liked the outcome. Tate was the clear frontrunner from the very beginning, but I think around the Top 5, Kida started to move ahead of her in my book. While I’ve always had a soft spot for J.T., I was really impressed with how Kida continued to grow and learn each week. He took whatever the judges had to say and would apply it week after week to come out on top.
But let’s be real, all of the contestants are winners in my book.
Cat Deeley announced at the beginning of the show that they performed 159 dances this season. That is insane for anyone, let alone a kid.
Nigel says he’s not sure whether it will be a normal So You Think You Can Dance or a Next Generation next season. But whatever it is, I’m sure it will be great!
(Image courtesy of FOX)