Photo credit: Greg Gayne/FOX.
On Monday night, So You Think You Can Dance revealed its Top 5 ladies for Season 16. The ballroom massacre that often happens on this show, occurred early in the season when five ballroom dancers became one dancer moving on to the next stage of the game.
For some viewers, it was difficult to understand why one performer made it over another. However, it is important to note that we only saw two 60-minute episodes of the Academy week that kicked off with 79 contestants. Due to the rushed nature of these weeks, fans are missing the details of those four rounds of dancing.
There is more than one dance that factors in the judges' decision to make the final cut. There are four opinions who vote and weigh in on who should move on to the SYTYCD stage. Nigel Lythgoe even admitted that two of his picks did not make the final cut, he was outvoted.
"I will be honest with you and say we were not unanimous in our choice of the Top 5. I lost 2 dancers I would have liked and I’m sure the other judges will say the same thing. The great news is we have a stunning top 5 girls," he wrote on Twitter.
Since the show has moved so quickly through three rounds in total — Auditions, Judges Round and Academy — it's important to get to know a few facts about the five dancers representing the ladies this season.
Sophie Pittman: Sophie is the youngest of the female dancers this season. During the Academy, she was at the tail end of her senior year of high school. She still had prom, her final dance performances at her local studio and graduation ahead of her. Viewers will probably see a lot of emotional growth over the six-week season.
Madison Jordan: It's hard to believe that Madison, at 21, is the oldest in the group of female contestants this year and she's still very young. What served her well during the auditions was her Larkin Dance Studio training. All of the performers coming out of this studio — Taylor Sieve, Ellie and Ava Wagner and Eva Igo — are always grounded in their technique. This will serve her well moving forward.
Anna Linstruth: Executive producer Jeff Thacker has been saying all season that they are looking for a diamond in the rough — the dancer who they know will have a lot of growth through this process. It worked extremely well with Slavik Pustovoytov, who made it all the way to the Top 4 in Season 15. Judges are betting on Anna to do the same, especially Laurieann Gibson, who championed her during the auditions.
Mariah Russell: Mariah is small, but mighty, and viewers shouldn't underestimate the strength she has as a dancer. She also has a star quality that comes naturally — Mariah steps on that stage and you pay attention. She will be an interesting one to watch in the weeks ahead.
Stephanie Sosa: It felt like a given that this was Stephanie's year, not because it was owed to her after last year's close call, but because she worked hard over the last 12 months. She trained in different styles, she worked on her fitness level and changed up her nutrition plan. Stephanie also spent the first half of the year working on Disney +'s High School Musical 4. That is a great confidence boost, which only helped her through the Academy.
Next week, the Top 5 guys will be announced and Dance Network has interviews with all 10 cast members from their official photo shoot in early May.
Don't miss Dance Network's 'To The Pointe' interview with Season 16 'So You Think You Can Dance' Top-20 contestant, Sofia Ghavami: