What Made Season 16 of 'So You Think You Can Dance' So Special?

by Kristyn Burtt | 9/10/2019 1:47 PM

Photo credit: Adam Rose/FOX.

If you watched Monday night's performance finale of So You Think You Can Dance, you watched some of the finest dancing the series has ever seen. Week 5, or the week before the final episode, traditionally is sloppy. It's the point where the contestants are tired, hungry, sore and injured. 


The Season 16 cast was feeling all of those aches and pains yet they somehow rose above those challenges to deliver one of the strongest shows in recent memory. On top of the dancing being superior, the emotional level was also at an all-time high. 


More: 'So You Think You Can Dance' Delivers Some Serious Classical Jazz This Season


"Especially where they were so far out of their element, like the Quick-Step and Bollywood both. I thought that these are going to be the moments we see a lack of [technique], but they didn't," explained Dance Consultant/All-Star/choreographer Robert Roldan, "They rose and fought for themselves in every single dance tonight. I was blown away by how good they were."


Each season, the new cast sets a tone that remains throughout the studio shows and the crew and press don't know what that is until the first week concludes. This cast had a competitive energy from the get-go that was palpable — they were hungry to win. 


Watch: All of the Season 16 ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Interviews Before Monday’s Live Finale


The young cast is the product of excellent training through a multitude of dance styles. Bailey Muñoz, Mariah Russell, Gino Cosculluela and Sophie Pittman barely had a misstep through the wide variety of styles thrown at them on Monday night. 


Viewers have also seen a lot of growth emotionally with all of the contestants. Each week, a breakthrough happened where they went from a really good dancer to a great dancer baring their souls. That heart is what keeps some of the spectacular All-Stars working year-after-year in the dance industry. 


More: 'So You Think You Can Dance' Judges Hit All The Right Notes in Season 16


With that magic happening out there on the stage, it's no surprise that we saw tears on everyone's face from host Cat Deeley to judge D-Trix. The emotions are genuine and come from a place deep in their souls — dance can rock you to the core. 


With the show already starting the audition-submission process for Season 17 in hopes of a FOX renewal soon, the producers are going to try and find that magic again. We may not get a Top 20 or additional live shows next year, but we know that spectacular dance awaits us.

Don’t miss Dance Network’s ‘To The Pointe’ Interview with Season 16 Contestant, Madison Jordan: