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So You Think You Can Dance: Best Routines of Season 10 (10-1)

Tuesday night is the 10th season finale of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s time to look back on the current season and pick out which routines stood out from the rest. I tried to pick my favorite moments of each dance for each picture. Let’s start!

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10. Aaron, Alexis & Curtis – Meet the Top 20 – “You Really Did It” – Anthony Morigerato, Tap
*Nigel has been adamant at getting tap dancers on the show. This year he got three of them. (Technically only two, but Aaron only got in the Top 20 because of a contestant becoming injured.) All three of them got to do a spectacular number from Anthony Morigerato. Alexis & Curtis never reached the same heights as this number, but Aaron obviously grew week after week. He still started in a great place though. The boards portion of this routine is insane too. Easily the best tap number that’s ever been on SYTYCD.*

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9. Top 6 Girls – “Young and Beautiful” – Stacey Tookey, Contemporary
*This is evidence that the girls were much, much, much stronger than the guys this year. The top 6 ladies all got to do a fantastic Stacey Tookey number. She always has really interesting, complex routines. You could tell from the rehearsal footage that Tookey was absolutely estatic to have the talents of these 6 ladies at her fingertips. She didn’t disappoint. She created a beautiful, complex routine for all of them.*

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8. Aaron & Jasmine H. – Top 6 – “Mirror Mirror” – Sean Cheesman, Jazz
*Sean Cheesman was on fire this season with all of his routines. Aaron & Jasmine H. were reunited as partners after a few weeks with the all-stars. Within those few weeks they both greatly improved and had better chemistry than their first 5 weeks together. From the second the routine begins, it’s a non-stop dance ride that requires high energy from both Alan & Jasmine. They both lived up to the challenge and danced their asses off. And you can’t talk about this routine without the insane leg splits from Jasmine in the middle of it. It’s a slowed-down moment in a fast-paced number that makes it even more memorable.*

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7. Alan & Jasmine M. – Top 20(1) – “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Travis Wall, Contemporary
*This was the first week of performances. It really looked like Alan & Jasmine M. were going to become a power couple after this routine. It’s a high concept number from Travis Wall that required both dancers to be blindfolded the entire time. Sometimes those high concepts don’t work. This time it worked really well and put them on the map as a couple. Unfortunately America didn’t feel the same and both dancers consistently ended up in the bottom, with Jasmine M. being eliminated a few weeks after this. However, I fully expect this number to performed again on the finale. At least they both left with one of the most memorable routines in SYTYCD history.*

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6. Makenzie & Paul – Top 14 – “You’ll Find a Way” – Sonya Tayeh, Jazz
*I have to make a confession: I thought for sure that Paul was going to be eliminated in the first week. He wasn’t featured at all during the audition/Las Vegas rounds and he didn’t stand out in the Meet the Top 20 show. I was completely wrong and he’s the dancer that appears most on this list. This routine was a huge turning point for me with Paul. He absolutely dominated this tough Jazz routine from Sonya Tayeh. The routine required a lot of chemistry and tension between the dancers and Makenzie and Paul brought it in spades. They both become major players in the competition for me because of their powerful number.*

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5. Jenna & Mark – Top 8 – “I Am the Best” – Mark Kanemura, Jazz-Funk
*Mark Kanemura is probably the most successful dancer to come out of the show. He’s became Lady Gaga’s principal dancer and is prominently featured on her tour. (Although he wasn’t at the MTV VMA’s, so I wonder if he’s moved on?) But he came back to choreography a funky Jazz routine with Jenna. It was absolutely crazy and quirky and weird, and that’s why it worked. Nigel pointed it out best in his critique. Some of the routines on the show start to blend together and the concepts of heartbreak and drama can become tiring. This one was quirky and fun and stood out from everything else this season. Mark came back to choreograph another routine for the Top 4 show that was along the same lines. I hope he’s going to become a regular choreographer next year. It looks that way…*

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4. Hayley & Nico – Top 12 – “Kiss of the Spider Woman” – Sean Cheesman, Broadway
*Broadway routines are usually my favorite, mostly because I love musicals. Tyce Diorio has been phased out as a Broadway choreographer because of Spencer Liff. Now Liff better watch out because Cheesman is becoming the best Broadway choreographer on the show (especially after this one and his one last year with Brandon & Janaya). It was a fast-paced fun routine that really showed off the skills of Hayley & Nico (who really underwhelmed this season, but at least he got one memorable number with this one). The one-legged flip was go down as one of the most impressive tricks/stunts in SYTYCD history.*

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3. Hayley & Paul – Top 6 – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – Dee Caspery, Contemporary
*First of all, the song choice was awesome. We all know the original version of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. But this is a slowed-down acoustic version by the band Sleeping at Last that takes the quirkiness out of it and makes it into a kinda sad ballad. Anyways…Paul & Hayley were both eliminated after this number which makes it stand out even more. Both of them should’ve made it to the finale and possibly won, but they went out on an extremely high note. And it also proves that they should’ve been a couple from the moment the season started. They could’ve dominated this competition even more if they were together.*

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2. Jasmine H. & Marko – Top 10 – “Blurred Lines” – Ray Leeper, Jazz
*Marko is one of my favorite dancers to ever be on the program and I’m happy he’s back so often to compete again as an all-star. He brings everything he has to every single routine. This was a weird concept where Jasmine & Marko both had to be completely andgroneous and almost be one person. It could’ve fallen flat and not worked at all, but both of them had so much energy and committed so deeply to their characters that it became one of the strongest routines to ever appear on SYTYCD. It was a blast to watch.*

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1. Amy & Travis – Top 8 – “Wicked Game” – Travis Wall, Contemporary
*The dancers coming back as choreographers was a concept that really worked for the Top 8 show. And it was clearly evidenced by this routine. Travis has been back multiple times as a choreographer and has received multiple Emmy nominations for his work. But this time he was back as a dancer and he was clearly nervous about it. That didn’t show at all when it came time to perform. He really proved why he’s such a strong dancer and was the runner-up in the second season. He also elevated Amy’s performance level. I think she was clearly hindered by having Fik-Shun as a partner. But this routine proved that she’s an incredibly strong dancer and Travis brought her up to another level, where she should be all the time. I wish I could’ve put her on the countdown more, but having the #1 spot isn’t too bad either. I can’t wait for her to come back as an all-star and have more memorable routines than she had this year.*

Aaron & Jasmine H. – Top 18 – “They Just Keep Moving the Line” – Spencer Liff, Broadway
Top 16 Group – Top 16 – “New World” – Peter Chu & Stacey Tookey, Contemporary
Amy & Fik-Shun – Top 16 – “Under the Bridge” – Tyce Diorio, Jazz
Jenna & Neil – Top 10 – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Mandy Moore, Contemporary
Hayley & Dmitry – Top 8 – “Meant” – Dmitry Chaplin, Rumba