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So You Think You Can Dance: Best Routines of Season 10 (20-11)

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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20. Top 20 plus others – Top 20(1) – “Puttin’ on the Ritz” – Tabitha & Napoleon, Jazz-Funk
*A fantastic way to kick off the first night of competition. NappyTabs created a routine that spanned the entire backstage area of the SYTYCD studios. They included the Top 20 dancers along with the choreographers, the judges, the backstage crew, etc. It was shot in one continuous take and ended with the Top 20 on the mainstage. It was a technical achievement on all levels. One one of my favorite moments was Jason Glickson dipping Mary Murphy about 10 times before the camera moved away from them. I would’ve loved to have seen Mary Murphy’s reaction after he stopped.*

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19. Paul & Kathryn – Top 6 – “Tied Up” – Tyce Diorio, Jazz
*Tyce Diorio is one of my least favorite choreographers. He’s extremely ham-fisted when it comes to the themes and emotions of his pieces. And his Broadway pieces are always underwhelming. This time he choreographed a pretty simple Jazz piece. It was brought to life by Paul and all-star Kathryn. They both gave it there all and made it a memorable routine. In anybody else’s hands it probably would’ve been forgettable.*

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18. Hayley & Leonardo – Top 14 – “Este Es El Rey” – Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo, Argentine Tango
*Hayley was supposed to be paired with her regular partner Curtis, but an injury kept him from performing. The choreographer of the piece, Leonardo Barrionuevo, stepped in and made it something to remember. Hayley always seemed to dominate Curtis in every routine. Now she was with a partner of a higher caliber and it elevated her as a performer. She became one of my favorites after this routine. I don’t usually enjoy ballroom routines, but this one was something special.*

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17. Top 18 Group – Top 18 – “Pretty Face” – Christopher Scott & Sonya Tayeh, Jazz
*Christopher Scott is a hit-or-miss choreographer. He has good concepts but they end up becoming muddled. With Sonya Tayeh’s help, no doubt, this became the strongest opening group routine of the season. It had the Top 18 dancers doing hard falls from an elaborate set, but not before dancing beautifully together. Everything about it was gorgeous.*

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16. Malece & Marko – Top 18 – “In the Embers” – Sonya Tayeh, Contemporary
*Malece was paired with Jade for the first two performance competition shows. Jade had to withdraw from the competition because of a knee injury, so all-star Marko stepped into his role for this number. Malece really benefitted from this. She was head and shoulders above Jade as a partner, so now she was paired with somebody on her level and she became one of the top contenders after this. Sonya’s choreography was beautiful too. She can do crazy jazz numbers, but she’s also capable of soft and moving contemporary pieces.*

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15. Alan & Jasmine M. – Top 20(2) – “Escape From Slavery” – Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo, Tango
*I really can’t believe that Jasmine M. landed in the Bottom 6 after this performance and the judges eliminated her. The girls were strong this year, but Jasmine M. was among the best and I would’ve loved to have seen her make it a little bit further in the competition. Miriam & Leonardo are the best ballroom choreographers on the show and this routine proved that point even stronger. One of the best ballroom routines to ever be featured on the SYTYCD stage.*

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14. Makenzie & Jakob – Top 10 – “Too Darn Hot” – Spencer Liff, Broadway
*The voters never liked Makenzie and she was constantly in the bottom 3. The judges saved her up until the Top 10 and this was her final routine on the show. She went out on a high note with a Spencer Liff routine. Makenzie played the hell out of the role she was given and she never looked more beautiful. Some of the other girls on the show couldn’t have pulled off that character, but Makenzie did it and made it look effortless.*

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13. Jasmine H. & Comfort – Top 4 – “Run the World (Girls)” – Tabitha & Napoleon, Hip Hop
*NappyTabs can do some cheesy choreography sometimes (the bell hop routine), but they are at their best when they keep the concept simple and just do some rough hip hop choreography. Jasmine H. chose Hip Hop as her style of choice for the finale (probably because she was already doing Contemporary earlier in the night). They created a simple routine where she and Comfort could just be bad ass biker chicks. They both performed the hell out of it.*

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12. Makenzie & Paul – Top 12 – “The Edge of Glory” – Mandy Moore, Contemporary
*Mandy Moore is constantly nominated for the Emmy every year and she never really deserves it. I think it’s because she’s a well known choreography that people like working with. If she gets nominated next year, it will actually be a deserved one. It was a soft, sweet contemporary routine set to an acoustic version of Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory”. Both of the performances from Makenzie & Paul were absolutely beautiful. And a special shout out to the lighting designers on the show too. They have to do so many different styles for each dance and they do it perfectly.*

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11. Aaron & Melanie – Top 6 – “Faith” – Spencer Liff, Broadway
*Another Spencer Liff routine makes the list. I don’t even know if this should count as Broadway because the song wasn’t from a Broadway show. Either way it was a great routine. Aaron & Melanie were both required to do a lot of acting in this number. Both of them pulled off their characters really well, not to mention their level of dancing was exquiste. It was a fun routine that was given even more power thanks to the technique from the two dancers.*

Carlos, Hayley & Malece – Meet the Top 20 – “Stay” – Mia Michaels, Contemporary
Jenna & Tucker – Top 16 – “Hangin’ By a Thread” – Travis Wall, Contemporary
Amy & Brandon – Top 10 – “I Will Always Love You” – Doriana Sanchez, Disco
Tucker & Robert – Top 10 – “Medicine” – Travis Wall, Contemporary
Top 6 Group – “Hlohonolofatsa” – Sean Cheeseman, African Jazz