"So You Think You Can Dance" Season 11's top four dancers (Zack Everhart, Valerie Rockey, Ricky Ubeda and Jessica Richens) take the stage for the last time. Credit: FOX/Adam Rose
The time has come! All votes are in and for the first time since 2011, only one dancer took home the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.” In addition to the title, the winner also received $250,000, a shoot for the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine, and a role in the Broadway revival of “On The Town” once the SYTYCD tour wraps up in February.
Season 11’s Top 20 opened up the show with a Broadway number to “Doctor Jazz” by Jelly’s Last Jam. But the top 20 dancers weren’t the only stars of the night. There were also a few guest appearances on the judging panel (which really meant they just got to sit back and tell the dancers how awesome they are). Joining judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy for the finale were Jenna Dewan Tatum, Debbie Allen, Tara Lipinski and Adam Shankman.
Sticking to SYTYCD tradition, all six judges picked their favorite performances of the season to be reenacted. Mary’s favorite performance was Jessica and Casey’s contemporary dance to “Like Real People Do” by Hozier. It was just as emotional as the first time we saw it and everyone was digging that kiss at the end. Debbie’s favorite performance was Valerie and Ricky’s funky rag doll hip-hop dance to “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon.
Nigel chose Rudy and Allison Holker’s passionate jazz routine to “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson. Jenna’s favorite was Rudy and Tanisha’s fun jazz routine with chair props to “You Need” by Bengsons. Adam’s favorite performance was Ricky and Zack’s explosive hip-hop routine to “The Antidote” by District 78. Tara chose Emilio and Jasmine Harper’s crazy good hip-hop dance to “Get Low” by Dillion Francis and DJ Snake.
Our top four dancers also got to choose their favorite performances of the season to reenact. Zack chose his contemporary dance with last year’s winner Amy Yakima to “Europe, After the Rain” about losing someone close to you. The crowd was once again moved to tears. Valerie chose her first tap routine on the SYTYCD stage with Zack to “Sing” by Ed Sheeran.
Ricky’s favorite routine was the contemporary dance he did with Jessica to “The Vow” by Meredith Monk and Jessica chose her contemporary piece from last week with All-Star Robert Roldan to “When I Go” by Over the Rhine.
At last the moment we’ve all been waiting for. In fourth place was Zack Everhart. Coming in third was Jessica Richens. In second place, (drum roll please) was Valerie Rockey, which means Ricky Ubeda is America’s Favorite Dancer (but was that ever really a surprise?)