The season finale of So You Think You Can Dance premieres tonight from 8-10 p.m. ET on FOX. The final four contestants will compete to join the ranks of America’s Favorite Dancers, as well as earn a $250,000 prize and a cover article in “Dance Spirit.” The four contestants include Gino Cosculluela, Bailey Munoz, Mariah Russell and Sophie Pittman.
Beware of spoilers below and STOP READING if you don’t want to know what happened and who won season 16 of So You Think You Can Dance. The article will be updated live as the episode airs.
8:05 – The finale kicks off with host Cat Deeley, who welcomes back the top ten dancers of the season. Madison Jordan, Benjamin Castro, Eddie Hoyt, Ezra Sosa, Anna Linstruth and Stephanie Sosa joined the four finalists for an exciting group dance number. After they finish up, Cat welcomes judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Laurieann Gibson and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval to the stage.
8:15 – Laurieann chooses a piece for Mariah and Bailey to perform, and they knock out an exciting hip-hop routine to the song “Tempo” by Lizzo and Missy Elliott. Both finalists shine during the routine, particularly Mariah, who flashes her undeniable chemistry at key points during the song.
8:20 – Nigel then chooses a routine by the great Ray Leeper for Ezra and Madison. They perform to the song “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Joe Cocker, and the chemistry between them is explosive. Both Ezra and Madison show off their precise technique, resulting in an early highlight for the finale.
8:30 – D-Trix is the next judge to choose a routine, and he requests that Sophie and Eddie dance to “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish. The dancing partners give a sophisticated, tasteful performance, one that relies on technique more than passion. Eddie tap-dancing skills are also a highlight here.
8:35 – Mariah takes the stage as the first finalist to pick a routine tonight. She chooses a choreographed piece by Mandy Korpinen and Elizabeth Petrin and sets it to the track “Slide” by James Bay. Mariah’s performance is unique in that it features a large prop shaped like the side of a rooftop, and they incorporate the prop into their dance moves. Another standout performance.
8:40 – Mary requests that Gino and Stephanie perform a lively routine to the song “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard. This is far and away the most energetic routine of the night, as Gino implements his winning personality into his moves, and Stephanie plays off of him perfectly. A fun chance of pace for sure.
8:50 – We get another group performance that’s set to “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles. It was an emotional and draining experience, arguably the most emotional of the night thus far, as each dancer commits to their moves with reckless abandon. The routine ends with each dancer removing their shirts to reveal the word “Enough” written on them, which is the title of the routine.
8:55 – D-Trix chooses a routine from Aloe Blackstone and gives it to Anna and Benjamin to perform. They take the stage and offer up a playful number set to “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Tank and the Bangas. They duo opted to slow down the pace of the song, however, and the results made for a subdued, impressively sparse performance. Anna and Benjamin flash some incredible chemistry, and the judges are understandably wowed.
9:00 – Mary chooses another piece for Gino to perform. This time, its a Luther Brown choreographed number set to “Get Up” by Ciara. Gino once again knocks it out of the park, shedding the styling of his first performance, and giving a hip-hop infused performance that perfectly meshes with the song. Gino has come to play tonight.
9:05 – Sophie is next to choose, and she opts to do a routine set to “Will You Be Found” from Dear Evan Hanson. Sophie performs alongside Gino, and the emotional power of the routine is overwhelming at times. By the end of the song, both Sophie and her dad were crying. Another highlight as we cross the hour mark.
9:10 – The top ten return to the stage to perform alongside all-stars Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer and Lauren Froderman. They knock out an exciting hip-hop routine that sees each dancer decked out in colorful clothing. The routine is meant to promote the upcoming SYTYCD tour, and judging by their performance tonight, fans won’t be disappointed with what they get.
9:15 – D-Trix requests that Madison, Mariah and Sophie do a routine set to “I Can’t Stand the Rain” by Tina Turner. They take the stage wearing skin-tight black latex and hats that are shaped like umbrellas. A brief performance, but an undeniable fun one.
9:20 – Mary pairs Bailey up with Koine Iwasaki, and they perform a playful routine to “Mambo Italiano” by Dean Martin. Bailey steals the show, and by the time he’s done showing off the to the judges, the crowd is chanting his name. Bailey is definitely the finalist to beat heading into the final leg of the finale.
9:25 – Laurieann selects Bailey, Gino and Ezra to perform a routine set to “Amen” by Amber Run. It’s fun to watch the different styles of each dancer interact, especially as Bailey’s B-Boy routine parallels the ballroom and contemporary vibes of Gino and Ezra. Another showstopping turn that has the crowd on their feet by the end.
9:35 – Gino decides to partner with Sophie to perform a routine to “Trouble” by Elvis Presley. Gino shines yet again, as the jazzy vibe of the song and the routine compliment his Broadway-ready moves. Sophie is also stellar, and the finish things off in style.
9:40 – Bailey partners with Mariah to perform a routine to “Need You Tonight” by INXS. This routine isn’t as awe-inspiring as some of the other Bailey and Mariah turns, but it’s still lots of fun. Afterwards, Cat Deeley gets on stage to reveal that Sophie Pittman finishes in fourth place.
9:50 – Laurieann chooses the final piece by pairing Ezra and all-star Gabby Diaz. They dance to the song “Ne me quitte pas” by Jacques Brel and its a marvelously smooth and well-placed capper to the night.
9:55 – Cat Deeley announces that Gino finishes up in third place, which means that the final two spots will go to Bailey and Mariah. After the suspense ratchets up, Cat opens her envelope to reveal that Bailey is the winner! He is the first B-Boy to win the competition.
4th Place: Sophie Pittman
3rd Place: Gino Cosculluela
2nd Place: Mariah Russell
Champion: Bailey Munoz