"SYTYCD: The Next Generation" Season 13 Recap: The Finale

September 12, 2016

Last night’s “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation” finale was a fantastic whirlwind of all the show’s best things: Fabulous new group numbers, duets from throughout the season, video montages of super-sweet Next Gen/All-Star moments, guest performers and TONS of energy. (Seriously, every dancer left it all out on that stage last night.) It was everything a finale should be. And tbh this season deserved an over-the-top celebration because, as Cat Deeley said, those kids learned 159 different dances that collectively have been viewed over 170 million times online. That’s insane! Talk about an impressive season.

And, as promised, the final results were announced! And America’s Favorite Dancer was crowned!! But first, before we reveal just who that winner is, let’s talk about our top 5 highlights from the rest of the night:

Emma and Gaby performing Nick Young’s “We Will Rock You.” (Photo by Adam Rose via FOX)

  1. All that tap.
    Nigel is right: America is falling in love with tap again and here at DS, we’re obviously all about it. We’re so glad Emma and Gaby stayed on the show all the way through to the finale because that meant we got to watch some serious tapping every single week. Last night, both the judges and the All-Stars got to pick their favorite pieces from the season and, no surprise here, there were not one but two tap dances in the mix. Jason wanted to watch Chloe Arnold‘s step-dancing–esque number set to Beyoncé again, and Gaby chose Nick Young’s super-fast and heavily syncopated “We Will Rock You” to perform another time. We didn’t think it was possible, but both were even fiercer the second time around.

Sergei Polunin performing a variation from La Esmeralda. (Photo by Adam Rose via FOX)

2. Sergei Polunin’s guest performance.
Classical ballet highlighted on primetime? Yessssss, please. Polunin danced a variation from the “Diana and Actéon” divertissement from La Esmeralda, showing off his powerful jumps and jaw-dropping turns. Let’s just say it’s never a bad night when Polunin dances, am I right?

Kida, Sheaden and Tahani with All-Stars Fik-Shun, Marko and Comfort dancing a hip hop routine by Luther Brown. (Photo by Adam Rose via FOX)

3. The group hip hop piece.
 We so loved seeing all the Next Gen Top 10 contestants back up on that stage, but the pint-sized hip hoppers really brought it last night. (We missed you Sheaden and Tahani!) The group number by Luther Brown with Kida, Sheaden, Tahani, Fik-Shun, Marko and Comfort was, quite simply, on point. It was crisp and hard-hitting, and showed off tons of fab face from every dancer. And we’re still #obsessed with that all-grey monochromatic vibe.

J.T. and Robert perform a Mandy Moore duet. (Photo by Adam Rose via FOX)

4. J.T. and Robert’s last contemporary number. 
We couldn’t think of a better way to cap off this season than with a duet by this incredible pair. Robert picked a Mandy Moore piece as his season favorite and the powerful performance (the last of the night) made us feel all the usual J.T./Robert feels—one last time. Nothing else compares to the connection and the bond those two formed over this season. The chemistry was magical every single time they stepped onstage, and although J.T. wasn’t chosen as America’s Favorite Dancer, they’ll surely go down in the “SYTYCD” history books.

And last but not least! Your “SYTYCD: The Next Generation” winner is…

Kida Burns! (Photo by Adam Rose via FOX)

5. Kida Burns!
The hip hopper stole America’s hearts with his larger-than-life moves and his adorably magnetic stage presence. He came onto the show as one of the least trained contestants and killed it week after week at every single genre outside of his comfort zone. He also proved he’s quite the up-and-coming choreographer with the piece he created a few weeks back. (It was one of Nigel’s favorites from the entire season). Essentially, he’s a force to be reckoned with and more than deserving of the America’s Favorite Dancer title. Stay tuned: He’s got plenty of exciting dance opps and accomplishments coming his way—we’re sure of it. And we can’t wait to showcase his talent on the cover of our December issue. It’ll most certainly be one not to miss. Congrats, Kida!

Well, unfortunately, that’s all for Season 13. It was truly epic and we’re super sad to see these tiny dancers leave. They’ve wowed us all summer and Monday nights just won’t be the same without them.

Let us know what you thought of last night’s episode! Did your favorite dancer win? What was your favorite finale moment?

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