"SYTYCD: The Next Generation" Season 13 Recap: The Top 5 Perform

August 29, 2016

Happy 250th episode, “So You Think You Can Dance!”

The show marked a major milestone last night and celebrated with a fun format switch-up: The Next Generation dancers choreographed a duet for themselves and their All-Star partners to perform. We must say, it was really fun to watch the kids’ rehearsal processes and see them take charge. (They loved having the power….a little too much at times!) The contestants also danced another pro-choreographed routine with their usual All-Star partner, in their own style. Tbh it was kinda refreshing not to have any new partner pairings or dancers dancing outside of their comfort zones. This new format was the perfect thing to shake up the season and make it really exciting again!

Take a look at our Top 5 highlights from the night:

Maddie Ziegler and Travis Wall performing their duet. (Photo by Patrick Wymore via FOX)

1. Maddie Ziegler and Travis Wall’s Duet

Also in honor of the show’s historic 250th episode, our favorite judge, Miss Maddie Z, performed a fierce duet with Travis Wall. Choreographed by Wall, the dance was dark and kinda evil, but we loved everything about it. From Maddie’s commanding stage presence to the awesome partnering and lifts, it was a win for sure. And it was so nice to finally see Maddie up on that stage proving why she deserves to be a judge on the show in the first place.

2. The Dances Choreographed by the Next Generation

It’s really hard to call out just one or two of these pieces because every single kid-choreographed piece was a serious highlight last night. The Next Generation shined in their own choreography and quite frankly blew us (and the judges) away—as dancers and as mature choreographers. And you could just tell they were having so much fun creating their own visions and finding their own voices. Tate created a beautiful and powerful contemporary dance focused on masks; Kida choreographed a robotic-inspired hip hop routine; J.T. chose to highlight his and Robert’s super-sweet relationship in a contemporary dance to “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars; Emma gave Gaby some bubbly (and super fast, per usual) tap choreo that also showcased their BFF status; and Tahani made Comfort a nerd in a sassy hip hop piece inspired by Grease. 

Kida and Fik-Shun in Kida’s hip hop routine. (Photo by Patrick Wymore via FOX)

  3. Tahani and Comfort’s Hip Hop Routine

We LOVED this incredibly fast and super high-energy tribal-inspired hip hop routine, courtesy of choreographer Dave Scott. And the story was really creative: Tahani and Comfort were tribeswomen in Nigeria discovering hip hop on the radio for the first time. They then realize they’re already familiar with the beats and end up adding their own African spin. Tahani seemed to have a little trouble picking up Scott’s intricacies in the rehearsal footage, but by the time they got on stage, both girls killed it. And they looked fabulous while doing so—they’re hair and makeup was on point.

(Photo by Patrick Wymore via FOX)

4. Emma and Gaby’s Savion Glover-Choreographed Tap Dance

It’s not everyday that one gets to watch a tap legend’s choreo on primetime television. But that’s exactly what happened last night when the one and only Savion Glover made his first appearance on the show. It made us so happy to watch him work with Emma and Gaby—he gave them a slower, very musical number that was a throwback to old-school tappers like his mentor Gregory Hines. It was a beautifully elegant and classic tap piece, and the girls’ sounds were incredibly crisp and meticulous, naturally.

(Photo by Patrick Wymore via FOX)

5. J.T. and Robert’s Father/Son Duet

You guys, this duo is pure magic and truly can do no wrong at this point. Their bond and connection gets stronger with every passing week, only making their pieces that much more powerful. Last night they danced a contemporary piece by Stacey Tookey that centered on a touching father and son relationship. The son had just received some devastating news and the father picks him back up and puts a smile on his face again. Cue, all the feels. And as adorable as J.T. is, his technique has been the subject of previous judge criticism, but last night it was noted that he’s making strides in that department.

(Photo by Patrick Wymore via FOX)

Despite all the fun, though, an elimination still needed to be made and unfortunately it ended up being Tahani. We’ll miss your spunk and your bows, girl!

Your Top 4! (Photo by Patrick Wymore via FOX)

What did you think of this week’s elimination? Was America right to send Tahani home? And who are you rooting for at this stage of the competition?

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