Every Season of "So You Think You Can Dance," Ranked

July 4, 2018

Updated July 2020

Can you believe that “So You Think You Can Dance” premiered in 2005? Time flies when you’re revolutionizing dance on TV. The show’s definitely come a long way since its debut, and tbh, there hasn’t been a single season we haven’t loved. But which season did we love most? Here’s our (sure-to-be-controversial) ranking of every season of “SYT” goodness.

16. Season 1

“SYTYCD” started off with a talent-filled first season, including besties Nick Lazzarini and Melody Lacayanga. But the show was still getting into its groove—and hadn’t yet been graced with Cat Deeley’s presence.

15. Season 6

Russell Ferguson made history as the first-ever krump dancer to win the show, bringing new attention to the dance style. But Season 6 aired during the fall, immediately after the epic Season 5, and suffered a bit by comparison.

14.Season 16

There were far too few live episodes this season. But, despite the compressed timeframe, we still fell hard for eventual winner Bailey Muñoz, and loved his fantastic partnership with Mariah Russell.

13. Season 9

Though it wasn’t the most memorable season, it did give us the incredible Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer and the one-two ballroom punch of Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold.

12.Season 15

We are forever stans of winner Hannalei Cabanilla. And though there were many less-than-memorable routines this season, we’ll never forget Darius Hickman’s searing performance in “It Takes a Lot to Know a Man.”

11. Season 7

Because of the show’s new format, with All Stars joining a Top 10 rather than a Top 20 for the live shows, Season 7 had a few bumps along the road. But it also featured the dancing skills of Lauren Froderman, Robert Roldan, and Alex Wong—not to mention Ellen DeGeneres.

10. Season 4

Otherwise known as the season in which the talent pool was so deep, Stephen “tWitch” Boss came in second place.

9.Season 8

Melanie Moore, Sasha Mallory, and Marko Germar were the stars of this all-around solid season.

8.Season 12

The Team Street vs Team Stage concept proved compelling enough to win over the skeptics—and we loved watching Gaby Diaz become the first tap dancer to win the show!

7.Season 14

OK, serious question: How does Lex move his body like that?! We knew right from his audition that he’d win, but we’re so glad Season 14 also gave us the equally delightful Taylor, Kiki, and Koine.

6.Season 5

Jeanine Mason—in our opinion one of the best dancers to actually win the show—will forever have a special place in our hearts. And that Travis Wall “If It Kills Me” routine? Instantly iconic.

5.Season 11

Two words: Ricky Ubeda. Need we say more? His season 11 audition clearly speaks for itself. This was also the season that featured the one and only Misty Copeland as a guest judge.

4.Season 10

Season 10 included so many amazing dancers we’re still following. Amy Yakima, Fik-Shun, Jasmine Harper, Makenzie Dustman, Jenna Johnson, Paul Karmiryan, Nico Greetham, Curtis Holland—pretty much everybody #slayed.

3.Season 3

When Mary Murphy joined the show as a judge for season three, we were #shook. Also, DANNY TIDWELL. (We miss you, Danny!)

2.Season 13

This is controversial, but we totally loved “SYTYCD: The Next Generation”! Thank you, Season 13, for introducing the world to the charms of J.T. Church, Kida Burns, and, of course, Tate McRae, whose legs are longer than most people’s life spans.

1. Season 2

Travis Wall and Benji Schwimmer and Allison Holker, plus the introduction of Cat Deeley, plus all kinds of instant-classic routines (hello, Wade Robson’s “Ramalama Bang Bang” and Mia Michaels’ “Calling You”)?! Season 2 was so good, we’re STILL talking about it more than a decade later.