Producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe wasted no time after introductions on Tuesday night's "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 10 finale to announce that Fox Television execs had called him earlier in the day to let him know that a Season 11 for the show had been given the green light. And now that we all know what we'll be watching next summer while waiting for football season to begin again, host Cat Deeley begins the roll call of callbacks of favorite dance routines from the season to count down to the naming of the season's winners -- or, as they're known on the show, "Favorite Dancers."
As was recapped on the show's webpage at Fox.com on Sept. 10, there were only four finalists left competing for the title of "America's Favorite Dancer" -- Aaron Turner, Amy Yakima, Jasmine Harper, and DeShaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall. The quartet had danced a total of five dances each on the previous "So You Think You Can Dance" installment, the final performance episode, hoping to garner enough votes to win the contest. As in Season 9, there would be two winners instead of one -- one for each gender.
But before the winners were announced -- a the show's annual real-time replay...
As has become a finale standard, the judges panel -- which consisted of permanent judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe and finale guest judges Paula Abdul, Adam Shankman, and tWitch -- got to choose their favorite dance routines for the season. One of the better re-ran routines was chosen by director/producer Adam Shankman when he ordered up seconds of the Hip-Hop routine performed by Fik-Shun and tWitch to the Diddy - Dirty Money tune "Hello Good Morning." The "old man walk" the two guys do in unison near the end of the routine is simply priceless.
The finalists themselves also chose a favorite from the season as well. And then there was the highly mobile and all-inclusive (including bits with Nigel, Mary, and choreographer Travis Wall -- in a boa, no less) number danced to Herb Alpert's "Puttin' On The Ritz." This year also included a viewer's favorite, which turned out to be the flowingly beautiful contemporary routine choreographed to James Vincent McMorrow's version of "Wicked Game" by Travis Wall and danced by Wall and finalist Amy. (There is little doubt Travis Wall will earn an Emmy nod for this brilliant piece.)
But after two hours and being interrupted by a special speech by the President of the United States (not about "So You Think You Can Dance," but about the situation regarding Syria and possible military involvement), Cat Deeley was ready to tell America which duo among the quartet would be bestowed the titles of "America's Favorite Dancers."
And the winners were...
Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun.
Not that anyone on this show is ever a loser. The series highlights some of the best young dance talent in the nation and pads resumes for participants who go on to star in movies, television, commercials, Broadway and any number of entertainment venues. So, in a general sense, all the "So You Think You Can Dance" finalists -- with a bit of good timing and hard work and an agent that finds them auditions -- all become winners.
But the winners... well, they get the title, the prestige, a place in television history -- and $250,000. And given Amy Yakima's already considerable talent and Fik-Shun's quick-learning skills (he began as an animation street dancer) and obvious innate talent, the two will undoubtedly go on to successful careers in dance.
You can see the Season 10 dancers on tour this year as they maker their way around the nation performing many of the season's best and memorable routines.
And if you happened to miss the Tuesday evening Season 10 finale or only saw part of it, Fox Television will air a special encore presentation of "So You Think You Can Dance" on Friday, Sept. 13.