Judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Laurieann Gibson and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval, as well as, the viewers have had their work cut out for them as So You Think You Can Dance aired the Season 16 finale live on Monday, September 16th on Stage 36 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. Amazingly talented dancers were showcased this season from tap to ballroom, contemporary to hip-hop all leading to this moment where the final four contestants faced the final impressions by the judges and the combined viewer votes.
The final four including Bailey Munoz, Gino Cosculluela, Mariah Russell and Sophie Pittman flexed their talent as part of a judge-inspired two-hour finale which encompassed a performance by Phoebe Kochis, a young woman with down syndrome who auditioned in the season’s early episodes and turned into a fan favorite, as well as, a stellar group performance which included all the returning Top 10 finalists and choreographed by Emmy Award winner Mandy Moore.
Before the winner was announced, we all were taken down a little nostalgia trip, welcoming back series alumni and treated again to some beloved Season 16 routines, sure to please devoted fans. The top 10 finalists returned to perform “So You Think You Can Dance Live” a 2019 tour number choreographed by Luther Brown and also featuring All-Star dancers Lauren Froderman and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer.
As SYTYCD host, Cat Deeley began to announce the results and tensions mounted, Sophie Pittman then Gino Cosculluela were eliminated leaving a bitter-sweet moment between Bailey Munoz and Mariah Russell. The two began the SYTYCD journey together as they were paired during the 1st live show to perform a duet and their relationship seemed to blossom ever since. They each, in turn, became instant favorites and now they became the last two standing.
As Deeley announced Munoz is the season 16 winner, he and Russell embraced and shared the moment together glowing in its finality while both facing a bright future ahead.
Bailey Munoz, 19, who hails from Las Vegas, NV, the first break-dancer to win SYTYCD, earned the cash prize of $250,000, the cover of Dance Spirit magazine and the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.”
Humble as always, Munoz stated after winning, “Thank you to all my family, friends and all of Team Bailey for their love and support. You are all the reasons I made it through this journey on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and I love you guys so much.”
Munoz was Season 16’s big winner but will there be a Season 17 winner? The FOX network isn’t quite sure yet. The show hasn’t been renewed as FOX is still mulling over the decision.
However, what is more certain is that Munoz will join the rest of the Top 10 finalists and All-Stars Lauren Froderman and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer for the 40-city tour, which kicks off Oct. 12 in Atlantic City, NJ, at the Tropicana Casino.
Celeb Secrets spoke to the 19-year-old moments after being named “America’s Favorite Dancer.” He opened up about his experience, and more.
Written by John Scholz