“SYTYCD” Week 9 Recap: Who’s Headed to the Finale?

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We can’t believe we’ve already made it to the semifinals of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Over the past nine weeks, we’ve seen the competition narrowed down from hundreds of hopefuls to the top 35 to our final four. That’s right: Madison Rouge Alvarado, Dakayla Wilson, Easton Magliarditi, and Anthony Curley are officially our semifinalists. And next week, one of them will be crowned America’s Favorite Dancer. 

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But first, the dancers were asked to take on yet another challenge: working with a major brand. To help, they were joined by “SYTYCD” alum (and former Dance Spirit cover star) Witney Carson, who also happens to be Gatorade’s newest brand ambassador. “The best dancers have all worked with different global brands to share their vision and their products with the world,” said Carson. And with that, it was time for our finalists to try something brand new. 

The crew were also joined by choreographer-turned-creative-director Hi-Hat. Carson and Hi-Hat told the dancers they would be working to rep Gatorade’s new product, Gatorade Water. And while we’re still not totally clear on what makes Gatorade water different from…regular water (we heard something about electrolytes?), the fearless foursome were excited to take on the all-new challenge.

The dancers headed straight into rehearsal with Hi-Hat, who told them the performance would be a mashup of house and hip hop. And while a couple of the dancers looked a little apprehensive, it was Easton who really struggled with the dance style. “This is new for me,” he told Hi-Hat.

But the next day Easton came in more confident: “Yesterday I went home and I worked on the choreo, and I let it soak in my body, and I slept on it, and today I came in and it felt so much better.” We love a dancer who is patient with their own performance. It’s giving…maturity. 

At the other end of the studio, Madison was still struggling with her hip pain from previous week, plus a bonus new knee pain from this week’s rehearsals. “I’m just trying really hard to just not show it,” she said. “At this point in the competition I really don’t want to go home.” Again, we love the commitment, but please, dancers, take care of yourselves!

Finally, the day of the shoot arrived, and with it came the judges, who wanted to observe the entire filming process as a part of their deliberations. They noticed Easton’s newfound choreography, but also Madison’s pain which was a major concern for judge Allison Holker. “You want to push yourself, but you also want to make sure you take care of your body,” said Holker. Say it louder for the people in the back!

The judges joined the final four to watch all of the dancers’ clips, and at this point in the competition, everyone was killing it. So much so that it wasn’t just two or three dancers who were asked to dance for their lives—all four semifinalists were asked to perform a solo to fight for their chance to stay in the competition. 

Each of the final four brought something special to the stage, but it was Madison who earned a standing ovation from the judges and sent judge JoJo Siwa falling to the floor after in awe. So it was no surprise when she earned a spot in the season finale. The judges finally announced that joining her would be Anthony and Dakayla, leaving Easton eliminated. 

“This experience has been one of the most amazing journeys I’ve ever had,” said Easton “This process has highs and lows, but I’m okay with the challenges because this has been a dream of mine since I started dancing.”

It’s official: We know which three dancers will be heading into next week’s final episode of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Stay tuned to find out who will become America’s Favorite Dancer next week!

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