So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 Finale Recap: And the Winners Are... [Updated]

SYTYCD-Season-10-finale-winnerI take reality television so seriously that — no lie — my husband’s wedding vows included a promise to love, honor and share (or at least put up with) my obsession for the genre. But when it comes to So You Think You Can Dance — which, in my mind, is the artsy-cool Solange to American Idol‘s megastar sister Beyoncé — I’m always overcome by the hokey notion that whether or not my favorites prevail, the art of dance always comes out a winner.

I know, I know…that sentiment probably made you cringe harder than the sight of Paula Abdul’s “blooming onion” hairstyle. But honestly, I don’t say it to obscure the fact that I came into tonight’s Season 10 finale with strong feelings about how America should answer the questions “Aaron or Fik-Shun?” (Aaron, obvs) and “Amy or Jasmine?” (#TeamJasmine4Eva!).

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I say it because, after head judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe announced during the opening hour that SYTYCD had been picked up for Season 11, nothing — except maybe Cat Deeley being forced to announce the judges had decided to ignore America’s votes and declare their inexplicable fave Jenna as a surprise champ on the girls’ side — could harsh my vibe.

Anyhow…before we press play on So Do You Think You Could Give Us the Results Already, Slezak?, let’s hand out some awards celebrating the highs and lows of the finale, shall we?

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BEST MOMENT (NEW ROUTINE): Season 10 Top 10 & Selected All-Stars, “Rock Lobster”
OK, it was a little distracting the lengths to which the director and camera operators went to obscure Aaron’s abs, but All-Star Robert was sensational, and All-Star Allison reminded us she’s just as effective rocking out as she is gliding through a contemporary number. I really, really loved this high-energy piece, even if Cat never announced who choreographed it.

BEST MOMENT (ENCORE): Top 10 Guys, “Sand”
Is there any way the Top 10 can recreate this piece on tour? Because I’d give Carly Rae Jepsen’s left arm to see it live and in person.

BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT: Tucker and All-Star Robert’s Contemporary Piece
I loved this Travis Wall dance the first time around, but the encore definitely hit me harder and deeper, as the depth and maturity of Tucker and Robert’s work (and the lack of droning pre-dance explanation) had me reaching for the Kleenex.

WORST MOMENT (NEW ROUTINE): Nigel and Mary’s “Let’s Get It On”
Don’t get me wrong — I’m always in favor of the judges being brave enough to put themselves (and their technique) up to public scrutiny. But I just wish they’d eschewed the hideous wigs and exaggerated face-pulling in favor of something more elegant — or at least less campy.

MOST INFURIATING OVERSIGHT: Not a single ballroom routine in a two-hour episode (by which I mean not a single second of focus for Season 10’s impossibly adorable Alan or his amazing abs)? Is Nigel punishing us for not carrying Jenna to the finale?

MOST CONSPIRACY-GENERATING OVERSIGHT: Considering SYTYCD has been obsessed with choreographer Sonya Tayeh for several seasons running, its failure to mention her name during the finale made me wonder if she’s had some kind of falling out with La Lythgoe.

RIGHT COUPLE, WRONG ROUTINE: I was stoked to see Makenzie and Paul open the show, but I can’t imagine why Paula chose the ho-hum “Edge of Glory” over the far more daring (albeit erotic) Frankenstein-y jazz piece from Sean Cheesman.

MOST FUN (PART 1): Jasmine and Marko’s “Blurred Lines” — featuring extra saucy tie-straightening

MOST FUN (PART 2): Amy and Fik-Shun’s “Afterparty” — featuring extra saucy bell hops

MOST DANGEROUS: How in the heck did the Battle of the Year crew pull off their routine without so much as a broken pinkie finger or dislocated spine?

LEAST RINGING ENDORSEMENT: Fik-Shun describing Battle of the Year as “the best dance movie I’ve seen in a while.”

BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE BY A FINALIST IN A JUDGES’ CHOICE: Aaron’s ebullient, effortless tapping alongside Alexis and Curtis

MOST LIKELY TO STAR IN A BIG-SCREEN ADAPTATION OF A NICHOLAS SPARKS NOVEL: I really thought Aaron and All-Star Kathryn might go in for an actual smooch (or three) during the reprise of their “Kissing You” routine. But even sexier was the way the duo stared into each others’ eyes — the way a hungry bear eyes a salmon swimming upstream — as the number began.

WILDEST STATISTIC: Cat reminding us we’d seen 109 live routines this season.

(Side note: Cat revealed before the final ad break that the Season 10 Girls’ Champ received the highest number of votes of any Top 4 dancer after last week’s performance finale, proving it’s not just cute guys who activate speed-dialing fingers anymore.)

And now, without further ado…

The Season 10 Guys’ Champ (aka America’s Favorite Male Dancer) is…Fik-Shun
The Season 10 Girls’ Champ (aka America’s Favorite Male Dancer) is…Amy

Le sigh…I went 0-for-2 in my Who Should Win/Who Will Win predictions. Oh well, we’ll always have “The Giving Tree.” And, to their credit, Amy and Fik-Shun’s “Afterparty” reprise was pretty damn amazing tonight. And now it’s your turn.

What did you think of the So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 finale? Did the right guy win? Did the right gal win? Did the Season 11 pickup mean you’d be happy no matter the voting outcome? Sound off below, and do come back in the morning for my full updated recap!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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137 Comments
  1. David4 says:

    I couldn’t stand the thought of Aaron winning, he wasn’t very good, but Jasmine should have won.

    • Terry says:

      I agree, I thought it should have been Jasmine, but she’ll be fine, she will have no problem getting work, I have no doubt about that!

  2. sarah says:

    Personally I am disappointed I wanted Aaron and Jasmine to win!

  3. Leela says:

    In answer to your Q’s: No, No, No, and I had to hear Blurred Lines again. :( Really wanted to see Jasmine & Aaron as the winners. Fik-Shun is excellent in his genre and did well enough in others but got through on personality alone. (Remember Nigel saying that could happen?) Amy is technically brilliant but despite abundant “acting” I got zero emotion from her dancing. Really happy the show was renewed.

    • Nichole says:

      Fully agree with your comments there, all season I have struggled to find Amy enjoyable from a performance perspective, though she is a very technically good dancer, just didn’t get the performance down for me. Fik-shun even in serious pieces still came across too immature and cutsy, plus struggled outside his own genre. That week the all stars created and performed the routines showed that, when he had to lift his partner, Fik-shun’s face looked more like someone was pointing a gun at him!!

      Aaron and Jasmine showed fantastic versatility all season and consistent performance, both deserved to win. Tucker also got to show tonight why he should have gone further too, the routine with Robert was even better then the first time, without the pressure of competition Tucker really relaxed and let go with it. Same with Aaron and Allison. Two best routines of the season, glad to have seen them again.

      Hopefully next season we don’t have Nigel kicking shoving his “fav” dancers down our throats, seriously good dances are going to stop trying to get on the show if the experiment of putting through untrained B-Boy dances continues.

      BTW, where was Jade tonight?? not even a mention of why he wasn’t performing or even if he was there. Would have thought is he was injured still they would have mentioned something at least.

      Hopefully next season Jasmine and Aaron get to come back as All-Stars though :)

  4. Volcfom says:

    Very disappointed in the results. Team Aaron and Jasmine from Day 1! I’d like the show to turn away from the happy/overly-giddy dancers next year. I also think things would’ve gone differently if we saw more of the Top 20 prior to the Top 20 show (i.e. auditions & Vegas).

  5. Ash says:

    All four deserved to win, but I voted for Aaron and Jasmine every week. I’m not surprised more voted for Amy, but I was hoping Aaron would come out on top. Maybe now that someone with Fikshun’s style won, the whole “aminators and the like NEED to be recognized” will be over. Yes, they are amazing at what they do, but Nigel has an awful habit of pushing too much of his opinions in our faces. So much that I want to have the opposite opinions of him just to spite him. Examples: Jenna and Cyrus. So now we’ve had an ballerina win, an animator win, and a krumper win. Let’s see a tapper win!

    • Ash says:

      Also I miss the old choreographers and judges. I loved when they had the long panel of real experts, and each choose their favorite routine to see again. There were several other great routines that should have been featured last night.

  6. I was 0-2 this season too. If you had asked me who was in the top 2 with Jasmine I wouldn’t have been able to tell you Amy’s name. That’s the impression she had on me this season.

    I loved Aaron and Jasmine from the beginning and Aaron was the only reason I stuck with this season at all. Watching the performances last night, I was positive I had never seen half of them! I obviously paid almost no attention AT ALL this season.

  7. Margita says:

    Michael, from your pal, Annie Barrett’s EW.com interview on 08/27/2013: You won’t see Emmy-nominated So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Sonya Tayeh back on set for the rest of season 10 — she’s in New York in full rehearsals for The Last Goodbye, a Romeo and Juliet-based rock musical directed by Alex Timbers that’ll open in San Diego this fall.

  8. Don says:

    Will Cat ever learn to say “one hundred twenty-five thousand”? (I assume that’s the prize Amy and Fik-Shun each get for winning – half of $250,000 – but Cat always just says “over $100,000″)

    Why didn’t Nigel mention Cat’s involvement in choosing the top 20 when the voting for the Reality Show Host Emmy was still open? (“See? Unlike the other hosts, Cat does more than stand around and talk to people – Where’s Her Emmy?!”)

  9. Grace says:

    Ok. I thought I would not be disappointed because I really love all 4 dancers, but I have to say that I AM disappointed and not because Amy and Fik-shun won (because I love them too!), but because in the last 2 episodes it seems to me they forgot (?) that Aaron and Jasmine were a couple too, and one of the most loved of the season. It’s clear that judges wanted to underline that Amy and Fik-shun were wonderful as single dancers and together as a couple (and I totally agree), but it’s the same thing with Aaron and Jasmine and I have to say that I think the “couple stuff” was very important in the finale, since we have 2 couples in the top 4. I would have been happier and less disappointed if Aaron and Jasmine had danced together one more time (even because their last dance is that awful samba with all the bad comments of the judges). That said, Amy is just PERFECT but I wanted Aaron to win.

  10. Extension – Aaron & Jasmine
    Physical beauty – Aaron & Jasmine
    Lines – Aaron & Jasmine
    Class – Aaron & Jasmine
    Elegance – Aaron & Jasmine
    Charisma – Aaron & Jasmine
    Sexiness – Aaron & Jasmine
    Cuteness – Fik-shun & Amy
    I don’t get it…
    Nigel’s incessant & effusive praise for – Fik-shun & Amy
    Nigel’s weak praise & ready criticisms of – Aaron & Jasmine
    NOW I get it.
    I do wish Nigel would stop giving people’s opinions to them.
    Here’s the thing though: Bummed as I am about Aaron & Jasmine not having won, they both have remarkable careers ahead of them for reasons mentioned above. If Jasmine were to get the proper handling, the sky’s the limit. She is extraordinarily beautiful! Same goes for Aaron – he is SO telegenic.

    • Riley says:

      I loved all 4 finalists and think many of the items you listed are highly subjective (i.e. I would rank Amy & Fik-Shun’s charisma just as highly as Aaron & Jasmine’s) but the one thing I have to disagree with is your assessment that Nigel praised Amy over Jasmine. He raved about them both but multiple times near the end of the season (when Jenna was gone) he said Jasmine had stolen his heart and was his favorite girl. In the end, I personally think all 4 will be very successful.

      On to Season 11 :)

    • Temperance says:

      First, using your chart, my eval would look nothing like yours, so understand from the start why the results were as they were. Second, no one was more praised than Jasmine (Nigel mentioned her legs every seven seconds like clockwork all season, so you point is obviously not true). Third, none of what you mentioned was material: the kids (mostly young girls) voted for the cute tiny ones, and that’s what mattered in the end. It’s the only explanation as to why Fik-shun even made it to the top 8.

  11. Cleo K says:

    I am happy notice the lack of mention of one of the most affecting choreographers the show has.. Sonja and like you wondered if there had been a falling out, Great show though.. i would have been happy/sad no matter which 2 of the four won.. incredible dancers and performers!

  12. Zoe J. Barr says:

    I thought the whole show was great. I would love a DVD of the final show. The final 4 were the best and I thought the whole season just shows how much the quality of dancing has improved with the contestants. I have watched it since the beginning and look forward to next year along with the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

  13. Cali says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Team Small over Team Tall, so I’m relatively* pleased with the results (I was surprised, based on online buzz, that Jasmine didn’t take it over Amy)

    * I say “relatively” because Paul is still my Season 10 winner, bar none.

  14. renee says:

    i didn’t have to watch the end of the finale. i knew who had one. every year nygel decides the winner and makes comments to sway the voting public. i find that disgusting. so knew when i turned off that i’d wake up to find fikshun and amy the winners.

  15. Mally Nm says:

    Once again, Paul had that never-changing smile throughout virtually the entire contemporary piece with Makenzie. The lad needs to appear in a toothpaste commercial after he is finished with the tour.

    • Paul did seem a bit one-note in his characterizations, which may be the reason I had little connection to his performances. Added to that, his legs are somewhat short, for a ballroom dancer, and that affected his lines both in his own genre and out of it. I think I would have preferred Alan to be the one who went farther based on technique and partnering. Or even better yet, his older brother who was cut at Green Mile. Both Paul and Alan seemed so young. This certainly was the season of the ingenue. I do hope season 11 takes that in a different direction.

  16. BLANK SLATE says:

    I could have told you weeks ago Amy and Fik-shun would win. Any regular viewer of this show saw THAT coming 45 miles away!

  17. real sparkler says:

    Think my opinion may differ w/many here. Season didn’t do it for me as it always managed to do in the past. Think Fikshun was cast a season or two too soon. Couldn’t take him seriously in any serious piece. Nothing he did outside of the cutsie, smiley, oh you light up the stage, routines , were winner worthy. Even in his own genre I wasn’t blown away like I kept hearing others were. I think he is a sweet, talented little boy…at least that’s what was showing up on my screen, but stayed too long at the party. I believe Joshua (Popper) S4 won mainly because he had Katee the bulk of the season, (that was before all-stars were included), I spoke w/him about Katee & what her partnership meant to him when I interviewed him for a mag I write forba few years back. He agreed how she helped him in so many ways, & he helped her too. (who could ever forget No Air?…NappyTabs 1st piece ever on show!) The difference in him & Katee and Fikshun & Amy was the high level of routines they did. They were challenged much more across the board. Joshua did almost everything in a superior fashion & Katee is probably one of the most underrated shining stars right up there with Allison & Kathryn. Amy is a beautiful technician, but IMO her pairing w/Fikshun kept her in an immature, little girl place or when she tried to show more sophistication it made Fikshun, hard as he tried, look 12! The piece w/Travis showed off her dancing like a woman and she was able to sell the choreo w/Travis unllike anything we had seen up to that point. That was her winning moment. Can you imagine Fikshun in Travis’ role? He isn’t interchangable in any of those roles coming out on top. Watching Fikshun, even, at times, Aaron, in group numbers, they were amateurish-looking compared to some of the others. Aarons number w/Kathryn, although not technically perfect like her, really brought out something in him I don’t think even he knew he had. That was actually one of my fav routines of the season and his winning moment. Nigel knows how to work an audience. He looks at demographics and all the variables people fear mentioning out loud because they don’t want to seem biased. With a younger and younger base and a base that certainly would prefer hip hop, over and over, over V-Waltz, even Samba and the like…they have to push the contestant who best fits the majority of the audience. They are good at that. Paul, Nico, Tucker…not 1 out of those 3 in finale..,especially Paul, for all his versatility, technical ability, and personality…pretty sad statement. The show already had their Joshua, Twitch final 2 standing. That season4 can never be duplicated. And even Russell, another winner w/a specialty genre of Krump, in the weird Season6 that produced such big talent but got denied their own tour…Russell beat out the perfection of Jakob Karr, but look at all the stuff they threw at him on that journey! His specialty almost became secondary since he rose up and conquered so many challenges. I adore Jakob and thought he deserved to win, but I could actually embrace Russell’s win for all the reasons already mentioned. Much as I liked tapper Aaron, and I did, he was better at the pairing part but had a maturity and personality that I can be okay with in the finale over Fikshun any day. I just think they’ve gone way too far afield casting too many specialty guys who get paired with girls with far more versatility and technical skill and end up dumbing down the whole show. I do like that the show gives dancers a terrific showcase for their talent, and I appreciate that, but the way it unfolded they were trying too hard w/the hard sell and for the first time I found myself w/such little emotional investment like I always had in the past. There were pieces I really enjoyed, but by the time it got to the end I no longer cared…also, a first for me. If you got what you needed from this season, good for you. I know, I know, it’s America’s favorite dancer. They’ve just gone too far pushing the fav part at the unfortunate expense of the dance part. Maybe next season they’ll find their way back? Just my opinion. Thanks for listening,) OMG I’m done! The end.

  18. Temperance says:

    Yes, I get that the kids like the tiny, cutesy couple, and I am really pretty certain that Amy and Travis’ number will win the Emmy this year (it’s perfection), but seriously Fik-shun (and it pains me to even type it)? In a top 20 that was extraordinarily talented, and a top 10 that was difficult to pick a winner from, they go with the one guy that was the least of the 10? Aaron or Tucker should have been at the top. And the fact that Jenna and Makenzie didn’t climb higher was also completely perplexing. Jasmine is great, but absolutely more limited then either of the other two girls. At the end of the day, though, these complaints are small ones because they were ALL so good. It was an amazing season to watch – and the choreographers were totally on their A-games.

  19. Donna says:

    All 4 were amazingly talented and I would have been happy with any of them winning, so I wasn’t disappointed. My question is, why did Kathryn NOT let Aaron kiss her hand? Anyone else notice this?

    • Mally Nm says:

      No, because most of us aren’t conspiracy theorists. And not one person here can answer that question for you. Kathryn has a twitter account. Why don’t you ask her if it is bothering you?

  20. BriDeSi says:

    Although Jasmine and Aaron were my favorites from jump, I knew that Amy would win as soon as she did that Wicked piece with Travis. That was a turning point in her dancing for me. After that all her pieces had so much more soul and feeling. I knew as soon as Jasmine and Aaron messed up on their samba that it was over for them.
    Fikshun should not have won. Watching him stumble through his partner dances was painful to say the least. He always looked out of place on anything but hiphop. The show isn’t called “So You Think You Can Animate”. Way too much hip hop in my opinion this year

    • Terry says:

      Amy was definitely given an advantage when not only did she get to dance a Travis Wall routine, but she got to dance it WITH Travis Wall. She nailed it though so I have no hard feelings even though I thought Jasmine deserved the crown.

      • margi says:

        I’ve seen many comments that Amy had an unfair advantage being paired with Travis on the night the All-Stars choreographed. The thing is that he would have had to create a completely different dance for any of the other dancers. Amy had the maturity and the technique to perform that dance. I loved Jasmine and would have been happy if she had won, but Amy was my favorite. And I can’t see Jasmine performing that number with Travis, or Aaron performing Tucker’s dance with Robert. But as much as I liked Tucker, he couldn’t do hiphop and Aaron could. We could make comparisons all night and never convince everyone to agree with us. Let’s just be happy the show will return for season 11 and wish for great careers for all the dancers.

  21. Dhamani says:

    How did we let Paul and Mackenzie go? Loved those two alongside the top 4. As much as I love Aaron, I wish Paul won.

    Oh well… Life goes on.

  22. Liz says:

    I wish i could have watched the whole finale show. Unfortunately i had to record it and the president came on which stopped the recording, so i only got to watch the first hour….. i hope they replay the finale.

  23. Liz says:

    By the way this is an awesome show and i hope it never gets cancelled.

  24. waterbug says:

    I loved all 4! Jasmine and Aaron were my favorites, but my favs never win and I’m okay with that because I was thoroughly entertained by exceptional talented dancers. I was soo glad to see Jenna finally go too. Bring on Season 11!

  25. Francis says:

    I’ve been watching SYTYCD since the first season. I must say that as far as it being a “reality show” isn’t really correct. These dancers have worked most their lives (majority of them) fine tuning their technique. This is NO keeping up with the Kardish clan, pawn shop or dating game. This is talent in it’s truest form. This show gives a dancer a shot at making a career in dance, which if anyone knows, is almost impossible to accomplish. Just like American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance has made stars out of some of their dancers. For me, it’s not all about who WINS AMERICA’S FAVORITE DANCER AWARD. Look back and see TWITCH came in second place but he is now working with the show, beginning at auditions and continuing to dance. We’ve seen very little of Brandon…the male dancer that won. Again, BENJI beat TRAVIS as travis came in second place. We’ve seen about as much of Benji as we have Brandon. Two of my most favorite male dancers are a continued presence on SYTYCD as much as the judges are…Travis Wall is working as a dancer and choreographer while Twitch helps judging for the new season AND dances with almost EVERY ONE of the top girls. Season 10 I love just as much as all the other seasons; however, I actually want to see AMY and FIK-SHUN continue to work with the show. Who knows, but if we go by the past, it’s generally been the second place winner who “lost the battle but won the war!” As long as your favorite dancers made it into the top 4, you can be sure you’ll see them again. How much we see them is totally up to the dancer. Dancers’ are rarely household names, but now that we have a real dance performance show on T.V., it’s becoming more possible for dancers to live out their dream. I can only see the good in that. Amy was the best dancer on the show, by far, and I’m not surprised she got more votes than anyone else. She deserved it. I’m looking forward to season 11 and 12. My friend is trying out and she already trains with Travis Wall and Twitch, Katee and Benji since they all go take classes together and have for years (Their all from LA). Congrats to every dancer who makes it onto this show and especially the ones who don’t make it but continue to take classes and keep coming back until they make it. If a dancer is truly talented and dedicated, they will eventually get their shot to dance for this show as long as they don’t give up!!

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