If you tuned in to last night’s season finale of “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation,” you already know the big news: 14-year-old Kida Burns was named America’s Favorite Dancer!
We loved Kida’s moves, personality, and versatility all season long — and love that his mentor, Fik-Shun, is a former “SYTYCD” champ, too! (Fik-Shun and Amy Yakima were the two winners of the show’s 10th season.)
And while you may have seen all the excitement on TV last night, from the jaw-dropping performances to the heartbreaking eliminations, right up to the final confetti-filled moments, this is live television, where there’s more than meets the eye — er, TV screen.
Want to know what you didn’t see? Take it from someone who was there in the audience. Here are five things home viewers may be surprised to hear about the “SYTYCD” finale.
1. Cat Deeley really is as sweet and genuine as she seems.
During commercial breaks, the hostess with the most-est (and the chicest lipstick ever) mingled with the cast, crew, and audience members. She even stepped offstage to take pictures with audience members and super-fans!
2. Some of those routines were actually pre-taped.
All the ones featuring All-Star Jenna? Those were pre-taped and shown to the audience on screens because, fun fact, Jenna was actually on the lot next door, where “Dancing with the Stars” airs live at the same time!
3. Paula Abdul’s dress kept getting caught underneath her chair!
That long pink gown she wore may have looked fab on TV, but it came with a long train that kept getting stuck underneath the wheels of her chair. Poor Paula!
4. The people watching in the audience was awesome.
Want to know where all of the dance world’s hottest choreographers were last night? In the “SYTYCD” audience, of course! There was Travis Wall (accompanied by his fiancé and mom, Denise Wall), Tabitha D’umo (looking radiant in sparkly silver), Christopher Scott, Jamal Sims, Misha Gabriel, Chloé Arnold, Brian Friedman, a handful of the “Dance Moms” moms and dancers, and of course the star-studded panel of judges.
5. The judges and producers really do love the contestants.
After Emma, Tate, and J.T. were each eliminated, they received raucous applause from the audience even after cutting to the commercial break. Then, they would walk over to the judges for a heartfelt, private moment with each one. (We’d love to know what Nigel said to each of those dancers!) They got a few moments to hug and chat with each judge before leaving to more applause alongside (or, in Emma’s case, in the arms of) producer Jeff Thacker. It was so sweet.
Congratulations to Kida and all of this season’s seriously talented dancers! We can’t wait to see what you go and do next.