So You Think You Can Dance’s season sixteen came back to the screens on the 3rd of June 2019. The series is one that has won several awards ever since its debut back in 2005. The awards won include 11 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Choreography which is to date the most for any show. The judges for this edition featured the return of ballroom dance champion and expert Mary Murphy as well as a series creator Nigel Lythgoe. Here is a look at So You Think You Can Dance Bailey and Mariah.
So you think you can dance
In the Sixteenth season of SYTYCD, Bailey Munoz and Mariah Russell both emerged finalists after a battle for the top spot. The choice of who to become the winner was one that was almost impossible to make because the final four were incredibly good. The show was amazed by Bailey and Mariah’s Hip-hop among other moves. At the end of the day, Bailey won with Mariah coming behind as the runner up. In addition to this, the show saw the return of Phoebe Kochis who was a young woman who suffered from Down syndrome and had auditioned in the earlier episodes. She indicated that her dream was to become a star on the show.
The Winner Unveiled
The final four remaining contestants on So You Think You Can Dance include Gino Cosculluela, Bailey Munoz, Sophie Pittman, and Mariah Russell. Each one had ample time to showcase the stuff they were made of in the finale. There was also a group performance by all the ten finalists which was choreographed by Mandy Moore.
Before the announcement of tee winner, everyone who was watching was in a state of nostalgia when alumni of the series were welcomed back with some of the Season 16 routines practiced. The top ten contestants made a return to performing So You Think You Can Dance Live. By the time the host Cat Deeley Started announcing the results, the first to be eliminated was Sophie Pittman and Gino Cosculluela thus leaving behind only Mariah Russell and Bailey Munoz.
Both Mariah and Bailey began the journey together when they were conjoined during the first live show where they were required to perform a duet. After this, their relationship appeared to blossom ever since. They soon became fan favorites during the show.
When Munoz was announced as the winner, both he and Russell shared a warm embrace basking in the finality of the moment as well as the prospects which the future held.
Money In The Bag
Nineteen-year-old Bailey comes from Las Vegas and is on record to be the first break-dancer to win the series. He went home with the prize sum of $250,000 as well as the coveted title of America’s Favorite Dancer and the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine. Upon winning the show, Munoz dedicated his victory to his family and friends for their support and love.
As at the time SYTYCD started back in 2005, Bailey was at that time only five years old. However, it didn’t take too long before he started picturing himself performing on the show. By the time he was 9 years old, he had taken his first dance class. He signed up with Bloc Agency by age ten but was a member of the Rock Steady Crew before then.
By the time he was 13, he had already begun winning dance battles against dancers who were two times his age. He had also toured with Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars while also doing a four-year residency in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Even though he was home-schooled during middle school, he would proceed to graduate from the Las Vegas Academy of Arts.
While chasing this dream, Bailey spent countless hours going through the routines of past seasons of the show on YouTube. He drew inspiration from fellow hip-hoppers and B-Boys such as Comfort Fedoke and Stephen Boss. He made it a goal to follow their footsteps. He also learned during this time that the B-boys could have successful careers beyond what was obtainable on the dance floor.
Upon completing high school, he got into the University of Nevada even though he did not feel any connection with what he was studying there. He would eventually leave school after two weeks with the blessings of his parents.
The Dream Of Becoming Real
Judges had their first glimpse of Bailey at an audition in Los Angeles. When talking about his size, he made it known that he was often teased about his being just 5 feet tall. This made him feel insecure for several reasons. He however soon became a fan favorite and he was called the newest generation of b-boy by D-Trix his idol.
He was eventually sent straight to Academy week where he sailed through each of the rounds and found himself on the top ten spots. It is on record that during the break before the commencement of the live shows, he would wake up by 5 am each day for some ballroom lessons. He also took ballet and hip-hop classes, worked on his solo routines and everything necessary to claim the top prize.
The Bailey And Mariah Romance
With the commencement of the live shows, he has partnered with Mariah a contemporary 19-year old dancer. By week two, both Mariah and Bailey were already considered as the ones to beat. However, as the weeks went by, the judges seemed quite surprised and delighted by the progress he had made. Bailey would go on to become better during the season and showed major technical growth as well as a fun personality. When it was time for the finale, most people were not surprised that Bailey was announced the winner.
For someone who was a little child when Nick Lazzarini was announced as the pioneer winner of So you Think You Can Dance, it is a wonder what made the show so dear to him. In his words, every dance should know the show. To be a part of it was certainly an opportunity to be a part of history. It is one show that has inspired a lot of people and helped to serve as a springboard for their dancing careers.
Bailey was quite aware that he wanted to be part of the legacy that was evolving. For the b-boy group, his SYT win will help change the way people see b-boy.
Mariah Russell’s Journey
Mariah hails from Nashville, TN and she had the entire city backing her up during SYTYCD. In her words, when her mum found out she had made it to the top ten, she ran out of the house. Mariah is a contemporary dancer who first began classes when she was just aged seven. She was already featuring in dancing competitions by the time she was nine. She is a product of the prestigious Creswell Middle School of the Arts, as well as the Nashville School of the Arts and the DC Dance Factory located in Franklin. She grew up under the guidance of her mother who is now engaged to be married.
One of the highlights of her involvement in the show was her bond and competition with the eventual winner Bailey. She has since gone on to make the most of her dance career changing the narrative.
What To Know
The Sixteenth season of SYTYC saw new panelists such as Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval, and Choreographer Laurieann Gibson who both served as judges during the live show and audition. Cat Deely also continued her role as a host for the fifteenth season in a row for which she has 5 Emmy Award nominations to date. In the first five episodes of the series, the Judge’s Auditions featured almost six full performances each with judge’s critiques along with montages of some of the other dancers. It is from this audition that a total of eighty-three contestants move on to the Academy where they would face each other till the end.
In the tenth episode and the remaining part of the season, the live studio performance highlights the finalists in duets, solos as well as group number. While doing this, they compete for the affection of the viewers who are the main determinants. By the following week, the two men and women who have the lowest votes will face elimination. The judges then decide who will be booted out.
Bailey and Mariah were certainly the darlings of So You Think You Can Dance season 16 for many reasons. They brought so much energy and passion into their craft that it made it quite difficult to choose between both of them. Even though Bailey emerged the eventual winner, they both stood out in different ways.
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