Ezra Sosa had an emotional night on “So You Think You Can Dance” on Monday, ending with his elimination as the show narrowed the contestants to the top four.
Sosa, a ballroom dancer from Provo, along with his dancing partner Madison Jordan, were chosen by judges to leave the show after the top six performed earlier in the night.
“I just feel so honored to be here and to show my love for dance to America,” Sosa said after his elimination. “Not only that, but to share the stage with such amazing contestants — but mostly to share with my sister — this is a dream I’ll never forget, so thank you guys so much.”
Sosa’s sister Stephanie Sosa made the the show’s top 10 this season, and was eliminated when the top eight were announced on Aug. 19. Eddie Hoyt, a third contestant with Utah County ties was also eliminated that night. Hoyt trained at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem.
Each of the top six contestants performed two duet dances and a solo dance during Monday night’s show, the first duet with a former “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Star.
Sosa’s introductory video package included clips of him in places around Utah Valley, including an opening shot of him dancing with Bridal Veil Falls in the background.
Each candidate honored the person that has supported them the most, which for Sosa was his mother.
“The one person who believes in me the most is my mom,” Sosa said. “Her No. 1 priority has always been family. Every single day she’d tell us to never forget where you came from, and I take that to heart.”
His mom suffered from a stroke a year ago, something Sosa said impacted him greatly.
“I’m so grateful she is here today,” Sosa said.
His first duet partnered him with Gaby Diaz, who was the All-Star season 12 winner.
The two performed a contemporary routine choreographed by Robert Roldan to the song “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Jaques Brel.
The performance was an emotional one for Sosa, who ended the dance with tears in his eyes.
“I just feel like this whole time, I just felt so closed inside and now I feel like I’m able to open up to America something I’ve been hiding for a long time, something I was very scared about and I just feel so free and alive that I’m able to share that side of me to America,” Sosa said.
The four judges sang his praises about the performance and shared his feelings about the emotion of the evening.
“Ezra, I too feel the joy in you breaking through, because there is something so very special about you. You have to remember that that something special is always going to be enough to see you through to what you experienced tonight,” said judge Laurieann Gibson. “That was absolutely fantastic.”
Judge Nigel Lythgoe said, “You are going to walk away from tonight and realize that you have freed yourself and to be able to walk away from anything knowing that you have just been honest with yourself, which is the most important thing you can learn from tonight. Your dancing was emotional; it was beautiful.”
Mary Murphy pointed out highlights in the performance.
“This is your night, this is love pouring out of you. It was so passionate,” she said.
“You are so absolutely inspiring. I believe, to me when I see this piece, it kind of represents not just your own past, but this whole competition for you,” said judge Dominic Sandoval. “Constantly you’ve been in the bottom and week after week you’ve always used that pain as something as an opportunity to overcome and win, and to me that is what makes a winner, not winning the show.”
For his second duet, Sosa joined with his regular partner Jordan for a disco performance to “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester.
“Disco, for me, was the hardest routine to get through, just cause it’s so tiring, the amount of lifts that happen,” Sandoval said. “That’s why I have to give you praise, Ezra, when you’re lifting somebody and you are spinning them super fast and they’re holding on to the back of your neck and your face is still performing like ‘I’m killing it.’ For me, I just praise everything you just went through.”
Lythgoe said, “We saw the sparkle in this dance routine, you can’t help but enjoy this style of dance. It was terrific to watch tonight — well done with the energy.”
“This definitely gave everybody disco fever, it was so high octane, you guys were great doing it. Congratulations, good job,” Murphy said.
Sosa also performed alone on the stage for his solo ballroom dance to “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars.
Before the final results were announced, the three remaining male contestants and three remaining female contestants each participated in a group dance, with Ezra and the other two males performing to “Amen” by Amber Run. The judges praised the routine as an amazing moment in the show.
The top four contestants who will compete next week are Gino Cosculluela, Mariah Russell, Bailey Munoz and Sophie Pittman.
“So You Think You Can Dance” will air at 7 p.m. Monday on Fox.