Utah County’s lone remaining contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance” narrowly escaped elimination Monday night for his place in the show’s top six contestants.
For the second consecutive week, Ezra Sosa, from Provo, heard the words that he was in danger of leaving the show. The voting from last week’s show put Sosa in the bottom four of the show again this week, but the judges unanimously voted to save him from elimination.
“The judges are unanimous in our decisions this evening, I can tell you now, the young man who is staying tonight is Ezra,” said judge and show producer Nigel Lythgoe.
Three of the show’s top 10 contestants had Utah County ties, including Ezra’s sister Stephanie Sosa and Eddie Hoyt, both of whom were eliminated last week as the top eight contestants were announced. Hoyt trained at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem.
In a video package during Monday’s episode, Sosa spoke about his sister going home last week, “I was heartbroken because this wasn’t just my dream, it was hers too.
“It was a dream to be here with my sister, I just didn’t expect her to leave so early.”
During Monday’s episode, Sosa performed two duets with his partner Madison Jordan, as well as a solo and a group dance.
Sosa’s first duet of the night with Jordan was a hip-hop routine that host Cat Deeley called “out of this world.” The dance, performed to “Space” by Dizzee Rascal started with the two suspended from the ceiling sporting astronaut costumes.
“I thought that that was amazing, out of this world, yes,” said judge Laurieann Gibson. “And here’s why, because the intent was met, the character was met, but you also danced it like two hip-hop dancers, and I’m just telling you all that you killed it.”
Judge Dominic Sandoval said that Jordan stood out in the performance, but Lythgoe praised both partners.
“One small step for man, 467 steps you were given tonight to perform, and in general, you performed them brilliantly,” said Lythgoe.
Deeley commented on their creativity in coming down from the ceiling, something that had never been done in the show’s history.
“I had a serious fear of heights,” Sosa confided.
For his solo, Sosa performed to “Conga” by Gloria Estefan and got a standing ovation from all four judges.
Jordan and Sosa performed an Argentine tango for their second duet — a dance routine that Murphy explained included complex choreography.
“The routine that they were given was incredibly difficult, there were so many tricks, lifts and complicated combinations between the pair of you that it made it even tougher than normal. … You guys did it beautifully out there,” she said. “Ezra, who wouldn’t want to dance with you? Come on! You’re the perfect partner.”
While earlier in the evening, Sandoval heavily praised Jordan, after the second duet performance, he turned his praise to Sosa.
“Ezra, wow, man, you are amazing, especially that soul you did earlier, and right now with this performance, great job,” said Sandoval.
Gibson called the performance intense.
“I felt like I was in a movie, it was so cinematic,” Gibson said. “It was amazing you two, let mother tell you something, you smashed that, you should be very proud. Ezra, you are so talented, so gifted, so strong as a partner.”
Lythgoe said, “Ezra you were a perfect partner, I bet your relationship got even closer this week because I think you would have probably had to have helped Madison through this routine. Well done.”
For Sosa’s group performance, he joined fellow top eight contestants Sophie Pittman, Bailey Munoz and Anna Linstruth performing an African Jazz routine to Lord KraVen’s “Rebirth.”
After their group performance, Deeley announced that America’s votes from last week’s show put Sosa in the bottom four, along with his partner Jordan, Benjamin Castro and Linstruth.
The judges voted to save both Jordan and Sosa, with Castro and Linstruth leaving the show.
Voting for Monday night’s show will run through Tuesday morning, with the results airing during next Monday’s episode as the field narrows to the top four dancers.
The top six — Sosa, Jordan, Munoz, Pittman, Mariah Russell and Gino Cosculluela — will perform again at 7 p.m. Monday on Fox.