Each contestant was paired with another dancer to perform a duet, aiming to impress the judges and win America’s vote to advance to the Top 8.
Stephanie Sosa, a ballroom dancer from Provo, was the first of the Utah County contestants to perform a duet on the episode in a hip-hop routine with Gino Cosculluela.
“Gino is an amazing dancer, very technical, so I’m really excited to dance with him,” Sosa said.
Luther Brown choreographed the piece to “Ice Me Out” by Kash Doll.
“This routine is about an ice princess and an ice prince,” Sosa said. “In ballroom, it’s more like straight legs and being upright, but in this number, there’s a lot of hips and knee action. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited.”
Judge Dominic Sandoval said he thought Sosa was “absolutely amazing” in the routine.
“I thought you sat in that pocket and you showed the sauce that Luther’s known for,” Sandoval said.
Judge Laurieann Gibson disagreed.
“Stephanie, I did lose you in it because Gino was so powerful,” Laurieann Gibson said.
Judge Nigel Lythgoe agreed with Sandoval.
“What I’ll say is when Steph is giving you the sass, I need you to be like ‘Frozen’ and let it go,” Lythgoe told Cosculluela. “There is nobody that competes with you in technique on this program for me, but now you’ve got to work on that personality.”
“You both look amazing,” judge Mary Murphy added. “Gino, I thought you were hard hitting when you needed to be, I thought you were fluffy when you needed to be, and Stephanie, off the charts.”
Sosa reflected on the past year in her introduction earlier in the episode.
“This year has been the toughest year of my life,” Sosa said. “My mom had a stroke. That was really difficult, and I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect on what’s most important to me and that’s definitely family. I really value the time I spend with them, and knowing that there was an upside to everything that happened this past year, this has been a dream come true.”
“To be here with my brother, it’s been the most amazing ride, and I’ve grown a lot,” she added.
Provo ballroom dancer Ezra Sosa, Stephanie Sosa’s younger brother, performed his duet with Madison Jordan.
“When I saw Ezra come around that corner, I was so excited because he’s an awesome partner and he’s also an awesome human,” Jordan said.
Talia Favia choreographed the duo’s contemporary routine to “Lost” by Dermot Kennedy.
“I wanted to give them this concept of what it’s like to be a light in someone else’s life when maybe you don’t necessarily see it so much in yourself,” Favia said.
Jordan, who suffers from alopecia, said she could relate to the dance’s message.
“With everything that I’ve been through, it is sometimes hard for me to find that,” Jordan said. “I want America to see my softer side. I think I could make it happen, especially with Ezra by my side.”
Lythgoe complimented the contestants on their performance.
“Ezra, you are one of the youngest contestants we’ve got on this show,” Lythgoe said. “You have matured into a brilliant partner. Believe me, you could’ve been totally overshadowed by your marvelous Madison tonight and you weren’t.”
“With every single step, it was just glorious. It was pure. It was honest,” Murphy added. “Ezra, you are an amazing partner. When she missed your back, you did the exact thing that a great partner would. You made it into a move about putting her leg back onto the floor again. I loved it. Thank you so much.”
Sandoval called the dance his “favorite routine of the night.”
“So many great moments,” Sandoval said. “And just that little hiccup, the imperfection of the foot missing, you turned it into something that was perfect, and I absolutely loved it. Thank you.”
“There is so much power in this couple,” Gibson added. “This was a wonderful job.”
Ezra Sosa also talked about his family in his introduction.
“I come from a dancing family, but my mom and my dad actually met playing soccer. I feel like they always thought that we’d be this massive soccer family,” Ezra Sosa said. “I’ve never scored a goal in my life.”
Tap dancer Eddie Hoyt, a teacher and student at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, performed with Sophie Pittman in a jazz funk routine choreographed by Brian Friedman to Merk and Kremont’s “Sushi.”
“In this piece, Sophie is the hostess at a sushi house and Eddie comes in, he wants to have a dance with her and they have the night of their life,” Friedman said.
“This is going to be the first time anybody sees us actually dancing together, and after America sees us dance, everybody’s going to want sushi,” Hoyt added.
Gibson said she loved Pittman’s performance.
“Brian Friedman is such a creative visionary, and he is in the details, the speed, the execution, and I feel like Sophie, you nailed it,” Gibson said. “Eddie, unfortunately, I didn’t really feel like you were truthfully connected to the story, but well done.”
“I think this is a difficult routine for America to judge. It was based on personality,” Lythgoe added. “I think Sophie really nailed it. I felt a little uncomfortable, Eddie, with your performance tonight.”
Murphy and Sandoval gave similar feedback.
“I thought the entrance was super cute, I love the look of everything, but I have to agree,” Murphy said. “Eddie, you’ve come a long way, but I didn’t feel like this really was fitting you very well.”
“I thought the routine was great,” Sandoval added. “The only thing for me is that Eddie, I’m sorry, man, you just looked a little weak with each of the moments that Brian gave you, and I just feel like she was dancing a little bit more stern and strong than you. Overall, I think it was a great job. Eddie, you’ve just got to pick it up a little bit more.”
Hoyt said in his introduction “growing up in New Hampshire was simple.”
“I was homeschooled, so didn’t have a ton of friends, but then slowly grew into my very smiley, very talkative personality,” Hoyt said. “Now I live in Utah, and I’m the tap director at one of the most amazing studios in the country.”
The Top 10 performed three group numbers as well throughout the episode, opening with a routine choreographed by Mandy Moore to “This is Me” by Kesha from “The Greatest Showman.”
The women joined forces at the end of the night to perform a contemporary piece choreographed by Travis Wall to “Saint Honesty” by Sara Bareilles.
The men then took the stage dressed as firefighters to perform a hip-hop number Brown choreographed to “Drop” by Smokepurpp.
Voting will take place through Tuesday at 10 a.m. online, on the Fox Now app and via text, with more information available at http://fox.com/dance. “So You Think You Can Dance” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.