Jensen Arnold got her pay off on “So You Think You Can Dance” Monday night.
Arnold, a ballroom dancer from Provo, returned to audition for the dance competition show for the second consecutive year. Last year, Arnold didn’t make it past The Academy. Fast forward a year and Arnold finally made it into the Top 20 on the show.
During the episode, the competitors participated in two different group routines and one solo performance. There were 70 dancers who made it to The Academy. Of those 70, only 41 of those dancers made it to the second day of the competitive.
The second day of The Academy was a contemporary group routine choreographed by Travis Wall, an alum of the show. On the following day, Mandy Moore, the choreographer of “La La Land,” broke the remaining 37 dancers into subgroups for a large group Jazz routine.
Following the Jazz routine, the judges made 10 cuts. Arnold’s group of ballroom dancers all made it to the final day of The Academy.
“I’m going to be honest. The ballroom boys and girls this season as a whole — it’s the best for me,” said judge Nigel Lythgoe.
A teary-eyed Mary Murphy added, “I don’t think I could bare to lose any one of you.”
On the final day of The Academy, the remaining 27 dancers performed solo routines.
“This final solo can determine the rest of my life,” Arnold said prior to her performance. And her solo helped to determine at least the next step in Arnold’s dance career as she made the Top 20. Arnold along with the other finalists were relieved to make it through The Academy.
However, the relief the competitors felt after making the Top 20 didn’t last long. After the complete Top 20 group was revealed, the finalists were brought back on stage for a surprise announcement. Instead of all the Top 20 advancing to the live show like the show has done in the past, Lythgoe informed the group that only the Top 10 dancers would advance to the live shows.
On next week’s episode, the Top 20 will perform with an all-star, a former star from the show, in a style different than their own. The Top 10 will be announced on next week’s episode, which will be broadcast on Monday, July 23 at 7 p.m. on Fox.
Watch Arnold’s solo performance from the first day of competition at The Academy here.