Thursday nights at So You Think You Can Dance are usually tough for the judges, who have to choose two dancers to send home – but this week it was all up to America.
With room for only four dancers in next week’s finale there was no “bottom four” on Thursday’s results show. Instead, it was a celebration of the two guys and two girls who made it through.
“I’m happy [the decision was based on votes] because I couldn’t have made that decision. I didn’t want to make that decision,” judge Mary Murphy told PEOPLE after Thursday’s show.
The first talented dancer given the good news from host Cat Deeley was Melanie Moore – no surprise since she has been called “a beast” since the first week of the competition.
“Melanie is just bonkers,” guest judge Lil C told reporters.
“Melanie dances with her heart,” judge Nigel Lythgoe added. “She gives a very honest performance and she’s a great little actress too.”
Marko Germar was the next, and the announcement had his mother bawling in the studio audience.
“Marko is authentic. He’s just dancing from a pure place. Someone who has been pain and loss and been on the brink of losing of their ability – that’s what makes dancers,” Lil C said of the finalist, who was shot in the shoulder a few years ago.
But after the obvious finalists were revealed, the audience eagerly awaited the announcement of who would join them.
“I think we saw the frontrunners as Melanie and Marko and I have to say that after that I didn’t really know,” Murphy said.
In the end it was Sasha Mallory and Tadd Gadduang that completed the top 4.
“I’m pleasantly surprised to see them in the top four,” Murphy exclaimed. “I literally thought it was up for grabs between Tadd and Ricky.”
So, Caitlynn Lawson and Ricky Jaime were eliminated Thursday, but they won’t be gone for long.
“I’m so happy to have made it this far,” Caitylnn said. “I was worried about making top 20 let alone top 6, and it’s just been the most amazing experience of my life. And now I get to watch all my friends [compete] and I still get to dance in the [finale] next week. I’m super excited.”
Looking forward to Wednesday’s performance finale, the judges agree that the competition will come down to Melanie and Sasha, but, as Lythgoe put it, “nothing is a done deal.”
“It depends on their routines next week,” he said of which girl will take home the title of America’s Favorite Dancer.
“What’s going to happen will be out of their hands,” Murphy added. “This is totally left to destiny right now.”