Jay Jay’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ jazz number was one small step for man, one giant leap over Cat Deeley [WATCH]

Choreographer Mandy Moore was determined to give jazz dance its best representation possible on “So You Think You Can Dance.” During the live show on Monday night, August 27, she worked with the only jazz dancer left in the competition, Jay Jay Dixonbey, along with “SYTYCD” all-star (and season seven winner) Lauren Froderman for an energetic number that was perfectly suited to unleash Dixonbey’s athleticism as well as his infectious personality. Watch it above.

Judge Mary Murphy thought Moore’s choreography was “out of this world … and Jay Jay, you were the star of it. Nobody looks like they’re having more fun in the movement, in the moment than you.” Nigel Lythgoe assured Moore that America will appreciate jazz “having seen this routine. It was absolutely brilliantly choreographed.” He especially loved the split-jump Dixonbey did over Froderman’s head in the middle of the routine, so much so that he challenged Dixonbey to do the same jump over “SYTYCD” host Cat Deeley‘s head.

It seemed to surprise Lythgoe and the rest of the judging panel that Dixonbey was actually game to attempt the stunt despite the height difference. Froderman is five-foot-two, while Deeley is about half a foot taller, and that’s not counting her high heels. Deeley crouched down a bit to give Dixonbey his best shot, and Dixonbey actually pulled off the death-defying maneuver, though Deeley took a bit of a tumble in the process.

“If that doesn’t get me an Emmy …” Deeley said after she got back to her feet. She has earned five Emmy bids for Best Reality Host (2011-2015). She hasn’t won yet, and she wasn’t nominated this year, but if Emmy voters are watching they may want to consider her for 2019. Unfortunately, America won’t get another chance to vote for Dixonbey: even though he never finished in the bottom four before, this week he was eliminated from the competition altogether. If viewers had a chance to vote on this performance, they might have demanded a re-vote.

Watch Dixonbey and Froderman’s performance above. And watch our recent interview with Mandy Moore below about her current Emmy nomination for “SYTYCD.”

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