“So You Think You Can Dance” has won Best Choreography at the Emmys 11 times, far more than any other program in history. Two of those awards went to Travis Wall, who is nominated again this year for the ninth time. If he wins his third prize, he’ll tie the all-time record for the most awards won by an individual in this category. And one of his nominated routines, “It Takes a Lot to Know a Man,” was called a “masterpiece” by “SYTYCD” judges, so it might be tough to beat. Watch it above.
Performed last summer by “SYTYCD” contestant Darius Hickman and all-star Taylor Sieve, the contemporary routine was inspired by Wall’s experience of coming out as gay and the bullying he and others face as a result. Hickman and Sieve swapped traditional gender roles in the routine, which judge Twitch called “a work of art” and Mary Murphy described as “the most important and most powerful piece of the night.” Along with his other nominated routine, Hickman and Magda Fialek‘s duet “Glass Heart Concerto” (watch that one below), this piece makes Wall a formidable contender to win again.
The record of three Emmys in this category is shared by six different choreographers: Debbie Allen (“Fame” and “Motown 30”), Tony Charmoli (“Your Hit Parade,” “Mitzi,” “Gypsy in My Soul”), Marguerite Derricks (“3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Fame L.A.,” “Goodwill Games”), Alan Johnson (“Jack Lemmon in ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous, ‘S Gershwin,” “Shirley MacLaine … Every Little Moment,” “Irving Berlin’s 100th Birthday Celebration”), Walter Painter (“Lynda Carter’s Celebration,” “Sylvia Fine Kaye’s Musical Comedy Tonight,” “Disney/MGM Studios Theme Park Grand Opening”) and Wall’s fellow “SYTYCD” veteran Mia Michaels.
But this is the first time Wall has to compete against the lavish production numbers on “World of Dance.” That NBC series has four nominations this year, including for the technically unparalleled Karen y Ricardo and the high-flying Kings. Those are some of the most elaborate dance numbers in recent TV history, though “World of Dance” is an unknown quantity at these awards since it has never been nominated before now. Will Wall win again, or will voters welcome the “World”?
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