LOS ANGELES — Roy's Hailee Payne impressed the "So You Think You Can Dance" judges with a hard-hitting hip hop routine Monday night. And after a close call with the bottom four, she made it through to next week in the show's top six.
In a prerecorded special for Degree, Payne told her fans that a hunger for growth is what pushes her in the high-stakes dance competition.
"I want to keep growing," said Payne. "That’s what’s really pushing me this week." After a quirky group number, the top eight dancers split off into pairs. Payne was paired with former contestant Du-Shaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall, dancing a smooth and hard-hitting hip-hop routine choreographed by Luther Brown. Payne's portrayal of her character in the piece really impressed the judges. R&B artist Jasen Derulo called it "incredible" and pop icon Paula Adbul said that the duo "epitomize(d)" connection. "You and Fik-Shun went together like bread and butter," said executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. "It was just perfect."
Later in the show, Payne revisited her first performance as a child in a prerecorded video, sharing that she had played a pirate and was trampled by the other dancers.
She also performed a solo to Steed Lord's "Van Guardian" and a group number with the other stage dancers to Ed Sheeran's "Give Me Love."
After a tally of last week's vote, Payne was left in the bottom four dancers, but still made it through to the show's top six. Derek Piquette and Eddie "Neptune" Eskridge were sent home.
To see if Payne makes it into the show's top four, check out "So You Think You Can Dance" Monday on Fox at 7 p.m.