The big day is here, so prepare yourself for all two hours of the "SYTYCD" finale! I'm going to live blog this, so let's just get to it. Hey, did you vote? Hope so, because this had to be a tight race after last night.
8:01 We kick things off with a massive group number featuring the top 20. that looks very Sonya Tayeh. At the end, our final four take center stage in warrior gear. Love that. Oh, it is Sonya. Cat calls her weird in a fabulous way.
8:05 The judges' table is stuffed. Lil' C, Robin Antin, Tyce Diorio, Sonya Tayeh, Jesse Tyler Ferguson of "Modern Family" (yay! One of the good celebrity judges -- and, thank God, not Debbie "It's All About Me" Reynolds), Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.
8:08 The judges give the final four props. Nigel actually apologizes for being insensitive to the guys for telling them they wouldn't win. I'm glad Nigel recognized his mistake and copped to it, actually. He was being honest, and I don't disagree with him, but maybe that was something he could have kept to himself.
8:10 A flashback to the auditions. Hey, there's Iveta! And Wadi! And Nigel kissing Mary! And Lady Gaga! This really was a good season, even if we were just watching the best bits.
8:15 Mary requests Sasha and All-Star Kent's wall number. Just as good as the first time, but I think this time it was shot better. When a routine uses so much of the stage, it really benefits from good camera work.
8:21 Oh dear. We're getting a montage of Nigel and Mary's most romantic moments. Cat is scarred for life. And this is all a segue to a routine by Marko and Melanie. God, they're good together. Marko and Melanie, I mean. I'm not so sure about Nigel and Mary. Especially when we see Nigel sitting on Jesse's lap.
8:26 Robin Antin picks a Tadd and Al-Star Lauren routine set to "Another One Bites the Dust." So good. I have to say, Tadd has demolished the B-boy box everyone had him in for so long. If he wins this (though I suspect it's Melanie or Sasha), I wouldn't be sad at all. He's amazing to watch. I feel like I've been pretty rah-rah this season, but it's hard not to be. It's been solid to say the least.
8:35 Lil' C wants to see the woodpecker routine by Robert and Miranda. God, I loved this one. I would have thought this routine alone would have bought them both more time in the competition.
8:38 Cat gets to pick a routine for once. And she picks the one that made her cry - Tyce's top 8 circus routine. It's a good routine, but not particularly sad. Still, good pick from Cat.
8:45 The current U.K. champion Matt Flint dances with Jess and Nick. He's a tapper. It's a good routine, and I will say Matt actually seems to know what to do with his arms. Nigel thinks it's one of the most exciting tap routines he's ever seen.
8:49 Mary picks the routine Melanie danced with All-Star Neil to "Total Eclipse of the Heart." God, Melanie is such a physically strong dancer.
8:55 This is such a fun episode! What is this for? Oh yeah, it's an elimination episode. Sigh.
8:56 Jesse picks a Sonya Tayeh number featuring Marko and All-Star Allison. I will say, anything set to any song by Jeff Buckley is just going to be devastating for many, many reasons. And if it's a cover of a Smiths song? Even more so. Which is not to say it's not a fabulous routine, because it is.
8:59 Tyce picks a sick, nasty number by Sonya Tayeh -- the geishas. I'd like Sonya to program a radio station. She just finds great music. Sometimes it doesn't work so well for dance (though it does here), but it's always interesting.
9:03 A mini-recap of last night. And they even left in Nigel's comment about the guys. Huh.
9:05 Results! The four dancers take the stage. One person is about to get the boot. Over 11 and a half million votes! The fourth dancer is... Tadd.
9:06 Tadd's only 5'4, but he's risen to every occasion. He seems pretty okay with fourth place, and he should be -- because he's definitely going to get work and lots of it. No, it's not the big money, but it's a career, and that's really the point, isn't it?
9:13 Lil' C picks another routine. He chooses Chris and Ashley dancing a Spencer Liff routine. This was probably my favorite Ashley routine, as she managed to get past her ballerina background and play a tough chick.
9:16 The final four meet Heather Morris, Harry Shum and Naya Rivera, who inform they'll get to go to the "Glee" 3D premiere. Cross-promotion!
9:19 NIgel picks Sasha and All-Star Twitch's routine. Great routine, absolutely the wrong song.
9:26 Sonya picks the 10 guy door dance. Good choice!
9:29 Jesse picks an Argentinian tango with Caitlynn and All-Star Pasha. I'm starting to get itchy for more results.
9:36 Mary picks Marko and Melanie's first dance -- the Travis Wall statue dance. They do wonders for togas.
9:39 Time for more results. The dancer in third place is... Marko. So, Nigel got it right or he coerced voters into thinking a vote for one of the guys was a vote wasted, depending on how you look at it. But I do think Melanie and Sasha are the top two dancers, so I'm not sure if Nigel had much of an impact on how anyone voted, really.
9:42 Marko loves his parents and loves his fellow contestants and he's just adorable.
9:48 Last judge's pick - it's Nigel's turn. He starts talking about the New York Times article in which a group of experts said none of the finalists are good enough to work. What???? That's ridiculous. Say what you want about the routines, but these kids are damn good dancers. That just seems petty to me. Anyway, Nigel picks a routine featuring Sasha and Melanie. I have to find that article. And possibly spit on it. Maybe Nigel was taking license, but I just find it hard to believe professional dancers don't think the final four will work.
6:54 Time for the big reveal! The winner, with 47 percent of the vote, is... Melanie. Sasha still got 32 percent of the vote. So well-deserved. The original beast won it!
So, that wraps it up. What a night! What a season!
Do you think Nigel's comment about the guys had an impact on the vote? Did your favorite dancer win? And what do you think of that New York Times article?
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