'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: The final four
Final four! And each dancer has to dance five times! Yes, the goal at this stage of "So You Think You Can Dance" is to wear out the dancers and/or give them torn muscles. Yay! No, really, this is going to be an amazing episode. If our final four survives, poor ducks.
Time to meet the judges! Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy (who is as blonde as she's ever been) are on the panel, plus… Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and Paula Abdul. I'm guessing Gabby is a fan (or at least I hope she is). Paula, well, I never feel that she's very good about giving concrete help (though she definitely has the skill set, much more so on this show than on "American Idol"), but at this stage in the game, it hardly matters. At least she might be fun. But on with the show!
Amy and Aaron
The Background: It's a jazz fusion routine from Ray Leeper! He promises it will be fierce and passionate and all sorts of yummy things.
The Dance: Although Amy's outfit looks like an instructional diagram for a female anatomy class, damn, this is really, really good. Of course, I expect that from Amy. But also Aaron completely keeps up. When I look at him, I don't immediately think "dancer," and that makes what he's able to do all the more impressive.
The Judges: Nigel loved the costumes! Of course he did. Oh, wait. He's joking, because he says they're from Paula's costume designer. Ha, ha. He wishes them both luck. Mary thinks they knocked it out of the park. She thinks they've both been spectacular with season. Gabby thought it had spunk! Paula thinks Amy's center is absolutely ridiculous and loved the double attitude turn. Hey, concrete advice! She also thinks Aaron is a generous partner.
Cat asks us which Travis Wall routine from earlier this season we'd like to see in the finale -- the retro-Hollywood one with Malece or Jade, or the one Jade performed with Hayley. Don't just stand there; tweet your vote! Yeah, you've got to work for it. Jeez.
Fik-Shun and Jasmine
The Background: It's a contemporary dance from Travis Wall, who points out Fik-Shun has to pull up to Jasmine's level. Yes, yes he does.
The Dance: It's always a shame when two partners have a size differential, which is a challenge they wouldn't face in a company, probably. Man, Jasmine is just the bomb. Fik-Shun does his best, but there are some shaky moments. Still, he's good. Fik-Shun really has grown a great deal during the competition (as the judges keep reminding us).
The Judges: Mary gives them a standing O, but she's the only one. Mary thinks it was a brilliant routine. She thought this pairing wouldn't work out, but she was proven wrong. She thinks the movement was brilliant and she thinks the world of Jasmine. She thinks Fik-Shun surprises her every time. It got her. Gabby has goosebumps! Paula thinks Jasmine reminds her of Cyd Charisse in "Singing in the Rain." It was gorgeous, and she is so aware of Fik-Shun's journey on the show. Nigel thinks Jasmine nailed it. He thinks Fik-Shun has progressed a great deal.
Aaron and All-Star Melinda
The Background: It's a tap routine from Aaron. I keep forgetting he's a tapper (although I never forget the only reason he made it onto the show was because another dancer fell out -- it's simply remarkable that he made final four when he almost didn't make the show). Also, I like Melinda's purple shoes. Season seven Melinda.
The Dance: Okay, I still don't really like tap. But I will say that Aaron and Melinda do an exceptional job of bringing some emotion to this, and that's also a testament to what a watchable dancer Aaron is. He has a great story, but more than that, he's just fun to watch in any style. Even tap.
The Judges: Standing O from all the judges. Gabby thought it was incredible. She loves tap! Paula was so excited -- a tap number! Paula gushes and gushes pointlessly until Cat cuts her off. Anyway, she thinks Aaron is the ultimate storyteller of the season. Nigel thought it was amazing, and he loves how people love tap! We mustn't lose tap, people! Really? Maybe we could also stump for the survival of clog dancing or Native Indian medicine dances. Nigel thinks Melinda could be Katy Perry's tap stand-in. Nigel also congratulates Aaron for being the first tapper to make a finale on this show. That IS truly incredible -- talk about burying the lead, Nigel! Mary loved it.
Tour, plug, plug, tour, plug, plug.
Jasmine and All-Star Comfort
The Background: It's a NappyTabs routine for Jasmine and Comfort. This should be all kinds of awesome.
The Dance: And, you know what? It is pretty awesome. I think Jasmine picked hip hop because it's where she's shined brightest, and even though it's technically not her style, I think that's the right choice. This is, yes, fierce.
The Judges: Cat wants to be in their gang. None of the judges give them a standing O, though. The audience will not stop applauding. I really think Jasmine is going to win. Paula thinks there's nothing Jasmine can't do. Nigel thinks Jasmine is in it to win it. He thinks it was her second great routine of the night. Mary thinks Jasmine danced it like she choreographed it. She thinks Jasmine is a bad ass in the best possible sense. Gabby thinks girl, you better work, and Jasmine better get a call from Beyonce. And she thinks this might be her new floor routine.
Amy and Fik-Shun
The Background: It's a paso doble blended with the passion of a tango. Amy thinks they'll need luck to nail it. I think only Fik-Shun might.
The Dance: I need some fierceness from Fik-Shun I'm not getting. I feel as if I can see him thinking too much. I just don't love this. Amy's half, of course, is good, but it's as if she's dancing alone.
The Judges: Mary saw some weak points with Fik-Shun, but she felt Amy could count on him. Well, yes, she didn't drop Amy on her head, I get that.
And I know nothing else of what the judges said, because my Slingbox crapped out. Yay, Internet!
When my Slingbox comes back, it's Jasmine talking about Cyrus rejecting her, and how she's insecure sometimes and… oops, yes, it's out again. So, no Jasmine solo for me.
When it comes back AGAIN, Jasmine is crying and Nigel is saying she's grown. Mary thinks she's grown and could win the whole thing. Gabby wishes her the best. And the commercials? Those come through just fine.
Aaron and Jasmine
The Background: A samba! From Dmitry Chaplin! This should be fun, even if neither of these dancers has a Latin background.
The Dance: It's a little plodding. What's going on? It feels as if it's being performed underwater. I don't know, but I'm not feeling it. Jasmine, come back! Aaron doesn't look happy, either. I'm flummoxed. This should be hot, and it's not.
The Judges: Mary thought there was some great choreography, but she didn't think it was danced so well. She thinks when Aaron came in it wasn't great, but samba technique was not there. She thought Jasmine fared better because she could shake it. So, not the best thing but not bad. Gabby loved it! Paula is so happy to see them together! Nigel thinks that they had great synergy… until this moment. And he wanted more. He didn't feel the chemistry was there. He thinks they were uncomfortable with the routine.
Time for another solo. Facts from Fik-Shun! He'd never seen a Vegas week episode before auditioning. Really? He thinks his partnership with Amy was really special, which it was. And here's his dance. It's set to Psy's "Gangnam Style!" Ha! It's not great, but the music choice is hysterical. Nigel thought it was fantastic, even if he's not the best dancer! Mary thinks he makes her happy! Gabby thinks he rocks her socks. Paula thinks he gets attention. These are all very nice ways of saying Fik-Shun is not the best dancer in the competition at this point.
Time for Amy's solo turn. She grew up outside of Detroit and everyone in her family dances, including her dad, sort of (remember that audition?). She gave it everything she had when she got to Vegas. She loved her connection with Fik-Shun, too. Oh, and she thought dancing with Travis Wall was one of the best experiences of her life. And that was a beautiful routine, wasn't it? Then, her solo -- and a reminder that she is a beast. The judges weigh in. Mary adores her, Gabby thinks she's great, Paula thinks she's an angel, Nigel thinks she has stamina. I can't tell if they think she's the frontrunner or they're putting their money on Jasmine. Either way, I think a girl is winning this season.
Fik-Shun and All-Star tWitch
The Background: It's Swerve 500! And fulfillment of Fik-Shun's dream to make "his life awesome" by performing with tWitch.
The Dance: This is… good. But I'll be honest; I was expecting more from the routine itself. That being said, it's just plain fun to watch Fik-Shun and tWitch do their thing.
The Judges: Gabby thought it was amazing. Paula thought it was a lot of fun. And she wants to dance with Nigel. Nigel thought it was like tWitch and tWitch, Jr. He thought it showed their personalities, and he thinks Fik-Shun has to follow tWitch's model of continuing to learn. Mary loved it. She thinks Fik-Shun will be really proud of himself when he watches the routine.
Aaron's solo time. Aaron's dad is an entertainer. He made it to the Green Mile in season 9 but was cut, then got cut again this season. He thought it was all over for him -- until three days later, when he replaced Emilio and never looked back. He taps. Gabby thinks Aaron is amazing. Paula adores him. Nigel tells them that Emilio auditioned for "Step Up" and got the job. Mary thinks he killed it. Love, love, love.
Amy and All-Star Robert
The Background: It's a Stacey Tookey contemporary dance about a love story in which the girl realizes she has to tell her fella how she really feels before it's too late and he gives up on her sorry butt.
The Dance: So, so beautiful. Amy really is a beast. I'm torn between rooting for Jasmine or Amy, truth told. But this is just an exceptional dance.
The Judges: They all give them a standing O. Paula says Robert and Amy stole her heart. Nigel thinks the combination of emotion, performance and technique was intoxicating. Took his breath away. His favorite routine, and Amy just stepped into his lead. Mary is choked up. She loved it. Gabby is blown away, and the routine was one of her favorites. I think Gabby is definitely a fan, and I think the upside of this is that all of the dancers are happy getting compliments from an Olympian, so it's all good.
Fik-Shun and Aaron
The Background: It's Broadway! Tyce D'Orio says these two have gotta show heart and have fun. Okay!
The Dance: This is very cute. It's not "Singing in the Rain," but it's damn hard and it does look like they're having a good time. This is all about personality, and fortunately the boys bring it.
The Judges: Nigel thinks it was fun stuff and thinks they must be exhausted. He's not always sure he saw the best of their abilities in the routine, but hopes voters remember all the great things they've done over the season. Mary thought it was the cutest thing ever. Mary thinks Fik-Shun charmed everyone and Aaron's back on top. Gabby though it was cute. Paula thinks they're the two top showmen of the season. And then she yaps about Tyce D'Orio and giving him his first break. Paula has yapped a lot about how she knows people, which is fine, I guess, but I don't really care. Provide insight, lady!
Amy and Jasmine
The Background: They're Siamese twins from the fierce jungles of Saturn. I didn't make that up. That's really the story of the dance.
The Dance: This gets a little flappy. It's okay, it's zany, it's fun, blah blah blah. Was it strong enough to show off the two strongest dancers in the finale of this episode? No. Sorry, but it's not what it should have been, given what these girls can do.
The Judges: Mary thought it was crazy and creative and quirky. She loved it! She would tie both girls for first place. Gabby thought it was a great way to end the show. Paula felt she was at home. She loved it. Nigel wonders what they thought about being Siamese twins from the jungles of Saturn. He thought it was zany and loopy, which is why Paula felt at home. He thought it was fun. He thinks that this year, the girls stole the show, and...
My Slingbox cut out. Again. If Nigel had something significant to say, I'll have to watch West Coast time. But I think that at this point, there's nothing the judges (even Paula!) could say that would make much of a difference. Everyone is voting for their favorites. But Jasmine, who I thought was a frontrunner last week, might have lost her lead with that tepid samba. Either way, the good news is that this is a talented, entertaining, qualified final four -- and that's good enough for me.
Who do you think will win? What did you think of the performances tonight? Do you think it's between the two girls?