'So You Think You Can Dance': The winners are chosen
So, tonight's the big night on "So You Think You Can Dance"! The finale is always a nice opportunity to take a second look at some of the more memorable dance routines of the season (and man, season 10 had a lot of them), but it's also a chance for us to be inundated with fluff and filler. Is there any chance we'll get a finale worthy of one of the stronger seasons in recent memory? Anything is possible!
Our "judges" (who aren't judging tonight, of course) are Paula Abdul, tWitch, Adam Shankman, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. They are, of course, in formal wear befitting a very special evening.
We quickly get a sense of how the evening will take shape. Group routines, montages, flashbacks, patter. First up, a dance from our top twenty set to a jazzy version of "Wonderwall." Aw, remember all these faces? I'm sure we'll see a lot more of them in the next two hours, but still, nice to see them.
Time for judges' picks! Paula Abdul picks…Makenzie and Paul dancing to Lady Gaga. Still a lovely routine from Mandy Moore.
Our first flashback is to our Mongolian bowl dancer! A lot of horse/whore's jokes, just in case you'd forgotten. It's odd to incorporate these segments, then not have the dancers on stage to recreate their performances. I guess "SYTYCD" has been cut down to the bone, budget-wise, which is a shame. I have to think that was the original plan, don't you?
The top four gets to choose their favorite routines to perform, so Jasmine chooses her "Blurred Lines" routine with Marko choreographed by Ray Leeper. It's not my favorite Jasmine routine, but who cares? It's still a ton of fun. Cat makes a Miley Cyrus joke, which is hard to avoid, really. I think "Blurred Lines" is a little difficult to hear without thinking of a foam finger and latex panties these days.
Another judge's pick. Adam Shankman talks about how tWitch is a superhero, and how Fik-Shun is a "distilled" version of him, like he's a vodka shot. Then, he demands that Fik-Shun and tWitch dance together! But how can that happen, given that tWitch is at the judges' table, all dressed up? Whatever will he do? TWitch shrugs, rips off his break-away tux, and takes the stage. I find it hard to take my eyes off tWitch. It's not that Fik-Shun isn't great, but he looks like mini-tWitch.
Oh, I forgot something -- in addition to the dancing and the montages, we also get a really big product plug! Last week, the finalists got to see "Battle of the Year" starring season 3's Dominic Sandoval. It's in 3-D. It stars Chris Brown? Huh. And Josh Holloway, the guy from "Lost." I appreciate that this is based on (and was filmed at) an actual competition. At least it's a concrete framework on which to hang a plot, no matter how skimpy it might be.
Gosh, our finalists loved it! Of course they did! I expect a production team was standing off camera holding weapons to ensure glowing reviews. But hey, when the movie hits theaters September 20th, go see it, guys!
And look! The dancers from the movie are here! It's the "Battle of the Year" crew! This is fun, yes, but it makes me aware of just how long this finale is going to be for a two-minute reveal.
Time for Nigel's pick. But wait! He wants to say how incredible this season has been. And tell us that Fox has commissioned season 11! The audience erupts. Mary is so thrilled! I'm pretty sure TV pays better than teaching or coaching, so really, I can't blame any of these people for celebrating. Whatever anyone says about "SYTYCD" and even "Dancing with the Stars," both of these shows give a platform to an art form that is physically demanding and not usually lucrative (unlike some pro sports I'd rather not watch, ever).
Anyway, Nigel asks to see Alexis, Aaron and Curtis tapping. Why is Curtis dancing in complete darkness during his solo? Hey, lighting guy, pay attention! Unless Curtis missed his mark or something. Anyway, good effort despite the lighting. Big standing O from the judges.
Another dance request. TWitch wants to see the "Kiss of the Spider Woman" Broadway routine featuring Hayley and Nico, as he digs Broadway. Wow, I don't think I fully appreciated these two while they were on the show. Truly acrobatic, athletic, stuff. And that running leap at the end? Remarkable. All the judges give a standing O -- except Nigel. That seems unkind, really. Is his knee bothering him? Is he busy texting? What?
Another flashback to a performer who didn't make the top 20. And who also doesn't make a live appearance on the show. Missed opportunity, I say.
Aaron is going to perform his pick. What does he choose? He chooses the Stacey Tookey dance with Kathryn, as they had crazy chemistry. Truly, a lovely dance, beautifully choreographed. All of the judges stand for this. Good. Maybe Nigel's knee is better now.
Top ten guys dance! A great Christopher Scott routine.
Next, the three-year-old smartass who auditioned. Really? Was there no other footage?
Then, we get a second chance to see that NappyTabs routine featuring Comfort and Jasmine. This is even better the second time around, if that's even possible. Jasmine is going to win Best Female Dancer, isn't she?
A flashback, a silly choreographer montage, then finally Mary picks the Travis Wall routine starring Tucker and all-star Robert. That was quite a good one.
A routine I'm happy to watch a second time is the NappyTabs "Puttin' On the Ritz" one-shot dance that also included Nigel, Travis, Mary, Tabitha and a few other people whose names are escaping me.
A montage of the awesome All-Stars. Then, Jenna and Mark do that weird Martian dance, which is possibly more entertaining the second time around when nothing's at stake.
Fik-Shun and Amy pick the same favorite couple dance, which is their "After Party" bellman routine from NappyTabs. Amy is fierce, and I have to remind myself how strong she is with hip hop sometimes. Standing O from the judges, of course.
Oh dear, a Nigel and Mary montage. Then, they're dancing together! This is like watching our parents dance at prom. Whether or not they're good, it's a little awkward. And there's Adam Shankman! Okay, it's a good-natured stunt and pretty cute, so I will hand it to all of them, but I'd have been happier seeing them do a Viennese waltz.
A performance from the human beatbox guy and the guy who auditioned with him.
Hey, people who vote, which Travis Wall routine did you pick? Turns out you picked Amy and Travis dancing to "Wicked Game." I don't know. Amy and Jasmine are both exceptional dancers. I'm torn all over again.
A group routine from the top 10 with the All-Stars set to "Rock Lobster." Okay, this finale is just starting to feel way too long.
The person who got the most voters? A girl. Hmmmm...
Hey, results! But wait, Mary has to tell the final four how much she loves them. Nigel loves them, too, which he doesn't feel every season. Great, Nigel! Next season, let us know when you're bored and miserable. Well, actually, he usually does.
Time for the guys' results! No, no. Let's sit through a montage of Aaron and Fik-Shun's thoughts and feelings cut together with dance and judges gushing. C'mon! Come ON! Okay, now time for the results. America's favorite male dancer is… Fik-Shun.
I'll admit that I'm a little disappointed. As much as I dislike tap, I thought Aaron was the better dancer -- and had a pretty great story with having been cut not once but twice on the Green Mile. Fik-Shun, though, is an exceptional dancer and entertainer, and he was far better in other styles than a lot of hip hop dancers we've seen. Fik-Shun is so happy and tearful and one of his friends came to see him!
Moving on. A montage of Jasmine and Amy. America's favorite female dancer is… Amy? Well, Nigel forecast this by naming her a beast right from the beginning. And yes, she is a beast. Either female dancer would have been more than qualified to win. The only thing that sucks is that Jasmine can't rub a win in Cyrus' face. But really, if he watched this season, he already knows his ex is, by far, the better dancer.
What did you think of the results? Did you vote? Will you be watching next season?