Oh Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance…. we hardly knew ya. From what’s his name, to that girl we don’t remember…. it was a season of missed opportunities in many ways. And I’ll be honest with ya, loyal readers, the fact that Fox couldn’t even respect our show enough to hold off on X Factor for another week and give SYTYCD two airings this week doesn’t bode well for a 10th season.
But instead of dwelling on what may or may not be next summer, let’s just sit back and enjoy these four dancers and a few all-stars in the last performance show!
Tonight each of the dancers will be performing FIVE times. Man, I bet their feet will hurt. Each finalist with dance with every other finalist. So every boy/girl, boy/boy, girl/girl combo, a dance with an all-star and a solo. Plus, just to be cruel, I think, a group routine. I think that’s actually 6 times, isn’t it? No one is being voted off tonight (obviously) but this is your last chance to vote before the winners are revealed next week.
To help with the critiques at the judges table: Multiple award winning Director and Choreographer, Rob Marshall, probably best known for Chicago.
Tonight, I’m going to comment on everything, including solos since they count more. So instead of more chitter-chatter, let’s just get to this, shall we?
Eliana & Cyrus
Jason Gilkinson – Paso Doble
So, I think as a nod to the fact that Eliana is the superior technical dancer, she is playing the traditionally male role of the matador while Cyrus is the cape. Boy – is Eliana fierce while being the guy. She has that tough face on the entire time. And her half of the dance is fantastic. Cyrus has the face too and I will give him this – he has that performance aspect down. The technical aspect, was, duh, rough. While I don’t love that Nigel coddles him, I have a small appreciation for it. This kid is being ripped to shreds out there – it’s nice someone is telling him he deserves to be here. But Nigel, and the judges, still let him know he had rough spots. But overall, this was well-received.
Tiffany & All Star Will Wingfield (Season 4)
Sonya Tayeh – Jazz
Y’all. I loved Will. So happy he is back. And I am ready for an amazing routine from these two. I think it is really sweet that Tiffany talks about loving Sonya and thanking her for giving her confidence. Even though they only get a few hours with the choreographers, it can make a huge difference for these dancers.
As for this routine – it was really good. The movements were so big and teeny tiny Tiffany looked so much bigger than she is. The extensions on both of them were tremendous. Will was there for her and just tossed her around. Rob Marshall, for no apparent reason, brought up 9/11 in his critique. What? Hold off on that Rob, I’m sure you could’ve worked that in better later. Anyway. Lovely dance. Tiffany, strong as ever.
Eliana & Chehon
Marat Daukayev – Ballet
Ohhhh, baby. I’ve been waiting for this. I love ballet. Love it. And having two dancers, a male and female, still in the competition as of the final performance show, who both specialize in the style? Well, I was counting on this dance being part of the evening. And I wasn’t disappointed at all. I mean, come on – a pas de deux from the friggin Nutcracker choreographed by a former principle dancer in the Russian Royal ballet?! I just about died.
I’m not even going to pretend to be professional about my reaction – I love love loved it. I cried. It was ridiculous. Eliana is just magical up there. Her pirouettes into arabesque… perfection. And I’m so glad Rob pointed out that what Chehon was doing back there supporting her wasn’t easy either. It takes extreme talent, balance and strength. Did this particular pas de deux favor the girl? Sure. But it was perfect, and Chehon was such a masculine and strong male partner, it’s hard to complain.
Tiffany & Cyrus
Tessandra Chavez – Lyrical Hip Hop
First Tiffany and Cyrus hook up in that adorable Broadway number last week and now they break-up in this really well choreographed hip hop routine. These two kids just can’t get it together, huh? This was a great one for both of them. Tiffany is just a burst of energy, and Cyrus did really, really well. He had the choreo down and his performance is so fantastic. I look forward to seeing him in the next Step Up movie. (You know there will be one – and that he will be in it!) There was nothing for me to complain about there. Unlike the Paso, Cyrus looked comfortable on stage both in the dance and with Tiffany. Those two seem to get along.
And because they haven’t danced enough – the four finalists are dancing together in a group number now choreographed by Tyce DiOrio. It’s a kind of symphony of sorts and is ballet-esque since half the dancers are ballet dancers. But it’s clever in that it throws in Jazz and Animation too, almost as a war between the four of them. It quirky and weird, and while I feel it’s almost cruel to make them dance it in addition to everything else, I really liked it so I’m glad they had to do it.
In a diplomatic way Eliana says in her “love me!” video that ‘she really really likes Cyrus, he’s a doll, but OMG was dancing with him a tough gig and she was glad she eventually got to stop.’ And I kind of admire her honesty. And let’s face it – dancing with her was probably hard for him too. She is gorgeous, her solo is perfect as always and I’ve been rooting for her from the start.
Chehon & All Star Allison Holker (Season 2)
Stacey Tookey – Contemporary
There has been a lot of talk of Cyrus’s growth over the season, but let’s take a minute and talk about Chehon’s growth. The man couldn’t emote worth a damn in week 1. He was technically brilliant, but you could never tell if he “got” the dances. But now, dancing with the best girl performer ever (EVER!) on the show – he was so right there in it with her. They danced perfectly together. Then they had to kiss and Twitch came out and punched him in the face. (Just kidding on the last part. But someone had to be holding him back.) Suddenly, Ade is starting to get competition in the strongest male partner. Bring it, Chehon.
Eliana & Tiffany
Ray Leeper – Burlesque
Holy crap you guys – there is a pole on the stage. A POLE. I am currently in full-fledged panic for the level of Dirty Old Man this will bring out in Nigel. But holy crap, was Eliana excited. I’ve never seen someone so excited to get back on the pole. But as Ray Leeper says, and I’m sure you know, it’s not easy dancing on the pole. That takes intense strength.
In an blatant attempt to kiss Rob’s butt, the song is from Chicago, but not the movie. Alright…. I’ve avoided enough – I don’t even know what to say about this one. It was clear that Eliana was more comfortable with the pole work and she did more of the difficult tricks there (like that CRAZY last move), but they both danced it really well. Beyond that – like Nigel, I’m going to choose to just let it go (thank goodness he did!). Well done, girls.
Adore that Cyrus admits he didn’t think this would happen. He was just out to give his style some recognition. I loved getting to see his solos again. I can’t full express how much I genuinely enjoy this kid. Do I think he should have been in the final over Cole? No. But this kid is just a good egg. He has never once taken for granted the opportunity he’s been given. And oh my gosh, when he does his stuff – it’s just like entering another world. Good on ya, Cyrus. I hope you go far.
Tiffany, it turns out, didn’t even get a ticket to Vegas right away. Then she was basically not in the audition episodes at all. Then she looks just like another girl on the show – Audrey – so even when she was in the Top 20 she still didn’t stand out. It wasn’t until the breathtaking piece with Ade that suddenly people started to take notice. Can I tell you… I got misty listening to her talk. Girl, you worked so hard, and I’m sorry you got royally screwed by the fine combination Fox’s schedule and the producers lack of love. You are a wee girl with massive talent. Go Tiff.
Cyrus & Chehon
Sonya Tayeh – Contemporary
This should be interesting since Sonya isn’t one to hold back in a final, no matter what level of dancing Cyrus is capable of. I was pretty nervous going into tonight’s episode thinking about this inevitable pairing. How can Cyrus even compare to Chehon? But I’m be damned – Cyrus really stepped up to the plate and those two danced together really well. They seem to get along, which had to help. I think it showed how much they both grew over the course of the season, as Nigel said. (Oh, cool! Jennifer Beals is there! Flashdance, baby!)
As a brief break for the dancers, a b-boy, Jean Souk comes out and dances. Oh yea – he only has one leg. Yeah, I was impressed too. Makes me feel bad complaining about my allergies today.
Yay! That magical Chehon solo. This video package really highlights the transition of Chehon’s off stage personality finally making it’s way on stage. And then when he talks about his Mom coming to see him dance and the tears start. Isn’t he just the sweetest kid? I want to hug him. Points to Chehon, btw, for having a story in his solo. This journey has not been easy for him, and he actually managed to get that across in his dance, which was as fabulous as any of his solos.
Eliana & All Star Alex Wong (Season 6)
Travis Wall – Contemporary
Travis! Travis! Travis! Finally! Eliana gets to work with him, and dance with Alex. After last time Eliana and Alex danced together (the amazing Bang Bang routine) I expect magic! (Side note: glad to see Teddy Forance in the rehersal footage. I wonder if it’s because someone else cancelled on Travis. Be sure to watch All the Right Moves on Oxygen!)
Another spectacularly choreographed piece from Travis. I can’t imagine being inside that guy’s brain. He is a genius. He makes me cry. And wow, did Alex and Eliana dance the hell out of it! I can’t even deal with Eliana’s extensions. It’s just not normal. Too perfect! The whole thing was just moving. These two should dance together all the time. Wonderful, just wonderful.
Tiffany & Chehon
Dmitry Chaplin – Rumba
Uh oh. Rumba. Who is worried for Chehon? He seems to be taking it stride though while being a goofball in rehearsal with Tiffany. The dance was just okay for me. I think it was danced really well, but there was no chemistry. They partner well, but the rumba is supposed to be sexy and this wasn’t. At best, it was sweet. (This also could have a lot to do with the Norah Jones track) It’s unfortunate that this is the last dance for the two of them. It wasn’t awful. It was just… not memorable necessarily. The judges are a mixed bag on if they agree with me.
Cyrus & All-Star Twitch (Season 4)
Christopher Scott – Animation
I think the entire season has been leading up to these two guys dancing together, hasn’t it? I love they got an Animation guy in there – Cyrus just about lost his mind. I think it is awesome that these guys were clearly just having fun together. This routine was so full of energy. Never has Cyrus been so comfortable, except in a solo. And Twitch was just as impeccable as always. (I honestly think if they asked Twitch do a pas de deux, he could do that too.) Those boys had so much fun together it was palpable through the TV screen. My only complaint was that it was over too quickly. Please, let them do it again next week. Seriously. I would give them a standing O along with the judges, but I have a laptop on my lap (as the name suggests I should do).
Not sure why Nigel felt the need to say who he is voting for in that moment. Can he vote? Whatever? It was unnecessary. But he came back around and reminded Cyrus he is an inspiration.
So there you have it. It’s now up to you, voters. You can text, call, get online. Send smoke signals. Go to Western Union and send a telegram. Whatever. But vote. Which two dancers do you think will win? Who do you want to win? Well, whatever your answers, let’s meet back up over here once more next week to pour over the final episode and cheer on the winners.Facebook, by Email, RSS, & on Twitter
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