So You Think You Can Dance Finale

The opening dance number is performed by the top 20 dancers. It’s cool how they incorporated all the different dance styles of different dancers, but I didn’t find it as strong a piece as a lot of the other group dances and it might just be that 1) not all the dancers are as strong and 2) with all the different dancers it was hard to really see what everyone was doing. 

Interesting detail I didn’t think about until now, Jeanine, Brandon, and Kayla are all contemporary dancers and Evan is a Broadway dancer. I wonder if contemporary is easier to translate into other styles.

Cat Deeley is in one of her best outfits of the show. She reminds who the top 4 are, though I can’t tell who got the loudest cheers. 21.6 million votes were placed, breaking the show’s record for total number of votes. There are seven judges tonight on the panel- Lil C, Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, and of course, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe. The rest of the choreographers are in the audience as well. 

Time for a walk down memory lane- (I just want to say Cat Deeley is one of the most interactive and engaging reality tv hosts out there and I don’t know why she hasn’t gotten at least nominated for an award at this point.) We get a look at some of the good and some of the bad, including Adam’s imitation of a contestant getting a ticket to Vegas. Then on to Vegas for Natalie’s cut, Brandon’s beat down by Mia, Evan and Ryan’s support, and the acceptances. Then Hollywood and a look at some of the best dances (and Mia’s correction towards Brandon of course), Jeanette’s cut, and then the finalists. (Something else I have to say, Kayla always looks like she’s trying to look shocked and humble by her critique but isn’t really. Then again, she’s so skilled, so how can you blame her?)

We get a recap of the dances from last night along with the commentary, as per usual. Also, seeing the dances without the music is really funny looking. Just a comment. (I have to say I always feel bad for Kayla’s partners since she just about always steals the stage and their left with secondary comments like “well, you held your own.”)

The judges pick their favorite routines of the season so we can see them again. Exciting!

Adam Shankman is first and he picks Tabitha and Napoleon’s hip hop number danced by Jeanine and Phillip to the song Mad by Neyo. I think she was actually even better at it this time around. She matched Phillip move for move here. 

Nigel Lythgoe picks a tango done by Jeanette and Brandon. Boo Nigel for picking a boring style for his favorite. It’s just not as fun to watch and it’s really slow. I don’t remember this one from the season, but it lacks momentum. 

Debbie Allen chooses something romantic and magical. A waltz (meh) done by Aska and Vitolio. (Dancing to Dreams Are Most Precious by Enya). It was good, just again, not the type of stuff I like to watch. Seriously judges, think about your audience!

Mary Murphy’s turn. She selects Travis’s piece! Good choice Mary. Jeanine and Jason dance to If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz. Jeanine is of course fantastic. Jason is a little weaker than he was the first time around. Judges on their feet to applaud this one. 

(Cat mentions all the top 4’s names and Jeanine gets a noticeably stronger response. Hears hoping it reflects the country as a whole…)

Mia Michaels goes and chooses a Samba done by Kayla and Max. Again, come on! I expected Mia to choose the one about cancer since she loved it so much, but maybe it’s too sad for the finale? As always great lines for Kayla though for some reason this routine isn’t as exciting as it should be. Again it seems like the dance is slower than the music. The audience seems to like it though. 

On Sunday the top 4 were surprised with a a trip to MGM Tower to preview fame, in which contestant Kerrington from a previous season performs. Debbie Allen is also in the movie. She hopes it will inspire people to invest in the arts. 

Debbie’s next favorite piece is a group routine done by Dmitri and fuses hip hop and samba, performed by the top 16. Oh now I remember this one, it had the water part. Jeanette does a great job, reminding me why it was so sad for her to get kicked off, but I’m not sad by who is in the top 4 for the girls. 

Our next guest is the So You Think You Can Dance Australia winner Talia, doing a Sonya Tayeh piece. She’s a ballerina. She does not have the typical ballerina body, actually she looks a lot like Jeanine. I love Sonya’s choreography. 

Lil C’s time to choose. He picks Jai Ho Bollywood routine (Lil C explains with the biggest words he can manage) done by Kaitlyn and Jason. The two of them seem to be struggling with the moves a little, I wonder if being out of the show/competition atmosphere affects them. Like the show experience is so intense that it keeps you on your toes. Jason gets two kisses tonight!

Top 4 finally come out on stage, holding hands. The girls look cute, the guys look like slobs… Time for some results. For one of them, the journey is over. In fourth place after last night’s votes is…Kayla. (Come on, Evan should be fourth!) Montage of Kayla’s best moments to Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone, which seems to be a season favorite. Judges are on their feet to applaud her. She said one really special moment for her was working with Mia who could get more out of her than expected. 

Adam chooses another judge’s favorites. He chooses one of Mia’s works, the butt dance done by Randi and Evan. Looking at her perform, I’m certainly not sorry she was voted off before the finale. Not that she’s bad, she’s just not great either. Her lines aren’t as strong as Kayla’s and her energy isn’t where Jeanine’s is. Judges are just on their feet for everything.

Mary’s choice now. Jeanine and Brandon’s passedoble from last night. (Jeanine has been in five dances now. Brandon in four. Kayla in three. Evan in three. Including the two group performances.) Everyone on their feet again. 

When they finish Cat calls Evan to join them on stage as top 3. Time for more results. The dancer in third place is…Evan. (Well, at least he didn’t make top two. I mean, really.) Montage of Evan’s moments. We get to see him with his brother and I wonder how far Ryan will go in Season 6. (Also correction to my post from yesterday, it’s 3,500 not 3,000 audience members.)  

Nigel gets to pick a favorite moment now. He says his favorite moment was when Mary admitted to using Botox. She says “what’s a matter with you, the night was classy until now.” Another Mia Michaels routine, the addiction one with Kupono and Kayla to Sara Bareilles’ Gravity. Good choice Nigel. Kayla is fantastic here, possibly her best ever. Maybe because there’s no pressure anymore or she’s channeling the sadness of not winning? Whatever it is, it works. Mia’s crying at the judges’ table.

Special guest choreographed by Tiffany Burton, the Rage Boys Crew. Oh they’re the cute ones with the kids from different ages. I particularly love the little boy with the afro who is so little he can’t possible get the clean lines in his big jacket but you know he will be a great dancer when he’s older. (I mean, he’s great now, he’s just seven years old.) Cat has the jacket so she can be in the crew, but she’s the only girl allowed.  TJ, the little one, lost his tooth doing a backhand spring off the couch. Nice. Cat says “too gorgeous for words.”

Tyce gets a pick now. He chooses Doriana Sachez’s disco routine done by Brandon and Jeanette. They do a good job as you know they will. Random note, Jeanette has been in four dances now. Brandon is now tied with Jeanine for most dance requests with Kayla and Jeanette tied for second and Evan coming in third in judges’ favorites. I think the judges should just remain standing because really, they’ve gotten up after just about every dance. 

One more judges’ favorite routine, chosen by Mia. Ah, this is the one about cancer, choreographed by Tyce, dance by Melissa and Ade. So they were just saving the best for last. Mia says it became a monumental moment for the show. Some good news, the friend Tyce choreographed the routine for found out today that she is cancer free. (The song is This Woman’s Work by Maxwell.) People are again crying as they stand up and scream for the dance. Tyce must be thrilled, I’m betting on an Emmy. 

Mia Michaels choreographed dance for the top 8 is done as the final piece before the results. It’s funny how different each one looks. It’s done to “One.” With a special guest spot by the seven judges. Hahaha well done. Not long enough to see if they can actually dance, but still a nice bit nonetheless. The judges look so pleased with themselves. (As the top 8 stand perfectly still in the background…)

The judges are back in their regular clothes and back at their table. Time for the winner. Montage for each of them. (We get some little seen before scenes of Jeanine in Vegas and at auditions.) And they can end it nicely with the piece from their dance together. Nigel says they deserve their spots in the top. He found out the win at 12:30 and was thrilled. Time for the results. America’s Favorite Dancer is…Jeanine!

Americas Favorite Dancer

America's Favorite Dancer

She says she never imagined that she’d win. She’s kind of shellshocked and can’t really speak but ends with “I never thought I’d be giving an acceptance speech at the Kodak but thank you academy.” She also thanks her mom for making her keep dancing even when she wanted to quit.

What do you think about the winner? Do you agree that Jeanine was the right choice or was your pick someone else?

The Top 4’s final performances here.

Here are some of my favorite dances from the show. Check them out and add your own.

Read about your favorite choreographers here.


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