Holy smokes kiddies, where did the summer go?!? It’s hard to believe that the ninth season of So You Think You Can Dance is winding down, and we’re already at the stage where the final four dancers take to the stage for one last performance. I have to admit, I’m secretly relieved. While Adam has been an AMAZING guest writer throughout the season, my absence for some weeks has really caused an inability to connect with this year’s set of dancers. Is there a dance from this season that I truly remember, and would place in my all-time favourites collection? No. And that doesn’t make me happy.
I truly wanted to believe Skeletor’s over-produced rant about finding the best set of dancers this show has ever seen, but as the season has played out those words have simply proven to be false. Sure, Eliana has had some brilliant routines, and Cole was a master at embodying his characters each week, but was there a Melanie, or Twitch, or Alison, or Jakob caliber performer? Not by my standards. The fact that Cyrus, while brilliant in his own style, is still in this competition of apparent ‘all around’ best dancers just further proves my point. If So You Think You Can Dance survives to air another season, I BEG of Nigel Lythgoe to let go of his ridiculously tight grip on this competition and truly let America decide who should be going home from the very first week. Bring back a fresh top ten new girls and guys, and pair them up for the first few weeks. Showcase new dance styles again, like the brilliance that was Bollywood when it was first introduced. Help us fall in love with the next Kerrington, or Travis, or Heidi, or Neil, or Brandon, or Janine. Hell, let Cat Deeley choose her own outfits again! Take the standard recession business model, and get back to your roots and remember the core of what made you great in the first place.
That’s my rant. Sorry, but I felt it had to be said. After several brilliant years, I would hate to see this should fall off into Reality TV wasteland next to Temptation Island and Jon and Kate Plus Eight. SYTYCD, you’re better than that!
On with the show! If you couldn’t tell, I’m in a state and this could be interesting…
The TWO HOUR (F*CK ME) episode starts off with a dramatic opening with all four dancers talking about their dreams of making the show and NO opening pre-recorded group routine. WHAAAAAT? The reason? Each contestant will be performing FIVE times throughout the night. Are you kidding me? That’s absolutely ridiculous, and guaranteed some of the routines are going to be incredibly sloppy as there just isn’t enough time to learn that many numbers in one week. Crap.
Then judges were introduced, and joining Screamin’ Mary and Skeletor on the panel this week was Rob Marshall (who I actually thought was Ray Romano when they first showed him). Definitely not worried about the star factor this week!
First up in a seeming endless night of dance were Eliana and Cyrus taking on a Jason Gilkinson Paso Doble. Are. You. Kidding. Me. Before this even began I wrote it off. There is no way Cyrus can handle this style.
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographer: Jason Gilkinson
Song: “The Game Has Changed” by Daft Punk
Holy shit was this routine terrible. Pardon my French, but this was a TERRIBLE start to the night and proved that Cyrus should not be in this competition. HE DIDN’T EVEN DANCE IN THIS ROUTINE. His only movements were WALKING AROUND THE STAGE and lifting Eliana while she was forced to dance around him. Even then, she couldn’t keep herself moving, so the whole routine fell incredibly short. What. A Joke. I couldn’t stand to hear the judges pretend to act like this was good, so I skipped past all of the nonsense and on to the next routine.
Up next was Tiffany, joined by all star Will. Remember him?!
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “The Time is Now” by Moloko
Wow, everything was right about this routine. The choreography was SICK and was perfectly paired with a brilliant song. Tiffany killed this routine and Will was ridiculously on. This is one of few routines from the whole season that I wanted to go back right away and watch again. Great job kids! The only thing I would have changed was Will’s pants, but you can’t fault the dancers for that. I want some more of that!!
Up next was Eliana again, this time performing with Chehon
Choreographer: Marat Daukayev
Song: “The Nutcracker Suite – Pas De Deux” by Bruton APM Studios
Well hot damn. If this routine wasn’t put together to help Eliana take home the female winner title, I don’t know what routine could. Her execution of this routine was flawless, and effortless. As for Chehon, he really held his own as a partner, and during his leaps! For a style that is rarely shown on So You Think You Can Dance, having Eliana in the finale definitely helped to raise the bar on this style! Cheers to both dancers for pulling this style off and keeping the audience interested! I’m pretty sure Mary Murphy cried at the end of this number too…not sure why though…
Up next was Tiffany once again, this time joined by fellow contestant Cyrus.
Style: Lyrical Hip Hop
Choreographer: Cassandra Chavez
Song: “Best Thing I Never Had” by Beyonce
Okay, I was smitten from the start with this song choice. Give me some B any day and I instantly fall for the dance. At this stage in the night, Tiffany has completely won me over and I’ve changed my opinion of her! For the ladies, this is turning out to be one tight race. As for the boys, Cyrus has the popularity vote, which Chehon has the talent. Hmm. As for this particular dance, Tiffany SMASHED IT! While there hasn’t been a brilliant lyrical Hip Hop routine in a few years, this came close for me. Once again, I felt Cyrus fell a bit behind with all the choreography, and Tiffany helped to save him with all of the different steps. Good work all around.
Up next were the top four dancers (in what I have to believe is a pre-recorded performance due in large part to Tiffany’s dramatic hair change) performing their finale group routine.
Style: Quirky, according to Cat. I call it Ballet-Jazz fusion. It’s a style.
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (District 78 Remix)” by SKM Studio Artists
I’m not even going to both critiquing this routine as it was simply put together to showcase each dancer’s own personal style, which unfortunately didn’t add up for me. Plus, Chehon’s outfit was atrocious and for that I blame Tyce completely. This piece was totally forgettable. I LOVE that the studio audience had to pretend to be excited to ‘watch’ that routine on screen. AMAZING. The fourteen year old girls in the front had the most disgusted faces…HEART.
Eliana was up next to perform the first solo of the night, and once again I’ll give the contestants a break from the critique.
Up next was Chehon once again taking to the stage, this time with all-star partner Alison. Lucky!
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Leave” from Once – A New Musical (Original Broadway Cast)
Holy smokes did this routine have a recipe for brilliance. Alison. Stacey Tookey. AMAZING song choice (from a musical I am DYING to see). Chehon’s sheer power. What was the end result? Unbelievable magic. I actually watched this piece THREE times. First time watching Alison, second time Chehon, and the third time Alison all over again. She is one of the BEST dancers this show has ever seen, unarguably. The only thing I wish they hadn’t done was kiss at the end. But if that’s the only thing wrong with a dance, I think I can handle it! Also, Cat called out the one-handed lift that Chehon did and HOT damn was that a good shout out!
Up next were the two ladies, Eliana and Tiffany, taking to the stage together for the first time this season! I FORGOT ABOUT SAME SEX DANCING!!
Style: Burlesque – WHAT!?
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago – The Musical (1996 Broadway Revival Cast)
The two girls had to dance on a pool. They called it Burlesque. Skeletor popped two Viagra before the performance and was completely revolting. I will admit, I loved the starting silhouette with Eliana up at the top of the pole and Tiffany arching back onto the lower section. HOT. Was the routine worth it? Meh. The dancing was really well done, but the choreography was incredibly simple for these two dancers at this stage of the competition. It felt as though it was put together for two singers who could kind of dance, not two brilliant dancers…
Nigel was on his feet. Barf.
Cyrus was up next to perform his solo, and I breeze through that ENTIRE section…right through Tiffany’s solo which immediately followed.
The two male contestants, Chehon and Cyrus, were up next performing together for the first time as well!
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Fangs (District 78 Remix)” by Little Red Lung
All I can say is Sonya perfectly constructed this routine to show off Chehon’s incredible technique and styling, while infusing enough popping into the piece to allow Cyrus to equally shine. Did the two styles necessarily go well together? She did the best with what she had to work with, and that’s all I have to say about that!
Up next was filler content; John Sook from Paris France. If you didn’t recognize him by name, I guarantee you knew who this B-Boy sensation was the minute he took to the stage. What this man does on one leg and crutches mystifies me. Mad props.
Up next was Chehon tackling his solo. I will say, I love the way this boy leaps through the air.
Up next, Eliana was back on the stage performing with all-star Alex Wong from season seven!
Choreographer: Travis EFFING Wall!
Song: “Without You” by Harry Nilsson
This routine ALSO had the perfectly combined parts to be phenomenal, and I was glued to the screen for the entire performance. Wowzers, this was a great piece. Eliana’s lines were seemingly endless, and Alex was an incredible partner. This routine could have easily solidified Eliana’s spot as the favourite to win the competition this year. All three judges were on their feet at the end of this routine, which was rightfully deserved. Travis Wall is king.
Up next was Tiffany and Chehon performing together for the last time.
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: “Love Me Tender” by Adam Levy & Norah Jones
Ugh, I just don’t love this style and for that reason alone I just didn’t love this routine. Tiffany was fabulous once again, but you could definitely tell Chehon was definitely a little out of his element. The boy gave it his all, but I couldn’t help but think that this routine was simply under-rehearsed. On a positive note, I instantly fell in love with the song this piece was choreographed too. Give me some Norah Jones any day. Sigh.
The last performance of the night brought Cyrus back onto the stage, paired with all-star Twitch in an obvious attempt to showcase his talent and land him votes. Producers at their worst.
Style: Animation (yeah, I don’t get it either)
Choreographer: Christopher Scott (my boy) with one of the top male Animation dancers from The League of Extraordinary Dancers (LXD)
Song: “Like a Criminal” by District 78
Before I even critique the routine, did ya’ll see how RIDICULOUSLY buff Twitch is now? WOW has that boy put some meat on his bones. As for the dance, hot damn did my boy Christopher Scott put together an awesome concept. The downfall; Cyrus just couldn’t master all of the choreography and there were a few times in the routine where the dancing really fell apart, and you could sense Twitch’s frustration with having to adapt to Cyrus’ mistakes. I’ll say it again, Cyrus should not have made it to this stage in the competition. Twitch’s professionalism and raw talent truly saved the routine and the night with this one!
Well there you have it folks! The performances to earn your votes are over and now it’s up for you to decide which girl and which guy should walk away a little bit richer, and crowned the co-winners of So You Think You Can Dance Season Nine.
I can’t WAIT to hear what you have to say about this mixed bag of a show!