I can’t believe it! Where did the time go? It’s already the finale of season eight of So You Think You Can Dance, and I am unbelievably excited to see the final four take to the stage one last time to lay it on the line. I will make a bold statement now, if Melanie doesn’t win this year’s competition, America will have got it devastatingly wrong.
Sure, Tadd has made leaps and strides in the competition as an untrained B-Boy/Hip Hop dancer, and we love an underdog story; however, we’ve already had that in past winner Russell. Melanie has time and time again proven her abilities, adapting to every style, destroying her solos, and left the audience in awe of her talents each week. I will give credit when credit is due, and say that Sasha and Marko have truly been phenomenal throughout this competition as well, and it’s amazing to see the original pairing of Melanie and Marko make it through to the end, together. That is what this competition is about – showcasing outstanding talent, and rising to the level of your accompanying partner. Sasha was burdened for weeks dancing with Alexander, and it was a relief to see her truly showcase her talents with other contestants and the returning all-stars.
Guaranteed we are in for an incredible night of dance, with outstanding performances and some interesting critiques from guest judge of the week, Katie Holmes. Katie was joined by regulars, screaming Mary and Skeletor, as well as fellow guest judge, Kenny Ortega. Woof, did you see Nigel’s hair?! DYING. What a creepy train wreck. Let’s get on to the dancing!
Song: “I Feel Love” (12″ Version)—Donna Summer
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Sadly, the opening performance is a Disco routine, which is my least favorite style of dance (next to Broadway of course). Thankfully it was Melanie and Marko back together again for their final routine of the season! Wow, what an incredibly boring routine, and the music didn’t help much. I think a lot of the issues came with the labored lifts and the constant up-and-down in this routine. Sigh, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but for once I didn’t love Melanie in this style. Marko wasn’t much better either. While these two performers did an excellent job with the choreography that was given to them, but this style is so dated it makes me want to scream. NO MORE!
Song: “Raise Your Weapon” – Deadmau5
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
The second performance of the night was Sasha, dancing a Sonya Tayeh Contemporary routine with all-star MARK! LAGY GAGA’S MARK!! AHHHH!! I love that he’s back! I love that they danced to Deadmau5 too! NOW THAT IS A PERFORMANCE WORTHY OF A FINALE! Holy, that was an incredible routine, full of amazing choreography and danced by two incredibly fantastic dancers. I loved the costumes as well. These two performers dancing together could go down as the highlight of the night. Sasha was simply exquisite, while at the same time ridiculously hard when needed in playing a character. EFFING BRILLBALLS!
Song: “Hustle Hard”—Ace Hood
Choreographer: Lil’ C
Up next on the stage was Tadd, dancing with SYTYCD season four winner, Joshua, taking on a Hip Hop routine from Lil’ C. Damn, this was danced really, really well. It was awesome to see Joshua back on the show, dancing with his insane swagger. Tadd did a really great job of keeping up to Joshua, but it was wildly obvious why Joshua was worthy of the title of America’s Favourite Dancer, and while Tadd falls a little short. There were a few issues with the synchronicity, and I’ll chalk that up to the incredible number of routines each dancer has to learn this week. I wish Tadd had risen to Joshua’s level. That’s all.
Song: “Sacrifice”—Sinead O’Conner
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
The fourth performance of the evening had my girl Melanie back in the ring, dancing with season seven all-star Robert and performing a Stacey Tookey Contemporary routine. Sigh. The only way this could be better is if Travis Wall had been performing. I had chills from the first moments of the song. This routine was danced to perfection. The side-by-side leaps were simply glorious. This performance was beautiful, to put it simply. If there has even been a reason to vote for Melanie, this routine was it. Haunting. Exquisite. Pristine. Stunning. Those are just a few of adjectives necessary to describe this number. Melanie, I am so incredibly proud of you, and have been week after week. You have shown all dancers what is possible, when you work hard and have the natural born talent to shine. Thank you for inspiring me, and so many other dancers who watched this show.
Song: “Whatever Lola Wants”—Ella Fitzgerald
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Up next on the roster were Sasha and Marko dancing together, taking on a Spencer Liff Broadway routine. I will say, I enjoyed the change of look for these two dancers; Marko portraying the nerdy waiter, and Sasha shedding her hard look and softening into an elegant lady. Kenny Ortega had the same opinion actually! (NAILED IT). Outside of that, there was nothing in this routine that really stood out as memorable for me. Sure, the dancing was great technically, which is expected at this stage of the competition. Outside of the Broadway aficionados, I don’t really see anyone jumping up and down over this routine, which should bode interestingly with respect to the vote tallies. Weirdly, Skeletor had similar feedback to my thoughts above, and that makes me feel weird inside.
SIDE NOTE: I didn’t really get the awkward interviews between Cat and the contestants, and I don’t really have much to say about them.
Following the interview with Cat, Melanie was up to perform the first solo of the night. Naturally she was absolutely stunning, especially as she had to force herself to dance through her tears, after the monologue about her deceased father. SERIOUSLY! That was absolutely inspirational, and devastatingly sad at the same time. Melanie, I love you.
Marko was the next interviewee and solo performer. All I’ll say is this solo was magical. The song, combined with Marko’s steps has changed my opinion of him as a dancer and I now hold him in the highest regard. Congratulations Marko on an incredible season of dancing, and making it to the finale. Well deserved!
Song: “Raindrops”—Basement Jaxx
Choreographer: Mark Ballas
After that brilliant session, Sasha and Tadd paired up to tackle a Mark Ballas Cha Cha routine. Yikes. This had potential to be a disaster, with Tadd so far out of his comfort zone. I’ll start with the positive elements of this performance – I loved the song! That’s as far as the positives go unfortunately. This routine had a lot of Tadd standing still, and a lot of terrible transitions, missed hands and sloppy footwork. Sadly, Sasha wasn’t helping much either, as she really hadn’t picked up the steps any better than Tadd. Sadly, overall, this routine was a hot mess.
SIDE NOTE: I paused my PVR during Skeletor’s commentary about this routine to chat with Al about something and when I looked back, I noticed there was something funny about his face. I hit play and it dawned on me. I think he got Botox! Any chance Mary and him got a two-for-one deal?!
Song: “Shirk”—Meshell Ndegeocello
Choreographer: Tessandra Chavez
Up next to perform was Marko, dancing with season seven winner, Lauren Froderman, performing a Tessandra Chavez routine. The choreographer described this routine as both emotionally and physically challenging for the dancers, and I couldn’t agree more. Wow, I loved this performance. Every single move was precise and beautiful. The song definitely helped to set the mood, and I truly felt both dancers performed from their hearts and gave the routine everything they had. The characters were flawless, and breathtaking. Thank you again Lauren, for reminding everyone why you deserved to win last year. As for Marko, there is nothing to say, other than you are the unexpected dark horse in this competition, and you have proven that you are now worthy of taking the title from any of the other dancers left in the competition.
Cat then sat down to interview Tadd, followed by his solo. For all those Moms watching the show, please put down your phones, or pick another dancer. There is no need for the underdog B-Boy to win this year! While the solo was well performed, please remind yourselves of the disastrous Cha Cha we saw only a few minutes ago.
Song: “Show Me What You’re Working With”—Sista Monica
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Tadd was right back on the stage after his solo, this time performing with Melanie, taking on a Ray Leeper routine. Josie Grossie, who is this choreographer? I’m sorry, but I really didn’t understand this routine. Why was Melanie dressed like a tramp in hot pants and a bra, with Marko in regular day-to-day attire? And why were they stripping if Melanie’s character just learned that Marko’s character had cheated on her?! AND WHY THE BOXERS WITH THE HEARTS?! So many questions, and unfortunately, no answers. I am disappointed to think that this will be the last routine we see Melanie perform on this stage. Nightmare! Sure, she danced it perfectly, but this routine was just awful!! Tadd, sorry bro, but I totally looked past you in this number and had my eyes on Melanie the entire time.
Sasha was up next to be interviewed by Cat and perform her solo. The one thing I love about Sasha and her family is that each week, her sister is always in the audience cheering her on, just like she said she would be. What a brilliant solo, from an incredible dancer. If nothing else, I know we’ll be seeing Sasha return in seasons to come as an all-star. She is phenomenal.
Song: “Hearts Asks Pleasure First”—Ahn Trio
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
OH SHIT! I totally forgot that the girls would get to dance together one last time! SASHA AND MELANIE performed together one last time, taking on a Stacey Tookey performance. I loved the theme, I loved the music, I loved the choreography, and I loved these girls. This is exactly how I wanted the night to wind down. These two girls are absolutely what this competition is all about! Two incredible dancers who compliment one another perfectly. There is nothing else to say about these two girls. You are the epitome of dance.
Genre: Gumboot Stepping
Choreographer: Chuck Maldonado
There was one final performance of the night, with the two remaining men in the competition, Marko and Tadd, performing a stepping Hip Hop routine. Wow, Tadd is being set up for success with two Hip Hop routines in one night. Sketchy! Unfortunately this routine was brutal. The boys were off step in almost every single step, and they appeared as if they were absolutely exhausted! The steps were ridiculously fast and meant to be danced with incredible power and speed, which they weren’t. At no point did I think, oh yeah, they’re starting to get it together. From start to finish, this routine was a hot mess, and the mediocre applause from the audience proved my point. Sorry boys, but if I was in charge of crowning a winner tonight, I’d have to say you handed it to the ladies. Yikes!
After all the performances, I definitely still think it’s Melanie deserving of the win. We’ve all seen America lose their minds on the last night of voting, so it really could go any which way this year!
MELANIE FOR THE WIN!