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Credits in the End Notes
cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3
It's here, the final episode of So You Think You Can Dance: Fiore. We've had eleven glorious weeks of ups and downs, twists and turns, upsets and comeuppances, but everything must come to an end. At least, that's what they tell me. Personally, I'm still dubious.
Our last ever tweet of the week comes from Lucy:
Yep, leave it to Lucy to highlight what good friends all the dancers have become. I can't be the only person who's feeling bereft that the show is ending. But before we say our farewells there's some very important business to take care of first. There're eleven dances to review, for one thing! Each of our final four contestants got to choose one routine to bring back to the stage. Each of the judges, plus the marvelous Cat, also got to pick a favourite of the season. There was also an audience favourite, a group routine and one final surprise. And then: the final results and the winner is crowned. So get the Kleenex handy, people. Because this train is off the rails and there's no stopping it now.
Top 20 Dance
Contemporary, Fairy Tail Main Theme - Slow Version, choreographed by Dee Caspery
The top twenty all back together again! Wow, twenty people onstage is a big number! I really loved the costumes on this dance. Everyone looked so unique, but also unified; if I didn't know better, I'd guess that the dancers got to choose their own costumes. Or maybe I'm onto something here. Natsu was wearing his scarf again, the one he wore all through auditions. But costumes weren't the best part of this routine. It was seeing everyone back together again. Including Loke! And even Laxus was back. I guess his open apology letter was well received. I could really tell the difference in Laxus, even in this one dance, he didn't look like he was trying to WIN at a cooperative sport any more. It must have been tempting for the choreographer to put our top four finalists front and centre, but they didn't. This routine was all about teamwork and I loved it.
Natsu & Gajeel, contemporary, I Want It That Way, choreographed by Travis Wall.
Each of the judges got to pick a routine to see performed again and Paula got the honour of going first. If you told me that Paula only picked to troll Nigel, I would believe you. If you told me she picked because it was honestly her favourite, I would also believe you. I choose to think that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Either way, I love that she chose the super romantic Natsu/Gajeel dance. Was it just as sincerely and earnestly danced the second time around? You bet it was!
Lucy & Loke, quickstep, Thuderstruck, choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie laPatin.
I can't believe I forgot how goooood this routine was. I'm so glad Lucy picked it to dance again. I'm especially happy to see Loke back dancing with Lucy. I forgot what great chemistry they have. It's not the same chemistry that Lucy has with Natsu, and I wouldn't go so far as to say it's better... but it's certainly special, even if I can't articulate how. We did learn a super interesting fact about Loke and Lucy. Remember how Loke left the show to reconnect with his estranged family? Turns out that he's related to some of the staff that Lucy grew up with, the ones who paid for all her dance lessons. Speaking of Lucy's family, it was extra nice to see the crowd of them in the audience with all their 'Go Lucy!' signs. I guess Lucy's jerk dad let them all take holidays at the same time. Hmm, so maybe he's not such a big a-hole as I thought.
Juvia & Gray, lyrical hip hop, Closer, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.
Trust Nigel to pick the most heterosexual dance of the bunch. Maybe he just didn't want to get outdone by Paula's pick? Mind you, as much as I enjoy speculating, who actually cares about producer politics? So whatever, it's a good dance and that's what important. Juvia looked thrilled to have another dance with Gray. I'm so happy too that we got to see these two dance together one last time. I don't know how the future will play out here, but there's no way Juvia can go back to dancing sad solos after a dance as joyful as this one.
Erza & Freed, bollywood, Bang Bang, choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan.
Oh Erza, choosing the dance you found the hardest. I guess being challenged must be a fun and novel experience when you're as good at everything as Erza is. Not that you could tell that Erza found this routine difficult. She made it look completely effortless and made technique-is-everything Freed look like an amateur. Now that's skill. Can I also point out that Jellal was in the audience? It's too bad he didn't audition for the show himself but it's awesome that he came to support Erza in the finale.
Levy & Gajeel, contemporary, Into the Fire, choreographed by Mia Michaels.
Oh right, I always forget to mention that there's a third judge. Well, 'forget' is a little bit misleading considering I've been doing it on purpose the entire time. And he chose the Levy and Gajeel trust dance! I was really, really hoping we'd get to see this one again. And it was even better this time around. I didn't think that was possible! But it wasn't quite identical to its first performance: there was one particular addition tonight. A kiss at the end. And I'm not convinced it was part of the official choreography either. Gajeel's adorable blush when he was eliminated makes perfect sense now. He and Levy started dating right after her exit from the show. They didn't think they'd get to dance together again, but they did! My heart!
Gray & Natsu, jazz, I Don't Dance, choreographed by Brian Friedman.
Really, Gray? This was your favourite routine? The SUPER SEXY jazz routine with Natsu? That's freaking hilarious. No kiss at the end of this one, unfortunately. I'm sure Juvia was disappointed but it's Gray's choice after all. This routine perfectly shows off the competitive aspect of Gray's friendship with Natsu. But let me tell you, the 'competitive' signal got crossed somewhere with the 'unresolved sexual tension' signal. I still have no idea if this intentional or accidental, but I don't care. I love it! And now we know that Gray loves it too!
Mirajane & Laxus, hip hop, House of Wolves, choreographed by Phaside and Phoenix.
I am absolutely not surprised that we're seeing this dance again. It is one of the best dances of the season, hands down. What's really cool about seeing this routine again is that Laxus was in it this time. It was cool seeing Mirajane dance with the choreographer last time, but seeing her dance it with Laxus was even better. Especially now that Laxus doesn't seem like just a massive jerk to partner with anymore. I don't know that Laxus quite matched Mirajane the demon of hip hop, but he held his own, and that's not nothing.
Natsu & Lucy, cha cha, Shake It, choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin.
Ah yes. I didn't think I'd being seeing this one, but I'm sure glad we did. I would have been disappointed if Natsu and Lucy didn't get at least ONE duet together. And now that I think about it, this routine is a great choice because it highlights the greatest strength of this partnership: having fun! This dance is so much fun to watch it could create world peace. Has anyone tried this yet? I think I'm on to something here. On an unrelated note, do you think this is the first time that So You Think You Can Dance has had a cat in the audience? Probably. How awesome is it that Igneel and Happy got to come to the finale to cheer Natsu on?
Cana & Gildarts
Broadway, I Don't Need Anything But You, choreographed by Spencer Liff
The original duet of the night! It was incredible enough that they got Gildarts to guest dance once but that they got him again is downright unbelievable. But it happened! Cana and Gildarts doing a Broadway duet is just a dream. The reveal that Gildarts is Cana's father was the biggest bombshell of the whole season. I'm so happy we got resolution! I say it's a dream to me, but I don't think this dance could mean half as much to me as it meant to Cana and Gildarts. I told you to grab the Kleenex.
Gray & Erza, disco, Splash Free, choreographed by Doriana Sanchez.
A disco for the audience pick? That's unusual to say the least. Disco's aren't usually big crowd pleasures. But this wasn't just any old disco, this was the hottest disco. Yep. I see what's going on here! At least, I have a theory anyway. Y'all wanted to see Gray pole dance again and this was the closest thing. Hey, no judgement here. In fact, I am totally on board with this logic. Sure, all the windows got foggy again, but that's ok. I wasn't looking out those things anyway. A quick shout out to the runners up to this category. The other dances that almost won were Wytches' Brew danced by Lisanna and Bickslow and Untitled Self Portrait, the hip hop with Natsu and Gajeel. My second choice would have been to see the Lisanna and Bickslow routine again. It was super good. And we already had a Natsu and Gajeel dance tonight, so I don't mind missing Untitled Self Portrait. But what we did get was damn fine.
Results and Closing Thoughts
And that's it. That's all the dances for this year. The drama's not quite over yet though. Naturally, they draaaaaaaaaagged out the results to be as excruciatingly melodramatic as possible. But I'm not that cruel, you'll be thankful to hear. Lucy came in fourth place, which was about what I expected. She's clearly become a close friend to all her fellow dancers and she has a lot of talent, but skill wise, she's the weakest. And here's where it's getting harder to predict. Gray was next, in third place. Gray's an amazing dancer, but I guess his pole dance didn't carry him all the way to the top spot. So that just leaves Erza and Natsu. I'd call Natsu the dark horse of the competition. He has the least formal training, but his technique has improved drastically in front of our eyes and his infectious energy has never faltered for even a second. Erza is the opposite in some ways, having near perfect technique in many styles to begin with, and with a focus and intensity nobody even comes close to matching. They've both earned the title ten times over, but only one person can be crowned as the favourite dancer. And it was Natsu!
Seeing Natsu run down to celebrate with Happy (still a cat) warmed the cockles of my broken heart.
Because that's the end. It's all finished now, this magical season of So You Think You Can Dance. Looking back on the season as a whole, all of the contestants have changed, and for the better, because they all got to meet and dance together. What happens next is anyone's guess but nobody who was part of this season will go back to being who they used to be. So I guess the adventure never ends.