cover art by Opalsong
D.O.A. by Aimee Blacksshleger
Winter Waltz by Christophe Beck
Dark Horse by Katy Perry Feat. Juicy J
Mary Jane, Mary Lane by Reefer Madness Cast
Beautiful Moon by Kris Allen
Prettiest Weed by Jim Guthrie
The Ice Cream Man by Logan Whitehurst & the Junior Science Club
Moonlight Sonata by Power Music
Light Em Up by Fall Out Boy
All of Me by John Legend
Pompeii by Bastille
Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon
and the So You Think You Can Dance Theme Song
cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3
Sad days everyone, the So You Think You Can Dance finale aired tonight. The finalists took the stage for the last time, dancing the best routines of the season. And we had some whoppers. This might be the best season of the show I've ever seen.
I always get a bit of kick of the sight of the judge's table crammed with as many bodies as it can possibly fit for the one night of the year when the judges have absolutely nothing to do! But it's ok. I'm here for you. Where our regular judges were slacking off tonight, I shall persevere and provide you with all the snarky commentary you could ever want.
So hang on folks. This is happening.
Best/Worst/Only Original Dance of the Night: Top 19, Hip Hop, ‘D.O.A.’
How nice was it to see the top 19 dance together? Very nice, that’s how. It was also nice to see Marco cheering in the audience. I hope he's finally out of the hospital for good after what happened. (I may have teared up slightly when Jean said in the rehearsal footage that he was dedicating his dancing this week to Marco. Oh, don't lie, you did too!) But I also have to ask if anyone found this hip hop from choreographer Luther Brownto be kinda creepy? Does anyone else think ‘Dead on Arrival’ is an odd song choice for the finale? At least they didn’t use this song on the first episode; that’s just bad mojo.
Most Charming: Krista and Armin, Viennese Waltz, ‘Winter’s Waltz’, Nigel’s choice.
Seeing Krista and Armin glide around the stage in those white costumes just makes me want to give them all the hugs and make them mugs of hot chocolate. What more can I say about this dance from choreographer Jean-Marc Généreux? It’s just... charming!
Most Pleasant Surprise: Sasha and Hanji (all star), Contemporary, 'Dark Horse, tWitch's choice.
I didn't think this routine had any chance of making it into the finale. The judges all slammed it the night it was performed. I am so happy that tWitch came to the rescue. He's totally right on this one: this dance is amazing. Hanji is one of my all time favourite all stars. Whoever decided to pair Hanji with Sasha was brilliant, and Sonya Tayeh'schoreography was spot on. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it. Perfect storm indeed.
Most Obvious Choice: Mikasa and Jean, Broadway, ‘Mary Jane, Mary Lane’, Jean’s choice.
Jean’s real life puppy dog crush on Mikasa, and Mikasa’s complete disinterest, were on full display in the Broadway routine from Tyce Diorio. (I admit, I have my doubts that Tyceknows what this song is actually about). No one would ever argue that Mikasa has anything less than perfect technique in every style, but, bless her, Mikasa just doesn't face act. Fortunately, the cold hearted character in this dance suited her perfectly. Sorry Jean, you'll never have a chance.
Least Obvious Choice: Eren and Petra (all star), Contemporary, ‘Beautiful Moon’, Eren’s choice.
Whoo boy. I’ve joked a lot this season about Eren’s inability to dance with any emotion except anger or angst. And nothing demonstrates that fact better than this routine. Billed as a soft contemporary dance from Travis Wall about being in love, I have never seen anyone be so pained by being in love as Eren. Don’t get me wrong, it works. But I literally laughed out loud when Eren said how much he identified with this dance. Love hurts guys.
Best Use of Song: Mikasa and Levi (all star), Ballet, 'Prettiest Weed', Travis's choice.
I admit, I have trouble connecting to ballet routines usually. They often come across as stuffy to me, or emotionally inaccessible. But this routine works. Is it because Mikasa and Levi are two of the best dancers, bar none, that have ever been on this show? Maybe. But I actually give more credit to the choreographer, Desmond Richardson, and his brilliant song choice. Dancing a very traditional and technical dance style to a super modern song elevated the whole thing. Of course, having the two best dancers the show has ever seen perform it certainly doesn't hurt.
Most Unusual: Sasha (solo), Contemporary, ‘Ice Cream Man’, Kat’s choice.
I call this one most unusual partly because this is the first time a solo has been given an encore performance in the finale, and partly because this dance is weeeeeird. But it’s fitting. Sahsa might be the strangest contestant SYTYCD has ever seen. Did anyone else go blue screen for a few seconds when we found out that in addition to working part time as a living statue, Sasha also lives in the woods and hunts her own food? No, just me? Ahem. Anyway, I love how Sasha incorporates her living statue skills in this dance. I’m super happy that Kat picked it. Thanks Kat!
Most Exhausting to Watch: Annie and Erwin (all star), Quick Step, ‘Moonlight Sonata: Cardio Workout Remix’, Annie’s choice.
I suspect that Annie chose this routine specifically to point out that I am a schlub who writes SYTYCD reviews and she is a super-species of human sent to conquer the earth with the power of dance. Described by choreographers Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin as the most difficult quick step in the history of time and space, these two dance it absolutely perfectly and they make sure we know it. And can I say, fifty million bonus points to Tony and Melaniefor that song choice?
Most Suited to its Dancers: Sasha and Erin, hip hop, ‘Light ‘Em Up’, voter’s choice.
Not a bad choice, voters. This hip hop routine from Dave Scott highlighted the best characteristics of both Sasha and Erin, namely weirdness and anger, respectively. But I have to admit, I was pulling for the voters to choose the bollywood routine instead. Because when Eren dances bollywood it becomes angry bollywood and that is endlessly amusing to me. Connie’s ballroom with all star Petra was my distant third choice. The voters and I agreed on that one, at least.
Most Baffling Choice: Hannah and Bertolt, Contemporary, ‘All of Me’, Mary’s choice.
Okay, I am not a fan of this dance. I don’t get it. I find the choreography by Mandy Moore to be cloying and that song choice is not helping. I was also never a fan of Bertolt, I thought he made it way too far into the competition before he got voted off. Oh, should I be talking about the dance? What more can I say than I did the first time it was performed? This song is overplayed and combined with the sappy routine, it makes me think of that sexy Cthulu book. That’s what this dance is to me! The Sexy Cthulu Dance! You’re welcome.
Most Devastating: Ymir and Reiner, Lyrical Hip Hop, ‘Pompeii’, Adam’s choice.
I know, intellectually, Pompeii was the site of a volcanic eruption, but somehow Tabitha and Napoleon'schoreography danced superbly by Ymir and Reiner really brings home to me that this song is about two people watching the world end. Excuse me, I think I need a pint of ice cream.
Best Dance of the Night: Mikasa and Eren, Contemporary, 'Guren no Yumiya', Mikasa’s choice.
This one is no surprise to anyone I'm sure. This high energy contemporary inspired by Mikasa and Eren's history together is a huge crowd pleaser. It's been no secret to viewers that Mikasa has been waiting to do a duet with Eren since their audition. It was adorable to see how happy she was to dance with Eren again. Aw! These two are my BABIES! Though not so much of a contemporary as a hip hop/ballet fusion choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, this dance hits it out of the park and into orbital space.
And now the moment of truth: who won? Can you breathe from the anticipation!? Oh who am I kidding, this might have been one of the best seasons ever, but it was also one of the least suspenseful seasons I've ever seen. We all know the only real competition was for second place. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the winning dancer by a landslide was Mikasa Ackerman *insert applause*.
Now, here's the real question: how many hours are you going to drive to see the top 10 perform live?