*Finale Spoilers Included!*
Never have I been so relieved to be so wrong. You know what I'm talking 'bout! Normally I'd have to tease you a bit, but since you already know the news and are probably as excited as I am, let's hear it...
America's favorite dancer is...JEANINE. I hoped and prayed and wished and voted, but I did not see that coming. 21.6 million votes. Impressive!
And it was probably that much more exciting for me because I got to see it all live at the Kodak Theater. A friend scored tickets (thanks Bronwen), and it was amazing to be in the theater. The crowd was wild and so appreciative of every single dancer on that stage. Do I have any inside scoop? Not really, but I will say that the Chorus Line piece featuring some of the judges and part of the Calle Ocho piece were pre-taped. Also, the choreography that all the camera operators go through is amazing. It was a bit distracting to see the steady cam operator on the stage with the dancers, but I can't complain about all that crazy camerawork again. Well, at least not tonight. Otherwise, it was awesome live.
I really enjoy it when the choreographers revisit their favorite pieces from the season. Last year I called it fluff and filler and totally got in trouble with you guys, so this year I'll call it a reminder of just how amazing this season has been.
But first you know I have to talk about my Cat. She is simply wonderful. I love her white frock. She's looking like a bit of a Greek goddess tonight. Let's get to the highlights:
Group Dance: The Top 20
Choreographer/Dance: Tyce Diorio/Broadway
Title/Artist: "A Brand New Day"/The Wiz (Original Soundtrack)
Performance: Even more exciting because the entire top 20 performs it. Loved it.
Adam's first favorite: Jeanine and Phillip
Choreographers/Dance: Tabitha and Napoleon/Hip Hop
Performance: Still amazing, but now I'm appreciating just how impressive Jeanine is in this piece.
Most unnecessary display of sunglasses worn indoors: Shane Sparks.
Nigel's first favorite: Brandon and Janette
Choreographers/Dance: Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici/Argentine Tango
Title/Artist: "Libertango"/Forever Tango (Original Broadway Cast Album)
Performance: Loved it. Their focus and connection is palpable. Great footwork and nice lifts/tricks.
Debbie's first favorite: Asuka and Vitolio
Choreographer/Dance: Louis van Amstel/Waltz
Title/Artist: "Dreams Are More Precious"/Enya
Performance: Such great emotion. They have an intense connection to each other and to the audience.
Mary's first favorite: Jeanine and Jason
Choreographer/Dance: Travis Wall/Contemporary
Title/Artist: "If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions)"/Jason Mraz
Performance: A little bobble with the prop in the middle, but otherwise it was just as spellbinding as the first time.
Mia's first favorite: Kayla and Max
Choreographer/Dance: Louis van Amstel/Samba
Title/Artist: "Jum Bah Day"/House of Gypsies
Performance: Still hot and spicy. They killed it.
This past Sunday, the Final 4 got a little treat. Their night on the town started with a limo and ended with a greeting from Kherington and a screening of Fame. The film is out September 25th. Go see it! Debbie Allen is also in it and gives us her famous line from the original.|
Debbie's second favorite: Top 16 Group Dance
Choreographer/Dance: Dmitri Chaplin and NappyTabs/Hip-hop samba
Song/Artist: "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho")/Pitbull
Performance: I'm glad none of it is in slo-mo tonight. Highly enjoyable.
Nigel introduces Talia Fowler, a young ballerina who won SYTYCD Australia.
Choreographer/Dance: Sonya Tayeh/Contemporary
Title/Artist: "Shot You Down"/Audio Bullys
Performance: Wonderfully Sonya. Nice ballet elements through. Very nicely done.
Lil C's favorite: Caitlin and Jason
Choreographer/Dance: Nakul Dev Mahajan/Bollywood.
Title/Artist: "Jai Ho"/Slumdog Millionaire (Soundtrack)
Performance: I enjoyed and appreciated it more this time. Jason is incredible. Caitlin's no slouch either.
Cat calls the Final 4 onto the stage. She's got some results in her hand. Who is she knocking out of contention for the title of America's Favorite Dancer? Kayla. You know how much I loved her but viewers and voters just didn't seem to connect with her emotionally. She is technically excellent, but just needs to keep showing us her personality. She'll do great in the dance world.
Adam's second favorite: Evan and Randi
Choreographer/Dance: Mia Michaels/Contemporary
Title/Artist: "Koop Island Blues"/ Koop feat. Ane Brun
Performance: This performance is better than the original. So much fun. Evan and Randi are so cute together.
Mary's second favorite: Jeanine and Brandon
Choreographer/Dance: Louis van Amstel/Paso doble
Title/Artist: "Tetsujin"/The Matrix Revolutions (soundtrack)
Performance: Very hot once again. Solid.
Cat asks Jeanine and Brandon to remain on the stage and invites Evan back. Who else's journey is over? Evan. I was so shocked to hear the news, and so was much of the audience at the Kodak. Shocked but pleased that he didn't take the title. You know I'm a big fan of Evan but he's not the best dancer out of this Final 4 and apparently he isn't America's Favorite Dancer either. But I will give him credit for having an amazing work ethic and giving it his all.
Nigel's second favorite: Kayla and Kupono
Choreographers/Dance: Mia Michaels/Contemporary
Title/Artist: "Gravity"/Sara Bareilles
Performance: Loved it even more this time around. I can't say it is enjoyable, but I will say it is powerful. Wow.
Featured performer: The Rage Boys Crew choreographed by Tiffany Burton
Song/Artist: "Feel It"/Colby O'Donis and Mauli-B
Performance: These kids are impressive. That little 7 year-old pip squeak is a delight. Great fun.
And now Cat is part of The Rage Boys crew. But she's the only girl allowed.
Tyce's favorite: Janette and Brandon
Choreographer/Dance: Doriana Sanchez/Disco
Title/Artist: "Loving Is Really My Game"/Brainstorm
Performance: The two powerhouses dance the heck out of this piece. It's Disco made fun.
Mia's second favorite: Melissa and Ade
Choreographer/Dance: Tyce Diorio/Contemporary
Title/Artist: "This Woman's Work"/Maxwell
Performance: So powerful. I love these two together. Such an important piece from a well-loved couple.
Tyce choreographed this piece to honor his friend Michelle, and she was declared cancer-free today. I hope she's able to stay cancer free. Oh, it's nice to see Christina Applegate in the audience.
Group Dance: Top 8
Choreographer/Genre: Mia Michaels/Contemporary Broadway
Title/Artist: "One"/A Chorus Line (Original Broadway Cast)
Performance: Still great. I think we all enjoyed seeing Tyce, Mary, Nigel, Mia, Debbie, and Adam emerge from behind those mirrors. I love them all.
And you already know who America's Favorite Dancer is: Jeanine. I'm so happy with this result, but I would have been just as happy to see Brandon win. They are both amazing. What a surprising and satisfying finale!
Are you glad Jeanine won? See you guys back here in the fall!