Friday, August 12, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 8: Finale, Pt. 2

And America's Favorite Dancer is...........

Just kidding. I wouldn't spoil it that soon. But BE WARNED: if you haven't yet watched the So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 finale and have somehow avoided finding out who won last night, you should probably stop reading right about now.

Last night was a celebration of the entire season, a review of the most memorable moments and the most spectacular dancing feats. Video montages are pretty much par for the course for live results shows like this, but I must say I was particularly impressed by the ones they used last night, especially the opening one that reviewed the entire season from auditions to Wednesday night's performance finale. Fine, I almost cried watching it—and not just because it made me realize how much I missed Debbie Allen's presence after Vegas Week!

Speaking of judges, the panel was jam-packed last night. Lil' C, a wax figurine Robin Antin, Tyce Diorio, Sonya Tayeh, funny guy Jesse Tyler Ferguson and, of course, Mary and Nigel were all in attendance for the event and they each got to pick a few routines that they wanted to see again. They even let Cat pick a piece this season! Most of them made perfect sense and I was thrilled to rewatch them. Others, well, not so much.
  • Mary's Pick #1: Sasha and All-Star Kent - The Wall by Tyce Diorio - "Fool of Me" by Me'shell Ndegeocello
  • Nigel's Pick #1: Melanie and Marko - Nappy Tabs - "I Got You" by Leona Lewis
  • Robin's Pick: Tadd and All-Star Lauren F - Mandy Moore - "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen
  • Lil' C's Pick #1: Miranda and Robert - The Woodpeckers by Nappy Tabs - "Break Ya Neck" by Busta Rhymes
  • Cat's Pick: Top 8 - The Circus by Tyce Diorio - "The Circus Sets Up" from Water for Elephants (Soundtrack)
  • Mary's Pick #2: Melanie and All-Star Neil - Mandy Moore - "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
  • Jesse's Pick #1: Marko and All-Star Allison - Sonya Tayeh - "I Know It's Over" by Jeff Buckley
  • Tyce's Pick: Top 10 Girls - The Geishas by Sonya Tayeh - "Pop Drop and Roll" Chonique Sneed featuring Lisette Bustamante
  • Lil' C's Pick #2: Ashley and Chris - The Jail by Spencer Liff - "Please, Mr. Jailer" by Rachel Sweet
  • Nigel's Pick #2: Sasha and All-Star Twitch - The Table by Christopher Scott - "Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore
  • Sonya's Pick: Top 10 Guys - The Doors by Christopher Scott - "Velocity" by Nathan Lanier
  • Jesse's Pick #2: Caitlynn and All-Star Pasha - Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici - "Malajunta" by Orquesta Color Tango
  • Mary's Pick #3: Melanie and Marko - The Statues by Travis Wall - "Turn to Stone" by Ingrid Michaelson
  • Nigel's Pick #3: Melanie and Sasha - The Beasts by Sonya Tayeh - "Game On" by District 78
So, yes, most of those routines excellent choices to bring back to the finale... expect for both of Lil' C's picks. Really? Those two? I would've much rather seen Caitlynn and Mitchell's sexy Samba or Tadd and Jordan's Viennese Waltz! Buck Man, you are ca-razy. I also would've preferred that we skip over the routines that weren't performed live last night. For the Top 8 Circus and Caitlynn's Argentinian Tango with Pasha, they just rolled the tape from the original performance. I could've just as easily looked it up on YouTube!

By the way, did it take anyone else a while to figure out who that random blonde guy was dancing on stage? Alexander, I'm not sure that's the best look for you. I much prefer your dark hair and Disney villain beard from the beginning of the season!

We were also treated to a few brand new routines, including the opening Top 20 number by Sonya Tayeh to District 78's "Wanna Get Hype." You could feel the energy exploding off of the stage and there was an epic feeling of intensity. Each dancer was giving it their all, and I loved the introduction of the Top 4 at the end. Hot hot hot!

Matt Flint, the winner of SYTYCD UK, joined Jess and Nick for an unstoppable tap number to Michael Buble's "Can't Buy Me Love," and it was hands down the best tap number we've ever seen on the show. They finally figured out how to have the music at full volume while still allowing us to the hear the taps on stage without it sounding horrible. You could tell those three were having a great time on stage and I adored the death-defying dive into the somersault at the end.

I applaud Nigel for talking about the recent article in The New York Times that interviewed professional dancers about the show. In case you haven't read "So You Think You Can Judge Dance," it's worth a read. I agree with Nigel that they didn't give the show nearly enough credit—it has done so much as far as bringing incredible dance back into the public eye! The professionals just came off sounding elitist and out of touch.

Of course, last night was not just a celebration of Season 8. There were results to reveal! Predictably, Marko and Tadd ended up in third and fourth, respectively, and it all came down to the two Beasts of Season 8. Cat revealed that the runner-up had received 32% of the vote and the winner had received a whopping (and astonishing) 47%—which leaves only 21% for the boys combined, by the way. This really was a season for the girls, after all.

And America's Favorite Dancer is...........

Melanie! Cue the confetti!!!!

This didn't come as a surprise, which is actually a surprise in itself. Too often on this show, the best dancer and the ultimate Favorite Dancer are sadly not the same, but I truly believe that this year America got it right. Melanie had the perfect combination of talent, heart and personality to bring her all the way to the top. ConDRAGulations, Melanie!

And thus concludes another season of So You Think You Can Dance. I'm sad to see it go, but glad to know that we just finished another remarkable season of incredible dance. There are always blips and bobbles every season, but overall the choreographers, dancers and judges didn't let us down—no, Katie Holmes and Carmen Electra, I'm not talking about you here. I can honestly say that I'm already excited for Season 9!

What did you think of last night's finale? Did the right dancer win? Did your favorite routine make a reappearance? And how will you remember Season 8?

Thanks for coming along for the ride this season, dear readers. So You Think You Can Dance will always have a special place on this blog—heck, Cat Deeley's catchphrase is the inspiration for the name!—and I love getting to hand out judgments about each week's performances with all of you! I hope you stick around as I dish about Project Runway, the Emmys, the upcoming fall TV season and more.
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