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You Spoke, We Listened: So You Think You Can Dance Recaps! Just In Time For The Finale!

So_you_think_you_can_dance It has come to our attention, of late, that a great many of you luuuurve So You Think You Can Dance. So! We decided that we should do recaps! Just in time for the finale! DON'T SAY WE NEVER GIVE YOU ANYTHING.

Meet Megan. Megan blogs at Acorn Dreaming, and she's an Irish Dancer. She is also, she says, a TCRG, which is an acronym of something unpronounceable in Gaelic and stands for Teacher of Irish Dance. In Megan's own words: It doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about with other dance forms though. Mostly I'm just fan of dance.  I've been watching and loving SYTYCD from the first season and bemoaning my old age and inability to get up there and shake my moneymaker with the rest of them.  As soon as they decide to do So You Think Your Mama Can Dance, I'm auditioning.

And with that, we leave you and your fancy-dance dreams in Megan's capable hands...

We’ve made it to the Final Four of Season 5 of SYTYCD. Brandon, Kayla, Jeanine and Evan are in the running for “America’s Favorite Dancer” (a title so cloying it makes me gag a little to type it.) It was the Big Finale Show and I have two things to say:

1. The Wade Robson routine was boring.

2. Evan is not going to win.

(That sound you hear is the stampede of Evan fans rushing to string me up with one of his neckties.)

Tonight’s panel was Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Adam Shankman. The show was relocated to a new theater. I suppose they wanted to make sure the night was special and something we would always remember (you know, like prom.) It worked out about as well as most proms, meaning not at all. When the majority of your show is 2 dancers, why do you need the XXL Tunnel of Electric Lights Stage? That stage swallowed the dancing. It swallowed the judges; even the fabulous GlamAmazon Cat Deeley looked dwarfish. Nigel made a comment about the dancers needing to dance bigger to fill the space. No, they needed an entire Broadway review to fill that space. The backdrop was distracting and the spotlight operator needs to be fired for ruining the several numbers. It was a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, SYTYCD producers. (Yes, I just quoted Shakespeare in a reality show recap.)

The show started out with all four dancers in a routine choreographed by Wade and Amanda Robson. I was excited when I heard the choreographer announcement because I am a big fan of Robson’s quirky style. Nothing else looks like a Wade Robson routine. I’ve said before that while I might not always love a Robeson routine, they are never boring.

Tonight I take it back.

That football/cheerleader routine was Wade Robeson does High School Musical. Was Wade channeling Tyce Diorio? It was such a clichéd story and the choreography was ordinary . . . lackluster. . . mundane. The dancing itself was sloppy and uninspired. No amount of flashing red sequined panties was going to help. Wade, Tyce needs to be emulating you, not the other way around.

Up next was Evan & Jeanine with a Sonya Tayeh contemporary routine. I loved Sonya’s choreography and Jeanine was powerful, but it felt like it was a trio number for Evan, Jeanine and an over eager spotlight. Whose idea was to light them from the back? Let’s shine a super bright spotlight right at the audience and back light the dancers so you can’t see them! Brilliant! I spent most of my time watching Jeanine and the spotlight. Evan was there? Are you sure?

Brandon had the first solo. He looked like Adonis in board shorts. I know the boy said he doesn’t lift anything but women, but we need a momentary reality check. There is no way he got that body without gym time. While I thought he was a bit frantic in his dancing tonight, his strength more than made up for it. Brandon dances like an action hero. He is the Rambo of the dance floor.

Brandon came right back out after his solo to do a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine with Kayla. I love Brandon and Kayla together. Her lyricism and his strength are a perfect compliment to each other. This number surprised me. The story of Brandon dying and Kayla as Death is fairly edgy and conceptual for Tyce. They danced well. Kayla hit all her lines, but Brandon seemed to be getting tired. (I can’t imagine why he’d be tired after that solo.) He dropped his extended leg on the 7 pirouettes (but there were 7!!) I do have to say this is probably the best Tyce routine I’ve seen. Usually I feel like Tyce just rehashes other choreographer’s styles. This one felt a bit more original.

I was bored by Wade and enjoyed Tyce! What’s going on? It’s like I’ve entered a parallel SYTYCD universe.

Jeanine’s solo was next. I’ve basically hated every female solo I’ve seen all season. They all look the same and bore bore bore me, so I really appreciated Jeanine’s departure from the “Wear a Nightie and Writhe on the Floor to Moody Music” school of solos. Her solo was a creative mash-up of styles – ballroom, ballet, contemporary– only hip hop was missing. My mouth hung open when she wound her pirouettes down to a stand still without a wobble. She looked just like one of those plastic ballerinas on my childhood jewelry box. And she danced the entire solo with foliage in her mouth! What more could you ask for?

Next we had the guy piece choreographed by Laurieann Gibson. Despite being danced to “Nasty Boys” by Janet Jackson, this routine was a testosterone festival. The guys postured, preened and pummeled. The only thing they didn’t do was pee on each others feet. I know the judges claim Brandon out-danced Evan, but they must have been distracted by the giant stage and pretty lights. Evan threw down from the start by taking his split leap about a foot higher than Brandon, who still seemed tired. Brandon missed the entrance to the helicopter-spinney –jump-things (that’s a technical dance term.) I just don’t know what the judges were watching. Was Evan as aggressive looking as Brandon? No, but the choreography stipulated some of that. Brandon got crumping and Evan got pirouettes. That’s the choreography, not the dancers. Brandon is my favorite, but he did not out-dance Evan in this piece. The judges were unfair to Evan. Mary Murphy went so far as to attempt to embarrass Evan by asking him if he's ever done anything "nasty" in front of several million people. That's just not right. (See, Evanites. I'm not a hater.)

The boys were followed by the girls in a Mia Michaels' contemporary routine. Simply put, this routine is why I love this show. Sometimes on this show you get to see the most extraordinary dancing, things you would never see otherwise - like this routine. I loved the concept of shedding layers, the costuming of multi-layered skirts and the performance. It beautifully showcased the skills of both dancers – both their similarities (strong technique) and differences (Jeanine’s strength versus Kayla’s lyricism.) In the first few bars of music, you can see those differences. Although the pose was the same, Jeanine’s head was down like she was powering forward and Kayla’s head and chest were open like she was going to take flight. The discarding of the layers of skirt was brilliant. I just wish Jeanine hadn’t fumbled that last drop. Other than that, it was perfection.

Then Evan was up for his solo. Just to be clear, Evanites, I do not dislike your soft-shoeing God of Dance. He is Mr. Gene Kelly. He is smooth and he has lots of personality. He does offer something different to the competition (other than the impressive pit stains he was working in that white shirt.) But he shouldn't win. Brandon, Jeanine and Kayla are all far superior dancers. Evan doesn't need to win. He has a fan base now and he has talent. He’ll have a great career on Broadway. At this point, I think he is still in the competition because the judges keep picking on him and he’s getting either a sympathy vote or an anti-judges vote or both. Of course, the judges continued to pick on him tonight, so maybe that will create a sympathy vote landslide and I’ll have to come back tomorrow night and rename this post "Evan is not going to win.”)

When Cat announced a Paso Doble was coming up, I had a little panic attack. Oh my god. Please spare us the sight of Evan trying to pull off the super-macho Paso. I was only able to breathe again after I saw that Evan and Kayla were with Tony Meredith and Melanie Lapatin for a jive.

Evan did well in the jive. Kayla did not. Kayla had some weird claw action happening in her hands and she kept flailing her claws, I mean, hands, right next to her shoulders. I wanted to hold up a sign for her. “Dear Kayla, please put away the Spazz Hands.” Her hands weren't the only problem. Her flicks weren’t sharp enough. Her upper body was wrong. She looked gangly throughout the entire dance. Evan, on the other hand, had complete control over his legs. His kicks and flicks were sharp. He looked like he was having fun. I was stunned to see them miss the entrance to that last assisted spin. It looked like Evan missed the grip and Kayla fell to the floor instead of shooting herself into the spin. It was just plain sloppy. I completely disagree with the judges, who raved over Kayla and dissed Evan (once again.) Didn’t they see the errors? It was a disappointing performance for a finale show and I think it might have lost Kayla her shot at the win.

Kayla returned to the stage for her solo. Thank you, Kayla, for not wearing a nightie. I liked the song choice of “Sweet Dreams (are made of this)” by the Eurythmics. That spin on her heels was awesome. Kayla finally upped her game in her solo. She won’t win, though. She deserves to win because she is a unique dancer and a huge talent. She won’t win because she doesn’t have the story and the drama of the other dancers. She has been too consistently good. She has been the darling of the judges (deservedly so), but the audience will rebel against the judges. Everyone likes the underdog, right? That’s really the only way to explain Evan still being in the competition.

(For the record, Kayla does not lack personality. She disappears into the roles the choreographers give her. Isn’t that the point, people?)

The last dance of the night was Brandon and Jeanine in a Paso Doble choreographed by Louie Van Amstel. I officially rescind all my bitching & complaining about having to watch another Paso. Thank God, no one raided the Renaissance Festival costume shed for outfits this time. We had simple black costumes, intense choreography, dramatic techno music and the two most powerful dancers left in the competition. It all collided in a chill-making and breathtaking Paso. Brandon and Jeanine hit every line, and every beat with every inch of their bodies. I did not doubt their anger or passion for a moment. The movement and the expressions were so organic; it didn’t feel contrived, as the paso so often does. It was the most convincing paso I’ve ever seen. The ending was stunning when Jeanine went limp and all the tension from the dance dissipated through her body. Well, it was stunning until Brandon struck a pose like a drag queen at the end of the runway. What was that all about? Was he auditioning for America’s Next Top Model? (Don't believe me? Watch it again.) Still, it was the 2nd best routine of the night. (Mia’s routine for the girls was the best routine of the night for me. )

My predictions: Brandon wins. Jeanine takes 2nd.

Sorry, Evanites. It’s just not going to happen. Now get away from me with those neckties.







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Comments

Emily

I am hoping Jeanine wins it all, but I think Brandon is definitely strong competition.

So glad to see SYTYCD recapped here! Hope you're back for season 6.

ljpock

Great recap!!!

I just started watching this season due to....you guessed it...Evan! (But I have a good excuse because he's related to one of sister-in-laws. ) I am now officially hooked though.

I am so glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks the judges miss the mark sometimes. I was thinking it was because I had two left feet so what do I know....but apparently it's a little more than I thought :)

Already looking forward to Season 6 (and hoping Ryan does well). Hope you'll still be doing your recaps (and I won't string you up by a tie, as I really think all the dancers in the final 4 are good!)


iambellaluna

Excellent recap! When I first read that this post was a SYTYCD recap, I very concerned about how it would play out, but you're reviewing is EXCELLENT! I'm going to have to rewatch some things now! Hope it's still on my DVR...

JennyM

I'm so glad I'm not the only one -- on Evan and Kayla's jive I was wondering if the judges and I watched the same performance.

Kim

Hilariously, after I finally got home way later than expected, our DVR had simply crapped out and not recorded the show. FEH. I am making Jack stand over it with Implements of Doom tonight while I'm off doing rock camp stuff!!!

I don't understand your comment about Kayla! It seems like in the wrappers she comes off as being totally personality-free, but when she dances, she emotes much better, particularly when her empty vessel is filled with some kind of character direction from the choreographer.

Thanks for texting me the number last night!! I suppose it's unfair but I knew who I wanted to win two weeks ago. I'll see last night's stuff tonight when they rehash it all for the results show...

Go you with your recapping for MamaPop. ;)

shine

So...I kind of hate Jeanine. And Brandon.

I KNOW! But I do. Both of their necks are bigger than their heads and it freaks me out. The only solo of Brandon's I've ever liked was the one where he was wearing the tiny shorts. I think it was two weeks ago.

The only solo of Jeanine's I've ever liked was this one. Those pirouettes were truly amazing. Not that we haven't seen things like that before.

Basically, this season has been a crapshoot for me, because all my favorites have already been kicked. I don't really care who wins any more, but I'm sort of pulling for Kayla by default. I loved Melissa. LOVED. And Jeanette. And Ade. And Ashley. And Jason. And Caitlin. But they're all gone. Hell, I even loved Phillip, not that I thought he should win, mind you.

I'm so tired of the judges being shitty to Evan and acting like the sun shines out of Jeanine's ass.

You hit the nail on the head about one thing, for sure. That spotlight guy should have his head checked. All night I was blinded by that thing. And I think moving to that enormous stage was a HUGE mistake. I like Mia's routine, but not as much as I usually do. I admit Wade's routine blew ass. And I still have Lady Gaga stuck in my head. I'm looking at you, Wade.

Oh, and I totally agree with you about the Laurieanne Gibson (what is with the headphones?) routine. I thought Evan did a better job. But that could be because Brandon's stupid tiny head drives me crazy.

Now that my comment is as long as your post, I'm going to shut up.

lori

I agree almost 100% with everything you wrote (the only difference being that I want Jeanine to win...). I couldn't figure out what routine the judges watched when they raved on Kayla and ragged on Evan in the jive!

Please bring the recaps back for Season 6 now that i'm officially addicted to the show!!

Kim

P.S.

JEANETTE 4 EVA!!!!!++++

Sorry just had to get that off my chest.

Christie

I know this is after the finale, but I didn't get both hands free to type up my thoughts earlier - first congrats! I'm excited that the recaps will continue!

I'm with you on the Wade number - I mean if they had said shane sparks choreographed it I might have thought it wasn't too bad, but what a waste of a Wade number - I got to the end of the show and thought - this was cool, but I wish they had gotten Wade to choreograph something and then realized - oops he did. I'm beginning to think he has something against doing good pieces for the finale (see Season 3 Sabra and Lacy's fox number).

I love love loved Jeanine's solo, but I have enjoyed her solos for most of the season - except for the super sexed up one last week. She has such amazing control.

Tyce's number - I would have loved it without the music - with the music it was jarring - the costumes and music just didn't go together for me and ended up distracting me from the piece - I need to go back and watch it with the sound off.

Regarding the Brandon/Evan piece - my issue with Evan's dancing is that it was too smooth and fluid when it was supposed to be hardhitting and sharp. But it didn't seem to be choreographed to highlight their strengths. (At my house we were envisioning alternative dances for Brandon and Evan and my husband was suggesting the battle of the action stars - brandon plays a vin diesel type, while Evan plays the james bond type so evan's smoothness works in his favor and brandon's strength works in his - wait, what - doesn't everyone play backseat choreographer at home?)

OMG - the matrix pase doble! That definitely goes into the ranks as one of the best, if not the best, pase doble ever on the show! Ah-maz-ing. (the only close contender for the best would be second season: heidi and travis)

Oh and a note about tonight - so pleased with Jeanine winning - I've had her as a favorite for awhile (when she did her best to save that ill fated tango). I was also really impressed with the reprises tonight - many other years during the finale I am struck by how tired the dancers seem - with reason - this week must be utter hell. But several of the dances seemed even better than the originals. Even though as a whole this season wasn't one of my favorites, this may have been my favorite finale results show.

ljpock

I was surprised at the routine they picked for Brandon and Evan. If you're supposed to be highlighting the dancers strengths, why would you put Evan in a number of being a "bad boy". I think it was bad call on the choreographers part there, she didn't play the strength of her dancers IMO.




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