E yet again (trying to make up for being on vacation next week, maybe) with some thoughts about tonight’s results show of So You Think You Can Dance. As I mentioned yesterday, one of the best parts of the finale is that they bring back routines from the whole season, a sort of greatest hits evening. And hey, if that turns out to be a preview of what goes on the tour, that’s not a bad thing, either, right?
This year, my favorites are mostly contemporary routines. Last year was Mark and Chelsea’s “Bleeding Love”, which is hip hop, and Katee and Joshua’s Bollywood number, so it’s nothing to do with the style itself. I don’t really know why, but this year’s hip hop for the most part just did not work; it turned into the kiss of death for quite a few contestants, actually, and not a single beat boy or girl made it into the top ten. I’m intrigued to see if they feel obliged to include a hip hop routine for variety, and if so, which one that’d be.
So let me break down what I think – who knows whether the routines I like will be the ones they liked. And honestly, I don’t even know how many routines they’ll do, which would be helpful in trying to predict what they’ll pick. There may even be internal concerns about placating choreographers, or what they can recreate on tour. BUT. That said, I’m still going to take a stab at it.
This is a simple list. I can’t imagine they’ll go without doing Melissa and Ade’s Breast Cancer contemporary routine. I’d also be shocked if Mia Michaels contemporary routine for Evan and Randi, known as The Butt, doesn’t make the cut. It’s such an entertaining and perfectly realized routine. And if Brandon and Janette’s Argentine Tango doesn’t get a replay, I’ll be shocked too. I think it’s safe to call that the best ballroom of the season (especially since Nigel called it the closest to ballroom perfection the show had ever seen).
Almost As Memorable:
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Travis Wall’s contemporary dance set to Jason Mraz’s “If It Kills Me” – you know, the one where Jason and Jeanine tear each other’s clothes up – makes the cut. There’s a glut of good contemporary routines, but that one ought to be a keeper. Oh, and yes, it’s contemporary, but Mia’s Addiction routine for Kayla and Kupono was the second most moving piece of the season.
Stacey Tookey choreographed two terrific pieces, either one of which could merit another look; Jonathan and Karla’s “Falling Slowly” and Brandon and Kayla’s Married Man/Mistress piece from last week. Speaking of which – what’s up with that? The girl does two routines for the show, the first of which is about strangers falling in love when committed elsewhere, and the second about the difficulty of leaving an imperious married man. Should we be worried for her personal life? Not that two is a big sample – the thematic overlap is just interesting. Anyway, I’d be sorry to see her ignored, but we’re looking at 4 more likely contemporary routines already.
If the show is looking to add a little stylistic diversity, they could go for two other outstanding Brandon and Janette routines. They had a blisteringly fast, exuberant disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. And they had a fun, funny, funky jazz piece, “Ruby Blue” choreographed by Wade Robson.
If we assume that the tango is a given – and I imagine it is – then what else might we see? Nigel doesn’t think people care about or vote for the waltz (slow=boring), so not that. There are enough slow contemporary pieces so the waltz won’t be needed for balance. Perhaps Melissa and Ade’s steamy rumba? Or Kayla and Max’s smoking samba from week 1? Caitlin and Jason’s lovely foxtrot? Karla and Vitolio’s charming, museum staged quickstep?
I’m talking Diversity:
If they wanted something really different, they could go with Melissa and Ade’s classical pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet. Or Jason and Caitlin’s Bollywood routine. Or, heck, Jason and Caitlin’s alien invasion jazz piece (my children’s favorite). Love the Santogold tune it’s set to! “Creator” is a perfect piece of music to prance and caper and quiver to. Nigel thought it was too weird to work, but audiences disagreed. Would they go out on a limb and bring it back? It was certainly memorable. The Russian folk dancing was an unmitigated disaster, so not that. But Laurieann Gibson’s pop routine for Brandon and Jeanine, set to Jordin Sparks’ “Battlefield,” might fit the bill. Doubtful all around, though, I think.
If You Must:
I’m sure they’re going to do something hip hop, despite this year’s routines lacking the punch of “Bleeding Love,” Josh and Katee’s “No Air,” and Twitch and Comfort’s “Forever”. Dang, but last year was a good year for hip hop! (And for Chris Brown on SYTYCD.) Helps to have two hip hop dancers good enough to make it all the way to the finale. Anyway, I think this season’s bests were Philip and Jeanine with the chain and – my personal favorite – Kayla and Jason as zombies. I didn’t really love Janette and Brandon’s rock v. hip hop number, but the judges did, and they have to pick something.
I think they’re going to end up skipping Broadway, though. There wasn’t a piece which got universal acclaim this year. Of the Broadway routines, I think that Jason and Kayla’s “Mr Monotony” was the best, but the judges didn’t love it, or find any other piece an unmixed blessing. And since Broadway doesn’t have the fan base of hip hop, it just can stand with the waltz in a corner.
What do you guys think? I’ve listed way more routines than they’ll have time for, and I could still have missed your favorites (or the judges). What do you think? What was the best? Is there anything you’re dying to see? I, for one, wish they re-did group routines. I think Mia’s “Higher Ground” could be the best routine of the season, period. Am I alone?
I’ll be interested to see, also, whether the judges relentless flogging of Evan has helped or hindered his chances of taking the title. Is kicking a puppy a smart move? I guess we’ll see. Most polls this morning show either Brandon or Jeanine winning, as Nigel suggested last night. I think my favorite piece was the girls’ running across the stage. Good stuff, that one, but then again nothing stuck out as a clunker, either.