E: That was a really nice show, and I don’t know about you, but I’m really sad this is over. Can it really be that I won’t hear Cat Deeley again until next May? I’ll always remember your pleated gauze dress in shades of peach and cream, Cat, with the flowers and the swag and the asymmetry. You’re a vision.
Now, sure, they didn’t show some of this season’s iconic routines. No “Collide”/Prom theme? No “Boogie Shoes”? No “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic?” And somewhat to my surprise, nothing from the finale, either. On the other hand, I am pretty much over the moon about the results. And guess what else we got? A ride on the hot tamale train! Woohoo!
The show begins with a fantastic group number: Melinda taps in slinky red, then Dominic and Jose start breaking together (way better than we’ve seen them do before) . Twitch looks creepy, surround by girls. And then a bunch of guys roll Alex in on a desk chair, and he hand dances. Oh, seriously, that could not be more awesome. The men are in suits in shades of grey; most of the girls are in dresses in shades of red and black, except Lauren Gottlieb and Comfort, who are also in suits. The music was “Ra” by Nathan Lanier, which is super cool, and the piece was choreographed by Christopher Scott from LXD. I totally dug that.
Aaand – there are 7 judges, including the one person I’ve been longing all season to see. First up, Cat gives us Nigel, and a funny video slideshow of his various hairstyles. Mia’s piece is all about the fake words she uses. With Adam (or Blue Steel) , it’s the faces he makes. The panel’s fleshed out with Kenny Ortega, Stacey Tookey, Tyce (ack) and Mary Murphy! Mary Murphy, in diamonds and a red dress! Yay, Mary Murphy. How I’ve missed you. What a pleasure it was just to hear her laugh through Nigel’s “Mane Man” package.
The contestants take us through how the performance show was for them. They all seem to feel pretty great, and justly so. Everyone’s grateful, but Lauren tells us that Mia gave her the compliment of a lifetime.
A stuttering Kenny kicks us off by introducing the first routine of the night – Kent and Neil’s “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo” by Tyce. I don’t think I noticed the first time that their uniforms were really dirty, which is a neat touch. Great routine, and one I was happy to see again.
Next, Nigel introduces Stacey Tookey’s “Mad World,” and says that he couldn’t be happier they bent the rules to let Billy come back again, because this piece was amazing. And it is – it’s super powerful the second time. I just adored this routine each time. Really awesome.
We have a fantastic routine next from Quest, a dance group which includes previous contestants Ryan and Hok (and I think Dominic?) . They perform to “Suzy,” by Caravan Palace, which is a cool song, and they are totally sick. Totally, totally sick. It’s vaudeville on hip hop, with a gothic influence in the costuming. I cannot get enough of them.
Mia tells Catalicious that she want to see a ‘dance short film’ – Comfort and Adechike’s “Fallin.'” She notes that Comfort is a supergirl of hop hop, and so much more awesome than we ever knew on her season, which I totally agree with. I love this routine, and it’s just as powerful as before. Comfort can’t close the suitcase to take it away with her, but she’s so in character that she just throws it to the ground and stalks away without it. Awesome!
After a funny (and also a bit creepy) clip about romance over the season, Kent and Anya reprise their “My First Kiss.” No judge introduces it, so we don’t get to hear why. I liked this routine, but I’m at a bit of a loss. I guess they felt they needed to show someone other than Lauren doing ballroom? Anya is kick ass, though.
I’m less surprised to see Robert and Dominic’s angry clown routine. NappyTab are having a big night so far, with 2 out of the first 5 routines. They do a nice job of it. This work is certainly better than “My first Kiss,” but still, not something I absolutely had to see again. Or maybe I’m just left with a weird taste in my mouth because Tyce introduced it?
We see a bit about National Dance Day, the best parts of which are the clips from NASA, Sea World, and an animated sequence of Angelina Ballerina. Nigel claims he’s going to do a tap routine, but instead he just has two other acts do the dancing for him, which frankly annoys me a little. Luke Spring, the teeny tiny seven year old tapper? Now he and his super sense of rhythm rocks the house. The Manzari brothers are pretty fantastic, too, especially because they tap as one. You could listen with your eyes closed and the performance would still be fantastic.
The next routine is ballroom, Lauren and Pasha’s Argentine Tango. Excellent! Is it better than her cha cha? I don’t know, but I can tell you it’s sexy and awesome. And guess what? Pasha nails the straight arm lift! I think it’s even more steamy and breathless than before.
Adam introduces his absolute favorite routine of the season, and its emotional highlight: “Fix You” by Robert and Allison and Travis Wall. Gosh, what a fantastic routine. Neil Patrick Harris hoots in the audience.
Randomly, we get a terrific krump performance from Russell and Lil’ C. They dance to “Hazardous,” by Buckmouth (of course); Lil’C has on headphone and a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “no music.” It’s filthy, as Mia would say.
And the lovely Mary Murphy introduces the next routine – she gives Jose and Dominic two first class tickets on the hot tamale train from their “Battle for the Beat” hip hop/b boy routine. When it ends, and Jose stands with the sword on the platform, Cat says “I am the master now, Obi Wan.” For this alone could I love you, Cat. HOW does this woman not have an Emmy? Not even a nod! Damn you, fools!
Even though the judges hated her routine for the finale, Mandy Moore gets to choreograph a piece for Neil and Charlie Bruce, the winner of the British SYTYCD. It’s very pretty. Very very pretty. There’s smoke, and some interesting aggression, considering the smoke and that it’s set to a Celine Dion song (“I Surrender”) and appears mostly floaty and romantic.
The finalists are called back to the stage, so we can eliminate the third contestant. Aaaand now we know what the next routines are. Robert’s in his Bollywood gear, Lauren’s in her Wild West hip hop, and Kent is in jeans and a tank which is either for his Dee Caspary chair routine or the backstabbing one. That’s kind of funny. Not so funny? The third place finisher is Robert.
I have to admit it. I didn’t expect Robert to win, but I would have been thrilled if he had, and I so totally wanted him to be able to give his mother some sort of wonderful treat. As a mother, however, I know she couldn’t have been prouder of him if he had. A staffer hands him an enormous orange bouquet, and he gives thanks for how much this experience has blessed him.
Mr. Blue Steel Shankman gives us the next routine. He pretty much rightly refers to Tabitha and Napoleon as the MVPs of the season, and has Lauren and Twitch reprise their “My Chick Bad” western hip hop. It’s not “Boogie Shoes” or “Collide,” but I’d forgotten how much I liked this routine, and how fun it is. They do an awesome, awesome job. Lauren is so good at hip hop, and song is really funny. It makes me think of “yo mama” jokes.
Cat has taken it upon herself to play the video of Alex and Allison dancing Sonya Tayeh’s “Hallelujah.” It’s just as gorgeous as I remember. Sigh.
Stacey calls Billy and Robert back for their Bollywood routine. Poor Stacey; this is the only time they’ve let her talk all night, and she gets cut off. Poor kid! At least her work was featured. No one interrupts Stacey’s mentor Mia when she introduces the next act – Neil and Kent’s “How It Ends.” (I hear it might be former contestant Ivan who ended his friendship with Travis, rather than Danny Tidwell. Either way, dude, don’t you know his mom is really sick? So not cool.) I don’t think I noticed before that Kent is wearing a white tank top and backstabber Neil a black one, just in case you were wondering who was in the wrong here.
Black Gold performs this season’s kiss off song, “Shine,” which hasn’t made much of an impression on me. It’s nice enough live. The lead singer brings to mind rubbery faced Brit David Tennant, with features that don’t fit together quite as pleasantly. He’s got a mouth that wouldn’t dislocate if he were a rodent eating V, that’s for sure. Dude can sing, though.
The last performance of the night is one which has been chattered about for week’s – the superhero of dance who will step into Alex’s place in “Outta Your Mind.” Apparently this person called the show, deeply distressed about Alex’s injury, and asked if they could do something to honor him. I have really been wondering about who this could be. Janet Jackson? Usher? That would be seriously cool if it were Usher, don’t you think? There’s a door at the back of Twitch’s office, and clinging to the door as Twitch opens it (nice nod to Mia’s “Mercy” routine, people!) is Ellen Degeneres.
She performs a fair bit of it, and turns other sections into physical comedy, which is totally cute. I have to admit it, though. I’m disappointed. I was really hoping for Usher. Or someone else who can dance really really well.
And now we’ve come to the end of the line. Kent and Lauren walk out hand in hand. So cute! I have to admit this, too. People have expected Kent to win for so long that the contrarian in me really doesn’t want him to. Is that mean? I like him, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t think he’s unworthy. (I can hear you groaning, MMGF, don’t think I can’t.) Lauren really has been so much more consistent. On the other hand, he’s been pretty wonderful too, as had Robert (and don’t even get me started on Alex). They’re both deserving. Both 18 year olds talk to the camera about the show. Lauren tears up and says how much winning the show would mean to her. She talks about the joy and the rush of having completed a routine and knowing you’ve done even more than you thought you could. Kent says either way, he’s going to be fine. The package ends with the hazy, golden pictures they’ve used to introduce Lauren and Kent all season; they seem frozen in amber, younger, different people from the contestants we see now. And the winner is…
Turns out every little thing she does IS magic. The winner is Lauren. Lauren! Kent is carted away behind an enormous bouquet of flowers. Russell brings out a Gatorade bottle – Lauren’s Gatorade bottle, the bottle with a picture of her on it. Cat asks her if she has anything to say. I’ve got too much to say, Lauren says, so she runs around like a maniac with her friends instead. And in just a few moments, it’s clear someone has given her a traditional Gatorade shower. Former partners Twitch and Dominic raise her up on their (uneven) shoulders. The sexy cheerleader has won the night, Season Seven, and a quarter of a million dollars! Stay real, Lo Fro, and don’t let the money wreck you.
I feel so happy and satisfied. The only bad thing about tonight is that I’ll have to wait another 10 months to enjoy this again. I’m going to miss you, Cat Deeley and Mia Michaels and Adam Shankman and Executive Producer Mr. Nigel Lythgoe sir. But mostly, I’m going to miss the dancing. Maybe I need to follow their advice and start dancing more myself.