E: One of the best things about the So You Think You Can Dance finale is getting to see the season’s best routines reprized. How much fun is that? I will tell you. It’s fun. It’s so much fun. It’s get up and dance along at home fun. Whether it’s truly the judges who do the picking or if it’s the producers, the entire season is distilled to a beautiful highlight reel. This is the one to watch.
Below I list my best guesses (usually pretty on point) for the judges’ picks, divided by genre:
Titanic/”Unchained Melody” – Audrey and Matt, choreographed by Travis Wall
“Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” – Eliana and Alex, choreographed by Stacey Tookey
“I Will Always Love You” – Witney and Chehon, choreographed by Stacey Tookey
“Eli Eli” – Chehon and Kathryn, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio
“The Power of Love” – Tiffany and Ade, choreographed by Mandy Moore
“Possibly Maybe (Instrumental)” – Cole and Allison, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
Like I said, these are the routines I’m going to guess the judges will pick. They’re not all my own favorites, perhaps (I know I called this my wishlist; though I do love most of them this post isn’t going to be entirely about me), and this is clearly the most crowded category, but these are the ones the judges responded to most strongly. To me the first three on that list are indisputable, but I might have opened the other three up for debate. Based on the judges reaction, however, I think they’re in. (Possibly Maybe is the only one I’m even the tiniest bit unsure of.) If I could add in another few it would be “Turning Page,” Sonya Tayeh’s routine about first love for Tiffany and George (love love love that routine); “Adagio For Strings,” Mia’s hate-filled ram-inspired piece for Eliana and Cole (love love love!), Sonya’s “3326” for Will and Amelia (searching for the edge of salvation, magical), and Ray Leeper’s sultry “Dr. Feel Good” for Amber and Brandon (fanning myself, fanning myself). And then there was the gorgeous number about the afterlife Travis created for the top ten girls, “Where the Light Lets In” – I’d be thrilled to see that again. There’s just too much great stuff!
As you can tell, I haven’t put any of the pieces from the “best of Mia Michaels” episode, because I honestly will be surprised if any of them make the cut. I think all in all that episode was a failure. If they were to pick anything from that episode (if only to prove it wasn’t a failure), I’d expect it to be “Addiction” featuring Cole and Lindsay, but there’s so much else to choose from I don’t see why they would.
“Love Cats” – Will and Amelia, choreographed by Tabatha and Napoleon
“Cinema” – Cyrus and Comfort’s Dubstep routine choreographed by Christopher Scott
They’ll always include hip hop routines, and the two above are must haves. This wasn’t an amazing season for the genre, however. If they hope to do more, there’s “Toxic” for Eliana and Cyrus by Tabitha and Napoleon, and tWitch and Witney’s ‘ratchet’ East Coast stomper,”My Homies Still” choreographed by Luther Brown. Or perhaps they’ll pick the baseball inspired introductory piece for Cole, Cyrus and Brandon (“Resolve“) from Meet the Top Twenty? Why didn’t we have more hip hop in the group routines, I wonder? Christopher Scott gave us the totally genius “Architect of the Mind” but if he’s choreographing a group number for the finale I’m sure we won’t get to see this one.
Quickstep – “That Man” for Eliana and Ryan by Jonathan Roberts
Argentine Tango – “Breathing Below the Surface,” Chehon and Anya by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Swing/Jive – ” What I Like About You” for Tiffany and Benji, choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
Paso Doble – “Unstoppable” for Lindsay and Cole by Jason Gilkison
On the other hand, this was a great season for ballroom and not just because we had three ballroom dancers in the top twenty. I’m very much struggling about whether “I Want to Be Loved By You” – Tiffany and George’s lovely, floaty foxtrot – will make the cut. Because it came so early in the season, and it’s not as flashy as the other styles, I can’t call it an automatic win, even though I thought it was marvelous. As if that’s not enough (which it probably will be), the judges could certainly ask for Jason Gilkison’s “Dance Again” for Lindsay, Witney and Nick from the “Meet the Top Twenty” non-competitive episode. That is a red hot number. Love it!
Broadway – “ Dancin’ Dan (Me and My Shadow)” for Lindsay and Jakob by Spencer Liff
Disco – “You Make Me Feel” for Tiffany and Brandon by Doriana Sanchez
Bollywood – “Ooh La La” for Will and Kathryn by Nakul Dev Mahajan
African Jazz – “Jungle” for Dareian and Janelle by Sean Cheesman
It’s possible that they could go with Chehon and Witney’s Bollywood number (“Tandav Music“) but I think the other was marginally more successful. I’d expect at least one of these routines to make it through just to add a little variety. They’re all great, but the Broadway was probably my favorite – and I’d give a lot to avoid seeing Tiffany’s hideous disco pants again.
So those are my guesses! Did I miss anything you think they’re sure to include? Is there something you desperately hope they’ll put in? Or something you think was overrated? Isn’t it interesting to look back and see that the best routines don’t always come from the most popular dancers?