SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Final Four Recap WITH PHOTOS: Best Show of the Year


SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Final Four Recap WITH PHOTOS: Best Show of the Year

I have been pretty vocal with my feeling that the entertainment value of this season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE has been lacking a bit. However, while there still hasn't been a singular defining moment this season, as the numbers dwindled, the entertainment skyrocketed. Tonight was the most enjoyable evening of reality television that I have seen in a long, long time. With the final-four dancing 14 routines, in every imaginable combination, we were treated to a remarkable evening that had very few missteps.

As the show opens, Cat announces that, for the first time ever, in their All-Star number, each contestant will have the opportunity to choose their genre.

Then Cat introduces the most random judging panel in the history of reality television. Though my expectations for Paula Abdul were lower than they are for the new FOX "comedy" DADS, she was an exceptionally competent judge tonight. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't great; or even always coherent, but she far exceeded my expectations. So, I'm guessing that Uncle Nigel restricted what she was able to put into her glass tonight. And while I have nothing against Gabby Douglas, why is she a judge on a dancing show? At least this season's other celebrity judges (I'm still ignoring the Carly Rae Jepsen fiasco), had some sort of dance or musical theatre background.

Partner Performance #1: Amy Yakima & Aaron Turner
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Style: Jazz
Music: "Primitive" by Richard Vission vs Luciana
Three-Word Review: Love this partnership

Off the top of my head (please correct me if I am wrong), this is the first time that Amy and Aaron have danced together on SYTYCD, and man do I wish that they had been paired together earlier. Though I think it made perfect sense to unite Aaron and Jasmine to form Team Tall, it was very cool to see Aaron able to do a few more dynamic lifts than he had been able to previously. Both of these two dancers were great in a "primitive," funky routine. Additionally, I think they both have futures as actors, as they are completely invested in every routine that they perform. Fantastic way to start the show!

Partner Performance #2: Jasmine Harper & Fik-shun
Choreographer: Broadway vet Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Music: "Spiegel Im Spiegel" by Angela Yoffe and Vladim Gluzeman
Three-Word Review: Control, Gorgeous, Surprising

Travis said that he wanted this number to appear as if the dancers were underwater, and given Fik-shun's noted lack of technical prowess, I was skeptical. However, I am very happy to admit that I was wrong. With the clever use of a fan and blue lighting, they legitimately looked like they were swimming. This partnership displayed unbelievable control on a routine that required a very specific style of very slow movement. I was shocked that Fik-shun not only was able to keep up with Jasmine, but that he was an incredible partner as well. Jasmine was simply beautiful in this routine, and it created an excellent dichotomy with her Hip Hop routine later in the night.

Contestant's Choice Performance #1: Aaron Turner
All-Star: Melinda Sullivan (Season Seven)
Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
Style: Tap
Music: "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars
Three-Word Review: Finally, Heartbreaking, Brilliance

I've heard many people say recently that tapping is a fun genre, but that it can't create the emotion that other genres can. However, I genuinely had tears in my eyes by the middle of this routine. What an incredibly moving performance and tribute to a great American dance style.

Contestant's Choice Performance #2: Jasmine Harper
All-Star: Comfort Fedoke (Season Four)
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo
Style: Hip Hop
Music: "Run the World (Girls) (Nappytabs Remix)" by Beyonce
Three-Word Review: Which's the All-star?

Like the judges, I was surprised that Jasmine chose to dance outside of her genre, but in retrospect, from a competitive stand point, I think that decision was absolutely brilliant. I've never really considered Comfort an All-Star, she just fits the female hip hopper hole, but in my opinion, Jasmine outshined her All-Star, and it wasn't even close. This routine proved that Jasmine can not only dance in any style, but that she can kill it in any style.

Partner Performance #3: Amy Yakima and Fik-shun
Choreographer: Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Style: Argentine Tango
Music: "Hazardous/Zero Signal" by PP Music (UK)
Three-Word Review: Both Surprisingly Impressive

I don't know a darn thing about the Argentine Tango, but I thought Fik-shun was an exceptionally strong partner, for the second time tonight. The judges obviously weren't impressed with him, and it seemed like Amy was about to burst into tears because of it, but the comfort and trust that these two have developed throughout the season made this routine entertaining. As in most ballroom genres, the girl got all of the fancy moves, and the guy did the (not-so) heavy lifting. Despite the fact that I disagreed with the judges on Fik-shun's performance, I completely agreed on their assessment of Amy. She sparkled and dazzled in a routine that was out of her genre.

Solo Performance #1: Jasmine Harper
Music: "Ready for Love" by India.Arie
Three-Word Review: Cyrus Screwed Up

More On: Paula Abdul, Gabby Douglas, Carly Rae Jepsen, Travis Wall, Melinda Sullivan, Bruno Mars, Comfort Fedoke, Miriam Larici, Dmitry Chaplin, Jason Mraz.

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Matt Tamanini Matt writes across numerous BWW sites and works behind the scenes as well. In addition, he is currently working on two plays "Was Lost and Is Found" and "I Live You." He received a BA in Journalism/Communications from The Ohio State University and has worked in sports broadcasting, media relations, and journalism. He also has directed and/or produced over 30 plays and musicals. You can connect with Matt through Twitter: @BWWMatt.

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