SYTYCD Crowns Champ, ON THE TOWN Welcomes Dancer; FULL RESULTS & PICS!
Whoooooooa, this is it! All of the voters have voted, the competitive dances have been danced, the, "Shut your face"s have been shut your faced; tonight was SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE's 11th season finale. And though, as in the last two years, we had four dancers still standing at the beginning of the night, for the first time since 2011, there was only one winner announced. Gone are the days of not having to choose between our favorite male and female dancers; this time, only one gets to take home the title of "America's Favorite Dancer."
Still vying for that price were jazz dancer Jessica Richens, tappers Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart, and contemporary dance Ricky Ubeda. In addition to the title, this season's champion will receive $250,000, a shoot for the the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine, and (most importantly for us theatre-lovers) will be offered a role in the currently rehearsing Broadway revival of ON THE TOWN, when SYTYCD's tour wraps in February.
As I said in last week's recap, coming into the finale, Ricky was clearly the best technical dancer in the bunch, however, my gut told me that his perceived dominance all season might result in a lack of voter support. I mean, it's no tlike it would be the first (or fifth) time in the show's history that the "best dancer" was not America's "favorite dancer." Often on this show charm and personality go a long way, and Ricky simply didn't dominant in those categories as much as he did in technique.
Joining the regular judges (Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy) tonight to celebrate the final four, and the season as a whole, was Jenna Dewan Tatum, Debbie Allen, Tara Lipinski, and Adam Shankman. I, for one, have missed Shankman this season. I know that he has been busy with HAIR at the Hollywood Bowl and all of his movie projects, but he so loves dance and this show, that his passion, energy, and honesty are what makes SYTYCD so special. I wouldn't mind if he and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were full-time judges if the show returns for another season.
Also on the show, for some reason, were Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul. They "performed" their "hit" single, "Bailando," from Iglesias' latest album, "Sex and Love."
We will also got to see the final dance crew that Justin Bieber helped introduce this season, and if all of the other ridiculousness that he has unleashed on the world wasn't enough, tonight's crew performance just might confirm the Biebs as the Spawn of Satan.
Other than finding out who won, before tonight's show, I was most excited to see the Top-20 performing together again, especially Tanisha Belnap, who deserved to be in the finals. And to be honest, that fact that she isn't still makes me a little upset, but I will get over it... maybe.
Ok, so, now on to the performances, and the results. Let me know what you think of what I thought in the comments below, or on Twitter @BWWMatt. I will be back with pictures of each performance when Fox makes them available. However, I imagine that that will be pretty late, as Fox will want to stem the tide of spoilers.
As is SYTYCD tradition, all six judges will pick their favorite performances of the year (with each finalist getting to perform at least once, coincidently). I will do a short review for each repeat performance, but I'm not going to give a second full recap. If you want to see my thoughts on the originals, check out my article archives here.
Choreographer: AFTER MIDNIGHT Tony-Winner Warren Carlyle
Song: "Doctor Jazz" from JELLY'S LAST JAM (1992 Original Broadway Cast)
Three-Word Review: Sweet Broadway Greatness
There is nothing more joyous and inspiring than a well-danced Broadway number... don't give me your kittens playing with yarn, or babies laughing at paper ripping, Warren Carlyle's opening number did a great job of highlighting the four finalists, but also having the entire Top-20 dancing as a cohesive group. It was classic, it was quirky, it was a great opening for the Season 11 finale.
Mary's Favorite Performance
(Fox photo currently unavailable)
Dancers: Jessica Ritchens and Casey Askew
Choreographer: Broadway's Travis Wall
Song: "Like Real People Do" by Hozier
Three-Word Review: Perfectly Gorgeous Pair
Debbie's Favorite Performance
Dancers: Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda
Choreographer: Christopher "Pharside" Jennings and Krystal "Phoenix" Meraz
Genre: Hip Hop
Song: "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
Three-Word Review: Val Found Funk
Zack's Favorite Performance
Partner: All-Star Amy Yakima
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: "Europe, After The Rain" by Max Richter
Three-Word Review: I'm Still Underwhelmed
Nigel's Favorite Performance
Dancers: Rudy Abreu and DANCING WITH THE STARS' Allison Holker
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson
Three-Word Review: Luck, Lucky tWitch
Awkward Babbling Alert: After taking a deep swig from her spiked Coke cup left over her AMERICAN IDOL days, Paula Abdul stumbled over her telepromptered intro of the Australian SO YOU THINK YOU DANCE champion. I'm sorry Australia. But she's our retribution for Paul Hogan.
SYTYCD Australia Champ Michael Dameski Solo
Song: "Unstoppable" by E.S. Posthumus
Three-Word Review: Screw the Three-Word Review that was the best solo we've seen all season. Sorry Ricky, Zack, Jessica, and Valerie I might think I might have found the best dancer of the year.
Valerie's Favorite Performance
Partner: Zack Everhart
Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
Song: "Sing" by Ed Sheeran
Three-Word Review: Both More Confident
Song: "Fading Flower" by Yuna
Three-Word Review: I Want More!!!!
I understand that all of the random musical acts help subsidize SYTYCD as the ratings continue to fall, but I would far prefer to see acts like this on a dance show than random songs by Lucy Hale and Christina Perri. These two guys perfectly encapsulated