SYTYCD Recap: Final Four Dazzle in Performance Finale; 8/27 Full Results!
This "Performance Finale" has me easily the most excited I have been for an episode of So You Think You Can Dance all season, and man, it didn't disappoint. Even though I picked three of the four finalists as major contenders when the Top-20 was announced (and five of the final six, thank you you very much), this is definitely not the Final Four that I thought we would have just a few weeks ago. That being said, each has managed to have a breathtaking moment or four, however, with the exception of Ricky, each has also had their share of missteps as well, and that theme kind of held true tonight.
In addition to the fact that each dancer had some astounding moments, the fact that SYTYCD's best celebrity guest judge, Broadway and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, was back to join Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the panel, and this ended up being one heck of a night. In addition to JTF, there was a special performance by Jason Mraz, who performed "Love Someone," from his latest album, "Yes!"
Ok, now onto the performances. Let me know if you agree with me in the comments below, or on Twitter @BWWMatt. Alright, now down to the task at hand (I will be back to add photos of each performance as soon as Fox makes them available)...
Choreographer: Broadway alum Travis Wall
Song: "Wind Beneath My Wings" by RyanDan
Three-Word Review: That Didn't Work
The story of the song is about taking for granted the love of a friend; but the choreography seemed to being telling the story of a pair of lovers. While I have no problem with the two pairs being same-sex, I have a problem that what they danced seemed to be completely incongruous with the words and music to which they were dancing. Did it look fancy? Sure. But, as he has a few times this season (which makes sense since he choreographers eight routines a week), it seemed to me that Travis Wall was trying just a little too hard.
Ricky Ubeda and Valerie Rockey
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Genre: African Jazz
Song: "Voices of Savannah" by Chus L. Esteban
Three-Word Review: Circle of Life!
Surprisingly enough, African Jazz has been one of the stronger genres of the season. When coupled with Jacque LeWarne and Zack Everhart's routine from Top-20 Week, African Jazz has provided two very enjoyable routines. Both dancers seemed able to channel the style and character perfectly, but unfortunately one appeared to do so far more comfortably. Ricky was so much more smooth and natural, while Valerie's movements seemed more technical and labored. Fortunately, Valerie is by far the most charismatic of the remaining dancers. I have enjoyed watching these two dance together this season, and I am happy that they are both still here, as it seems that both have benefited from the partnership.
Zack Everhart and Jessica Richens
Choreographer: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH'S Spencer Liff
Song: "Hernando's Hideway" by Ella Fitzgerald
Three-Word Review: Talkin' Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam Heat!
First off, I'm really mad that both Cat Deeley and Mary mentioned that Jessica looked like Jessica Rabbit, because that was going to be my opening line. Fortunately, I get to attack what Nigel said instead. He claimed that Broadway has been one of the strongest genres of the season, and until last week, he couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, Valerie and Ricky's "I've Got the World on a String" routine last week was fantastic, but that was the first musical theatre number of the season that didn't anger me for besmirching the great name of the Broadway. Fortunately, this number picked up right where that one left off and transformed last week's cute into this week's hot. Zack, a regular in the ensemble of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, and Jessica proved that they not only had the dancing ability, but acting chops to join ON THE TOWN if they were to win. The number was fun, quick, and character-specific.
The SYTYCD PTB are giving fans the chance to pick a routine from the season to be on the finale. I think I am go #SYTYCDgetlow; which one are you pulling?
1) #SYTYCDgetlow | Emilio Dosal and All-Star Jasmine Harper
2) #SYTYCDskeleton | Carly Blaney and Serge Onik
3) #SYTYCDhustle | Caset Askew and Brooklyn Fullmer
Zack Everhart and Valerie Rockey
Choreographer: Broadway alum Tyce Diorio
Song: "Pearls" by Sade
Three-Word Review: There's No Dancing
When Valerie appeared on-stage with a cane, I was really hoping for a sequel to "The Miracle Worker" where Helen finally finds love. However, instead, we were the ones who weren't able to see any dancing, because there was next to none in the entire number. However, what there was plenty of was Valerie acting her a$$ off. I admit that she is my favorite to watch of the remaining four, but she is probably the weakest dancer, at least in terms of what the show requires, but there is just something about her that makes her extremely compelling to watch. There is nothing that Zack did poorly at all in this number, he just didn't have much to do. Can we just all accept that Tyce isn't cut out to be a part of this show anymore? I honestly think that his choreography has become a major detriment to the dancers who get stuck with him. Too harsh?
Jason Mraz Performance
Song: "Love Someone"
Three-Word Review: He's Got Talent
Can we all agree at this point that while Jason Mraz's choice of hats can be a bit infuriating, that he is incredibly talented and just seems like a good dude? While I feel that his vibe might have been even more mainstream a few decades ago, I am so glad that someone is making interesting, intelligent mainstream music.
I know that Mr. A-Z generally has a dorky vibe, but look at his all female-band, the guy is smooth.
Ricky Ubeda and Jessica Richens
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: "F For You" by Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
Three-Word Review: "Liebe meine Apschminki!"
I'm really not sure what that number was all about, but I sure liked it. I always enjoy good jazz routines, because they often combine the technique and emotion of contemporary with the funk and unexpected movements of Hip Hop. While there wasn't a whole lot of emotion is this one, it looked spectacular. There was a move that Ricky and Jessica did in unison where they looked like they had just demounted a horse after a cross-country ride... and they enjoyed it. To be fair, I enjoyed it too, even though I still have no idea what was going on.