BWW Preview: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Finale, Complete with Appearance by President Obama
Well, it all comes down to this. Four months of auditions, partnerships, All-Stars, and voting will culminate in tonight's Season 10 Finale of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Tonight Mary Murphy, Cat Deeley, Nigel Lythgoe, and an undoubtedly eclectic cast of assembled characters will announce "America's Favorite Dancers!"
This year, contemporary dancers Jasmine Harper and Amy Yakima are vying for the women's title, and hip hopper Fik-shun is hoping beyond hope that he can pull the biggest upset since the US Hockey Team beat Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympics and steal the crown from tap dancer Aaron Turner.
Tonight's finale will include this season's entire Top-20 dancers, performances of the best routines of the year, and an estimated 15 minute speech from the President of the United States. No, the most powerful person in the world is not slumming it to appear on a low-rated reality competition show; at approximately 9:00pm ET, President Obama will address the nation regarding America's response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. I'm not sure why the President didn't consult Uncle Nigel when scheduling the speech, but SYTYCD's Executive Producer is taking the programming problem in stride, as are the other networks.
The plan is to take an intermission at 9pm and resume the show at 9:15. The winners are now estimated to be announced at around 10:15 according to Nigel. While viewers in the Eastern, Central, and Mountain Time Zones should check your DVRs to make sure they are recording the over-run, dance fans on the left coast should be unaffected.
In previous recaps of performance shows, I have been on record, 8-Track, cassette, CD, and MP3 that Aaron should, and will, be this season's male winner. He began the season outside of the Top-20 after Being eliminated on the Green Mile for the second season in a row. However, due to an injury to Emilio Dosal, he joined the live shows and became SYTYCD's first tapper to make it past the Top-7. Now, he is on the precipice of taking home $125,000 and the title of "America's Favorite Male Dancer."
That's not to say that Fik-shun is not a terribly talented dancer, in fact he is, but with very little technical training, he road past more well-rounded dancers with his charming personality and ri-DONK-ulous animating skills. Unfortunately for Fik-shun, he is up against a much more experienced and proficient dancer, that just so also happens to have buckets of charisma.
I am confident that both men will find more than enough work to keep them busy, and I am hoping that Aaron finds his way to Broadway; perhaps in a revival of JELLY'S LAST JAM, originally choreographed and starring the late-great Gregory Hines.
As for the female race, I honestly have no gut feeling as to which contestant should win. Amy was my pick from the first time she appeared on stage with her dad at her Detroit audition, and she has done very little to fall off that top line. Early on, paired with Fik-shun, they got pigeon-holed as the fun, smiley, cutesy pair, and while that allowed his personality to shine, it prevented Amy's incredible artistry and emotional depth from Being showcased. In recent weeks however, in performances choreographed by Broadway vet Travis Wall and Stacey Tookey, she has shown that she possess far more talent than just a piece of smiling eye-candy.
Jasmine Harper on the other hand, started as just someone whom I sentimentally rooted for, after Nigel heartlessly pried into the details of her break-up with last season's runner-up Cyrus. Then during Vegas Week, it looked like she wouldn't even make it to the live shows; we have since learned that it was actually Cat who convinced the judges that Jasmine belonged in the Top-20. There, paired with Aaron in the often hashtagged Team Tall, Jasmine as shown a competitive fire that has allowed her to thrive in countless genres, characters, and emotions.
At this point, I would be very comfortable with either woman winning, as they are both incredibly classy, graceful, and talented, but I think my heart is going to be pulling for Amy, simply because she was my original pick.
That Being said, my head might be leaning the opposite way. While the four finalists comprise two of the original Top-20 pairings, Team Tall seems to have accumulated a far more vocal following, and since Aaron appears to be the runaway male winner, I have a feeling that that might spill over to the women as well.
In a perfect world, Cat would announce that, despite it Being a statistical improbability, the female vote was an exact tie, and Uncle Nigel dug through his couch cushions and found an extra $125,000 to give to the first-ever co-winners. However, I will not be holding my breath.
My last sincere hope is that Adam Shankman is on tonight's panel. While I have enjoyed some of the more familiar faces to grace the judging desk this year, Adam's pure joy and emotion for this show, and dance in general, always feels like a special treat. I know that he has been in the audience for a lot of the shows, I just hope he gets on TV. I am sure that if he is going to be on tonight that he has posted it on Twitter by now, but he is just such a prolific tweeter, that I had to unfollow him long ago.
I won't be live-updating the show tonight, as I have since the All-Stars joined the show, because this is a celebratory episode, not a competitive one. However, I will have a recap after the show is over, and I will update it with pictures of the new champions once FOX releases them.
If you miss my live-updates, tweet me @BWWMatt and we can discuss the show there.