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'So You Think You Can Dance' Finale: Part I

John-John William IV saves the day and comes through with a recap of last night's SYTYCD:

Am I the only person who was not that impressed with the first part of the "So You Think You Can Dance" season finale?

I thought it was lacking and bloated all at once. It definitely felt rushed trying to cram an unprecedented six contestants into the finale. It kind of went by like a blur of shirtless men, sparkly dresses and plenty of tears from resident drama queen judge Mary Murphy. There were no solos and no group dances. And the routines that were showcased were kind of blah. It was like many of the choreographers were out of fresh, new routines. Sure, the judges – especially Mary – were hamming it up with the over-the-top emotions. (I swear I've never seen her start to cry as much as she did last night!) But I wasn't drinking the Kool-Aid. Last night simply did not cut the mustard for me.

The evening starts off with a dramatic montage of the six finalists sharing their hopes while walking onto the stage. (Yawn.) Host Cat Deeley, dressed in a fantastic Athena-looking red dress, introduces the judges and quickly kicks things off.

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Ryan

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Kathryn

begin the competition dancing a samba choreographed by Jason Gilkison. They dance to "Magalenha" by Sergio Mendes. The routine features a fantastic trick where Ryan throws Kathryn over his head and she lands on his back. The two do a pretty good job — especially Kathryn who appears to be a favorite of the judges. Adam Shankman says the show should be called “The Rise of Kathryn.”

Ellenore

and

Jakob

are next with a Broadway number by Tyce Diorio. They dance to “I Gotcha” from Fosse. Of course they are spectacular — although it seems as though Jakob gets to do a lot more solo tricks during the routine. Mary says that Ellenore is “smoldering” and Jakob is “tremendous.” Adam says that Jakob is one of the most “selfless” partners he’s ever seen.

Ashleigh

and

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Russell

perform a lyrical jazz routine by Sonya Tayeh. They dance to “Angel Standing By” by Jewel. This is my least favorite Sonya Tayeh routine of the season. It is still pretty good — but compared to her other routines, which have been phenomenal all season, this one is just good. Nigel gut-punches Ashleigh when he says that the whole routine is about Russell. “I couldn’t take my eyes off of him,” Nigel says. Mary starts to cry when she talks about Russell’s growth. Nigel remarks that the costume department has run out of money for clothes, which is directed at a shirtless Russell.

Ellenore

and

Ryan

perform a Garry Stewart jazz routine to “Kontact Me” by Boyz Noise. It’s a cool routine where both dancers move like robots. It shows incredible control and a good grasp of technique. Nigel says he is uncomfortable with the routine. Mary says she loves the routine because it was difficult and unique. Adam calls Ryan “the utility player” in the partnership, which essentially means Ryan is not a great solo artist.

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Ashleigh

and

Jakob

perform a Jean-Marc Genereux foxtrot to “Let the Good Times Roll” by Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy. Nigel says that the chemistry between the two dancers has been outstanding throughout the season. He also says that the routine isn’t the strongest of the evening, but is certainly worthy of being on the show. (Ouch!) Mary says that Ashleigh’s lines, legs, and quality of music are fantastic. Adam also talks about how “lovely” Ashleigh dances.

Ellenore

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Russell

are next with a Jason Gilkison Paso Doble to “Village Attack” from the “Blood Diamond” soundtrack. The routine is very dramatic. There are flames burning on the screen in back of them. Nigel says that Russell could have been sharper. Nigel says that Ellenore is passionate and filled with fire. Mary and Adam also gush over Russell. Adam says that Ellenore is magnificent.

Kathryn

and

Jakob

perform a contemporary routine choreographed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson that becomes the judges’ favorite routine of the evening. They dance to “At This Moment” by Michael Buble. The routine is fantastic. It is filled with emotion, difficulty. The judges are gushing all over the place. “You guys just stopped the show,” Nigel says. He says that Kathryn is his favorite girl. “You just rise to every occasion,” Nigel says. Nigel urges Jakob to join a top dance company and become an outstanding soloist. Mary says that the routine is one of the best performances she’s ever seen.

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Ashleigh

and

Ryan

dance a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall to “I’m There Too” by Michelle Featherstone. After the routine, the married couple is overcome with emotion. (Insert retching here.) I think it is funny that Nigel remarks that Ashleigh and Jakob have better chemistry than she does with her husband. Ryan in a mix of tears and laughter says “Not true.” (Gag me now!) Mary remarks that it is very rare for a married couple to be able to share a moment like this on the world stage. Adam asks the couple how the routine felt. Ashleigh responds: “It was perfect.” (How "Little House On The Prairie.” I can’t take it! I need a commercial break! I’m about to go into a diabetic coma from all this sugary garbage!)

Kathryn

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Russell

end the evening with a Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo hip-hop routine to “I Can Transform Ya” by Chris Brown featuring Lil’ Wayne and Swizz Beats. I’m not as excited about the routine as the judges. Russell is beyond fantastic. But I honestly don’t think Kathryn was all that impressive. The judges don’t agree with me. Nigel says that Kathryn has stolen his heart. Mary gives her quota shriek of the evening. And Adam remarks about the versatility of the show.

Cat ends the evening by announcing that Adam Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige and Leona Lewis will perform during the results show. I wonder if Lambert and Lopez will “steal” the show like they did at the American Music Awards? Crickets ...


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