It’s been said before, but this bares repeating. This third season of So You Think You Can Dance has been filled with the most talent ever. It’s amazing watching these dancers every nigh night create something beautiful after literally just a few hours of instruction every week. So far big name stars haven’t emerged from the show, despite having the big personality of Benji Schwimmer last year. Maybe this is the year to change that.
Our judges for tonight’s finale performances will be the usual, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe, along with Dan Karaty. Nigel can’t believe how the time has flown by this season, but thinks they had the strangest auditions seen across the country with some very good people and some very bad people. He asks to please let Sex and his mother never turn up at another audition. The standards this season got higher and higher, and the judges were of course wrong every week with who they sent home. What’s that supposed to mean, Nigel? It was really difficult this year trying to keep the balance until it went to America to let them decide. The choreography only got stronger and stronger. Nigel, the executive producer, also tells us the really good news is that they have been commissioned and picked up for another season next year.
Cat Deeley notes that Mary looks gorgeous in diamonds tonight, and thinks she always seems to have so much fun on her tamale train. Mary admits she is having the time of her life. It’s a blast and honor to witness so much talent, and for her to go from city to city, and be there first hand to witness people having genius moments. To watch the people on the show and see them grow and be part of the best show in the world, she is having the time of her life. Mary screams and tells us the tamale train is not slowing down just yet. Nigel says the bad things about it, though, is he is left with no ear drums. She tells “English Muffin” to quiet down.
Dan is asked if he ever expected three of the top four to come form the New York auditions which he helped judge. He explains he did, and says it speaks volumes about the level of talent in New York. He couldn’t believe the dancers that showed up. He’s not surprised about these four and thinks it will be great to see what they can do. Nigel notes this is a real talent show, and not just on the stage, but also in the choreography every week.
The final four dancers all met with Tyce Diorio to learn a Broadway routine, and oddly, all four leapfrog into the studio to meet with him initially. He explains it’s a dream for him to work with these four and calls it a slick, sophisticated Broadway routine. He says Danny Tidwell brings technical excellence, Neil Haskell has been the most evolved, Lacey Schwimmer the most consistent, and Sabra Johnson a master at everything.
Tyce wants them to bring an incredible among of showmanship, character, and face. It’s an easy challenge, but for $250,000, he thinks they’ll get it, learn it, and own it. Yeah, that might do it for me, too. The final four take the stage tonight and dance to Mein Herr by Liza Minnelli from the Cabaret soundtrack. They start out with chairs as props and dance very well. It definitely shows why they’re there.
Nigel thinks we’re starting off on a good foot already with a great Tyce Diorio routine. He thinks it proved any one of the four can win. He tells Lacey he would like to see her with a little better partner skills. Mary has told him in ballroom the boy shows up the girl, and the girl shows up the partnership. He thinks Danny has made remarkable strides in his performance, and he is so pleased to see him in this final four. As for Sabra, he doesn’t know what to say, as she is a different person every time she dances. She is a wonderful personality and wonderful performer. He absolutely adores her, and if she keeps doing what she’s been doing, it works. Nigel thinks Neil is peaking at the right moment. He’s proving he’s not just tricks and is dancing really well. He feels last week Neil had great choreography that really pushed him up there. He stresses the show is looking for America’s favorite dancer, not the best, and any one of them could take the prize.
Mary tells the finalists that they are the “Fab 4” now. They were all tremendous in the Broadway number, and asks what she could say that Nigel hasn’t. They are all equally good and all on the same plane. It will depend on the individual numbers right now. She couldn’t be happier or more proud of them, and says, “What a number to start with!” Dan asks who would think they were in a competition against each other the way they dance so well together on the stage. They seem to get along together, and if he could offer then some advice, it would be to take it there and leave it out there. Well, I hope there are some real critiques at some point in the evening instead of just the gushing.
Cat sat down for a chat with Lacey earlier in the week, and Lacey admitted she was conned into dancing, as she didn’t want to do it at first since everyone else in her family did and she wanted to stick out. They bribed her into doing it by getting her a Barbie doll every time she performed. She picked up the US title, and quit at 6 because she didn’t like performing. She came back out at age 10, and after that kept winning, earning her first Latin title at 17. She quit again to go to hair school, then saw her brother Benji win the show last summer, and when he won, it inspired her to start dancing again. This has been challenging physically and emotionally, physically as they don’t sleep or eat and are dancing all the time, and emotionally because it’s so draining. Her high was her samba with Danny, as it was the first time she did anything in her own genre. Her low was her solo a few weeks ago when she kept forgetting her routine. Overall, though, it is the most fun she has had in a long time.