Tens of thousands of dancers auditioned. The best of the best made it to Hollywood. They’ve collectively performed over 100 times. After 16 million votes, who have YOU named America’s favorite dancer?
All top twenty dancers are back, dressed in white. Look at all those losers…
Cat Deeley emerges on stage in a brown poofy thing. You would think FOX could afford to hire a fashion consultant. Or at least, anyone with eyes. Ugh. “They’re back! All my babies are back!” giggles Cat. She tells us, “The show is two hours long tonight, but there is absolutely no padding.” Lies. All lies. Cat once again reminds us that she will be dancing with Nigel tonight. I’m actually looking forward to this because it actually WOULD be nice to see the choreographers and/or judges dancing.
All of the judges from throughout the season are sitting at the judges’ table. Has it always been that big? Seated at the table are Mia Michaels, Shane Sparks, Wade Robson, Dan Karaty, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe. Adam Shankman must smell funny because he’s sitting in the audience instead of with the judges.
Cat asks the judges to “sum up the season in a sentence.” She starts with Mia, who goes on about honor, love, work ethic, and some other hippie-sounding stuff. Shane believes this season will change the minds of a lot of dancers who didn’t come out this year, because the show really does produce high quality performances and isn’t just for amateurs. Wade agrees that the talent level has been amazing, the attitude level has been incredible, and “there’s been no divas”… Um, what? Are you sure about that? Dan calls the dancers “ridiculous,” which of course he means in a good way. I honestly find Dan’s backwards phrases like “sick” and “nasty” to be ridiculous… which I don’t mean in a good way. Mary says it’s been the best top twenty they’ve ever seen, and they all deserve to be on the “Hot Tamale train.” I’m sure that makes past contenders feel great. Nigel gives a holla to Paula Abdul, who is sitting in the audience. He then reminds everyone of Claire Callaway, who twisted her ankle last season and was encouraged to join the dancers in Las Vegas THIS season. She couldn’t though because she had a baby. And look, they’re both in the audience! Awww… cute baby. But seriously how old is Claire? She barely looks old enough to even have a baby.
Of course, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, we need a video montage of the highlights of the season. But remember! There’s “no padding” on tonight’s show! Ah, the classics. The look on Jamal Weaver’s face when Nigel challenged him to audition with a swing routine. “Wha?” And then of course, the unbelievable choreography he and little E-Knock actually DID put together that had the judges and the rest of the auditioners on their feet and cheering. During that same episode, Miss Jessica Diaz had performed a confusing interpretive dance, telling the story of how “Jesus lost his crown.” Nigel could only ask, “What planet are you from?” “New York,” she earnestly replies. And who could forget Kurt Myers from Utah, the ballroom dancer who could not stop hiccupping? “Dancing Derrick” from New York who claimed to have danced for 22 hours straight once… and then proceeded to nearly collapse from exhaustion after his audition, requiring medical attention. The awful reappearance of Sex. The talented robotic moves of Bryan Gaynor, who didn’t let his scoliosis keep him from dancing. Brandon Norris’ unique clogging. The hitch in Matthew Krabbe’s country get-along. Pasha and Anya’s fabulous ballroom dancing audition. Mia called Ricky her favorite male dancer in the competition. (Wasn’t he one of the first ones eliminated?) Jaimie: “Dancing is the only thing I have in my life that can’t be taken away from me.”
The clips go on and on… moments of celebration after the top twenty announcement. Jimmy and Shauna’s Broadway piece as Dorothy and the scarecrow. Lacey and Kameron’s dramatic lyrical piece. Danny and Anya’s Viennese waltz. Neil makes a flying leap over Lauren’s head during a hip-hop routine from Dave Scott. Dominic and Lauren’s krumping. Sabra and Dominic’s disco. Wade’s hobo dance for Jesús and Sara. More krumping. Anya and Danny walking the edge of the stage during Dan Karaty’s hip-hop piece. Kameron and Lacey slide to the floor at the end of their quickstep. Shauna and Cedric share an intimate moment during Mia Michael’s contemporary number. The famous hummingbird piece by Wade performed by Hok and Jaimie. A couple of group routines. The “peace” solo to “Waiting on the World to Change” that we saw TEN times. The amazing hip-hop love piece from Dominic and Sabra. Sara slides Pasha across the floor in Benji’s West Coast swing. Pasha and Lauren “transform” in Shane’s hip-hop number. Dominic carries Sabra across the stage in a sensual rumba. Lauren screams in her white dress as Neil chases her in the jazz choreography by Wade Robson. In nothing but goofiness, Sabra kicks Dominic off the stage via Tony Meredith’s jive. Danny’s remarkable horizontal lines in his leap during the foxtrot. Neil takes command during the paso doble. Anya leaps into Danny’s arms in Tyce’s contemporary. Mia’s emotional contemporary routine by Neil and Lacey. In the smooth waltz, Pasha and Lacey look into each other’s eyes. The final four parade happily and proudly around the stage, arm in arm… I bet you didn’t believe me when I said there were over 100 dances, huh. All that, and we’re only 12 minutes into the show.
The top twenty are invited to dance together once again in Tyce Diorio’s Broadway piece from “The Lion King.” (Only last time, there were only 16 people dancing in this.) It still looks incredible, from the costuming to the make-up to the dancing. Fantastic.