You know who I would love to see in the audience tonight? Paula Abdul. Nigel Lythgoe said he’s meeting with her in Las Vegas to talk about future opportunities with this show, but I think it would be great to see her in the audience tonight. The huge applause she would get would certainly send a message. Hey, Mary Murphy’s a little loopy too, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve comparable pay to the others. I’m not holding my breath or anything; I just think it would be nice to see her there. But maybe being back in the Kodak Theater so soon would be a little tough on her.
It’s one last group dance, and it’s set to A Brand New Day from the soundtrack to The Wiz. It’s the routine from the top 14. Yes it is. There’s Jason. And look, there’s Ade. I’m not sure why I’m only seeing the males, until I see Melissa on her toe shoes. That’s something that’s hard to miss and not identify who it is. We also have Phillip Chbeeb in fine form.
Cat Deeley tells us the votes last night were a recordbreaking 21.6 million. That’s nothing for American Idol standards, but is pretty good for the its dance cousin. And at our judging table we have seven people, instead of just three. We have Lil’ C, Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy, and Nigel. The rest of the choreographers are in the audience to watch as well.
Did they really have to open up the retrospective on the auditions with a shot of Sex? Following him is plenty of flops and flips, and the top 20, as well as the all male ballroom couple. And more Sex! We move on to Las Vegas, and see the catfight between Mary and Mia again fighting over Brandon. I had actually forgotten in the past few months that he had been best friends with Natalie Reid who didn’t make it yet again. I hope she’s here tonight to see this.
Tonight we’ll get to see all the judges’ favorite routines, and Adam’s favorite was choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, and it kicked off the season as the very first song. It has Phillip Chbeeb, but more importantly Jeanine Mason in her rise to dominate the final four. It’s Mad by Ne-Yo. Is it possible that it’s even better than the first time we saw it, because it definitely seems like it is. I remember it being good, but this is amazing, just what we’ve come to expect from Jeanine. Shane Sparks gives them a standing O!
Nigel’s favorite number is the Argentine tango with Janette Manrara and Brandon Bryant and choreographed by Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici. He didn’t realize at the time they would become such stars. Libertango from the soundtrack to Forever Tango plays in the background as they show such passion. And their focus on each other is unreal.
Moving on to Debbie, she had many favorite routines, but she picks the waltz choreographed by Louis Van Amstel because it was romantic and magical for her. Asuka Kondoh and Vitolio Jeune dance in this, showing how they developed as partners. They dance to Dreams Are More Precious by Enya, and I had forgotten this until I saw it now, but it was truly dreamlike.
Mary, dazzling in diamonds, chose a song that was the first time a couple danced together, the first time they danced in their own style with a brand new choreographer, but not brand new to her heart. It’s Travis Wall pairing up with Jeanine and Jason Glover … and that kiss. They grace the stage dancing to If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions) by Jason Mraz. First of all, I love Jason Mraz. Secondly I love Travis Wall. And thirdly, I love Jeanine. I haven’t always loved Jason, but I just couldn’t help love him in this.
Cat tests the audience by naming the four finalists, and it certainly seems like Jeanine has the loudest screams out there. Could that mean she’ll be the winner by the end of the night?
Mia’s favorite routine of the season was a smoking hot samba that came out of the gate first show, danced by Kayla Radomski and Max Kapitannikov and choreographed by Louis again. She didn’t expect Kayla to let us have it like that, and then Max was probably one of the hardest working dancers on the show this season. They dance to Jum Bah Day by House of Gypsies, with him in his tight black, and she in her pink fringe. They definitely lit up the stage that night in this. I have to say it’s nice that they’re remembering some of the earlier dances, bringing back some of the people we’d nearly forgotten about, instead of just relying on more recent dances with the top few people.
On Sunday the top four had to get dressed up, but had no idea where they were going. They went via limo to MGM where they saw Kherington Payne from season 4. And what’s she doing now? Starring in the new version of Fame, and the final four are among the first people that get to see it. I know I’m waiting to see it. It comes out September 25, just in case you were wondering. Cat tells us Debbie Allen comes back for this remake. She hopes the movie will encourage people to invest in the education of arts. Debbie improvises her famous fame/sweat quote form the original movie, and makes it a little different, “You’ve got to sweat if you want fame. It’s hard, Honey. It’s sweat.” I think they should open up Las Vegas callbacks each year with that.
Another of Debbie’s favorite routines is the wonderful fusion of dance, a group routine that infused hip hop and samba, and was choreographed by Dmitry Chapin and Tabitha and Napoleon. She just thought it was really hot. It’s the top 16 to I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) by Pitbull. I’m not sure why I don’t remember this, but I sure wish I did. Debbie’s right that it’s one to remember.
The next guest is the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Talia Fowler, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, who I love more every time she does another routine. This is to Shot You Down by Audio Bullys, and it has Sonya written all over it, just very rich and rooted.