No one can argue that all four finalists for the third season of So You Think You Can Dance are deserving of their achievement thus far. But how much did technical skill, personality, versatility, overall improvement and popularity figure into determining who America picked as the winner?
Spoiler alert. This is the results show recap, people! Get a clue.
I’ve made no bones about saying that Sabra deserves the win because not only has she shown skill, heart and versatility, but she did so from the start. And thus, it’s with great happiness as an armchair critic (who has never taken one dance class in her life) that I found America agreed with me. Sabra Johnson is not only the latest winner of SYTYCD, but she’s also the first female to win this competition.
It’s really a remarkable feat considering that she only started her dance training four years ago and that she beat out many who have been dancing their whole lives. But I feel those with ability have probably been doing dance in some form, and she probably always had ability, just untrained. I mean look at her early partner Dominic, who is completely street-taught.
HOW IT WENT DOWN
1st Elimination: Lacey – Wow, big surprise and rather gratifying. I thought with her strong performance last night plus her popularity, she wouldn’t be the first out. She took the news with very mature grace.
2nd Elimination: Neil – Whoa. I get my wish! America has voted on overall ability. I must admit that Neil grew on me, but mainly because he progressed so far. Go, Wookie.
Winner’s Announcement: Oh, the tension. Sabra has been my favorite from the beginning, but Danny has really earned my respect. And they’re so nice to each other! Couldn’t they both win? Nope. And once more my wish came true. Sabra it is, with much fanfare, screaming and confetti. No time to really get Danny’s reaction, but I’m sure we’ll get interviews aplenty in the next few days.
But I’ve jumped to the end to tell you the results, so here’s all the good stuff I skipped over:
I must admit though that normally I hate these drawn-out results shows. I mean, two hours? I know with American Idol I just wait to go online and find out the winner. With this show, however, all the dancing make it worthwhile, not to mention seeing the Top 20 all together again. I still love Hok and was surprisingly happy to see Dominic again.
Also a blast from the past was Claire from last season who twisted her ankle and was supposed to return this season, only she got pregnant and had a baby, a little cherub named Maddie Lane.
Some were big names, some less so. But you know what? I enjoyed them all, even if I couldn’t spell their names. Here are highlights:
– Brandon Norris – A kick-ass clogger from the auditions. He had a hip-hop flavor to his dance. I give props to the people who decided to bring him back.
– Brian Gaynor – Another auditioner who impressed the judges with his unique staccato movements that made him look like he was under a strobe light. Let’s see if Shane Sparks is successful in getting him a movie cameo.
– Nicole Scherzinger – Pussycat Dolls lead singer does her solo thing from inside a cube. This was just ridiculous. No real "singing," just posturing, short skirts and fake wind. I wanted more dancing. And really, she sang, "Me love you long time"?!?
– Cat Deeley and Nigel Lythgoe – Okay, they didn’t really dance, but they had their heads superimposed on bodies from Jibjab.com. Silly.
– Ryan Cabrera – I’m grateful for the highlight reel to go with this song, "I Will Remember You," which will be played at many a prom/graduation.
We got Tyce’s Lion King routine, Shane’s futuristic hip-hop number and Mia’s tribal, all-in-black routine. But also, the judges and choreographers picked which routines they liked the best from the season, and the dancers got to perform them all over again.
Mary Murphy’s choice – How convenient that she chose Lauren and Pasha’s hip-hop routine by Shane Sparks since they were the ones eliminated before the Final Four. The Transformers-inspired dance was still really cool.
Nigel Lythgoe’s choice – Good call with Wade Robson’s hummingbird/flower routine for Hok and Jaimie. I don’t think I’d ever tire of seeing this. Everyone rocks, and all is right with the world.
Jean-Marc Genereaux’s choice – Shane Sparks again, but this time that hot Dominic and Sabra routine. He really fit her height and energy the best, so it was nice to see them together again, as long as he didn’t have to drop her on her head! Also, nice different ending with him yanking her close.
Adam Shankman’s choice – Neil and Sara’s disco just reminded me how versatile a dancer she is. This really showed her off.
Wade Robson’s choice – Lacey does what she does best: Latin. Her samba with Danny makes me appreciate her legwork so much. And of course I think Danny has proven himself to be a great partner.
Shane Sparks’ choice – Sara and Pasha do that extremely fun West Coast Swing by Benji Schwimmer. Ah, how I loved this. Makes me consider taking some swing classes. Nah, probably not.
Tyce Diorio’s choice – Hey, it’s Anya,remember her? I’m glad to see her show off her ballroom skills. Danny doing the waltz solidifies my faith in his partnering instincts.
Tony Meredith’s choice – Good … I was waiting for this one: Wade Robson’s vagabond cabaret with Sara and Jesus. Hey, you notice Sara’s been a busy girl! That’s her third rerun of the night, not to mention the opening dance, Tyce’s Lion King number and Shane’s futuristic hip-hop routine for the Top 8 (and more to come). Can anyone doubt her versatility?
Mia Michaels’ choice – Coolio, Mandy Moore’s jazzy table dance with Sabra and Neil. Such a simple concept that’s so well-executed. Oh, and did you hear the girls scream when Neil did the plange?
Dan Karaty’s choice – How appropriate that this capped the evening. The eliminated Lacey and Neil do Mia’s touching "Reunion in Heaven" piece. I’ll say it again. It doesn’t matter what the story is. It’s just beautiful, and you get the innocent joy from it. I also dig Lacey’s dress.
My choice – Didn’t Neil and Lauren have a Wade routine as good and evil? And Lauren and Danny had a great alien Mia number. But I guess the evening couldn’t all be about Wade and Mia.
Happy with the results? Which dance did you want to see? Which of the eliminated were you happiest to see? Are you like me and want to take some dance lessons now? I’m thinking contemporary.