Evankasprzak_sytycd_s5_290 After weeks of dances, heartbreaks, and triumphs, “So You Think You Can Dance” finally announces the winner. Will it be Brandon, Evan, Jeanine or Kayla? Tonight, I’ve decided to switch it up and live-blog the results. Feel free to follow along!

The show kicks off with the whole Top 20 doing Tasty Oreos…er, Tyce D’Orio’s “Brand New Day” number from “The Wiz.” It works much better with more people and I love that everyone got little spotlight moments. Plus it fills out that big stage. Do I love the choreography? No. But I like it so much better this time around.

Host Cat Deeley comes out and, when she says all the Top 4’s names, Jeanine and Brandon got the biggest roars. Hmm.

Introducing the judges on hand – Lil’ C, Mia Michaels, Tyce D’Orio, Debbie Allen, Adam “Shankizzle” Shankman, Mary Murphy who’s wearing the gaudiest necklace I’ve ever seen, and of course Nigel Lythgoe. We next get a full season montage, from auditions to Vegas to last week before hitting our first commercial break.

Back from the break, Cat reiterates that there were over 21 million votes last night. That’s quite a few votes for sure. We next go to last night’s recap. Then, we get our first Judges’ Choice routine – Shankman picks Jeanine & Phillip’s Hip Hop from the very first week. It’s to “Mad” by Ne-Yo and choreographed by Napoleon & Tabitha in case you don’t recall. Yay Phillip! It’s good to see him again even if he didn’t excel as much as I’d have like during the series. Jeanine is a lot stronger this time than she was the first time around. Good times.

Nigel’s pick is next – he picks Janette & Brandon’s Tango which is totally deserved. Double yay for Janette! They were this season’s super-couple for sure and they traveled the huge Kodak Theater stage effortlessly. They got a standing ovation from the entire crowd when they finished. Awesome.

After more adverts, Ms. Allen selects the Louis Van Amstel choreographed Waltz by Asuka & Vitolio. It was absolutely their best dance. (Best dance as a couple I should say – I really liked his Foxtrot I believe with Karla.) I feel there was an ease this time around that maybe wasn’t there initially. Very pretty number which gets a partial standing O.

Brandonbryant_sytycd_s5_290 Mary’s fave number is Jeanine & Jason dancing the Travis Wall Contemporary piece. The crowd was screaming as soon as she gave the slightest indication what she was picking. A great testament to how well it was danced and choreographed and to how loved everyone involved is. And yes, they kiss again. And I don’t blame them in the least, though I love how Cat mocks them slightly. Why wasn’t she  nominated for an Emmy again?

We go to Mia next for her favorite routine – Max & Kayla’s Samba from Week 1. She gives a shout-out to Max for being one of the hardest working dancers on the show this season. I do wish he’d have stuck around longer (especially since I think they kept Wolfpack over him which is unacceptable). The dancer was very good, though Kayla’s legs were a little oddly positioned at one point. I wonder if she injured herself this week?

Since they’ve been working so hard, apparently on Sunday the Top 4 were taken to a surprise outing – a screening of “Fame” with Kherington Payne from last season and several other stars from the movie who’s names I don’t know. It’s shameless, shameless promotion but smart shameless promotion. Cat got super-excited when Debbie did her original “Fame” speech (I don’t blame her in the least) exclaiming, “I’ve been waiting for you to say that all season!”

Speaking of Debbie, her second pick is the “Calle Ocho” Top 16 number choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin (yes, that Dmitry) and Napoleon & Tabitha. Great pick – it was hot like fire as the kids say. They may have done that water-on-the-table part live. Janette and Jeanine worked that section, honey.

A slight digression: Holy crap, I just saw Dale from the 90’s “MMC” revival in the “Fame” commercial. Did they just cast from every dance/music show in the past twenty years? If so, I heartily approve.

Our next guest is, as Nigel explains, the winner of “So You Think You Can Dance Australia” Talia Fowler who is a ballerina. She dances to “Shot You Down” by Audio Bullys. It’s choreographed by I believe Sonya Tayeh. Dug it.

Lil’ C chose Caitlin & Jason’s Bollywood number “Jai Ho” and gave the most wonderful, wordy, slightly convoluted explanation why. It’s just as enjoyable now as it was then. And this is the second smooch for Jason tonight. Naturally, Cat mocks him playfully.

Now that we’ve reached the second hour mark, we get our first result of the night. Season 5’s fourth place finisher is Kayla. There’s a slight gasp of surprise but…I’m not particularly shocked. The audience gives her a standing ovation as Cat tosses to her highlight reel.

Kayla was a great dancer in every choreographed piece from day one. Her slight “weaknesses” were that she had an understated personality when not performing and seemed frazzled when having to dance for her life. Sadly, the perceived favoritism from the judges probably didn’t help either. Silly? Yes, but it is what it is.

Adam’s second Judges’ Pick was Mia’s Contemporary piece with Evan & Randi. For me, it was easily the best number they did together. They also got a full standing ovation for their performance.

The second pick Mary shrieked was Jeanine & Brandon’s Paso Doble from last night. I have no problem with this getting an encore though I kind of hope someone picks Janette & Brandon’s Disco. That was crazy and deserves some favoritism.

Okay. It’s time for more results. I have no idea how this is going to turn out. Our third place finisher is Evan and he gets yet another standing ovation before we see his highlight reel. I love him but, based on last night and overall growth, he absolutely shouldn’t have won so it’s turning out the way it should be.

Yet another favori
te from Nigel – when Mary admitted to using Botox. Oh ho! Saucy. But his actual dance pick is the Kayla & Kupono Addiction piece by Mia. Great, great number. Absolutely one of the top three of the season. After they’d done and the crowd was on their feet, Mia and Adam were wiping their eyes.

The Rage Boys Crew, that cadre of 878 kid dancers from around 7-14 years old I’d guess, return. They’re much more together this time than the first time. That part where they throw that one kid across the stage is still ridiculous.

Tyce gets his first pick and he went for Brandon & Janette’s super-speed Disco number. Thanks Tyce!

For the last choice of the night, Mia selects Melissa & Ade’s Breast Cancer piece. Tyce then announced Michele, the person that he choreographed the number for, called him today to say she just learned she’s cancer free. That news got a much deserved standing ovation. I chose to avert my eyes because I’m too much of a softy and didn’t feel like weeping tonight. The number also got a standing ovation and some tears from the audience. The camera focused on Christina Applegate, sitting next to Lance Bass, who’s in attendance and also a breast cancer survivor.

Before going to break, we get an encore of Mia’s “One” Top 8 number featuring some special guests – namely the judges on panel tonight. WIN.

So, after a combo highlight reel, we’ve come to the moment of truth. Will it be Jeanine? Will it be Brandon? After months of dancing and millions and millions of votes, the winner is Jeanine!

Brandon did fantastically this entire season but Jeanine’s personality and a killer night last night were too much for him to overcome. As a bit of a joke, she thanked the Academy since she never thought she’d win something in the Kodak Theater. Gotta love it.

So that’s it. Jeanine is America’s Favorite Dancer. Your thoughts on the big finale? Was any number not repeated that you would’ve liked to see? (Mine was the Crash Test Dummy number.) Thanks everyone for following along and commenting. Enjoy Season 6!

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Posted by:Tamara Brooks