Since these episodes aired last week and the week before, I’m going to run all the videos together and not do a lot of commentary. Just so the videos are up here in case anyone missed the show or something.
This means there are a TON of videos after the jump. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Lacey and Pasha
There was nothing at all that I didn’t love about that. Lacey was perfect, still and stiff, never an expression on her face (which I’m sure we all know was incredibly hard for her!), and Pasha got to prance around and be totally goofy! I loved it!
Lauren and Danny
The more times I watch this, the more I love it. When I first watched it, I didn’t, but that was largely because of my mental block against Lauren (remember, this was the week right after she stayed in over SARA, who was my favorite, so I was particularly Lauren-hating at the time). But now that it’s over and I can look at it freshly, both of them are absolutely wonderful here–it’s like they’re not even dancing a routine, they’re just bubbling over with joy and this is what came out. Nigel said when Lauren was eliminated that she had peaked too late, and I sort of think that’s true. Her last two or three weeks were very good, but by that time, my allegiance was already strongly placed in other people, and it kept me from seeing how good she could really be.
Sabra and Neil
This was a good night. Mandy Murphy, whose choreography usually leaves me a little cold, came through with a fun and hard-hitting concept which was beautifully executed by Sabra and Neil. You know, I enjoy Neil more now that the competition is over, too.
Lacey and Pasha
style: smooth waltz
I’m not sure it’s possible for anything to be more gorgeous than that. The moment when he swings her behind his back, and it looks like she almost stops in midair and floats down–ahhhh. Chills went down my spine. Quite possibly the most beautiful moment I’ve ever seen.
Lauren and Danny
I may have to revise my opinion of disco. I still don’t like the music, and I don’t like it as an American Idol theme, but that was pretty fun. Not as impressive, though, as the rest of the dances tonight, I think. Still. For this to be the least-memorable dance of the night says a lot about how great the night was overall.
Sabra and Neil
style: paso doble
Wow. There were a couple of those moves there that I seriously thought she was going to die. She really goes for everything she does…which is probably the reason she won, right? Good on her. Neil has come a long way from his first week or two, hasn’t he? He still sometimes seems to me like he’s overacting a bit, but not nearly so much as in the beginning. Give him another couple of years of maturing, and he’ll be really great.
Lacey, Danny, Sabra, Neil
Okay, it’s fun to see all of them out there at once, and it’s always fun to hear Cabaret. But what this number proves most of all is that Tyce DiOrio is no Bob Fosse. So much of the choreography was, honestly, a little boring and it came off as rather chaotic to me. At least the director kept on mostly wide shots so you could actually see the whole thing–as opposed to the penchant for close-ups that plagues a lot of the group numbers.
Sabra and Neil
Rewatching this number made me wonder if the fact that these videos tend to run a little out of sync with the audio hurt this number–I usually don’t notice it during the dancing, but this one seemed a little off. So if it seems like they’re running a little lazy to the beat, I think it’s because of the sync. Anyway. They are looking a little tired here to me, and so is the choreography. Sorry, Shane, that was just dull.
Lacey and Danny
style: Viennese Waltz
Now, that’s what I’m talking about! Lacey’s really rocking the waltzes, apparently, and Danny…oh, Danny. For someone who’s not a ballroom dancer, he’s really emerged as one of the best partners in the competition. They’re gorgeous.
Lacey and Sabra
Rewatching the rehearsal sequence for that…when I’m watching these incredibly talented dancers on the stage, often in ballroom dances that call for a lot of maturity, I tend to forget how young they are and how silly they can be. :) I don’t know why the judges were so weird about this number. I mean, seriously. Were they expecting something normal and not totally idiosyncratic from Wade? I don’t know that it was my favorite of his routines from the year (I suspect that would be Sara and Jesus’s Cabaret Hobo number from the first week), but it certainly wasn’t out of the ordinary bizarre (and uncritiquable) by Wade standards. I thought they danced it really well and it was interesting–in a good way.
Danny and Neil
I know this is probably cutting the number short shrift, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I felt like I ought to. It was almost too much story and character and not enough dancing for me. The lighting was incredibly annoying, and their makeup was distracting too. I know that has nothing to do with the dancing itself, but as a whole, the routine didn’t grab me.
Lacey and Neil
I bet that’d be a fun dance to do. There was a lindy-hop couple that made it to the last couple of rounds of auditions, remember them? Lacey and Neil seemed a little loose on it–I don’t know if she was kicking too high or he wasn’t kicking high enough, but they didn’t always seem right together. Still, that last series of flips? Pretty awesome. I gasped when she did that last one and then caught herself around his neck. Wow.
Sabra and Danny
Very nice. I think I actually liked Pasha and Jessi’s cha-cha from earlier in the season better, but still. Danny and Sabra are both so good, and all this seems so effortless for them.
All the finale dances were ones that had been done before (yes, even the group dances…I was hoping they’d come up with a new one for the Top Twenty to do together–ah, well, I recognize how tired they all must be), but they brought back clogger Brandon Norris for the finale! So I’ll put that one up.
And that’s it for another year, folks! Oh, how I will miss you, SYTYCD. I’m not sure that the new Rock Band show and the return of American Idol can keep me distracted until you come back. Australian Idol stands a better chance; so far, this year’s audition episodes have American Idol utterly beat.