So You Think You Can Dance Review: The Coronation
If there’s one, irrefutably, good thing that came out of this crazy seventh season, it’s that it lead up to an all-around amazing finale. Well after the final moment of this week’s performances, I had no clue who would win, but I knew the winner would be deserving. In my opinion, this was the most technically beautiful season ending in So You Think You Can Dance history. Plus, the top contenders have also managed to be extremely proficient while showcasing bubbly, outgoing, and humble personalities that you can’t help but like. I know, I gush, but I do not kid. And such a good start only amped me further for the finale’s dance down memory lane.
KENT and Lauren | Bollywood | Nakul | “Om Mangalam” from Kambakkht Ishq
It only lands at number three on my Bollywood list, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that the number was energetic, almost perfectly synchronized, extremely cheeky, and just a good time. Though, I’m not sure I can agree with Nigel that each movement was danced perfectly, especially when he prefaced it with something along the lines of “I have no idea what I’m talking about.” Kent, sometimes, gets this blank stare where he just looks dazed. I think it’s mostly when he’s focusing really hard on an impressive trick h eventually pulls off, but still not something I can overlook.
LAUREN and Twitch | Hip-hop | NappyTabs | “Power” by Kanye West
The judges had nothing but good things to say about this routine and rightly so. Mia summed it up best when she said Lauren had the greatest blend of masculinity and femininity. The piece was fun and hard and kind of sleazy, exactly what a dirty political debate would be. And she scared me a bit while being deadly sexy at the same time. I guess that’s what you call the Angelina Jolie of dancers.
ROBERT and Mark | Jazz | Tyce | “Whip It” by Devo
I usually enjoy a Tyce Broaway number but his jazz often leaves me craving something more, something weightier with more substance. Choosing “Whip It” for the song turned me off immediately also. The idea behind it all was intriguing, and the dancing was exceptional, as Mark described, and it transitioned seamlessly from sharp movement to this quirky groove. Yet, it left me cold. Undeniably, Robert has improved over the season and from a good dancer to a great, leading dancer and partner, but Mark still outshined him here for me.
ROBERT and LAUREN | Contemporary | Dee Caspary | “That Home” by Cinematic Orchestra
The piece was gorgeous, flowing and emotional. It allowed the dancers to really show care and reverence for each other and support one another effortlessly. It’s always a treat when some of the best numbers of the season pop up in the final hours, though I kind of wish that Lauren hadn’t gotten shackled with a pillow for most of the number, even if it provided for a great metaphor.
LAUREN and KENT | Jazz | Mandy | “Hip To Be Square” by Huey Lewis and the News
Sadly, Mandy’s number didn’t get me extremely excited, and I wasn’t the only one. The judges tried, in the least words possible, to praise the dancing while not bashing the choreography although they clearly wanted to. Nigel didn’t feel like there was much dancing to latch on to, and everyone unanimously agreed that they danced, what they were given, well but weren’t stirred. It’s unfortunate that the two were given something that, across the board, fell so flat.
KENT and Allison | Contemporary | Stacey | Sundrenched World (Live Session) by Joshua Radin
Clearly, Kent was absorbed in this piece. So much so, that at the end, he even whispered “get off” to his partner, and the pain was still visible on his face during his judging. Immediately the vipers latched on to this emotion, needling Kent to describe what he was feeling. And Kent isn’t the most eloquent. I felt for him. But in the end, he could barely get out a whole sentence except, “I just want to dance” which kind of choked me up. Can we also give thanks to the producers for bringing Allison out of the vault? She became my favorite female dancer in the history of the show, and I didn’t really watch her season.
ROBERT and Kathryn | Broadway | Spencer | “Cool” from West Side Story (1961 soundtrack)
If there’s one thing I learned, it’s never tell Adam that he’s wrong about anything having to do with Broadway. Nigel learned that the hard way. Much of the dialogue was spent discussing the choreographer’s risky choice to re-imagine “Cool,” instead of the dancing which was totally fabulous. Robert was so masculine and sexy, and Kathryn, well, she put some circus acrobats to shame with that flexibility. The fact that the judges didn’t focus much on the actual good dancing reminded me how much I want them to shut up sometimes.
LAUREN and Pasha | Cha-cha | Tony & Melanie | “Not Myself Tonight” by Christina Aguilera
“If I was still dancing, I would want to dance just like you.” That’s probably the best compliment to get from a choreographer you admire. In this case, it was Mia. Never get bored watching her. Now that Adéchiké’s gone, nice Mama Mia is back. There’s no question that I’d want to dance like Lauren as well, and when the judges praised the contestants for maturing, for me, Lauren was the most visibly changed from her technique to her versatility to how she conducts herself on camera. She still maintains that sunny-side up personality though.
KENT and ROBERT | Malevos | Miriam & Leonardo | “The Chosen/Drum Addict” by Tyler Long
Somehow two men stomping around underneath strobe-lights tends to lend itself to an extremely awkward performances. No matter how well danced, I just never had a moment of excitement. Thankfully, the following night was filled with stunning numbers because this would not be the number to tide me over until season eight.
If we could discern anything from the solos, it’s that Lauren, hands down, should take the crown, but we know SYTYCD is about more than just one, utterly fantastic, limber, sexy, powerful solo. So although Kent’s solo was a little frenetic for me and Robert proved he knows how to make a strong, albeit quirky, statement is a very short period of time, all the viewers needed to remember was the night’s amazing numbers and the season as a whole to know it was anyone’s game.
Then, the results were in. First, the top 11 joined the All-stars for one of the best group numbers ever. Come to think of it, looking back this season‘s has given us some of the best group numbers the show has ever produced. (See: Dee Caspary’s fantastic, week 8 “Drumming Song,” Mia’s week 7 “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” and week 3 “When We Dance.” This one happened to be choreographed by Christopher Scott. Our panel consisted of the usual suspects plus Mary, Tyce, Stacey Tookey and Kenny Ortega. There was a cute montage of our judges where we relished in the things we already knew. Adam is the man of 1,000 faces, Mia likes to make up words and Nigel has great hair.
For me, the most exciting part of the night, besides our coronation, is reliving some of the greatest moments of the season and seeing what all our judges pick. For the most part, they did not disappoint.
- Kent and Neil’s “Shoeless Joe” number, choreographed by Tyce
- Billy and Ade’s “Mad World,” choreographed by Stacey
- NappyTab’s “Fallen”, danced by Adéchiké and Comfort
- NappyTab’s clown dance “Scars,” danced by Robert and Dominic
- Lauren and Pasha’s Argentinean Tango, choregraphed by Miriamand Leonardo“Fix You,” choregraphed by Travis and danced by Robert and Allison
- Jose and Dominic’s “Battle for the Beat”, choreographed again by NappyTabs (This gave us the return of Mary Michael’s hot tamale train. It would have been a travesty to end the season without at least one.)
- Lauren and Twitch in NappyTabs’s “My Chick Bad”
- Billy and Robert in a Nakul “Bollywood” number
- Travis’s “How It Ends” piece, danced by Kent and Neil
NappyTabs dominated, and I’m so happy they returned to quality material. I’m not sure who picked Kent and Anya to repeat Jean-Marc and France’s “My First Kiss” but the flub at the end was painful to watch. Though fun, I could have lived without seeing that again. They also replayed Alex and Allison’s “Hallelujah” piece choreographed by Sonya.
Quest Crew brought a little of the ABDC flavor and reminded me of everything I craved when Jose took the stage but never got. The Manzari brother appeared out of nowhere to perform an eerily synchronized routine. Plus, they’re legs are so powerful. I believe acoustically, I’ve never heard tap sound so good on this stage. But they certainly couldn’t match the speedy little feet of seven year old, tap wonder Luke. Russell finally got some earned screen time with Lil’ C in, as Mia would say, a filthy Krump number. (He was so jipped last season with no tour.) Charlie Bruce, the winner of SYTYCD U.K. joined Neil, in an extremely gorgeous, ethereal, and pretty much awe-inspiring, contemporary piece. I didn’t really consider how much amazing SYTYCD dancing I could be missing on all around the world. Now, I have an internet scouring mission.
Cat kept hyping a superstar performance which turned out to relate to the Alex and Twitch memorable hip-hop routine recreation. It turned out some big guns - Ellen Degeneres. I cringed at first, but was actually impressed and pleasantly delighted. Now if only she had given me that feeling during American Idol.
So just like those torturous results shows, now that you’ve suffered through all the filler, you then learn the answer to the question you’ve been wondering about. Who’ll be carrying on the SYTYCD winner title? Robert was the first to exit, but there’s no question he’ll have a successful career, what with his long limbs and gorgeous face. Would the fan favorite conquer the girl who proved she could hang with the boys? Sorry, Kent. It just wasn’t in the cards this time. Plus since season two, we’ve been oscillating between a guy winning and a girl winning so it was pretty much destined. Congrats, girl! Not only are you talented, but you’re sweet and cute to boot. Enjoy a lifetime supply of Gatorade, becoming a cover girl and your place in dance competition history. I see a bright lights future ahead for you.
Want more So You Think You Can Dance? An interview with the winner, Lauren Froderman, here. Read Trish Leigh’s review of the finale, “Crowning America’s Favorite Dancer,” here. And Poptimal’s own Hollie Overton was backstage at the finale; read about it here. Read recaps/reviews of the entire season here.
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Season 7, Episode 22 & 23: Top 3 Perform & Finale: Winner Crowned (originally aired August11 and August 12, 2010)
Photographs courtesy of Fox and IMDbPro