When Cat Deeley suspensefully announced this week that there would be a "special surprise superstar guest" dancing on this week's "So You Think You Can Dance" finale, my brain immediately boggled into overdrive, trying to guess who it would be.
I assumed it would be some fleet-footed A-list pop star, like Usher or Beyonce. Or maybe, it'd be Lady Gaga, who just so happened to be in town for her Monster's Ball Tour. Or maybe Jennifer Lopez (who performed on last season's "SYTYCD" finale), trying to get in the reality-TV spotlight in preparation for her possible future "American Idol" gig. Or maybe, just maybe, Paula Abdul would finally take Nigel Lythgoe up on his longstanding invitation and show up.
But it wasn't Beyonce or Gaga, people. And it wasn't Paula. It wasn't even Paula's old sidekick, MC Skat Cat. The "special guest superstar dancer" was...Ellen DeGeneres. And she was filling in for the injured Alex Wong, in a remake of Alex and Twitch's iconic "Outta Your Mind" Nappytabs routine. Yup.
I wasn't initially doing a happy-dance over this news. Not at all. While I've occasionally found it cute and amusing when Ellen's boogied on her own TV show, I've always felt that's the only show on which she should bust a move. And, since "SYTYCD" is all about excellent, championship-level dancing, I assumed I'd be as disappointed as that night when moonlighter Katie Holmes took up precious airtime on last year's 100th episode special--airtime that could have been dedicated to actual "real" dancers.
And honestly, I figured that since Ellen was always out of her depth judging on "Idol," she'd be way out of her depth dancing alongside allstar Twitch Boss.
But...I was wrong.
Ellen was actually kinda awesome. Her mastery of of Tabitha & Napoleon's choreography was even impressive. Seriously, she almost got downright bucc in parts.
I am certain this number will be polarizing among "SYTYCD" viewers. But I believe Ellen redeemed herself, after a season of lame and lackluster "Idol" critiques, with this fun, feelgood routine. And really, the look on the face of the dance's originator, Alex Wong, after he watched Ellen, indicated that he was thrilled with Ellen's performance. And anything that cheers poor Alex up is fine by me.
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