Much like the burning questions "Will a plus-size girl ever win on America's Next Top Model?" and "Will a rocker ever win on American Idol?," the question "Will a breakdancer ever win on So You Think You Can Dance?" is a matter I've often pondered.
It never seemed like a b-boy (or b-girl) had a chance on SYTYCD--they were always great in their own specialty genre, sure, but whenever they had to pick up choreography or, say, do a Viennese waltz, they just fell apart. (This season's Robert Muraine, winner of tonight's finale faceoff with Philip Chbeeb, is a perfect example: He got so discouraged and exasperated during this season's audition rounds, he quit against the judges' wishes.)
But still, I never really imagined it would come down to two b-boys in the SYTYCD finale. Especially over Katee!
Yes, tonight SYTYCD history was made, when Courtney unsurprisingly came in fourth and Katee very surprisingly placed third, leaving two street dancers--Twitch and Joshua--in the top two. Not only was it first time any breakers had ever made it that far, but they were competing against each other in the ultimate b-boy battle. Whether or not you agreed with the top-two results (I know a lot of shocked Katee fans sure didn't), you had to admit it was an exciting night. And since the winner this season gets a role in the upcoming dance flick Step Up 3D, I suppose the filmmakers were pretty psyched that no matter who won, it would be a dancer suited for such a hip-hop-heavy vehicle.
But before it came down to Twitch and Josh, there were many exciting pre-announcement moments tonight, as six judges returned to each pick encore dances from earlier in the season. Mary Murphy chose the sexy rumba by Courtney and Gev ("a match made in heaven"), and then my personal favorite dance of the entire season, Katee and Twitch's Mia Michaels-masterminded "door dance." Adam Shankman picked Comfort and Twitch's "Studio 54 in 2085" space-age hip-hop routine (nice, but eh, I could've done without it), and then luckily another one of my personal standouts: the raw and animalistic, Sonya Tayeh-choreographed "Garden" dance with Mark and Courtney. Nigel picked Josh and Katee's big, bold Bollywood number, then went with Katee and Josh again for another one of my absolute faves, the soldier-going-to-war "No Air" contemporary routine. Lil' C chose Mark and Chelsie's stunning cold-businessman/neglected wife number, set to Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love." (Another one of my favorites that I was delighted to see again.) Mia Michaels--unable to pick of her own awesome routines, which of course are always the best ones on this show--chose Will and Katee's Desmond Richardson-crafted modern ballet. Debbie Allen surprisingly did not pick a routine featuring her golden boy Will, and instead went with Twitchington--cool, and admirably impartial of her, though I would preferred their "bed dance" over the smooth waltz she selected.
But for the most part, these were all fine choices--if the judges had just included the "bed dance" and the sad "Hometown Glory" dance by Josh and Katee, it would have been a perfect sampling of the season. But they probably wanted to give Katee a little break, since she was in four of the handpicked dances. She may not have won tonight, but she still got a lot of screen time.
Another pre-results highlight was the aforementioned Robert Muraine/Philip Chbeeb danceoff, although five of the six judges named Robert the winner of that battle, and I agreed with Mia, the lone judge who voted for Philip. (Mia is always right, people!) Plus, Philip had to drop out of this competition due to illness, while Robert had his chance and quit, so I had more sympathy for Philip. But whatever, they were both awesome--and this obviously wasn't the most important b-boy battle of the night, anyway.
Something that was also really cool to see0-and quite unexpected--was the onstage participation of two of the judges! Sure, Nigel had been bound and gagged in a group number earlier this season, and he choreographed the fabulous "Five Guys Named Moe" all-male dance that was reprised on this evening's finale...but tonight he actually tapdanced fantastically with kids from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and it was adorable. And Mary hopped on board the Hot Tamale Train for some surprisingly sexy partner work with season 2 finalist Dmitry, too. (Who knew Mary had such great legs, hidden underneath that judges' desk for so many years?)
All I could say was (insert Mary scream here), WOOOO!!!
Not only was it fun to see these series regulars come out from behind their familiar station, but their dances totally proved they know what they are talking about. They talk the talk and walk the walk. Or dance the dance, so to speak.
After a creepy Criss Angel/Circque du Soleil animalhead rotuine by Wade Robeson and a cute if somewhat offkey performance by the Jonas Brothers, there came a big final number with the top 20 plus some welcome familiar faces from past seasons (Lauren, Lacey, Benji, Travis, Ryan, Hok, Dominic, etc.--finally, Dominic got a chance to dance with his crushgirl Kherrington). And then Cat delivered the news we were all waiting for. Seeing how much Twitch wanted this win--I seriously feared he'd break down again, like he did a couple weeks ago when he was in the bottom two with Will--I kinda/sorta wanted Cat to announce Twitch's name. But Josh seem hungry for victory, too...and honestly, I knew Josh was the better dancer here.
I think this is a great choice. Many boys are teased, Billy Elliott-style, for wanting to pursue a "sissy" activity like dancing, but Josh--masculine, muscular, a maaaannnn in every way--is living proof that dancing is just as tough, athletic, and macho a pursuit as football. And in dancing, males get to rub up against attractive, skimpily dressed female partners like Katee and Chelsie, while in football they just pile on top of a bunch of sweaty dudes in tight pants. So boys out there, take a cue from your new role model Josh and sign up for dance classes now, and maybe you'll be rubbing up against some cute Kherrington lookalike in SYTYCD season 16.
So it's been a great season, a great finale, and a great blogging experience for me. Thanks for reading, everyone, and don't forget to keep coming back for updates on the other awesome dancing show still in the air, America's Best Dance Crew 2!