Just as I've started really getting into season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance
, last season's top 12 returned to Los Angeles last night--performing their most memorable, often Mia Michaels-masterminded season 5 routines at downtown L.A.'s Nokia Theater. Their performances were cleverly interspersed with highlight footage from the show (intros by Cat Deeley and Nigel Lythgoe, silly audition footage, goodbye reels, the notorious Sex-vs.-Leo danceoff, etc.), plus some amusing skits that indicated that the season 5 cast's comedic timing has become nearly as good as their rhythmic timing.
It was like one giant supersized SYTYCD
episode...and I fell in love with season 5 all over again.
All 12 dancers got their welcome opportunity to solo (with quintuple-jointed B-boy Phillip Chbeeb, a "special guest" on the tour due to his 12th-place finish, receiving the far-and-away loudest audience ovation). And of course many must-see routines were reprised, somehow miraculously translating from their original intimate soundstage/camera-closeup environment to a cavernous, 7,000-seat venue; this was a true testament to the dancers' larger-than-life talent, indeed.
Among the most notable performances were that steamy group "I Know You Want Me" speakeasy routine,
Evan and Randi's adorable "butt dance," Caitlin and Jason's stunning Bollywood number,
Kupono and Kayla's vampire and "addiction" routines, Janette and Brandon's "Ruby Blue" romp,
Brandon and Jeanine's army-themed "Battlefield," Kayla and Jason's zombie-schoolgirl graveyard rave, Jason and Jeanine's romantic Travis Wall-choreographed "locket" number, Melissa and Ade's "Romeo & Juliet" ballet and
Tyce Diorio "cancer dance," and the top three girls' sexy Sonya Tayeh superheroine tour de force, the later of which no doubt pleased the few males in the crowd who were greatly outnumbered by screaming teen girls. And those males were also probably pretty delighted when gorgeous season 5 winner Jeanine stepped on her hem during her paso doble with Brandon, thus pulling down her dress and accidentally mooning the audience. (She handled this wardrobe malfunction with her usual grace and humor, of course.)
But speaking of humor, some of the cutest moments came when the dancers, all conveniently and surely not coincidentally decked out in SYTYCD
tour merch, emceed the show, introducing their fellow contestants and engaging in sweetly hokey skits. The highlight of these vignettes came courtesy of my scene-stealing season 5 favorite, Kupono, whose infomercial-style plug for the SYTYCD
"Get Fit" workout DVD (delivered while he was gussied up like an extra from Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" video in tour-merch short-shorts) was almost more enjoyable than any of his dance routines. Kupono is a comic genius, and if they'd sold "I HEART KUPONO" track shorts at the merch table last night, I would have bought then in every color.
The other big punchline of the evening was a recurring one, when Jeanine and Brandon poked continual fun at their infamous Russian folk-dance routine (they kept trying to execute the dance all night long, only to be sternly shooed offstage by their mock-displeased castmates). While I felt kind of bad for the original dance's choreographers, Yourie Nelzine and Lilia Babenko--who will likely NEVER be invited back to SYTYCD
, if Nigel has anything to do with it--ultimately Jeanine, Phillip, Yourie, and Lilia got the last laugh, when the rest of the top 12 hit the Nokia Theater in full flouncy Russian costuming and joyfully high-kicked like the original Broadway cast of Fiddler On The Roof
It was a thrilling show start to finish, but just in case the new season 6 cast was about to get totally upstaged by last season's incredible talent, as a surprise this season's top 16 were trotted out onstage for a little photo opp, and in a way it sort of felt like a passing of the SYTYCD
torch. Mollee & Nathan became the new Randi & Evan, Legacy became the new Phillip, Karen became the new Janette...and I already started looking forward to the season 6 SYTYCD
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