really difficult, highly entertaining, and perfectly executed

Performance Finale!

I'm not super excited about this whole Kodak Theater thing. I think it makes the sound weird, the lighting bad, and it also seems kind of hard to shoot the dancing properly. Which, if you can't get the dancing onto my TV, how do you expect to have a damn TV show about dancing? But Cat & the jidges really seem to think the fact that they're at the Kodak is the Best! Thing! Ever!

Wade's opening jock/cheerleader number might be my favorite thing he's ever done. It just tickled me to no end. Also, seeing him dance it in rehearsal just really makes me want to watch HIM dance, like, as much as possible.

Jeanine & Evan, Contemporary - The bio bit just shows how obnoxious they both are, and surely I am not the only one noticing this? The dancing is good, but to me it's a top 8 or 10 number, not a final four number. Can you tell how over them I am?

1. Brandon, solo - Weird shorts aside, I thought this was excellent. He danced like he was a tight ball of frenetic energy about to explode, with the flawless technique we've come to expect, packing his short time with what seemed like just as many moves as he could think of. I think I would have like to see that energy release more, by way of using a lot more of that ginormous stage. Otherwise, this guy is unstoppable.

Kayla & Brandon, Broadway - Well, the song is kind of dumb. But Tasty Oreo's choreography is senfrigginsational, and of course these two dance the shit out of it. THIS is what finale dancing should absolutely be: really difficult, highly entertaining, and perfectly executed.

2. Jeanine, solo - Girl. Spit out that dumb flower RIGHT NOW. I mean it young lady. I will not look at your dancing until you do. Spit it. Spiiiitttt itttt. Oh you're done? Well then. I just missed your whole damn solo 'cause you had to do it with that stupid effing flower in your mouth. I hope you're proud of yourself. GOD.

Brandon & Evan, Pop Jazz - I might not have realized it until just now, but I have always wanted to watch Brandon dance to Janet Jackson. And he is KILLIN' IT. Evan, dude, is not. In fact, it occurs to me, watching the two of them together, that Brandon is caring a lot more about nailing the routine than supporting Evan, and really competing. In fact, it also occurs to me that this might be the first TRUE dance competition I have seen thrown down this whole damn season. I had to wait for the finale for this?!? Although, again, at least I got to watch Brandon dance to Miss Jackson, if you're nasty. (Nigel: "Evan, there isn't a nasty bone in your body." Me: "Heh. Heh heh heh heh. Heh heh.")

Kayla & Jeanine, Contemporary - Mia's routine is totally riveting. I also really enjoy seeing these two dancing side by side, the dark brunette and pale blond making a striking pair. Of course, I like Kayla better, but I don't think that's why she kept drawing my eye. She finishes her lines better, her timing was perfect, and she never dropped character, where I felt like Jeanine was just wasn't as polished. The difference was not as obvious as the one between Brandon and Evan, but it was definitely there, resulting in an uneven routine, not because of its construction or anything else but the difference in talent.

3. Evan, solo - Sigh. It's adorable, it's slick, it's more of the same. I think, in fact, it's just like his initial audition piece, and Adam Shankman confirms that for me. Oh, Evan. It's time for you to be done on this show.

Kayla & Evan, Jive - Well, it's about damn time they got our Colorado girl into some damn cowboy boots. The number is really fun and high energy, and they do some cute things with the height difference, with Evan crawling between her legs and all. Where I thought Brandon just flat-out out-danced Evan, however, I thought here Kayla decided to try and keep the pairing at more the same level in order to make the partnership work, and it resulted in Evan just bringing her down a wee bit, and that's a damn shame.

And just as I'm thinking that I, and the judges, have really been harshing on Evan--justified, but still harsh--the crowd at the Kodak starts chanting his name. Because they are either blind or stupid. Seriously, I DO NOT GET IT. HE'S NOT THAT GOOD, PEOPLE.

4. Kayla, solo - Well, I wanted to see more either because she didn't get to the good stuff til the end or because I'm just a fan of hers. Adam Shankman prepares me, and the rest of her fans, for her not to win when he points out that she is one of the best dancers on the show, just like Travis, Danny, and Will. All of whom were, in fact, the best dancers of their seasons, and none of whom won. Very astute observation, Shanks.

Jeanine & Brandon, Paso Doble - YES. This Matrix-inspired number is FIERCE, honey. Brandon gets way, WAY into the floor with his movement, and he's sharp and aggressive and dancing like an animal. In black vinyl. Jeanine also attacks the routine with a commitment I really appreciate, although she's just not as good as Brandon who just kills it, again, some more. All that energy I was waiting to unleash in his solo just landed all over the stage, and it was awesome.

If it were me ranking them: Brandon, Kayla, Jeanine, Evan
How I think it'll play out: Brandon, Jeanine, Kayla, Evan

Unless that chanting for Evan was actually opening a portal to Hell, through which Evan's fans will sacrifice a field of goats in order to secure him extra votes. I sincerely hope that doesn't happen. Poor goats.


Erika said…
As always, I love and live for your recaps! :) Even if I disagree with you. Kayla, while good technically, is just not...there for me. I rarely feel a connection with her, except maybe during the addiction dance. She just seems like she's somewhere else all the time or something. I have gotten to like her a lot more in the past few weeks, though. But I'm personally rooting for Jeanine. I like her spunk, and where I find Kayla all sorts of flaily in her solos, Jeanine's musicality seems stronger to me. With that said, I also felt really sorry for Evan last night, though I don't think he deserves to win by any means. I just hate watching people get pummeled over and over.

Love Brandon, too, but I'd really just like to see one of the girls win.
Kristi said…
I think the show totally built last night's show around showing off their (and my) consensus on the top boy and top girl, Kayla and Brandon. I mean, the staging in Mia's contemporary piece put Kayla in front for almost the entire piece. And Nigel was absolutely right when he said it was really unfortunate for Evan to have to compete by dancing to Miss J. And I think it was on purpose.

PS-SO psyched a Colorado girl has gotten this far!
Dinah said…
You bring up an interesting point, Erika, in that it's possible for Brandon/Evan to lose this just because there are voters who want to see a girl win. Between them, I think Jeanine has livelier bio/behind-the-scenes packages, though I find her to be obnoxious and immature. But Kayla is a far superior dancer. Jeanine has grown a lot, which I admire, but I think she's also been really lucky.

Kristi, if you use that logic, you could also argue that it was built to prop up Jeanine & Brandon, because they got a big, flashy show-stopper whereas Kayla & Evan got a hootenanny jive. Or you could say that Evan was given a huge advantage by being given the jive, a ballroom style that works with what he knows *and one he has had before*.

I think if Kayla was downstage, she still would have outshone Jeanine a little. As for the Janet Jackson routine, they ALWAYS give the final two boys a really tough, highly competitive routine in the finale.

Evan could have won this whole thing with that routine if he could have simply kept up with Brandon better, and showed just a little more range to his personality--something he has willfully resisted doing ALL SEASON. I mean, Brandon is a sweet-faced, tender-hearted, kind of swishy gay boy contemporary dancer (and you know me well enough to know NONE of those are insults, of course)--why is it such an advantage for him to have that hard-hitting, tough guy Janet Jackson routine? Aside from the fact that he's just a superior dancer and performer?
Erika said…
The truth for me (and no worries, this East Coast girl shan't spoil), I really liked the top 6 in total. I would have been happy with any of them winning. This was a really great season, but I didn't feel super strongly about anyone until maybe last night. I just kind of liked them all. I am hoping to be unabashedly in love with someone in season 6 (besides Cat, of course). :)

The only (semi) spoiler about tonight is that the one dance I would have liked to have seen again that they didn't show was the Brandon/Janette Wade cartoon thieves number. Loved that.
I'm way late on this b/c of vacation, and most everything has already been said, but given how self-congratulatory (and rightly) the judges were for doing a pas-de-deux to a traditional classical piece), I'm surprised that Adam Shankman just barely glossed over the daring of doing a piece to a contemporary classical piece by Reich (although it might just be that I love Reich). I thought this was way more risky, but turned out fabulously.