'So You Think You Can Dance': Cheers for the winner! Jeers for the finale?
I dislike excessively dumping on “So You Think You Can Dance” because I always think that even when it’s weak, it’s still a tremendous show when it comes to showcasing and supporting talent that probably wouldn’t receive that kind of exposure elsewhere. But the part of me that’s a TV critic and a person who watched four hours of the show over the last two days can’t help but feel let down by this week’s finale in general.
I wasn’t alone Wednesday night when I said the performance part of the finale failed to live up to its potential, and I feel like I’m probably not alone when I say the results finale also left me a little cold. I’m not arguing with the results, but it all felt rather predictable (although I suppose that’s just voter-based reality TV). At the very least I would have liked to have had more new stuff to watch.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoy reflecting back on the best dances from the season, especially those from early on that weren’t as fresh in my memory, like Melanie and Marko’s “I Got You” (I loved seeing Melanie, who’s often given serious roles in her dances, playing joyous and lighthearted); Todd and Lauren’s “Another One Bites the Dust”; Ashley and Chris’ “Please, Mr. Jailer"; and Miranda and Robert’s “Break Ya Neck.” But as great as it is to celebrate the best parts of the season, the episode was also essentially a two-hour clip show. We saw two new routines, Sonya Tayeh’s “Wanna Get Hype” at the top of the show and Jess, Nick and Matt Flint's taptastic “Can’t Buy Me Love.” But proportionally, that’s less new material than we get in our normal results shows. This is nice entertainment and all but at least make me not feel like I’m sitting patiently for two hours to hear 10 seconds’ worth of new information.
Oddly, I think my favorite part of the episode was when Nigel Lythgoe apologized to Marko and Tadd for dismissing them Wednesday night by saying that neither one of them would win. He was completely accurate when he said that, of course, but it was flippant and rude. I appreciated that Nigel was classy enough and secure in himself enough to admit on national television that he was wrong. My least favorite part was Alexander Fost’s blonde hair.
When it came to the results, in case you had any doubts, Melanie won. I was rooting for Sasha, of course, and it broke my heart to see them both crying up there during the final announcement, but I can’t say that Melanie didn’t deserve to win: She and Sasha basically carried this season. Melanie had the slight edge, I think, when it came to getting dances that favored her (or maybe she was just the better dancer). There’s no doubt that Sasha will be an All-Star and a welcome one at that when she returns.
I still wouldn’t agree with the statement in last week’s Entertainment Weekly about this being the worst season, but I wouldn’t say it was the best, either. Would you agree? What do you think the show could do to improve next season?
Thanks for watching with me, everyone. Your discussions have been passionate and enjoyable and I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of you better. Have a great rest of the summer and save a dance for me -- just know that I’ll probably step on your toes by accident.
-- Claire Zulkey
Photo: Melanie Moore. Credit: James Dimmock / FOX