The top four dancers on So You Think You Can Dance hit the stage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood for part one of the season-five finale.
The final four, Brandon, Evan, Jeanine and Kayla, pulled out all the stops to impress America, but two dancers in particular stood out. According to judge Nigel Lythgoe, Brandon and Jeanine are his frontrunners—so why was the crowd of 3,000 chanting Evan's name?
What'd we see tonight, and who's poised to win SYTYCD?
Group Dance: The show began with a Wade and Amanda Robson-choreographed piece where two jocks hit on two cheerleaders. It was nice to see the top four all dancing together, but in our humble opinion, Evan looked like the little brother tagging along.
Jeanine & Evan: Next up was Jeanine and Evan doing a contemporary routine choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. Jeanine spent most of the routine running away from Evan—smart gal. We thought Jeanine really showcased her strength, while Evan showed he has remained stagnant throughout the competition. The judges didn't have any positive comments for Evan either, though Adam Shankman praised Jeanine saying she was "a rock out there," and Mary Murphy said she was "feisty."
Brandon's Solo: While Brandon's solo was technically challenging, he didn't seem to take a breath, which left us dizzy. Adam agreed, saying, "It felt a bit frantic." Mary, however, said, "You are born to dance," and after tearing up she added that she was honored and privileged to see him dance. (888-TEMPO-01)
Kayla & Brandon: Tyce Diorio choreographed a very theatrical Broadway piece from All That Jazz for Kayla and Brandon. It was true to what a Bob Fosse routine should be: dark, sexy and fun. After Adam jumped out of his seat, he exclaimed that they "are the holy trinity of dance." Nigel said, "[Kayla and Brandon] have just shown us why they're in the top four."
Jeanine's Solo: Jeanine received the first standing ovation of the night after performing her sexy samba solo. Her amazingly controlled pirouettes were jaw-dropping! Mary said, "You are peaking at the right time." Nigel thought her solo was "so brave" and "absolutely fantastic. (888-TEMPO-02)
Evan & Brandon: The men battled for the No. 1 spot in this video jazz number choreographed by Laurie Ann Gibson. Can you guess who won? This dance showed off Evan's dance skills, and that's not a compliment. Even Adam said Evan "got a little dusted." Sorry, you're not fooling us or Mary Murphy who replied that "the performance was not believable." Nigel added that "Brandon out danced [Evan]."
Kayla & Jeanine: Mia Michaels did these girls right tonight. The pair was set on a journey across the stage, stripping away layers of their clothes. It was truly a chance for each girl to shine, while showing how much stronger they are together. Adam thought it "was like watching two thoroughbreds racing." Mary thought they "laid their heart[s] and soul[s] out there on the stage."
Evan's Solo: Evan was meant to "bring the thunder," but did he? Compared with Brandon, he didn't even make it drizzle. Adam thought he "took a risk," while Mary thought it was "unique." Nigel broke Evan's heart when he said, "If we're looking for the No. 1 tonight, in my opinion, it isn't you." (888-TEMPO-03)
Kayla & Evan: Poor kids. Their final chance to prove something to America and they did it in cowboy boots and fringe. Tony Meredith gave them a country-style jive that did not showcase their abilities. Frankly, it looked like Evan was enjoying himself, but that's because it seemed like Kayla was leading. "I'm not sure that was a finale-level routine," said Adam. Mary thought Evan wasn't very strong, while Nigel said they both came out with guns blazing, which prompted the crowd to shout, "Evan! Evan!"
Kayla's Solo: White Lightning couldn't have been more on form than tonight. While Adam said her "solo was fine, but didn't show who you are," he also said she was one of the best dancers he has ever seen. "Simply and plainly, you are gifted," said Mary. Nigel revealed that Kayla was actually the first person put through to the top 20. (888-TEMPO-04)
Jeanine & Brandon: These kids tore the house down with a very fast, intense Louis van Amstel pasodoble, which brought the judges and audience to their feet. "The movement never ended," said Adam. Mary's traditional scream came out after saying it was a very believable portrayal of the dance style. Nigel actually got to his feet, screaming like Mary, saying, "You really did carry it off."
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