The guys may have been running on fumes, but it was full steam ahead nonetheless.
Joshua Allen and Stephen "Twitch" Boss, neither of whom has any formal training and both of whom needed a weekend hospital visit to treat dehydration, joined fellow finalists Courtney Galiano and Katee Shean for the first night of So You Think You Can Dance's two-part finale and…
Well, if we knew exactly how to spell that sound Mary Murphy makes when she's super excited—that's how we would describe it.
The fab foursome performed five dances apiece, including a solo and a contemporary group number choreographed by Mia Michaels (and costumed by Braveheart), and kept—as they say in hip-hop speak—hittin' it all night.
"I have to bow down again to both of you for bringing it on," Mary told Joshua and Courtney following their tricked-out jive (the last couples dance of the evening), again emphasizing the physical and emotional toll this show has taken on its contestants.
And then the duo had to don kilts and pretend to be fierce, celebratory warriors for the Mia Michaels routine!
"It's like you're dancing from a place that's not physical anymore," guest judge Mandy Moore told the group, which she praised for "dancing like a unit, together—and I think that there's nothing more incredible than that."
Overall, while maintaining their fierce championing of Katee ("Katee's got that little bit that makes you go, 'wow!'"; "Everything you've done across this season has been so wonderful to watch"; etc.), the judges spread the love pretty evenly among all the finalists.
In addition to the aforementioned numbers, Courtney, whose passion-drenched solos are always good for a weep, also paired off with Twitch for a Tabitha-and-Napoleon hip-hop routine and twirled umbrellas with Katee in a Tyce Diorio Broadway number.
"I'm just so delighted that you're in the top four," Nigel Lythgoe told Courtney after her solo. "It just shows how inspirational you are," he added, reminding us that she was not an early favorite.
Twitch, who also fox-trotted with Katee, continued to amaze and amuse.
"When I first saw you in the first show, I thought, There's something really cool about that guy," Mandy said following the popping extravaganza otherwise known as a vintage Twitch solo. "That has continued throughout the entire season."
"I was happy when you were in the bottom three because it meant I got to see one of your solos," Nigel added.
And then there was Joshua, he of that propeller spin kick, the beefy physique and now, post-braces, the pearly white smile.
"You're two of the best dancers we've ever had on this show," Nigel told Joshua and Katee after they had danced yet another awe-inspiring contemporary routine, this one by Wade Robson, who's been MIA for most of the season.
"You have set the standard for next season with untrained dancers—'Joshua didn't get training and look how brilliant he was,'" Nigel said.
The kudosfest was dampened briefly when Nigel observed that Joshua and Courtney's jive looked, simply, "tired."
"It was tough on you—tough," the Brit said. "That's a dancer's life. Be better, every single time."
Then again, that jive also followed both Joshua's solo and his and Twitch's rigorous Russian number, which, if you didn't know any better, looked like a dance-off between two highly trained yet street-savvy ballet dancers.
"How tough is that on your thighs?!" Nigel marveled.
Just so long as they saved some for Thursday. Tomorrow's finale will feature a performance by the Jonas Brothers, oodles of awe-inspiring choreography and, of course, the naming of America's Favorite Dancer.