Well, I agree with Nigel about one thing: The finale was a little disappointing. Not the greatest night for anyone really, and not a very good night for the judges either. I think they tried to cram too many dances in: four dances for each finalist, plus a solo, is just too much. No one can perform at their best when they’re dancing that many times. Katie Holmes had very little to contribute as a guest judge, but really, what do you expect? Whose idea was it to bring her on, especially for the finale? Not the best choice.
The only good part was the all-stars and, as expected, they were great. Mark Kanemura was especially awesome and it was great to see Joshua again too. I wish they would have done all of the dances with all-stars instead of having the contestants dance with each other at all. Some of the dances were just plain bad, like the step dance with Marko and Tadd. Just awful. They weren’t together, and they seemed to get off the beat on the music and never really caught up. Similarly, Tadd and Sasha had a cha-cha piece that was choreographed by Mark Ballas from DWTS that was pretty bad. But that was partly Ballas’s fault, because the dance was crazy hard and neither one of them are ballroom dancers. He should have toned it down and made sure they were on top of it. There was a disco piece with Melanie and Marko (the “power couple”) that was really desultory. It just never really got going and the transitions out of the lifts were really rough. I think the contestants just didn’t have enough time to practice all of these dances.
Of all the dances between the contestants, the best were this Melanie/Tadd jazz number:
and this Sasha/Marko broadway routine (which Nigel unaccountably panned):
Sasha and Melanie had a Stacey Tookey contemporary number that wasn’t bad, just a little dull. You really had to look to the dances with the all-stars tonight to get the good dances.
Here are the best ones:
Marko danced this emotional contemporary routine with Lauren, the champion of season 7:
Melanie was with Robert, another season 7 finalist, for this Stacey Tookey contemporary piece, which utilized one of my favorite songs of all time, Elton John’s “Sacrifice” performed by Sinead O’Connor from the Two Rooms album:
Tadd was dealt a great hip-hop routine from Lil’C, which he danced with season 4 champ Joshua. I was disapponted that C didn’t give us a krump routine or utilize Tadd’s unique abilities a little more, but this was old school hip-hop which was cool to see. Joshua was the better dancer, but not by a lot:
The best of the night was probably this dark, moody, nasty, intense Sonya Tayeh contemporary piece which Sasha danced with Mark Kanemura, who you may remember as Chelsie Hightower’s partner from season 4:
The way I scored the night, Sasha won by a nose over Melanie, with Marko in third. I was really hoping that the guys would have a great night and give themselves a chance to win, but the better dances were mostly from the girls. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Melanie win, because of the over-the-top constant praise of her by the judges (as well as some strange uncalled-for dissing of Sasha by Nigel) but despite her cha-cha (which wasn’t terrible) I think Sasha won the night and was the best dancer last week as well.