Erica: It is the end.
Kate: (To the tune of “Edge of Glory”, because that’s been stuck in my head) This the end, the end, the end, the end, the end!
Erica: At the end of the night, we will crown Amy and Fik-Shun the winners, but let’s see how we’ll spend time until then.
Kate: Rightfully so!
Erica: Her hair is a lot blonder, right? I don’t like it.
Kate: At least it’s nicely straightened; I’m starting to get back into that look, because my hair looks so ratty when I don’t do that to it.
Erica: Also, you thought Paula Abdul’s hair required monstrous amounts of hairspray last time? Whoa baby.
Kate: I had to take three steps back when they showed her hair. Good lord.
Erica: Adam Shankmann, good to see you! Can we see you choreograph?
Erica: The montage thing – montages always make me sentimental. You could chop together footage of virtually anything, set it to a power to ballad, and I’ll be all “Aw, I love you guys! Sniff!”
Group Routine: “Wonderwall” by Paul Anka, choreo by Season 2’s Ivan Kournaev
Erica: So, as it turns out, Paul Anka? Not just the dog on “Gilmore Girls”.
Kate: I do not know how I feel about this song in this style.
Erica: I kid, I kid. For those of you who don’t know, Ivan was Allison’s partner back in Season 2, and this routine of theirs totally made me cry at the time. (Also how cute is it when they giggle about “intimacy”? I normally don’t include rehearsal footage in my video links, but I just kind of had to.)
Kate: That was before I started watching the show.
Erica: I thought this routine was fun but not outstanding. I did like the song. I am a sucker for songs I know covered by artists of different genres. I won’t even tell you how excited I got the first time I heard “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog as covered by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Also this explains why a cappella appeals to me so much.
Kate: I thought it was pretty great, you know I love giant group routines.
Erica: Okay, so now, the judges – Paula Abdul, Nigel, Mary, Adam, and tWitch – each get to pick a dance, and also we’ll be counting down auditioners, and the top four get to pick, and Cat gets to pick but I want to rescind her picking because she likes disco too much, and also some other routines get thrown in. So here we go!
Paula Abdul’s Pick: Paul & Makenzie – Contemporary: “Edge of Glory” from the Lady Gaga live Thanksgiving special; choreo by Mandy Moore
Erica: I was so relieved to see Mak again. I’m hoping she becomes an all-star; she’s so pretty. And this is one of the few routines where she’s not being sexy.
Kate: This is why the song has been in my head. Yes, I am happy to have her back, but doesn’t she seem, like, totally removed from the show now?
Erica: I did love how Paula Abdul was all, “This dance will show us that love really IS the answer to all the struggle in the world today,” and you’re like, “Yeah, Paula. These two pretty teenagers dancing will TOTALLY fix Syria. Assad’s just gonna lay his weapons down tonight.”
Kate: Oh, that’s what she was referring to?
Erica: Anyway, I thought they did better with this the first time. Mak had a weird energy tonight and the movements seemed more rushed and sharp than the first time.
Kate: Why are you calling her Mak?
Erica: Um . . . because that’s what I call her in my notes and now that’s how I think of her? Sorry, did I just reveal too much of my process?
Memorable Auditioner #5: Mongolian bowl dancer
Erica: I mean, the dance is pretty cool. But they all seem to be stuck on the fact that, when the dancer is trying to explain that the bowl is traditionally full of horse milk, it kinda sounds like she’s saying “whore’s milk,” and we’re apparently just going to get a lot of the judges saying “Whore’s milk?” over and over and then giggling. Good use of time, guys. Thanks for that.
Kate: Yea not amused.
Jasmine’s Pick: Jazz with Season 8’s Marko: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke; choreo by Ray Leeper
Erica: So, I appreciate when she says that she chose the dance that pushed her the most, the same way I appreciated it last week when she chose an all-star and a style outside her comfort zone. I like that about her. That said, this was not a number I thought was particularly spectacular from her and I’d have liked to pick another one.
Kate: True, but she did much better with it this time. I mean, you can’t LEARN swag, but she was way more energetic and sharp.
Adam Shankmann’s Pick: Twitch & Fik-Shun – Hip-Hop: “Hello Good Morning” by Diddy Dirty Money; choreo by Luther Brown
Kate: YES YES YES YES YES!!!
Erica: Good choice, good choice. Adam appears to also be under the delusion that this show will fix Syria.
Kate: I LOVE THIS DANCE SO MUCH!
Erica: Fik-Shun appears even more confident tonight. Because he knows he’s won.
Kate: No, I think all the dancers are more energetic overall tonight because they know they’re no longer dancing for votes, they’re just dancing to dance.
Dance by guys from movie Erica will not be seeing, with a song title/artist description far too long and confusing to be dignified here; choreo by Dave Scott
Erica: Zoe did the best dance to this. Although Jason was disturbed because, in the middle, she pulled her pants to her knees and wiggled her butt at us for a while. He thinks she’s going to become a stripper now. I haven’t been to many strip clubs, but to my knowledge they don’t usually giggle maniacally while waving their butts in your face and demanding to know whether or not you like their nak’dy butts.
Kate: She has such a great career in front of her.
Nigel’s Pick: Aaron, Alexis, & Curtis Tap, “You Really Did It” by Jason Mraz; choreo by Anthony Morigerato
Erica: Were these different costumes? If so, I liked them better.
Kate: I didn’t pay attention, because I hate that Nigel chose tap.
Twitch’s Pick: Hayley & Nico – Broadway: “Kiss of the Spider Woman” by Jeffrey Huard & Chita Rivera (Kiss of the Spider Woman – Cast Recording); choreo by Sean Cheesman
Erica: This was a pretty good routine. And they nailed it again.
Kate: Agreed. She is great.
Erica: Seriously, that move where he hauls her over his shoulder with her leg perfectly straight up? How does she not pull something?
Memorable Auditioner #4: Stuttering Shane
Erica: Isn’t it bad that they made the word for “stutter” a word that’s easy to stutter on?
Kate: Aw, poor guy.
Aaron’s Pick: Contemporary with Kathryn: “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree; choreo by Stacey Tookey
Kate: God I love this song.
Erica: See, this is where I’m like, if Kathryn loves dancing with him that much, he must be pretty good.
Kate: Wrong, she’s a dancer AND an actress.
Top Ten Boys: “Sand” by Nathan Lanier feat. Karen Whipple; choreo by Christopher Scott
Erica: I don’t know that anyone specific picked this; it seemed to just appear. Hallelujah. I love this routine.
Kate: Wait why did this happen again? I would have preferred a new top ten boys routine, even though this one was good.
Erica: Christopher Scott is my new favorite.
Memorable Auditioner #3: Anthony the Tiny from Texas
Erica: Kid’s pretty cute.
Kate: Not as cute as Zoe.
Cat’s Pick: Jasmine & Comfort – Hip-Hop: “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyoncé; choreo by NappyTabs
Erica: Okay, I’m sorry, Cat, you deserve a choice. This was pretty fab. Again.
Kate: I can’t get enough of this song.
Erica: So it was at this point that President Obama broke into the program. And I was like, dude, what are you so worried about? Paula and Adam and some teenaged reality show contestants have got this Syria thing COVERED. We’re going to bomb them…with LOVE. And DANCE. It’s totes taken care of, Mr. President. Go snuggle with your wife.
Kate: I was on the phone with Mom during this stupid interruption. She was relieved the speech didn’t interrupt Jeopardy.
Erica: Anyway, the issue is, I wasn’t watching live. I was trying, but certain forces in my life were preventing me. So I did my best to record the end of this but I ended up with a huge gap. And seriously, FOX, when sh!t like this happens, send the message to the DVRs that the show is going to be longer. Or, srsly, DVRs, make that not only possible but easy-peasy for networks to do. ‘Kay? Thx. Bye.
Kate: I was watching live, so I was able to see it all.
Memorable Auditioner #2: Stripper Dude Performs Private Lap Dance for Mary
Erica: I’ll own up – until I saw this audition, I thought watching male strippers was a kind of icky experience. But this dude may have changed my mind.
Kate: Watching male strippers with Mary Murphy is ALWAYS a great experience.
Mary’s Pick: Tucker & Robert – Contemporary: “Medicine” by Daughter; choreo by Travis Wall
Erica: Unsurprising pick, lovely dancing.
Kate: They complement each other very well.
Top Twenty: Hip-Hop: “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Herb Alpert feat. Lani Hall; choreo by NappyTabs
Erica: Ridiculous amounts of squee-ing from me. Again.
Kate: Again, why was this shown, again? Couldn’t we do a new top 20 routine?
Erica: This also wasn’t anyone’s pick; it just appeared. Y’all should pick more group numbers. What about that one where they, like, dove into the big mountain on stage? That was cool. BTW, have you seen this, Kate?
Kate: No! She is so pretty.
Erica: Okay, then they review the episode where the all-stars choreographed and we get:
Jenna & Season 4′s Mark Kanemura – Jazz: “I Am The Best” by 2NE1; choreo by Mark Kanemura
Erica: I don’t think she was mouthing this time, Kate.
Kate: I still think it was an atrocious routine, and I can’t believe I was forced to witness it again.
Erica: Then Amy and Fik-Shun picked the same one:
Amy & Fik-Shun – Hip-Hop: “After Party” by Dorrough Music; choreo by NappyTabs
Erica: And as much as I like this routine and them doing it, I must say that I kind of disrespect the choice. This dance was the one they were practically designed to do, the one they could have done blindfolded when they arrived in Las Vegas. I really like that Jasmine wanted to choose something that stretched and changed her; these two, as awesome as their comfort zone is, don’t want to leave it.
Kate: But this was probably their best, and I was THRILLED they picked this.
Erica: It was still a lot of fun to watch.
Erica: AND THEN THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED ON MY TV SCREEN YOU GUYS. I STILL HAVEN’T FULLY PROCESSED IT. IT WAS . . .
NIGEL & MARY & A SURPRISE GUEST: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
Erica: My life is now awesome.
Kate: I know, this is the best thing the show has ever done.
Erica: It was awesome from the moment Nigel and Mary hit the dance floor. But THEN Adam Shankmann joined them!!!! Seriously, I don’t know now what else to hope for.
Kate: I only wish Adam had been on the stage longer, what a tease!
Memorable Auditioners #1: Random Duo Called Movement Box?
Erica: They did a thing to “This Life” by Gene Shinozaki. It was pretty cool. One of the beatboxes and the other dances and it’s cool. I don’t know what else to say about it.
Kate: I don’t remember them at all from auditions?
Erica: No me neither but I didn’t watch the auditions. I did, however, see a one-man beat-box show by the husband of a professor at UIC whose classes I never took but totally should have. And then the people have chosen:
Amy & Travis Wall – Contemporary: “Wicked Games” by James Vincent McMorrow
Erica: Yup. Good. Again. Nice job, guys.
Kate: Oh Travviiisssssssssssssssssssssssss.
Erica: And then I’m missing whatever happened between that and the announcement of the winners. Thanks, NObama. I’m not voting for you anymore.
Kate: Well, that’s unfortunate, because you missed what I thought was the highlight of the night, BESIDES the glorious Mary Murphy/Nigel dance:
Top 10 & All-Stars – Jazz/Hip-Hop?: “Rock Lobster (District 78 Remix)” by The B-52s; choreo by NappyTabs?
Kate: I think NappyTabs choreographed this, even though Cat didn’t announce it, because I saw some tweets from them about the end-of-summer routine in the finale. This was an adorable 60s beach scene dance which I absolutely 100% want to perform, like, now.
Erica: Okay it’s up on YouTube this morning. That was pretty damn fabulous. Although I think I like last year’s better. But whatever, I am FULLY in favor of a yearly Top 10 + All-Stars NappyTabs routine. Boy, I sure have come around on them, haven’t I?
Kate: Naturally, as they are the best choreographers on this show, with the exception of my love Travis.
Erica: So, in a move that surprised NO ONE, not even Jasmine, who was making a face like, “Just say Amy’s name already, Cat,” Amy and Fik-Shun win this thing. Good job, guys. Jasmine, Mak, Malece, and maybe Nico and Tucker? Hope to see you again. And Paul. He’d be fine, too.
Kate: Thank goodness America came to its senses – in one respect, anyway! I’d like to give a special shout-out thank you to our loyal readers of this blog, who definitely know they can dance: Anna P., Colleen S., Kelly E., Nicole G., Raina P., and Whitney L. Thank you for reading and commenting, guys!
Erica: And also my friend Nicole R-S! Thanks for the support!