So You Think You Can Dance Results: Did the Right Four Dancers Make the Season 8 Finale?

It doesn’t matter who made the So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 finale, executive producer and head judge Nigel Lythgoe declared during Thursday night’s results-show telecast: “The only winner is dance.” Roll your eyes all you want, but the man kind of has a point, doesn’t he? As we come to the end of a sensational summer of hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, ballroom, and not enough offbeat stuff like African jazz and Bollywood, it’s time to put your hands together one more time, as the glamorously attired Cat Deeley instructed, for the week’s evicted hoofers, as well as the undeniably awesome quartet left standing.

Without further ado, here’s the scoop on what went down:

Eliminated
Caitlynn Lawson
Ricky Jaime

Final Four
Melanie Moore
Marko Germar
Sasha Mallory
Tadd Gadduang

Awesome Musical Performance By
PIA TOSCANO Y’ALL!

Before we got to the results, of course, there was plenty of song and dance to fill the hour. Here’s a rundown of the routines:

* The strange opening number, set to Lia Ices’ “Grown Unknown,” featured the Top 6 dancing around some kind of alien flower that took flight at the end of the routine. Call me obtuse, but I didn’t get it.

* Our Top 3 ladies then took the stage for some blink-and-you-missed-em solos. All season long, I’ve found Sasha’s partnering and group work far more compelling than her solos, but her piece to “We Gonna Win” by Miri Ben-Ari was absolutely worthy of the standing O it received from the judges: Powerful, athletic, and packed with tension and drama. Caitlynn betrayed her slight immaturity as a dancer with a messy, twee performance to Natasha Beddingfield, and Melanie, while emphasizing mood over technical difficulty, was nonetheless deeply compelling for the second night running. (That flying leap leading into a total body collapse was a real wow moment.)

* Even though I felt like he’d overstayed his welcome by outlasting Jess, I have to admit Rickyhad the evening’s best solo among the male contestants. His “Requiem for a Fall” saw him leaping so high and extending so far that those Bad Boys of Dance might want to recruit the dude. Marko, meanwhile, danced to the same James Morrison tune that he did on Wednesday (bzzzzzzt!) while Tadd pulled some nifty tricks and balanced himself on one arm while Cat ambled back to the stage for her teleprompter work.

* Lauren and Kent reprised the Emmy-nominated “Collide” and got a comic scolding from Cat when the end-of-routine smooch went on a bit too long. Are those kids adorable or what? Now bring back Robert, too, please.

* Oh, wait, they will! Robert will be a finale All-Star alongside Lauren, Joshua, and Mark! What-what?!?!

* The Bad Boys of Dance looked like what would happen if the NFL made a baby with Tron: Legacy — they were dancing to music from the movie’s soundtrack, after all– and I mean that in the best possible way. Their routine was so fast, so muscular, and so unrelenting, I almost felt like I’d gotten a workout, too, when it was done. So You Think You Can Exercise? Not today, but thanks anyway!

Now it’s your turn: Hit the comments and let me know: Did the right dancers go home tonight? Who are you hoping will win it all during next week’s finale? And have you downloaded Pia’s single yet? (C’mon, it costs less than a bottle of Diet Coke!) Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps and news, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!