Warning: If you haven’t yet watched the So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 finale, might I suggest you Quickstep your way to a different URL? Indeed, this article contains the unkindest of spoilers. The rest of you, carry on past the jump!
The So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 finale was like a double serving of dessert — with only half the calories. (I’m not the only one who burned off a third of my dinner by chair-dancing to the night’s final group performance, am I?)
Yes indeed, this was SYTYCD‘s first season crowning separate male and female winners, and whether or not you fancied Chehon or Cyrus, Eliana or Tiffany, it’s hard to argue against the decision to spread the wealth, to offer a pair of six-figure paydays, and make room for more than one smiling face on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine. (Speaking of the final four, look for my Q&As with all of ‘em later this week right here at TVLine.com.)
Before we get to the results, let’s dish the 11 “Best of Season 9 Encores” and the four new performances that filled a two-hour telecast that was, at its heart, about a pair of announcements that, had she been feeling dangerously mischievous, Cat Deeley could’ve blurted out in about 15 seconds. I’ll spill my own feelings in the form of some jaunty awards:
Hands-Down, the Best Routine of the Season (Equaled Only by the Same Exact Routine the First Time Around): Eliana and All-Star Alex’s “Bang Bang”
Number That Still Looked to Me Like a Bunch of Frantic Leaping, Without Any Romantic Oomph: Audrey and Matthew’s “chaise lounge” contemporary
Piece That Lost None of Its Emotional Impact in Spite of Mary Murphy Spelling Out Its Meaning for This Encore Presentation: Chehon and All-Star Kathryn’s “Suitcase”
Best Evidence of Why SYTYCD Deserved Its 2012 Emmy for Lighting: Tiffany and All-Star Brandon’s Disco (oh how those thousand points of light brought every sequin on Tiffany’s pantsuit to life)
Piece That Was Like a Blaring Alarm Announcing “This Duo Kinda Got Robbed by the Judges”: Lindsay and Cole’s stunning Paso Doble
Right Couple, Wrong Encore: Oh how I wish we could’ve traded Tiffany and George’s good but not entirely memorable Sonya Tayeh contemporary for their vastly superior Fox Trot
Most Fun: Will and Amelia’s cats-in-heat hip-hop
Piece That I’m Going to Watch Back on DVR With a Completely Different Song to Accompany It: Tiffany and All-Star Ade’s sultry contemporary to Celine Dion’s “Power of Love”
Most Overhyped: Chehon and All-Star Anya’s Argentine Tango (Am I the only one who felt like every part of this number was too soft and languid, with none of the crispness or friction you’d want from the sexiest of dances?)
Most In-Demand All-Star: Twitch, who reprised his East-Coast Hip Hop with Witney, his ‘Genetically Altered Heroes’ with Cyrus, and turned up in two of the night’s new routines, too.
Best New Number: NappyTabs’ thrilling, hypnotic Lion King remix. (I kept gasping and oohing every time one of the Season 9 Top 10 or one of the 10 All-Stars performed some fantastic move that captured my imagination, which was about every 3 to 5 seconds.)
Most Pleasant Surprise: A full routine by the Dragon House dudes (sans Cyrus) — including a completely sickening (in a good way) trick where the creepy, gold-masked dude bent down on his left leg and crossed his right foot over his left knee. Dream or nightmare, it’ll be replaying in my head for the next few weeks.
Moment Where I Felt Certain Cyrus Would Win: True, the affable animator had only one encore number, but when he got to share the stage with choreographer Christopher Scott, plus Comfort and Twitch, on a very amusing piece about a cheating card player and a trio of Vegas heavies, I thought that was a sure signal the title was his. As it turned out, this was a pretty damn good consolation prize.
Most Gasp-Inducing Outfits: Those pleated blue satin skirts the Top 10 women wore in the opening Sonya-Christopher collaboration. When the dance began, the guys swept the girls so effortlessly across the stage, I briefly wondered if they were performing on a sheet of ice. Gorgeous stuff!
Most Unnecessary Comment: Nigel’s “I still didn’t vote for you” following his speech about what had gotten Cyrus to the finale.
Most Incredible Comment: Nigel telling Eliana that Desmond Richardson had told him early in the season that he intended to hire her for his dance company the moment she was voted off. (Will dude make good on his promise in the post-season? I’ll be the first to buy tickets if he does.)
And now, without further ado, let’s get to the results: The Season 9 Women’s Champion is Eliana Girard. (It was always Eliana, right from her audition, wasn’t it?) And the Season 9 Men’s Champion is Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. (See Uncle Nigel, America’s Favorite Male Dancer and America’s Best Male Dancer can actually be one and the same!)
From my couch, this was the right pair to share SYTYCD‘s first dual crown. Viva the Hot Tamale Train! Viva ballet training! And viva the whole dang show — which had better get a Season 10 pickup immediatemént!
What did you think of the SYTYCD finale? What was your favorite new routine? Which was the best of the encores? Hit the comments with your thoughts!Follow @MichaelSlezakTV