Mary Murphy on 'SYTYCD': An uneven finale, a fabulous season

mary-murphy

Image Credit: Sergio M. Fernandez

Nigel not happy with the finale, drops jaws of all the judges!

Yes, last night was a roller coaster ride with some great highlights and perhaps the lowest low I’ve seen on the show in a long time. What initially put some of us into a finale funk was the disco that started the show. It felt flat, labored, and even though it was danced by two of the most solid performers, Marko and Melanie, they were not able to connect to the style. My heart slightly dropped for both of them.

Fortunately, Sonya Tayeh’s jazz piece starring Sasha and Mark Kanemura brought us straight back up. This piece had all the dynamics and passion that we have come to know in our finales.

The low point of the night was the cha-cha by first-time choreographer, Mark Ballas. Tadd and Sasha were unable to connect with the style, the leg and hip action, and even the body posture that is required for this fun and cheeky dance. The misconnections and enclosed body position left me disappointed. Luckily they both came back to redeem themselves later in the show.

Another highlight was Tessandra Chavez’s number for Marko and last year’s champion, Lauren Froderman. The choreography was beautifully orchestrated and Marko produced another memorable moment.

Now onto the grand finale. With seven judges on the panel tonight, it just felt like a party was happening up there. And before we knew it, the lights lowered and Tadd was taken off the show. It snapped us all back into the reality that we were here to crown a champion. Next to go off was Marko.

SYTYCD-Moore_320.jpg

Image Credit: Adam Rose/FOX

I don’t really think anyone was surprised that the two girls were left standing. Both have been magnificent this entire season. We all felt from the beginning that Melanie was certainly a front runner, and that is always the most difficult position to be in. I believe it was the first time that a frontrunner has won on SYTYCD. Not only was she an amazing technician, but she had that It factor. She certainly will represent SYTYCD well around the world, and be recognized as one of the most respected dancers.

We rarely get the opportunity to voice which routines were our true favorites, so I asked each one of the judges for their two favorite routines of season 8. Nigel… the Mad Max opening routine from tonight, and Twitch and Sasha’s Christopher Scott breakfast routine. Jesse… the wall dance starring Sasha and Kent, choreography by Tyce, and the 10 guys with the door routine by Christopher Scott. Lil “C”… Tadd and Lauren’s “Another One Bites the Dust” by Mandy Moore, and Caitlynn and Marko’s “Heavy in Your Arms” number by Sonya. Robin…  the Matrix piece and “Another One Bites the Dust.” Tyce… top-twenty number in the beginning of the season by Sonja, the XR2 number, and the tap number from tonight’s finale. As for me, this is the first time in all eight seasons that the three numbers I picked tonight were truly my favorites.

Hmm, I can’t believe its all over.

Now off to finish the Canadian SYTYCD in the morning. And I’m sure we will be starting auditions for season 9 soon.

Stepping off til next season
Mary Murphy

Read more:
‘SYTYCD’ finale recap: The Complete Package
Has anyone EVER liked a disco performance on ‘SYTYCD’?
Melanie LaPatin: And the winner SHOULD BE…

Comments (248 total) Add your comment
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  • NayNay

    Mary, I am glad that Melanie won, but the season would have been 1000 times better if you and the rest of the judges did not have a preconceived winner in your head and try to push that on the audience for the whole season. I know you are human and will have your own favorites, but you should be unbiased when speaking about the contestants and only give critiques on the dancing. And please make them honest critiques, if it sucks, says it sucks. We can tell when y’all are being disingenuous. Do better next season, mkay?

    • D

      Absolutely agree with this.

    • Marsha

      Totally agree!! The judging this season was so biased it was sickening. I stopped watching because I got tired of the “Melanie Show”‘!

      • Carol Lee

        I have to disagree with the comments that it was the ” Melanie Show” – It was clear that the judges were in favor of Sasha. it wsa stated that she was the front runner who could take the entire competition and was the only one who danced with her soul. Sasha was not challenged either- all of her routines were based on a love/hate relationship most likely based upon the fact that she did not have a rapport with her partners. Sasha was not even challenged during her paso doble – because she did not get a traditional Paso Doble. I got tired of hearing that she out danced her partners, but you never heard that she outdanced Melanie. Sasha is a good dancer, and with some more master classes could be a great dancer- but she is going to have to get used to dancing with a diverse group of people- and look like she enjoys dancing with them. In this field , you aren’t lucky enough to get your ideal partner all of the time, and you have to work with what you are dealt. I believe that she will have a successful career. just my two cents

      • larryh

        I believe the judges are entitled to a little “nudging” towards who they believe is technically best. However, I do believe that Nigel took that way too far this season. I can understand how someone can get frustrated with that, but to stop watching the “Melanie” show….are you crazy? I think she and Sasha are two wonderfully moving performers

      • siky

        i so agree. it was so biased that i won’t be watching the next season. i was really turned off when Kenny Ortega and Kat took time to promote Melanie for the “Dirty Dancing” remake. between that, and Nigel’s continuous comments about Sasha being his favorite, then ending up saying Melanie is once again his favorite, i was totally turned off. i can’t even believe the judges played those games. I still believe Sasha was the better dancer, and even though she didn’t win, she’ll still go far. she has class!

      • Squishmar

        silky… did you enjoy watching Sasha dance? Did she move you? Then why on earth wouldn’t you watch next year? Forget about the competition part of the show. I mean really, who cares? *WE* don’t get the money. Watch it for the love of Dance and what that does for you. You would never have seen Sasha (and any other dancer that you liked) had you not been watching. Let that be enough. Forget about the judges and any manipulation you feel is on the show… and watch great dancers dance! :D

    • JHF

      I totally disagree with this! The judges are SUPPOSED to be giving their opinions about the contestants, and doing that does NOT constitute “bias” or pushing a “preconceived winner” on us. The fact that Melanie and Sasha received almost 80% of the final votes tells me that the public was largely seeing things the same way the judges were this season, not that we’re all mindless followers who can’t decide for ourselves who our favorites are! Melanie, Tadd, Marko and Sasha got largely great feedback because, in their own ways, they were…GREAT!

      • Laura K.

        Still, despite Mary’s comments here, Nigel was the ONLY one on the panel to say anything negative about the disco number at the time. That is either an unwillingness to critique the dancers on the finale at all, or an unwillingness to critique Melanie in particular. Either way, it smacks of manipulation.

      • Rosemary

        Totally AGREE. Nigel should say NOTHING at the 12th hour when it is time for audience to state their
        choice. I loved both SASHA and MARKO. Entertainment was brilliant! Thanks to ALL!

    • D.C.

      I agree that it was already set. You could even see it in the lack of surprise in the contestants. Everyone knew who had been chosen to win we just had to watch for it to play out. Next season, I hope that the decision is left to the votes and the votes are done live on the screen with technology so we can see the real deal.

      • Squishmar

        If Melanie was “chosen to win” it was by the viewers… not the judges. They hyped Sasha just as much but they obviously saw what almost 50% of the voters saw. It’s not the other way around. America wasn’t persuaded by the judges. Melanie’s dancing persuaded both the judges AND America.

    • Babs

      I very much agree! It influences the audiences with comments like “She is my favorite”, or “I’m sure one of the girls will win “, etc.

    • Yvonne

      I agree that the judges critique should be given to improve the dancer, not to humiliate them. Some of Nigel’s comments this year were uncalled for. His comments of your my favorite, now your my favorite got on my nerves. I also believe that more dancing style should be added to the program, to much contemporary. Other styles preferable latin, will stretch the dances more.

    • samantha

      Yes I totally agree I think the judges should be unbiased towards the contestants throughout the season. I think that people should vote for the dancers that they like best without the influence of who the judges favor. It is unfair when the judges tell them that they will not win because of their preferences because you just never know.

      • Squishmar

        If viewers are swayed by what the judges say at all, just as often there is a backlash to go AGAINST the judges’ favourite. Or to vote for someone who was particularly “picked on” by the judges. I think with this show, the viewers are a lot more discerning and truly vote for who they believe danced the best or who they connected with through their dancing. Especially this year… if it had been a personality contest or cutest guy contest, Tadd would have won. It wasn’t even close… and I don’t believe what the judges said or didn’t say had anything to do with Melanie’s victory. The viewers saw something special in her from her audition and it just grew from there.

    • Sonya

      I would like to see the Judges judge fairly on the choreographers……if the routine was bad because of the choreographers then blame them not the dancers. I was really upset when they brought back disco for the finale. It went out in the 70’s for a reason! Luckily all dancers got choreography that wasn’t great.

  • NayNay

    Oh, and I almost forgot……..we need much much better choreography next season. That is all.

    • D

      More variety, to be specific.

      • Melinda

        More Travis Wall & bring back Mia! I’d also love to see Travis dance as well as choreograph.

      • Miranda

        The return of Wade and Mia, to be even more specific. I was watching the Season 6 rehash on Ovation and I almost fainted with excitement at the sight of Wade going through the Van Gogh choreography in the rehearsal clip. I find that I could care less who is on the judges panel- the choreographers are the stars and this show suffers without Wade and Mia. Offer them whatever they want, Nigel. Beg them to come back.

      • Jaxx

        Yes, we so need Mia back as well as Wade and let Travis do even more. I miss Mia on the panel, she was always amazing both as a judge and in choreographing.

      • Squishmar

        I miss Mia too. But I would say don’t rely so much on such a small pool of choreographers. Maybe don’t let them create more than one dance per week (although I would allow for a group number and a duet by the same person). I think ALL of the choreographers were stretched way too thin this season and the dances started to suffer and be repetitive. So, have more diverse styles for everybody next year and have a larger pool of choreographers throughout the season.

  • s-k-s

    (1) Better and more diverse choreography and dancers, please. And don’t kick off the few who aren’t contemporary in the first weeks. I think the Nick and Iveta elimination really ruined the rest of the season. Especially in favor of dancers (ahem, Ryan) who were clearly never going to get anywhere without extensive judge manipulation.

    (2) Melanie is a beautiful dancer and seems like a very sweet girl (and all of the Top 4 seem like great people). But has there ever been a winner less challenged over the course of a season? The few times she was taken out of her comfort zone, she absolutely tanked. But the viewers only got to see that in the last two weeks, and the rest of the time were given endless variations of the same style (calling it a “waltz” and “lyrical hip hop” didn’t fool anyone).

    • JimmyH

      s-k-s wrote: re: Melanie “The few times she was taken out of her comfort zone, she absolutely tanked.”

      Tanked?? C’mon. She was one of the most versatile dancers on the show. The only “bad” routine was the disco, and I blame that more on terrible choreography and an awful song than on the dancers.

      • BoBo

        How in the world could she be one of the most versatile dancers, when she was very seldom taken out of her genre.

      • D

        The tango was NOT GOOD.

      • Robin

        I completely agree about the choreography and song choice of that gosh-awful disco routine. That song may be the least dance-able disco tune EVER and it’s not all that great to listen to either! I would be willing to bet that a better song would have made a world of difference.

    • Nee Nee

      I agree with you, Melanie was not good at anything other than her own genre and genres similar to her own. Epic fail at hip hop and ballroom. I know people seemed to like her hip hop with Marko, but it didn’t look like a hip hop routine to me. She’s fantastic at her own thing, though. I think that the more versatile dancers were kicked off in the beginning.

      • Aunt Sassy

        Sorry, but her Tango was anything BUT an EPIC fail – and if you think it was then you need your eyes checked and I seriously question your level of taste.

      • alan of montreal

        her lyrical hip hop with Marko was good–but then again, it was lyrical.

      • violaswan

        Melanie’s tango was OK, Red Riding hood was awkward…would have liked to see her in a faster latin style (cha-cha or samba). Caitlyn was much better in ballroom, latin, and hip-hop than Melanie.

    • Anne

      S-K-S is right. After Nick and Iveta were eliminated in favor of unmemorable, unpopular contemporary dancers Ryan and Ricky – in a double elimination that should never have had to happen in the first place – the season went completely downhill. It was no longer “So You Think You Can Dance”. It became, “So You Think Contemporary Dancers Can Dance… Contemporary”. And with the way that almost all the contemporary dancers were pushed into the Top 10 by the judges at the expense of the dancers from other styles, it became abundantly clear that this show was no longer about picking AMERICA’s favorite dancer, but about the JUDGES pushing THEIR favorite dancers all the way to the top. The judges even decided 3 of the eliminations in the Top 10, something they never did in previous Top 20 seasons! I’m sorry, but this chicanery, mixed with the redundant, uninspired choreography this season, has made me say goodbye to this show for good.

      • D

        Well, I agree, but I am hoping that Nigel will heed the comments.

      • Marsha

        I completely agree Anne! Couldn’t have said it any better!!

      • MC

        Anne- Good comments, and of course very true. One of the reasons I loved season 7 was having Mia on the panel. She is the toughest judge they have, and is always blunt and honest. She doesn’t come across as someone who is just a cheerleader for the show (nervously checking the overnight ratings like Nigel), but someone whose first priority is dance. Mia’s refusal to BS dancers (and people in general) was greatly missed this season. Oh, by the way, she’s an excellent choreographer too.

    • Astralgirl01

      Uh yes, she tanked disco and hip-hop… Melanie was never challenged, and I am bummed that SYTYCD really picked the most obvious choice. I think that Sasha or Marko were much more interesting dancers, and were challenged more than Melanie.

      Disappointed in the show this season.

      • shortperson13

        i personally believe that Tadd should’ve won. coming from a background of having absolutely NO professional training, and coming onto the show and being able to adapt to almost EVERY genre given to him, is amazing. the judges said from the beginning that Tadd had been able to pick up EVERYTHING, seeing as he was always out of his genre. i agree with you that Melanie was never challenge, but i believe that Sasha was also never challenged. hopefully, SYTYCD will go back to the way it was, with more diverse dancers and less judge bias. when Nigel told Tadd and Marko in the finale that he stuck with his opinion that the girls were going to win, i wanted to go and kick him.

      • Vincent

        Shortperson, you’re a hoot. Here’s a tip: nobody who makes it to the top 20 comes into it with no professional training. That’s a storyline they like to do every year, the dancer with little training. It’s always bogus if you do the research.

      • violaswan

        I agree with shortperson…although vincent is probably correct saying that all top 20 have training in various styles, the LEVEL of training differs.

    • Lena

      A quick look on Wikipedia for a rundown of dances performed over all 8 seasons shows that there actually hasn’t been a dancer less challenged than Melanie – at least in the Top 10 (I didn’t delve any further than that).

      More than half of Melanie’s routines were repeated styles. Compare that to Jeanine Mason, who only had about 20% repeated styles, or Joshua, with only 10%. Ashle Dawson, a finalist from season 1, went through the entire season without repeating a style.

      Melanie was definitely coddled. To an extent, so were Sasha and Marko, but Melanie’s preferential treatment seemed the most egregious.

      • violaswan

        Marko did have a lot of jazz and contemporary, but he and Ricky fared the best (out of the male contemporary dancers) in other styles, especially smooth/latin ballroom & hip-hop.

      • Squishmar

        But was there a season with this many contemporary/jazz dances overall regardless of who danced them? No. There was less variety for *everyone*.

    • clara

      Do you call the Little Red Riding Hood number with Twitch tanking?
      And one of the top 4 was a b-boy, who was spectacular.

    • Ruth

      totally agree with s-k-s on having favorites.. especially in the case of Ryan. It was distracting to see other good dancers let go b/c of her.

  • Pam

    Mary, please encourage Nigel to stop the disco. It’s not relevant, and it rarely works. A satisfying ending to a great season; I would have been happy with any of the top 4 as a winner!

    • Meg

      And bring Wade back!

      • kt

        THIS! And Mia too!

      • Megan

        And Maria Torres (hustle)! And Carla Heiney (lindy hop)! And bring in BLUES DANCING (Campbell Miller and Chris Mayer)!

      • alan of montreal

        it’d be nice to see some swing dancing, too

      • Valley Girl

        Yes, please bring Wade back – he was sorely missed!

    • MC

      It hasn’t worked to try styles that are not traditionally taught to any dancers. If the producers want to add genres, do it as an exhibition, not as a competitive performance. This season had two unknown styles, the boot-slapping (sorry, I don’t remember the name) and whacking, and neither was familiar enough to the audience to know whether it was done right or not, and both were panned by the judges. And it’s past time to eliminate disco as a competitive dance, although it would be fun to have, again, just an exhibition. Also, it would be great to see past competitors update us on what they’ve been doing instead of some of the useless filler that’s on now..

    • js

      I thought too that Melanie seemed to get too many routines in the same genre. That said, she won me over by the end. the girl could do more than just dance, she always brought the emotion of the dance to her face. Many dancers just dance, but don’t match the emotion completely. Also please give us more Travis, Mia, Wade. less Sonja-her routines got old really fast. too weird. Not enough ballroom this season-swing, latin dancing, etc. Way too much Sonja, and half the time the dancers who pulled her routines payed for it-Nigel would criticize as too weird-not the dancers fault!

    • Joyce

      Sorry, but I happen to love the Disco era, so I’d hate to see Disco eliminated from the competition. However, this season’s Disco number included more lifts than actual dancing. How many lifts do you need in one number? I agree with everyone as far as Wade Robson….bring him back immediately and at whatever cost!!

  • Tycetheoreo’s Bangs

    Not only better choreography, but a wider selection of choreographers. Or we could just start calling it So You Think You Can Dance Sonya Tayeh! (I love her stuff…but she was overused this season)

    • Sam Pagano

      I am a fan of Sonya Tayeh but she was overused. I was however cringing when she was called weird over and over. I’m a 60’s girl and the weirdest fashion, music and dance has sculpted what is mainstream and inspirational now. I missed sweet Mia and wanted more Tabetha and Napoleon!

  • w

    Mary, You didn’t even mention the best number of the night – the tap routine, which the guys choreographed themselves! So wonderful to see a happy number that wasn’t a “story” about abuse, couples, breaking up, just great dancing!

    • mmm

      lol… yes, it seems awful angsty on SYTYCD, sometimes, doesn’t it?

      • Linda

        I totally agree with the angsty comment. Dances that are joyous and whimsical are just as good as the sorrowful ones. Dancing can be fun and wonderful, too.

    • D

      She DID mention it as one of Tyce’s favorite routines of the entire season.

      • Miranda

        It should have been every judges’s favorite. It was clearly the best danced piece of the season!

    • dona

      Of course not Mary, you or Nigel never got enthusiastic over Jess before why start now? And for the life of me I cant figure out why he is clearly an amazing dancer. All of these 3 guys were amazing and choreographed this tap routine by themselves. Wow, Wow, Wow (as you would say)

      • Miranda

        Yes, that is truly baffling. I think it has to do with the backstage connections. The ones who come from studios that aren’t part of the inner circle always have an uphill battle earning respect.

      • MC

        Jess was my favorite.. he truly can dance any style!

    • Louise

      Loved the Tap Routine too – Just Wonderful

    • Lee

      I have to agree that the tap routine was the best performance of the night. they should take this act straight to Broadway!

    • shortperson13

      i loveeed watching Nick. he made me fall in love with tapping all over again, because he had a more raw and street style as opposed to the theatrical style. i just loved him! and the tap routine was amazing!

  • yake

    happy that they are friends~~~My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a celebrity !they met via-milcupid.ČoM- ..it is the largest and best club for celebrity and their admirers to chat online. …You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet your true love , It’s worthy a try!

    • PaulaO

      What are you talking about? No one but you knows!

  • hephastia

    I agree that the judges should quit shoving their favorites at us. First Ryan, then Jordan, then the endless pimping of Melanie. Is this supposed to be America’s choice or the judges? If this is supposed to be the search for America’s favorite dancer, then the judges should butt out much sooner on eliminations and keep their biases to themselves.

    • Jan

      Disagree. The judges know more about dance than most of the audience. I appreciate their decisions for the most part. I don’t like talent shows in which the whole event devolves into who’s the CUTEST or most charming.

      • Lena

        I would agree with you if the judges were even-handed and honest with their critiques, but, sadly, they are not.

      • Miranda

        Do you really think they were all over Tadd for his dancing? It’s about casting a show. Or that Jess’s looks weren’t the reason the judges flat out refused to gush over his superior dance skills?

    • Larry

      There is no doubt that Melanie is a teriffic dancer. Two professional show runners stated on the program that they would hire her tomorrow, and I don’t think that was hyperbole. I agree that she needed to be challenged more, and the show needs to expand the range of dance styles.

  • Noname

    Mary since everyone is on the subject choreographers maybe you should think about bring Tessandra Chavez back next year. Her routine was beautiful, and by far the best of the night!

    • Rose

      I agree. Actually one of the best of the season.

  • TV_Pete

    The finale only had one really good dance for me and that was Marko with Lauren. Why not have Kathryn back to dance more? Could Travis Wall choreograph for the next finale (one for each couple)?

    I don’t think we could ever expect a season to be as good as Joshua’s season (Joshua, Katee, tWitch, Chelsea, Mark, and even Comfort). However, the season could have still been better:

    1) Better choreography. Bollywood has gotten stale for couples, but is AWESOME for group numbers. Disco and Bollywood seems like a kiss of death (as is Tyce, especially for his Broadway).

    2) Force variety upon the dancers. Caitlynn would never be one of two best, but she danced 2 or 3 Hip Hop and 3 or more Ballroom, while most of Melanie’s dances were contemporary or similar (jazz) or soft Ballroom.

    3) Judge and critique. There is always some way to grow and do better. Sasha could not connect with a soft, vulnerable side with the closest being her dance with tWitch. Melanie could not hit hard. Tadd couldn’t dance anywhere near as the others (always getting “really great for a B-Boy” rather than “great for a B-Boy, but still not as strong in this style as Marko or Jess”). Tadd spent group numbers and most dances not dancing so much as emoting and swinging and doing some tricks.

    4) Keep a little more variety and praise them for their strengths while pointing out weaknesses of contemporary/street favorites. Judges or most public may not like tap as much as street dancing or Broadway. However, Nick was my favorite in most group numbers and the tap dancing in the finale was the best number of the night. Jess was a far better dancer than Tadd and should have been in the finale.

    • TV_Pete

      By one good dance, I meant a couple dance. Marko’s solo and Melanie’s solo were both good.

    • D

      Travis was going to choreo and dance in the finale, but then filming on a movie started so he couldn’t do it.

  • mmm

    I like exploring more unfamiliar (to the US, anyhow) dance styles like Gum Boot or the Russian dance from past seasons. But to put it so close to the finale when so much is on the line is unfair. I also think it may be unfair to make it a couples sort of dance. Work in these sorts of dances with group numbers when it seems more ‘exhibition’ than ‘competition’.

    That said, I could do with more variety than we had this season. And a lot of the choreography (even from some of my favorite choreographers) left me feeling flat. Perhaps you need to broaden your search for choreographers or address issues behind the scenes that keep the choreographers from being as successful as I felt they’ve been in past years.

    All said, this is still one of my favorite shows and when last night started with a flash back from the beginning of the season of Cat saying, “This is So You Think You Can Dance”… and I realized it would soon be over… I got a little choked up.

    • Pam

      Well stated!

  • BoBo

    Clearly Sasha is the better dancer. She and other dancers were stretched to the limit in all genres of dance. Melanie was kept safe. Even the dancers that got eliminated much to soon, worked harder than Melanie. I am not saying that Melanie is not a talented dancer, but Sasha was clearly a better dancer.

    I watched carefully as Melanie and Sasha did their dance routine last night. Sasha out danced Melanie. The voting is all about who people like and not about who is the most talented.. I am comforted in knowing that 9 times out of 10 the runner-ups go on to have more successful careers than the winners. It’s been proven time and time again.

    • Gaby

      You clearly are not a dancer or know anything about technique. If you did, you would never say sasha is a better dancer. She was a good dancer but her technique for that level of dancing was pathetic.

      • Here & There

        Gaby, you’re right and the BoBo head is wrong. Sasha was so limited and restricted to her masculine dancing. Sasha’s ballroom was not graceful. Her quick step lacked the leg and footwork that style demands. She couldn’t dance a paso doble so the choreographer changed the entire dance to have 2 matadors…that’s 2 male dancers, but one was Sasha.

      • Kathy

        I am not a dancer or know anything about technique. I am an audience member. I only know how I am drawn in and mesmarized from beginning to end with emotion. Then brought back to reality and think Wow. This is Sasha!

      • Ming Ming

        I am a dancer. In dance, technique supports the interpretation of art. I’ve known many an exquisite technical dancer…. If you lack the emotion and passion … technique is only technique. What you get is “flat” technically executed dance. If you’re hung up on technique as being superior, well then that’s your preference. But for most people who are not dancers, artistry, passion and emotion are what matter most. I adored both Sasha and Mel but felt more passion from Sasha. She drew me in and I felt her performances straight down to the core.

      • Squishmar

        Yes, Ming Ming… but only when *Sasha* felt them down to *her* core. Otherwise, she couldn’t become the character and transcend a dance or partner she didn’t relate to. Melanie was always, 100% in character–in the moment–a true dancer AND actress with the technique to back it up. I agree… when Sasha was on, she was on. But she was far from consistent. And I’m talking about her emotion… they were both great dancers.

  • D

    Ok, I am forgetting which numbers that Mary picked last night, but do you realize among ALL of the others (Nigel, Tyce, Jesse, LilC, Robyn) that Melanie was not featured in a SINGLE one of their favorite dances of the season? She really did not leave an impression on me either.

    • D

      When I say featured I am not counting the group numbers she was a part of with like 18 other people.

      • HeyEugene

        Two of Mary’s were Melanie and Marko (“turn to stone”) and Melanie and Neil (“Total Eclipse”). Nigel chose a Melanie and Sasha routine, “Game On”. Wow, you really weren’t paying attention when it came to Melanie, were you! Well, that’s why the winner is “America’s favorite dancer”, not D’s favorite dancer. (and just to be clear, my favorite was Sasha, because she dances with her entire being; but Melanie is clearly better technically)

      • Squishmar

        Yeah, you also forgot the Melanie/Marko lyrical hip-hop. Wow, D… you’re really off with that!

    • Astralgirl01

      Thank you, D. Well noted!

      • Squishmar

        But completely incorrect. See above.

    • Herr Direktor

      The judges’ “favorites” are more or less picked for them to make up what the producers want the finale show to be.

      • Squishmar

        Which Mary acknowledged by saying that *this* year she actually got to pick her true favourites for the finale.

    • shortperson13

      i wished that the finale included more dances with the eliminated dancers. i saw way too much Marko, Melanie, and Sasha. i wanted to see Jordan, Caitlynn, Wadi, Nick, Jess, and so forth return to the stage, i loved them all and wished i could’ve seen them dance again.

  • Tanya

    Did anyone else notice that almost all the “favorite” routines featured the final 4? Besides the group numbers, only the woodpeckers, jailhouse, and argentine tango did not feature finalists. So were the final 4 that good, or just given the top notch choreography and partners?

    • alan of montreal

      probably a bit of both. None of them featured Tadd, either–I thought they’d show the one he did with Jordan about the vulture.

      • alan of montreal

        and can you imagine how exhausted the final four must have been for the show the night before after having to rehearse not only 5 routines, but also the “favourite” routines for the finale? No wonder it looked like Marko was about to collapse during the gumboot routine.

      • alan of montreal

        Oops, forgot about Tadd’s number with Lauren. My bad.

      • Squishmar

        The vulture routine absolutely should have been there. It would have been great to see Tadd and Jordan together again. And it was a great, memorable dance.

    • Herr Direktor

      Not a surprise really. The judges’ “favorites” are more or less picked for them to make up what the producers want the finale show to be.

    • Lena

      That actually really ticked me off. Would it have killed them to acknowledge the achievements of the rest of the Top 10? I would loved to have seen Jordan and Tadd’s vulture routine, or Jess and Clarice’s foxtrot. Ricky had some really good routines, as did Mitchell.

      Oh well, that stellar tap routine almost made up for an otherwise boring and predictable finale. THAT routine is one I’ll keep for rewatching.

      • Leanne S

        First of all, when this show first started, there was more of a balance of all popular dance genres. Now it seems there is much more hiphop and contempory than ballroom.

        So glad Mary was back this season as a judge and Mia was gone. After last year when Mia said that incredibly cruel and humiliating comment to one of the dancers – that was it for me!

        Let’s have less of the celebrity judges and more judges who know what they are actually talking about!

      • Squishmar

        Mia would be one who does actually know what she’s talking about. People criticize the judges for being too soft but what? Just to an extent? They also can’t be TOO honest? I pesonally love Mia as a choreographer and a judge. Although I would prefer to have her choreograph than judge if it had to be just one.

  • LAR

    I find it ridiculous that by the finale some of these dancers “couldn’t connect to the styles” and it’s still labeled as one of the best seasons yet! Maybe its because these dancers were given jazz and contemporary routines week after week! Switch up syles and choreographers like the show has done in past seasons and maybe we would have seen these dancers grow like those in the past have!

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