So You Think You Can Dance - Season 9 Finale Analysis
Sep 19 2012 11:30 pm ET
Last night, we witnessed Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Eliana Girard beat Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer and Tiffany Maher. Instead of covering all the fluff dances, here's a general analysis of the season. This season was a very weird departure from previous ones, from the fact that there were two winners to the lack of a results show. Here are some positives and negatives about this season.
The Guest Judges - Mixed - I liked having super-fans like Jessie Tyler Ferguson and Christina Applegate because they seemed like they actually watched the show. The two I don't think had the credibility but were interesting. This is counterbalanced by the talented ballet dancers Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt who had the chops to judge, but the lack of knowledge. Titch?
Scheduling - Negative - Even without the results show The Olympics really threw off the pacing of the show. It was almost a full month without the dancers and I thought that maybe it would have meant that the dancers would be sharper, instead they emerged with...
Mia Michaels Week - Negative - I understand that these dances were classic. I loved "Mercy" with Katee and "Hometown Glory," but that didn't mean I wanted to see it again. It was good dancing, but the weakest thing to come back from after The Olympics. We got the triumph of these athletes; you think that SYTYCD could have given really challenging routines with the extra-long period of learning.
Cyrus' Evolution - Positive - I was never a huge fan of Cyrus this whole season, but after the Olympics, Cyrus seemed to get a lot better. It seemed like a good choice to keep him around, the underdog that America could cheer for. The judges never had to save him so it showed a lot. I'm actually happy that he lost because while he grew, he still didn't reach the level of Chehon or Cole.
The "Bang Bang" routine - Extremely Positive - There weren't a whole ton of standout routines this season, but I thought that the pairing of Eliana and Alex was amazing, her win I'm sure attributed by the power of her with Alex (their "Without You" routine was also amazing). The two of them were awesome and it showed the power of dance with emotions.
Eliminating the Contemporary Dancers - Positive - I always thought that Contemporary dancers had too much of a hold on this show, but the fact that the production/judges decided to look for "different" and "unique" dancers gave the show some fresh air. It was a small problem with group dances as not everyone had the same training, but I liked that the choreographers were pushed. Having belly dancer Janelle, martial-artist Cole, animator Cyrus, three ballet and three Latin/Ballroom dancers really helped.
The rotating All-Star pool - Mixed - The show has never been outright pro/con on the gay contestants, but the fact that they allowed Benji to come back (after he came out) meant that they were open to any of their dancers. The problem I have is that Twitch isn't the only hip-hop dancer that was good. Consider the fact that he lost to Joshua. I'd also vote for Dominic (season three), considering his America's Best Dance Crew experience. Hopefully next season, with both Lindsay and Witney, we'll see a little less Anya and the "she's too mature for you" critiques.
The lack of NappyTabs – Positive – Having Tabitha out of commission because of her pregnancy may have breathed some new life into the hip-hop field. I love Chris Scott’s choreography and seeing more of him was worth it. Even better was Luther Brown’s East coast Hip-hop routine where Witney proved she could be buck. Even Tessandra Chavez was a great choreographer to tap for some Lyrical Hip-hop. I hope that the hip-hop choreographer pool stays this diverse next season.
The Dark Horses - Positive - Tiffany proved that with good dancing, underexposure in the beginning didn't matter. She fought each week to be seen. Similarly, while Chehon was seen as a great dancer, he lacked emotion. I fully expected that the final two guys would have been Cyrus and Cole because the two had true charisma when they danced.
Two winners - Mixed - I'd love to see Chehon and Eliana duke it out for America's vote. I think Eliana captured America's attention a lot sooner than Chehon. It's nice to see both be appreciated, but if the two winner concept was placed sooner, dancers like Marko, Kathryn, or Katee would have been celebrated.
Congratulations to Eliana and Chehon, they deserved it.
Michael Pascua - TVLatest.com
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