This past fall’s season of So You Think You Can Dance was in many ways a flop. Because of the World Series there couldn’t be public voting elimination episodes until week 3, meaning that the dancers were in the hands of the judges not America. The fall season also ended with a top 6 finale because the producers didn’t want to run into the week of Christmas. SYTYCD also made a jump to the big performance stage used once last season for the finale episodes. This was a plus for the choreographers, as they now had more room to work with, but it also made the performances seem really impersonal and the flashing backgrounds were really distracting. Also, with having two seasons in one year, the winner only gets the title, “America’s Favorite Dancer” for mere months before having to share it with the next winner. Jeanine > Russell, by the way. Out of the five seasons that I watched, this season (affectionately named “Season Sick” by the cast) definitely had some of the worst choreography and least interesting dancers ever; and I have never been least satisfied with who won.
However, there were some stand out routines and a handful of 0utstanding dancers who made this season worth stomaching.
“Whatcha Say” – Jakob Karr & Ashleigh DiLello
Jakob and Ashleigh were easily my favorite pairing this season. She improved so much over the course of the season, and Jakob…well, there is a reason why he is in two of my three favorite routines from this season. He’s freaking amazing. I also felt that hip-hop choreographers Napoleon & Tabitha began to lose a bit of their mojo this season, but this routine is one of my favorite of theirs.
“Ordinary Day” – Jakob Karr & Mollee Gray
When Viennese Waltzes are done well, they are gorgeous, and this was no exception. I usually don’t like it when choreographers from the international versions guest choreograph on the show either, but Jason Gilkison, from SYTYCD-Australia, has steadily become one of my favorite ballroom choreographers. He simply does beautiful choreography. Jakob was amazing as usual, and he brought out something in Mollee, who I never really liked until then.
“2 Steps Away” – Legacy Perez & Kathryn McCormick
Another international choreographer, Stacey Tookey from SYTYCD-Canada, and another contemporary routine I love! Kathryn was my favorite girl this season and Legacy grew on me after a while. Love the song, love the choreography.
- Kathryn & Russell’s Hip-hop to I Can Transform Ya by Chris Brown
- Kathryn & Jakob’s Pas de Deux/Contemporary to At This Moment by Michael Buble
- Channing & Victor’s Contemporary to Be Be Your Love by Rachael Yamagata
This SYTYCD fan is eagerly awaiting the summer season again. I only ask three things of FOX and the SYTYCD crew:
1. Lose the big stage.
2. Please go back to having only one season a year, it makes it more special for the winner and choreographers have more time to spend on their routines.
3. Aim for Season 3/4 standards. Those seasons had some of the best choreography, dancers, and performances ever.