The excitement was on the dance floor, in the air, and backstage last night as ‘So You Think You Can Dance‘s three finalists – Kent, Lauren, and Robert – that’s my final order and I’m sticking to it! – delivered some of their best performances yet.
Though I think Kent has the little girl vote in the bag and I still pick him as the winner, if I had to choose a winner based on tonight’s performances alone, my vote would have to go to the lone lady standing, Miss Lauren, who not only floored me with her Cha Cha but earned the best praise of the evening, which was from the mouth of Adam Shankman: “You dance as effortlessly as most people breathe. You are unbelievable.”
Lauren was still feeling her unbelievable post-show high as her first words to us on the press line were, “Oh my Gosh. You don’t even know. [I'm] So happy! Woo!! I’m excited.”
What she’s most excited about is tonight’s finale. “We get to do routines we’ve done throughout the season, and I think that’s really awesome, and we don’t have to worry about being judged, or blah blah blah critiques,” she said, quickly realizing that “blah blah blah” might come off as rude, rude, rude, she added, “I mean that in a good way. I’m sorry. I’m just crazy right now. I’m so excited I can’t even think.”
Apology accepted. Let’s hope the judges don’t read this!
Kent, the longtime frontrunner since Alex Wong’s been out of the race, was a bit more subdued backstage. When asked about Adam’s comment that tonight he became an artist during the contemporary dance with Allison, he humbly said, “It’s awesome. I had to be an artist; there wasn’t any more dances after this so…I think it’s always been there. I think I needed the piece and the piece really showcases it.” Kudos to Stacey Tookey for the great choreography on that one.
As for that personal moment Kent had that nearly brought him to tears during the judging, he kept tight-lighted. “No. Um. No. I’m sorry,” he said when asked to explain. Oh well. I tried.
Robert, the dark horse and the one most think will come in third, admitted to a mild case of nerves. “There’s always nerves, I think. I tried to keep my cool, but I really just thought to myself, let’s just dance. I just want to dance and let go and not worry about what people are going to say because this is it. This is all you get. This is the last one. I just wanted to go out there and dance my butt off. I literally danced my butt off. My pants ripped!”
Yes, saw that, Robert.
Even though it was clearly Lauren’s night and he’s been calling Kent as the winner for weeks, executive producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe said this of what might come for the finale: “This is anybody’s night to win tonight and I think all three of you deserve it.”
Who did Adam compare to the Energizer bunny? What the heck is a Malevos Fight? Find out below…
See The Final Three Announcement:
Kent and Lauren G.: Bollywood, Nakul Dev Mahajan
Finally, Kent is told to “bring on the faces.” Choreographer Nakul gave him full permission and he ran with it. That open mouth! Those wide eyes! It totally worked for the campy Bollywood routine. “Great dancing. It was absolutely terrific,” said Nigel. “I think it was the perfect tailored Bollywood piece for you,” said Mia. Adam, too, loved it. “I think the Energizer bunny should just retire.”
Lauren and tWitch: Hip Hop, Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo
For a split second we forgot Lauren is a cutesy girlie girl, and we saw her as a tough, strong, badass. The judges dug it as well. “You danced that so strongly,” said Nigel. “You do everything. You have not really had one bad performance,” said Mia. “You make me proud to be sitting in this chair. You’re the best,” added Adam. “You are one of my favorite girls the show’s ever had.”
Robert and Mark: Jazz, Tyce Diorio
From the first note of Devo’s “Whip It,” I was entranced. First, Robert and Mark look like hot H&M twin models together. (Blue Steel anyone?) Second, this was a cool, hip, hot dance and perfect for two men to do. “It was remarkable,” said Nigel. “I love the look. I love the aesthetic,” said Mia. “You danced way as well as he did, buddy,” said Adam, who loved that he “danced like you’re not competing.”
Robert and Lauren: Contemporary, Dee Caspary
Once I got past the pink granny panties and the silly pillow, I was able to see two beautiful dancers dance gracefully. Nigel said the one word that sums them both up is “strength.” He added, “I thought that was very beautiful from the pair of you.” Mia called it “the most delicious performance” from Robert all season, and called Lauren’s end of it “perfection.”
Lauren and Kent: Jazz, Mandy Moore
Cute, corny, geeky and another chance for Kent to “face off” in an appropriate way. While it was fun to watch, the judges were not loving it. “I don’t think there was enough real dancing to get a hold of,” complained Nigel. “Let’s just chalk this up to fun! Fun!” said Mia, who enjoyed the quirkiness and nerdiness (to Huey Lewis’ “Hip To Be Square”). But did she like it? Nope.
Kent and Allison: Contemporary, Stacey Tookey
Kent can do no wrong, but it’s easy to do all right when you have an allstar dancer like Allison as your partner. To me, she is perfection. Mia loved that he was so invested especially when she caught that he, staying in the character of a fighting couple, said “get off of me” at the end of the piece. Kent was nearly in tears. “What is going on with you right now?,” asked Adam. “Um. It’s just personal. You just get so invested with the movement and the story that the steps don’t even matter,” he said. “Kent! You just became an artist,” interjected Adam. “I am so proud of you. You just went so far past this show. You don’t need this show. You just became an artist, my friend…It’s like a breakthrough in therapy.”
Robert and Kathryn: Broadway, Spencer Liff
So hot, he split his pants! Nigel is right: Robert gets better every week. But is it enough to take the win tomorrow? I still think not. Judging by tonight, though, he has more of a shot than ever before. “You danced that very, very well,” said Nigel. “You just get better every week.” Mia called it a “love fest.”
Lauren and Pasha: Cha Cha, Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Man, can she shake her booty. This is the dance that might have landed Miss Lauren the big win. Nigel called it a “fantastic” routine. “It looked to me that it was damn near perfect…You’re probably the best contemporary girl we’ve ever had do a ballroom routine,” he said. Mia called her “sexy, powerful, emotional and vulnerable.” Adam said, “If music were turned into a person, it would be you.” Uh, okay…
Kent and Robert: Malevos Fight, Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Sorry, boys, but that wasn’t exactly a very manly fight. It was supposed to be tough, fierce, and aggressive. It was none of that. What is Malevos? Nigel explained that it’s what the men do to practice their tango before they go with women. “I love the feel of this piece,” said Mia. “There was a debonair quality about it, yet there was a hood feel about it too.” Adam agreed with Mia.
You know what to do. Rank the final three. Who’s going home first? Who’s coming in second? First? Hit the comments.