New Show Recap

New Show Recap: SYTYCD Performance Finale

We’re almost to the end of another season of SYTYCD, who are you rooting for in the finale? 

I’ll be back in this very post later on tonight to live-blog the finale. I’ve never live-blogged anything before, so this should be interesting for all of us. But enough about that, we have seventeen or so dances to cover. We need to get started on that so I don’t run out of word limit before we get to the end.

Cat’s Dress.

Cat was dressed as perfection, in an adorable red, fringy dress that I covet.

The Guest Judge.

Our guest judge was Rob Marshall, film director and terrible guest judge.

Eliana and Cyrus, paso doble by Jason Gilkison.

Eliana is great, Cyrus keeps up, for the most part. This is the part in the recap in which most other recappers would wonder why Cyrus was still in the competition instead of Cole.  I’m a little bored with Cyrus’ non-stop dubstep t-shirts, because we’re about to hit dubstep saturation. I do think the choreographers all went a bit easy on him this season, but who would want to be the asshole that made such a nice guy look bad on TV?

Nigel loved Eliana, like we all do. He praised Cyrus for making it this far. Mary compared learning the paso doble with “skinny dipping with snapping turtles” for Cyrus, and told Eliana she was “on fire.”

Tiffany and All-Star Will Wingfield, contemporary by Sonya Tayeh.

Will has grown a very attractive set of dreadlocks since we saw him last. The routine is great, and showcases both Will and Tiffany’s strength. She’s a really powerful dancer in the right hands, and I think she’s and Sonya work especially well together.

Cat called it “joyful.” Mary complimented her on her extension and partnering skills, and loved the whole number. Nigel called Tiffany “the girl next door” and said she was “tremendous.”

Eliana and Chehon, classical ballet by Marat Daukeyev.

Sweet tears on my pillow, this was beautiful. There’s nothing else to say.

Tiffany and Cyrus, hip hop by Tessandra Chavez.

This was a lot like “Bleeding Love” with Mark and Chelsea, no? But without the same energy? It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it felt a little recycled. Nigel complimented both dancers on their ability to dance with emotion. He then praised Cyrus for remembering all his routines. Mary thought they both killed it.

Group Number, Broadway (?) by Tyce Diorio

As we’ve previously decided, Tyce can’t do weird. This was weird, and worse, it was boring. Each dancer got to show off their own style, and there were laser noises, but it wasn’t anything special.

Eliana – Solo

Eliana’s solo is, as expected, really great. She worked her ass off from the first moments of this show until the last, and she never stopped smiling or being mind-blowingly amazing. She’s a superstar, I hope America agrees with me. At one point during her solo, she did this cartwheel where she started and ended en pointe, and I swear I squealed like an eight-year-old girl.

Chehon and All-Star Allison Holker, contemporary by Stacy Tookey

It’s a contemporary dance about a couple who’s breaking up. We’ve seen this exact dance at least one hundred times on this show. They’re always good enough, but there’s more conflict in the world than the conflict between a hetero couple breaking up. I wish this show would push more boundaries. I know the audience skews teenage girl, but give teen girls more credit.

Mary loved it and put Chehon and Allison on the train. She got flustered talking about Stacy’s choreography and Emmy nominations for same. Then she used a Dr. King quote to describe Chehon’s dancing, which was, at best, awkward. Nigel praised everyone’s emotions again, and thought Chehon came alive.

Eliana and Tiffany, Broadway by  Ray Leeper

It was two girls, one pole, and the Chicago OST, which all added up to lots of fun. As someone who once danced on a pole, in front of nuns, in the musical adaptation of Studs Turkel’s manifesto, Working, I am pro-pole. Do you know how hard it is to do the things these ladies were doing? It is very hard. Nigel had to skeeve it all up by making pole-dancing about sexy sexytimes, instead of about incredibly athletic women who can spin parallel to the earth one-handed. Sure, the off-the-pole parts of this number were a little, shall we say, salty, but Nigel still took it too far. Mary thought it was fun, sassy and “magnificent.”  Nigel struggled to find something non-pervy to say, and failed.

Cyrus – Solo

Cyrus’ solos are hypnotizing, and if nothing else happens as a result of him being on this show, I hope animating becomes huge and Cyrus gets the credit. Like the other dancers in the final four, his solo didn’t really break any new ground. Still, lots of fun to watch. I do kind of think his music choices sound like the stuff Ross played on his keyboards.

Tiffany – Solo

I can’t say it better than the recapper at A/V Club, Oliver Sava.

Tiffany didn’t make it straight to Vegas when she auditioned, which is probably because her solos are lousy. They look like she’s always trying to grab a feather in a wind tunnel, ending with it flying out of her reach as her hands slowly come down in defeat; she never catches anything.

Tiffany comes to life when she’s paired with anyone else.

Chehon and Cyrus, jazz by Sonja Tayeh

Finally, a little boundary pushing. Sonya put the men through quite a bit to get this dance out of them, and it’s fantastic. It was very dark and engrossing, and it played to both dancers’ strengths while still challenging both of them. I really liked it, and it was my favorite of Cyrus’ dances.

Nigel called Cyrus his “favorite person on this show” and called Chehon his “favorite dancer.” He thought both men were inspirational to a generation of future dancers. Mary agreed with Nigel, and praised the men for fighting their own journeys on the show.

Guest Performance

This week was packed with contestant dances, so I was surprised to see a guest performer, but I’m very glad they squeezed him in. Jean Sok has a very unique style, you should see him for yourself.

Chehon – Solo

I could watch Chehon dance solos all day. He can do things with his body I’ve never seen other people do, and I have nothing but respect for ballet dancers. Team Chehon. This particular solo was a little on the melodramatic side, but who cares. That man can nearly fly.

Eliana and All-Star Alex Fucking Wong, contemporary by Travis Wall

I’m not sure how Eliana still had energy to do this dance after all her other numbers. Eliana is better than all of us. Eliana and Alex Fucking Wong is like Christmas every day. They can make me like yet another contemporary dance about hetero people breaking up. Like, hell, I was bawling like I was watching Beaches.  Plus, Harry Neilsson.

I want Alex and Eliana to get married and live happily ever after in a house made of dance.

Tiffany and Chehon, rumba by Dmitry Chaplin

I love a rumba, but any dance following the previous number would have to be literally the best dance ever to make me forget Eliana and Alex. Set to Norah Jones’ cover of The King’s “Love Me Tender,” this is the slowest rumba I’ve ever seen. It’s still sultry, but more in a Van Trapp children sort of way than I’d typically expect. They’re both lovely in it, and Tiffany continues to do a great job outside of her style.

Mary gave it the stamp of approval, and I’ll usually defer to her on ballroom numbers.

Cyrus and All-Star Twitch, animation by Christopher Scott

I can’t judge this, but it sure was a lot of fun. Twitch should wear a white tank top all the time, did you see that man’s shoulders? Twitch, you devil, you’re as cut as you are charming and ridiculously talented. Enough about Twitch. Except to say he was fucking fantastic in this, while making the already great Cyrus look even better. Team Twitch. I want him to win his season retro-actively for all the good he’s done for the world since he was on the show.

Okay! I’ll be back tonight to host my first ever SYTYCD live blog, I hope the eight of you that read this recap every week will be here as we find out who America’s favorite dancers ’12 are.


By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

38 replies on “New Show Recap: SYTYCD Performance Finale”

I am SO happy that Eliana and Chehon won.  I honestly wasn’t sure.  They were clearly the more talented, but Tiffany is tiny and cute and very bubbly, and Cyrus was crazy popular, so I was a little worried about how this would come down.

I thought Melanie was ridiculous last season, but Eliana was even better.  I would watch her dance anything, and I would watch her dance anything with Alex Wong ten times.

“Eliana and Alex Fucking Wong is like Christmas every day.”


I’m sooooo glad Eliana won. She was just clearly one of the best dancers the show ever had and as Nigel pointed out numerous times, she melted into every single genre thrown at her. Between her two performances with Alex (another one of my favorite dancers of all time and I’m so glad they keep bringing him back) and her getting to FINALLY do a pointe number with Cheon, and all of her other routines, seeing her dance this season was just pure joy every time. And she seems like the sweetest person… I just want to be her best friend.

Maybe to that and to the facts that a) none of the guys this season did, either, except for b) the slim chance that Cyrus’ personality would edge him out over the superior female contestants. And my “superior female contestants,” I mean Eliana. I don’t know if it’s because I was in the process of moving, so missed a couple of episodes, but none of the other girls really seemed to catch my attention as much as she did. I was nowhere near as emotionally invested this season.

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