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'So You Think You Can Dance': Mary Murphy talks finale

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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.

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…