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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Low Stepping?

Was the final performance show choreographed to make one person rise above the rest? Gee, Nigel, Joshua didn’t need the lift

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Joshua Allen

So You Think You Can Dance

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Nigel Lythgoe, Cat Deeley, Mary Murphy
Current Status:
In Season

I went into last night’s final So You Think You Can Dance performance show thinking it was Joshua’s to lose, and I came out pretty much feeling the same way. Judge Mandy Moore said it best in her final comments of the night: This former football player from Fort Worth, Tex., may be listed as a freestyling popper, but he really is an ”everything” dancer, able to somehow adapt himself to every style thrown at him. By that standard, of course, Katee’s also an ”everything” dancer, but since she’s had formal training, I guess that makes her accomplishments on the show just slightly less impressive to the judges. Then again, I’m not sure how Nigel thought he could get away with saying that Joshua, in contrast, has had no training, when we all saw a picture of him, as a kid, standing at a ballet bar. But I take his larger point about how keenly impressive Joshua’s been on this show, given the circumstances of his upbringing and cobbled-together dance classes.

Okay, hold up. Sorry. I’m…I’m just a wee bit winded after writing that opening paragraph, and I haven’t even gotten to Cat going crazy with the flatiron and bronzer, or how Mary should consider applying lipstick with the lights on…Whoa…Uh, getting just a smidge light-headed here…Need to catch my breath…Phew…Okay.

So, now: Expressing appreciation for Joshua’s dancing mastery in the face of his (relative) lack of dancing experience is great. Making subtle allusions that it would be really nice for the show and ”Americer” if a (relatively) untrained street dancer took home the SYTYCD gold is totally awesome, and I’m right there with them on that point. Rigging the dancing order and genres to place Joshua in the most flattering, vote-enticing light possible, though, is just plain obnoxious. I mean, how else are we to interpret the stark contrast between Twitch and Courtney’s fun, sloppily danced NapTab routine about a fighting couple that breaks up and Katee and Joshua’s breathtaking, impeccably danced Wade Robson (!!!) routine about a fighting couple that reconciles? Or the fact that Cat’s getting-to-know-you chats started with the dancer who weathered the most criticism last night and freely admitted, ”I’m not the best dancer” — Courtney — and ended with Joshua getting adorably joshed by Cat for crying so much? Or that Katee, the dancer with the best chance of beating Joshua, had her getting-to-know-you segment hijacked by her foot-in-mouth moment during Vegas week, at the expense of any information at all about her upbringing or home life? Nigel, this kid has got it going on in all kinds of ways, from his natural talent to his killer smile to his superhuman hang time; he doesn’t need your help convincing us he’s good enough to win.

NEXT PAGE: Sherbet-colored toilet paper