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So You Think You Can Dance season finale recap: Weary Warriors

Beloved ballet dancers Chehon and Eliana win season 9; The top 20 return; Carly Rae Jepsen performs

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So You Think You Can Dance

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

After a two-hour finale replete with absurdly dressed judges, loads of swagography, nostalgic montages galore, and liberal use of the word “journey,” we have two winners.  Ameriker has voted and….

It’s Eliana and Chehon, everybody! Ameriker’s favourite dancers!

It’s easy to be thrilled for these two. Eliana for being technically flawless the entire season and also joyful and gracious and generous with that crazy-big, beautiful smile of hers that is, to my delight, both gummy and toothy. And Chehon for those jumps that send him right up into the stratosphere, the pirouettes, his torso region, his mom, and, most of all, the sweet articulateness with which he always spoke of SYTYCD‘s role in his life. And the weeping. The weeping! Lord have Murphy.

For many fans of this show, Eliana’s and Chehon’s wins will restore faith in this program after a season that showcased plenty of brilliant dancing but was also marked by frustration over what this show’s mission really is and should be, and what kinds of dancers should be promoted into its ultra-competitive corridors. But there’s a warm feeling knowing that runners up Tiffany and Cyrus will fare well no matter what. She’s the girl next door with an adorableness factor of 1000 whose body is capable of every trick in the book, and Cyrus is a natural entertainer oozing with magnetism who *will* indeed work commercially (dancing and otherwise) for a long time to come. You need only to look at past seasons of this show to know it doesn’t matter one bit who wins, but still, it’s nice to know the better dancers came out on top. A sense of fairness and justice has prevailed, and all is right in the world tonight — or the dance world, anyway.

Meanwhile, has Cat *ever* worn a more splendid dress? She was silvery perfection in a frock that was may or may not have been crafted of hard shell plastic. I can’t wait to see what she wears to the Emmy’s next week. Big, big day.

Everyone’s back! The top 20 burst onto the stage for micro solos with their old partners. Reunited (And it Feels so Good Bad) (for Amber).

Six judges tonight. We needed double the number of regular number of judges because there would be no judging tonight. But no matter. Let’s face it — it was really nice to see the gang together again: Shankman, Tyce, Debbie Allen and Lil’ C, and, of course, Mary and Nigel. They were like beaming proud parents, proud both of their offspring and of themselves for creating such beings. And man, was there some super bonkers apparel up at this table! Debbie’s hair was engaged in some sort of Bumpit situation gone very, very awry. Mary sported a massive red flower/spider combo that hovered near her shoulder and threatened to creep right up her neck. Nigel boasted a paisley blazer in a fabric that I will simply call “pajama sateen.” Surreal and fantastic, all of it.

The opening group number choreographed by Christopher Scott and Sonya Tayeh got a lot of hype (Nigel called it “the best routine we’ve ever opened the show with.”) and while it was no Ramalama, I daresay it lived up to the hoopla and was one of the highlights of the night for me. I loved the moody, stormy, windblown scene with the dancers being whipped around by the elements and each other. And those sapphire blue satiny dresses on the ladies and the flapping jackets on the guys. It was just cool to see a big group piece again; that many people moving together is so invigorating. I was weirdly excited to see non-all-star Brandon tonight. Of course, many dancers left the competition too soon, but none are as foxy as he.

NEXT: Gettin’ dirty in a dumpster