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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Dance of cards

The final four perform last routines in a spectacular night of dance and no elimination.

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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

Did you watch the Emmys on Monday night? If so, you know that So You Think You Can Dance once again lost the award for Best Reality Competition Program to some show about racing around the world. You would also know that Modern Family beat out Orange is the New Black for Best Comedy Series. But let’s take a history lesson further back in time than just Monday night. The year is 1998 and a Broadway revival of On the Town has opened at the Gershwin Theatre, which marks the Broadway debuts of two young, talented and memorable performers. You might even remember seeing them Monday night on the Emmys.

Before Jesse Tyler Ferguson became a TV star on Modern Family, he graced the Great White Way as sailor Chip opposite Lea DeLaria (a.k.a. Boo from Orange is the New Black) as his love interest Hildy. (It goes without saying why this is funny, right?) It’s the perfect time for Ferguson to return as guest judge for tonight’s final four performance finale because next week when a single winner is crowned, one of the prizes will be… a role in the new Broadway revival of On the Town. Don’t let that flash mob fool you—JTF is arguably the most qualified judge this season on SYTYCD and it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

Can nice girl Valerie finish first? Is Ricky really too good to be true? Will Jessica crack under the pressure? Is there anything Zach can’t do? With no elimination, tonight the top four each performed a duet with one another and one with an all-star, so four total performances to judge (not including the 30-second solos). Since there is only one winner this season, would having a full solo performance be too much to ask for?

Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda 

Style: African Jazz, Choreography by Sean Cheesman

Music: “Voices of Savannah” by DJ Chus

This competition is a marathon, not a sprint, but we are still getting close to the finish line. Valerie and Ricky were challenged to perform this genre so late in the competition,  but like most things they’ve done so far this summer, it didn’t look as hard as it probably was. The “Survival of the Fittest” dance was purposefully uninhibited and didn’t require perfection, which at some brief moments caused a couple of “Oh please don’t drop her!” moments. Valerie and Ricky were lucky that this was the opening number of the night because there is no way they would have been able to keep up with the stamina needed after performing multiple times already in the night. Like they now have to do.

Jessica Richens and Zack Everhart

Style: Broadway, Choreography by Spencer Liff

Music: “Hernando’s Hideaway” by Ella Fitzgerald

Jessica and Zack were just a couple of Broadway babies this week in this fantastically fun and sexy routine. Visually, the number was stunning—starting with Jessica’s homage to Jessica Rabbit’s red dress. Both dancers were having fun with the number and did a fantastic job listening to the music and accented certain movements as big as a kicked leg or as little as one finger moving to the beat. They also required a lot of control in the rhythm and tempo since the music was changing so much. Jesse said that Broadway could and should literally be calling these two tomorrow because they are good enough to be there now, win or lose.

Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart

Style: Contemporary, Choreography by Tyce Diorio

Music: “Pearls” by Sade

Who would have thought there would have been two tappers in the finale? Who would have thought that they wouldn’t tap together then? Past that brief disappointment, this contemporary routine was arguably one of the hardest routines this summer and it had very little to do with the actual dancing. Valerie portrayed a blind woman relying on all of her other senses to make a connection with Zack—and America—in a touching and gentle piece. “That’s not just dancing, that’s acting… I think.” Cat, aren’t you technically an actress? Shouldn’t you know something that like? But let’s be honest, Cat could never do what Valerie did, especially considering she had fake Mike Tyson tattoos all over her body less than 20 minutes earlier. But don’t tell Cat that or else she might clock you in the face with her microphone.

NEXT: Dancing all over the world