This is the final test: Marko, Melanie, Sasha and Tadd performed their last dances Wednesday night to prove that they should be America’s Favorite Dancer. So You Think You Can Dance also welcomed Katie Holmes and choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical trilogy, Dirty Dancing) to the judges table. Let’s get to it:
Melanie and Marko, disco
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Song: “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer
It’s a sparkle fest as Marko channels his inner John Travolta while wearing white. The lifts are impressive, but the energy is subdued and strange. Melanie has the right attitude, but it seems that Marko struggled a bit.
The judges say: Kenny says it was “fun, electric, sizzling and great.” Katie says their expressions make her want to dance. She believes in their story! It’s so Saturday Night Fever! Mary adores them, but thinks the lift transitions were rocky. Nigel says it “was a little bit of a struggle” and points out that Marko looked uncomfortable in the style.”
Sasha and Mark, jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Raise Your Weapon,” Deadmau5
Sasha brings the pain again, and all-star Mark (bestubbled and mohawked as he is) is the perfect punky partner for this strong and angry routine. I love the funky wheelbarrow portion. They’re even wering pieces of chainmail! At the end, she slams him to the ground. Perfect.
The judges say: Katie says it was powerful and thinks Sasha has grace and integrity. Mary squeals and feels Sasha had the intensity and maturity to match her all-star partner. Nigel recalls that he’s called Sasha a warrior since the beginning. “You realize you just beat up Lady Gaga’s principal dancer?” Kenny gives props to Sonya Tayeh (her eyes are tearing up!) and then dubs the dancer, “Sasha, Warrior Princess.” Can we get a Xena yodel?
Tadd and Joshua, hip-hop
Choreographer: Lil’ C
Song: “Hustle Hard,” Ace Hood
All-star Joshua (aka N.O.S.) can hit hard, and we haven’t really seen Tadd to that yet. He’s really a b-boy, not a hip-hop dancer, so it’s fun to see him try to creat this characcter. Oh man, another wardrobe malfunction. Remember when he lost his hat and had to mime? Well, his shiny red shoe came undone and I wonder how distracting it is to try to keep it on and dance? He does a good job.
The judges say: Mary says that his “sweetie-pie factor” is built into his X factor, but he brought the hustle hard. Nigel disagreed and thought he came off a bit too sweet. Kenny thought they played off each other well. Katie said she bought it and thought the red shoes highlighted their speedy feet.
Melanie and Robert, contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Sacrifice,” Sinead O’Connor
It’s all about unrequited love, so Melanie should kill this because she’s such a great actress. It’s gorgeous as usual, and unlike Melanie’s first routine, the lifts are effortless. It takes a lot to distract from Robert’s open shirt, and it’s a testament to Melanie’s stage presence that our eyes keep coming back to her.
The judges say: Nigel thought it was beautiful work and said Melanie picked up Sasha’s gauntlet and slapped her with it. Kenny says he’d push to the front of the line to work with Melanie, which could include work on his Dirty Dancing remake. Katie says Melanie blows her away and is a “magical person.” Mary says something about Yogi Bear, which is special, but then praises Melanie in a more straightforward way. Melanie is crying from the overwhelming emotion at this point.
Sasha and Marko, Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “Whatever Lola Wants,” Ella Fitzgerald
Marko looks adorbs as a bespectacled waiter. Sasha is completely controlling him and I can definitely feel the chemistry. Sasha once again shows she can work a table. Marko interestingly enough shows his ability to do physical comedy. I’m impressed with both of them. A thoroughly enjoyable routine.
The judges say: Kenny says it’s great fun and rightfully calls Marko a good character actor. He says Sasha “never leaves any change” because by the end, she’s spent. Katie says some boring praise, it’s hard to remember her phrasing. Mary says the comedy is dangerous with dancing but it works. She’s the second person who says she didn’t realize it was Marko at first (so the Superman-Clark Kent level of disguise actually works?). Nigel for some reason says it didn’t knock him out. He gets booed, naturally.
Sasha and Tadd, cha-cha
Choreographer: Mark Ballas
Song: “Raindrops,” Basement Jaxx
Sasha has the legs and attitude, and by now, we know that Tadd is an amazing ballroom partner, but it’s kind of all a mess. There’s a point early on when Tadd slaps her on the butt (choreographed of course, not an ad lib) and it’s downhill from there. It’s funky and doesn’t feel like the usual cha-cha, but maybe Mary will school me.
The judges say: Katie isn’t a fan. Mary says they were struggling and missed their connection. Nigel says it was uncomfortable to watch. Kenny says the dance was too ambitious and tells them to “let it go” so they can return strong with the rest of the night’s dances.
Marko and Lauren Froderman, contemporary
Choreographer: Tessandra Chavez
Song: “Shirk,” Me’Shell Ndegeocello
They both look like they’re crying already. Are you trying to break me down? LoFro almost steals the show with the pathos and artistic thrashing. It’s all so angsty and beautiful. There’s a reason Marko was a match for Melanie all those weeks though, and he more than holds his own.
The judges say: Mary says Marko just thrust greatness upon himself and that he delivered every nuance, the soul of the dance. Here come the sobs. Marko! Stop it. Nigel says he’s been disappointed with the finale performances so far, but that Marko brought it with this number. Kenny says Marko swept him away, not unlike Calgon. Okay, I said the Calgon part. Katie says Marko’s magical. Snore.
Melanie and Tadd, jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “Show Me What You’re Working With,” Sista Monica
Melanie is badass and takes off her shoe and throws it at Tadd at the opening, so she dances the first few measures with only one shoe! Eventually she loses the other shoe and Tadd loses his shirt (which should make the fan site dedicated to his shirtlessness happy). The disrobing continues as they battle-dance and finally, he’s left with heart-appliqued boxers and sock garters. Fun and feisty!
The judges say: Nigel says that Melanie owned the character from the beginning, Tadd redeemed himself and that the whole thing was fantastic. Melanie had Kenny “gripped to the stage” because she’s so theatrical. He also felt that Tadd redeemed himself with this dance. Katie says it was a “breath of fresh air” and that Melanie was good at pulling Tadd’s pants off. Yeah. Mary says Tadd was fabulous and that Melanie really strutted across the stage.
Melanie and Sasha, contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Heart Asks Pleasure First,” Ahn Trio
This is about oppressed housewives trying to escape. First of all, can I say the costuming has been gorgeous this whole evening? they’re both wearing very Mad Men-esque A-line dresses (first season). It’s heartfelt and lovely. Sasha even lifts Melanie, which is metaphorical and all. I loved this.
The judges say: Kenny says they’re two actresses who can dance. He also reads a lot into the picket fences as stand-ins for prison bars. It’s deep. Katie says something about their dance making fashion even more beautiful. Mary says they’ve been amazing the whole season and praises their musicality. Nigel says they’re both fabulous and that any dance company would be lucky to get them.
Marko and Tadd, hip-hop
Choreographer: Chuck Maldonado
Song: “B.O.B.,” Outkast
Marko isn’t quite as light on his feet as Tadd, so they’re not quite in sync. This stepping thing is pretty challenging. Marko looks exhausted. I feel bad for him. The gymnastics portion was lackluster. I think if this was the first routine, they would have done better. It was creative, and they didn’t quite live up to it.
The judges say: Kate delivers empty platitudes. Mary says everything was solid gold, so that was nice of her considering it wasn’t that great. Nigel says they weren’t together and takes this opportunity to say that he still thinks a girl will win this competition. Ouch! Kenny says they did their job.
So, who do you think will win? Who do you think should win? Vote in our poll and discuss in the comments!
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