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S12.E16: Finale Part 1: Top 4 Perform


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Too much Travis!  I expect that this means he's choreo'd for them together, although it could mean something different:

 

TRAVIS WALL ‏@traviswall  15h15 hours ago
Had a beautiful experience with @Hailee_Payne and @itsgabydiaz today at @DANCEonFOX rehearsal. So proud of them!

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In Part 1 of the two-part Season 12 finale, the final four dancers— Gaby Diaz, Virgil Gadson, Hailee Payne and Jana Vankova—perform.

 

I'm hoping part II airs Tuesday, the following night. If it airs one week later on Monday night, SYTYCD finale will be on the same time as DWTS premiere show. Won't be happy about that.

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Too much Travis!  I expect that this means he's choreo'd for them together, although it could mean something different:

 

TRAVIS WALL ‏@traviswall  15h15 hours ago

Had a beautiful experience with @Hailee_Payne and @itsgabydiaz today at @DANCEonFOX rehearsal. So proud of them!

In his blog on EW, he mentioned choreographing a duet for Hailee and Gaby.

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I'm hoping part II airs Tuesday, the following night. If it airs one week later on Monday night, SYTYCD finale will be on the same time as DWTS premiere show. Won't be happy about that.

 

Sorry to say the Fox website has it listed on Mon. Sept 14.  This is one of the few shows I've ever seen that loses media hype as the end of the season approaches. I've found less interviews posted of the contestants; and Fox itself stopped posting the episode recaps it used to make for the eliminated contestants. Sheesh. Talk about giving a show the "bum's rush".

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That makes my stomach sink, Anothermi.  This show drives me nuts but it is one of my great pleasures and, after watching faithfully (every season except the Fall one), I've finally got my brother to start watching and discussing and my niece is finally old enough to share with.  I really hope they take a chance on a season without Nigel onscreen (as has been hinted at) before they throw in the towel.

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Hmmmm.  What could that "something rather special" be?

 

dizzyfeet
@dizzyfeet

RT @Nic37Amor: @dizzyfeet @AdriannaDS @traviswall @EW Jim may not be in the competition anymore but I can't wait to see him live and I know he will go far! (We have something rather special planned for Jim on the finale.)
2015-09-04

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In addition to feeling like Travis has choreographed too much/too much fo the same stuff this season, I felt like since JaJa and Virgil had to dance contemporary for their last "team street" dance Gabby and Hailee should have had to dance something street for their last "team stage" dance together.

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Wow, could they have been working any harder during Hailee and Gaby's rehearsal to avoid any explicit references to coming out or being gay? Nigel, you have a pretty romantic routine choreographed by an openly gay man featuring two women. Get over it, already. (Anyone want to bet that if the routine had been for two men, Nigel wouldn't have even let it air?) And followed by Nigel's total freakout over Virgil and Joshua's "boy's rule, girls drool" number? That was bizarre.

 

I thought Jaja and Gaby's jazz routine seemed really flat and awkward, but I couldn't tell if that had more to do with the dancing, the choreography, or the music, none of which I liked much. Other than that I thought most of the routines were fine. I wish I was a little more excited about the finale, but maybe I'm just being grouchy.

 

Do we think Cat actually wanted Nigel to announce her pregnancy like that? It seemed like an ambush to me.

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I was kind of underwhelmed by this episode, especially as a performance finale. Then I saw Zack and I swooned. Zack won last year...in my heart. Loved that tap number, he and Gaby really killed it.

 

I was really pulling for Jaja but I kind of agree with what Nigel said about her routine with Cyrus. I wish they had gotten Lil C or a different choreographer to do a krump routine for her and Comfort or something. Also, yay Philip! Very cool that they got him to do the Slip choreography. Though, I think because I've watched it like a hundred times, I was left a little cold because it wasn't Philip and his partner dancing it.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that mean 3/4 finalists never did a ballroom routine?

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Kind of bummed that we didn't get any ballroom tonight. At this point I think all of the contemporary is starting to look the same. I feel like Travis and Stacy do the same routine over and over again. I was so bored with both of their dances tonight that I ended up fast forwarding them.

The only routine that stood out to me tonight for being different was Virgil and Gabby's lyrical hip hop. I really enjoyed the routine and both dancers did an excellent job.

I wasn't that impressed with Virgil and Joshua's hip hop routine. I thought Joshua manhandled Virgil and it appeared to me that they botched the intertwined cartwheel move. I watched it in slow motion and Virgil looked like he was being tossed around. Joshua killed it though.

I also liked Hailee and Marco's jazz routine. It wasn't the most original piece in the world but I was entertained. I love Marco so that helps.

I hated JaJa's robot hip hop routine. I generally hate any routine that relays on a gimmick and the breaking of the beakers was just cheesy.

I predict that JaJa is going to win with Vigil coming in second, Gabby in third and Hailee in forth.

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I enjoyed the interviews with the finalists.  Jaja has a casual ease about her in conversations that makes her seem mature and confident.  They are all quite adorable, though.

 

Hailee won't win, but she's going to be a busy girl, with the work she'll be booking. She's versatile, charming, and very good.

 

I noticed in episodes past, but haven't commented about Jaja's habit of pouting when she gets criticism. It surprises me a little each time she does that. However, it's not fair when the dancer takes the heat for the failures of the choreographer. Maybe Jaja could've done more with the performance, but the choreo was weak.

 

Gaby reminds me of Katee. Both have somewhat reserved and nondescript personalities, but seem able to bring an added depth of performance beyond execution of the choreography. I remember a brief few seconds in Wade's Cobrastyle top 20 routine, when Katee moved forward, looking right into the camera and I wondered, "Who is THAT?" It surprised me when I later found it was Katee. Gaby brings that element to her work for me.

 

Marko has improved vastly since his time on the show.

 

Joshua, forever my favorite, was massive in the routine with Virgil. That choreographer pair finally got something right. Just straight up, powerful hip-hop.

 

If one does a Twitter search with the terms "Cat Deeley  pregnant", you'd see that Cat has been "pregnant" since 2009. I'm glad she's finally going to actually have that baby. It's been cooking in the oven for 7 years, so he or she will be super-human...like Cat.

What we have all been waiting for.......Ballet duet with Alex F. Wong!!!!! I hope, I hope, I hope.

I'd rather have Danny Tidwell, but Alex will do.

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.....Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that mean 3/4 finalists never did a ballroom routine?

You are not wrong. It really sucks Latin Ballroom was no where to be found in the finale or the entire season for that matter. Nigel promised us there would be Latin ballroom this season but not standard ballroom. There was so little Latin ballroom, I feel like Nigel reneged on his promise.

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Forgot to say I loved Phillip's choreo. I know it was an adaptation of one he did on his YouTube channel, but given the compressed amount of time Virgil and Gaby had to work on it, they did it justice. Gaby has an amazingly strong core and self-control. It pleases me to see Phillip doing so well. He was one of the truly self-taught dancers, but he's really grown as an artist.

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Nigel promised us there would be Latin ballroom this season but not standard ballroom. There was so little Latin ballroom, I feel like Nigel reneged on his promise.

 

It's all Denys's fault.

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A tap routine and they don't bring in Aaron? Whatever show, you're dead to me.

Cat introduced the four by saying "the wonderful Gaby" but she didn't use a superlative for any of the other three, that irritated me. I already don't like Gaby, I find her overrated, so that didn't help. Also, I like Hailee.

Virgil's solo was awesome because I love "Mad Men" so it gave me fuzzies.

Joshua and Cyrus. Be still my heart.

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Way to end the show on the best note with the Gaby/Zac tap routine.  That was amazing!!  There were a number of good routines tonight.  It seems like they saved the best for last.  There was also some rather snooze-worthy choreography as well.  I loved Joshua's routine.  I know I know.  Virgil was there too somewhere.  All I saw was Joshua.  He's one of my all-time favorite SYTYCD dancers. 


A tap routine and they don't bring in Aaron? Whatever show, you're dead to me.

 

I love Aaron as well and think he should have won his year.  Maybe he wasn't available?  I came to adore Zac in his season, so I thought it was nice to see him again. 

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I thought the all stars were terrific tonight.

I am not really invested in the winner,any one of them would be ok. Although, Hailee would be at the bottom of my list, I liked one of her performances tonight and one last week That's a first since the robot thing I think I liked Virgil in everything, except the hip hop with Joshua. And I liked Gaby in everything, but her solo didn't thrill me.

Jaja will likely win, but I didn't find her stellar tonight

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One thing I really have not liked about this Stage vs Street is that while Travis has gotten to choreograph, we haven't seen Twitch dance or choreograph. Twitch not dancing has been pretty depressing. I love Joshua and Cyrus but Twitch always brought it as an All-Star.

 

Also, I think its pretty shitty for different choreographers to come along and say a dance is the answer to Girls (Who Run the World). That dance was about female empowerment. It did not need a "boys rule, girls drool" response. Pharside and Phoenix can take a long break as far as I'm concerned. Not a single routine they've done this season has been anything special.

 

That tap number was amazing. This show has slowly collected a good tap All-Star base so while I'd have preferred Aaron, Zack is pretty great. I hated the costumes; why do the tap costumes have to be so cheesy?

 

Hailee is going to come in fourth, but when the tour is over, she's going to work the most. She's got her own personality and is still versatile. Her solo was still not great but I love she picked Paula to dance to.

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Based on tonight's solos, this is the order I would stack'em: 4. Hailee 3. Gaby 2. JaJa  1. Virgil -

 

Based on tonight's Allstar routines: 4. Hailee (Marko has become all kinds of awesome - I liked him in his season, but didn't think he was great)  3. JaJa (I love Cyrus, but have to agree that the announced derivativeness of that routine was offputting in some weird way) 1 and 2 - Gaby and Virgil - I absolutely could not pick between them (Zac was my pick for 1st last year, but I thought he was a little cold looking in this; I never really liked Joshua much, but he was explosively magnetic in this routine, even though Virgil was really really really good, Josh showed him up a bit)

 

It was a very good show, even though I don't care as much as usual about who wins.  My face hurts from smiling (yes, I ff through Nigel, that is how I'm able to like it still).

 

Cat announced her pregnancy on twitter days ago, so that was a fair ambush.

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I usually dislike Phoenix and Pharside but that routine had so much joyous testosterone in it, I can feel my chin sprouting hairs.  

 

I was totally pissed that Gaby and Hailey got contemporary and so did JaJa and Virgil.  That was effing unfair.

 

That JaJa Gaby number was atrocious.  To me, it was the worst dance of the night.

 

Virgil ain't going down without a fight.  That last dance and his solo would have won him any season before Fikshun.  It really sucks for him that they have such a similar affect.

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I haven't been a big fan of Virgil, but I believe he had his best night. Joshua sort of ate him up but then again, I find it hard not to watch Joshua. I'll have to watch it again with attention on Virgil. I'm happy everyone got matched with an all star who's within their genre.

 

I loved Aaron and would have preferred his return, but I also liked Zach a lot. I was rooting for both to win their seasons.  Zach was a perfect match for Gaby. I did have reservations about the boxes since it looked like an ankle could be easily twisted or broken. As awesome as it was, I hope Gaby won't have to reprise that on the tour. There aren't any other tappers in the top ten mix, are there?

 

Hailee was 75% responsible for making the lifts and flips work in the routine with Virgil. She has been strong enough to help her shorter partners look pretty darn good. I liked this Broadway choreography much better than the cheesy "Fever" routine from last week.

 

 

One thing I really have not liked about this Stage vs Street is that while Travis has gotten to choreograph, we haven't seen Twitch dance or choreograph. Twitch not dancing has been pretty depressing. I love Joshua and Cyrus but Twitch always brought it as an All-Star.

...........

Personally, I've felt I've had enough of Twitch as an all star (and Allison and Kathryn and a few others). I've also never been impressed with Twitch's choreography. I would like for Travis to disappear for a couple of seasons, though. Twitch is at least likable.

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I remember a brief few seconds in Wade's Cobrastyle top 20 routine, when Katee moved forward, looking right into the camera and I wondered, "Who is THAT?" It surprised me when I later found it was Katee.
It scares me that I know exactly which moment you're talking about. That group number also always makes me sad that Susie was booted so early.

I haven't watched all of the dances,but of the ones I've seen, I've liked Jaja and Hailee the best. I was surprised watching Hailee and Gaby how much better I thought Hailee was. I don't like a lot of tap, so the Gaby/Zach number could have been great choreography but I just hate the way they counterbalance with their upper bodies bent forward. I appreciate the skill, but I don't enjoy watching it.

 

I thought Jaja danced what she was given in her number with Cyrus as well as it could be danced. I didn't understand  the concept really... why was Cyrus animating from the beginning though if Jaja was a rebellious robot. It made more sense in the tWitch/Cyrus piece. But I thought the dancing separate from the story was great, and maybe Cyrus was a good robot and Jaja was a bad robot? 

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It's all Denys's fault.

LOL!

A tap routine and they don't bring in Aaron? Whatever show, you're dead to me.

I was ecstatic Zack was Gaby's All Star. Personally, I like Zack's style better than Aaron as he is lighter on his feet than Aaron. I always found Aaron too large to be a tapper but that's just me. Zack teaming with Gaby on that tap number was the best part of the show for me.

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Loved, loved Gaby and Virgil's routine and loved, loved Gaby and Zac's tap.  I really think Gaby is the most versatile and should win, but won't.  I'm guessing Jaja is popular enough to pull it off, even though I personally feel she is the weakest of the remaining dancers.  Hailee is best suited for the prize of dancing for JLo, but she probably won't win either.  As for Virgil?  Love him but doubt he will win, but then he already has an established career anyway.  It's good he got the exposure here though.

 

Yeah, it would have been wonderful to see Aaron again.  His and Jasmine's pairing is still one of my favorites.

Edited by Haleth
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For a finale (part one or otherwise) I thought most of the dance routines were underwhelming.  I adored Gabby's tap routine (and so lovely to see Zack again) and enjoyed Virgil's routine with Joshua (though I think that has a lot more to do with Joshua than Virgil) and really liked the routine Phillip Chbeeb's routine for Gabby and Virgil. 

 

Hailee and JaJa had disappointing nights ..... I thought Hailee's jazz routine was fine though I hated her costume, specifically the leg boots.  I like parts of the routine with Virgil and disliked the contemporary with Gaby.  She danced and performed the routine well, the choreography was a little too melodramatic and manipulative for me.

 

I wasn't overly impressed with the choreography for the JaJa - Gaby jazz routine; it didn't help that JaJa and Gaby looked like they were given two entirely different notes on how to perform the routine - Gaby more flowy while JaJa was extremely staccato.

 

I was extremely disappointed with JaJa's all-star routine with Cyrus -- I can't put my finger on it, I just know I was expecting JaJa to wow me in her own style and she didn't (I didn't like her solo much either).  It's a shame because, for the most part, I enjoy watching her (excepting the last two weeks).

 

I don't think Hailee is going to win - I do think she'll be the most successful/sought after dancer once the season ends.

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Jaja's routine with Cyrus was terrible choreo.  She spent half her time just walking around normally, I could have done that half of the routine myself, I can walk.  The dumb bashing of glass beakers was more time taken away from actual dancing.  Add to that the fact that animation has a certain stillness to it that counters "dance" and the routine was dance-free, and animation-poor.

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Wow, could they have been working any harder during Hailee and Gaby's rehearsal to avoid any explicit references to coming out or being gay? Nigel, you have a pretty romantic routine choreographed by an openly gay man featuring two women. Get over it, already. (Anyone want to bet that if the routine had been for two men, Nigel wouldn't have even let it air?) And followed by Nigel's total freakout over Virgil and Joshua's "boy's rule, girls drool" number? That was bizarre.

 

.

If it had been two men, they would have been "brothers," as noted by Cat!

 

Does anyone else on this board listen to Extra Hot Great? When Virgil started his solo, I was subconsciously waiting for a beat to drop in, and then I couldn't figure out why, and then I realized it was "[Coop!] There It Is!" and not a real thing. 

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Weird that Virgil's routine with Joshua was the one that used his small stature the best, since that was the biggest size mismatch and so aggressively masculine.  I guess it's all in how the chorographer uses the resources.

 

Gaby really is charmless as a person, but that tap routine was divine. I have never enjoyed an Anthony M routine before but that was a pleasure through and through. And that Philip Chbeeb routine was stunning.

 

The Ray Leeper jazz was so boring I skipped it.

 

Animation, I respect it, but it's boring.  There, I said it.  But if Yaya wins, she deserves it, for her guns, her acting ability, her COMMITMENT to everything she does.  Remember when they used to subtitle her? We get her now.

Edited by poppy-
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It was not Ja Ja's night.  Hailee busted it next to her on the hip hop number.  Ja Ja was not good next to Gaby (although Paula actually said Ja Ja was better than Gaby?  My jaw dropped....to the floor) and her routine with Virgil was just not good for either of them.  The number with Cyrus did not showcase her and the costume was unfortunate. While Hailee has not been one of my faves, I though the judges made a special effort to downplay her dancing.  She wasn't gritty enough?  She shouldn't have smiled during that oh - so cute Broadway number?  Wha?    And what the heck is "lyrical hip hop"?  Was it created so that we didn't have to see Gaby attempt a down and dirty, swag, hip hop?  And yep, Joshua dominated Virgil and frankly, as great as the Zach/Gaby tap routine was, it does remind you of the skill of the all-stars cuz Zach was ease on tapshoes. 

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I've never understood what exactly the point is of this episode.  People could have been voting for the past week and we could have had a winner announced.  But, instead, we get pointless filler and another week of voting.  Followed by more filler next week.  It really adds nothing, especially with the lack of any outstanding routines this season.

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Top 4 are tired and/or have peaked. It's easy to make a fuss over the All Stars and wonder (in some cases) why we weren't as impressed during their seasons, when they aren't burdened with the stress of competing and they only have one routine to perform. Those kids have given their all this season, no matter what they're been asked to do or wear.

 

I think the judges should be careful about calling out the choreographers, since there's no show without them. They're the ones being bused this season.  

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Since Jim has gone, I don't really have any investment in who wins this season. I ended up voting for Gaby just because I feel like she's the least egregious of the remaining dancers. I don't think Jaja is strong enough, Hailee leaves me a little cold, and Virgil is always "on" which has started to grate. Gaby seems the most versatile and is the best of the remaining four. (Even though I still think Virgil or Jaja will end up being more popular)

 

I thought Travis' routine was actually quite lovely (even if Gaby out-danced Jaja, who was really very stiff in it) and I appreciated that he specifically said it was about romantic love between two women. So OF COURSE, Nigel had to go and spoil it when he went off on that random rant about how it's sad that they couldn't do a romantic routine like that with two boys. No, Nigel, we can't do that on this show, because YOU'RE the one always spouting off about how the boys should dance like MEN and not like girls and getting all weirded out any time there's a routine with two boys that isn't a rough-and-tumble hip hop number without a hint of romantic chemistry. (Surprised he didn't have a homo freak out when Joshua wheelbarrowed Virgil during their routine!)

 

I also liked Phillip's "lyrical hip-hop" even though it felt a little contemporary/jazz to me, because visually it was something different from anything else we've been seeing. It all starts to feel the same by the season's end with all the contemporary and jazz and hip-hop. For the same reason, I loved seeing Zack again doing that tap number with Gaby because it was something we haven't seen this season. Mix it up, show!

 

And yeah, producing sequels to popular routines is never really a great idea. Especially when the original routine is regarded so highly. I did enjoy Virgil and Joshua's routine because it was very high energy and they really did a great job with it, but it was no "Run The World." And the less said about that weak Cyrus/Jaja routine the better. 

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Seeing Zack again reminded me why I loved him so much in his season. He just has an ease about his tapping and his dancing in general. I feel relaxed watching him. It's never too unnecessarily intense. Gaby was good too.

Joshua just crushed Virgil. Joshua is the whole package of a dancer for me. He has strength, speed, flexibility and power. He can pull off pretty much any style too.

People complain about season 11 when it was on but seriously that season had way more memorable routines compared to this season.

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.......... frankly, as great as the Zach/Gaby tap routine was, it does remind you of the skill of the all-stars cuz Zach was ease on tapshoes. 

Zack was "ease on tap shoes" in his season. I honestly don't think his being an All Star has escalated Zack's ability to tap. His tapping was awesome from the first time I saw him on this show. As I said in an earlier post, Zack is so light on his feet when he taps. I love that about his style......he's more Broadway tap than street tap.

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I've never understood what exactly the point is of this episode.  .........

Top 4 compete head to head. Each contestant dances with every other contestant. How can this episode not be relevant?

 

Did the Top 4 all dance together? I just can't remember if they did. Hmmmm. Funny, I can't remember  a Top 4 routine from last night BUT.......I can still remember the Top 4 routine from season 2. Travis, Benji, Donyelle and Heidi performed to Wade Robson's "Sexy Back". That was all kinds of awesomeness. I guess that says something about my memory........I'm getting old.

I've never understood what exactly the point is of this episode.  .........

Top 4 compete head to head. Each contestant dances with every other contestant. How can this episode not be relevant?

 

Did the Top 4 all dance together? I just can't remember if they did. Hmmmm. Funny, I can't remember  a Top 4 routine from last night BUT.......I can still remember the Top 4 routine from season 2. Travis, Benji, Donyelle and Heidi performed to Wade Robson's "Sexy Back". That was all kinds of awesomeness. I guess that says something about my memory........I'm getting old.

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I've been watching these people all season.  I don't need to see them go head to head to know who's any good and who isn't.  Besides, unless they're all doing the same routine, in the same genre, in their own genre, then it's not really a fair comparison.  And it all comes down to a popularity vote in the end, anyway.  Just get it over with.

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I thought Travis' routine was actually quite lovely (even if Gaby out-danced Jaja, who was really very stiff in it) and I appreciated that he specifically said it was about romantic love between two women. So OF COURSE, Nigel had to go and spoil it when he went off on that random rant about how it's sad that they couldn't do a romantic routine like that with two boys. No, Nigel, we can't do that on this show, because YOU'RE the one always spouting off about how the boys should dance like MEN and not like girls and getting all weirded out any time there's a routine with two boys that isn't a rough-and-tumble hip hop number without a hint of romantic chemistry. (Surprised he didn't have a homo freak out when Joshua wheelbarrowed Virgil during their routine!)

 

 

Didn't Travis choreography for Gaby and Hailee?  I thought that Gaby and JaJa had some sort of jazz number.

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You're right. It was Hailee. But my opinion about Nigel ruining everything with his weird judging comments still stands!

 

And Gaby was much more fluid than Jaja in that jazz piece with the skirts. That, combined with the weak routine with Cyrus, I hope will knock Jaja down a few pegs with voters so maybe she won't be such an easy win...

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For me, my voting ended up coming down to the final solos since none of duets really moved me. I docked both Virgil and Jaja for the use of props, and Hailee's solo struck me as a bit competitiony. Gaby's solo was unrelenting and fierce, and so, to my surprise, I wound up sending the vast majority of my votes to her.

 

I think it was a slightly above average season with a slightly below average set of finalists. Paula is probably the best full-season judge we've had even if she lost a bit of steam this episode reverting to her AI mode of content-free praise. I'd still put her behind Debbie and Misty, though. Jason was not bad: definitely above the Ellen and Mia lows (Mia's still the second best choreographer on the show to me). I don't hate Nigel, but it might be best for the show if he ceded his chair to some new blood if there are any future seasons.

 

Stage vs. Street might work with greater stakes, but it ended up being a fairly minor change to the format. I do like that it allowed the gender balance to shift and to allow more non-pair routines.

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 While Hailee has not been one of my faves, I though the judges made a special effort to downplay her dancing.  She wasn't gritty enough?  She shouldn't have smiled during that oh - so cute Broadway number?  Wha?   

Bingo!  Nigel and the show runners are engineering Hailee's fourth place finish in the same that way they engineered Jim's elimination.  The judges critiques are carefully constructed to swing the voters for or against contestants.  It blatant and rather shameless is was Sir Foggybollock's declaration that Gaby or JaJa will most certainly win.  Hailee is like Chris Daughtry. Not winning American Idol was the best thing that could have happened to him.  He was free to choose his own path and did very well.  By not winning, Hailee avoids being tied to JLo for whatever period of time the contract would call for.  She is built for Broadway. It's apparent in the way she dances and the way that she exudes whatever the dance represents (Nigel is so wrong about that but maybe it's just part of the plan).  I'll say again that Hailee will be a more successful professional dancer than any of the other finalists.  Her world is about to explode open.

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I actually think that Hailee would also be the best one to be a background dancer for JLo.  But yes, Nigel wants either Gaby or Jaja to win. 

 

During Jaja and Hailee's hip-hop, I agree with what Jason said.  They were both good but Hailee does hip-hop like a studio trained commercial dancer.  Jaja is more street.  That's one of the reasons why I think she would be a good backgroiund exerciser for any pop artist.  I agree that this show is going to make her successful.

 

I like Zack's and Gaby's tap number.  I agree with those that say that Zack has such an ease when he taps.  He also doesn't bend his upper body forward like other tappers including Gaby and Valerie.  I also think that Zack had really enjoyable tap solos last season and I love his and Aaron's duet last year.

 

Like others, I was disappointed with Jaja and Cyrus' duet.  It had so much potential.  Why couldn't she break through the glass case instead of breaking stupid beakers.  It would have had more impact like when Cyrus and Twitch did it.  Also I like it when Jaja mixes krump with animation.  Animation is so contained while she's a beast with krumping.

 

I like what Phillip choreographed for Gaby and Virgil since it's different.  However, I've seen the original with Phillip and of course, it's so much better that I didn't like Gaby/Virgil's duet as much.  They did well for such short notice and with so many other dances to learn.

 

I thought Joshua was going to eat Virgil alive.  He doesn't hold back like Twitch does.  Even though Joshua was better, Virgil surprised me.  He usually does more intricate easy going hip-hop.  This was the first time he did a really hard hitting one and he did well.

 

I like Gaby/Hailee's routine that Travis choreographed.  Gaby and Jaja's jazz number wasn't very good.  I think the skirts got in the way.  I guess those two and Ray are the resident jazz choreographers this year.

 

I like that the solos were better.  I think everyone did better too.  This was Hailee's best solo and I like how she used Paula's song.  It is still a little too much like a competition solo though.  I really don't care who wins since I like all of them.  I also didn't think that Jim should win.  I mostly wanted him in the finals because I wanted to see an Alex/Jim ballet duet.  I hope they will surprise us and do that next week.

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The counterpoint to the judges-sandbag-Hailee theory is another one, not cited as often here lately: the judges will intentionally downgrade someone to motivate complacent voters.  So maybe they want her to win, but they don't want us to know they want her to win.  I don't doubt they manipulate things- though I don't get why, since it's not like these kids go make the producers money...do they?- I just think they do it with performance order and routines, not judges comments (which would really only work if most people took them seriously...given the audience size for this show, I'm not sure that's the case anymore, if it ever was).

 

I don't doubt she'll be the most successful as a professional, though, especially if she takes Paula's advice to keep her look.  

 

I totally forgot this was on, especially since it was a holiday.  That's not a good sign for the future of the show (the scheduling, not my forgetting).  Am I reading correctly in that they wrapped Street vs. Stage without even one cheesy battle between the two groups?  I haven't watched the full recording yet.

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The winner has the "chance" to dance as part o

 

Bingo!  Nigel and the show runners are engineering Hailee's fourth place finish in the same that way they engineered Jim's elimination.  The judges critiques are carefully constructed to swing the voters for or against contestants.  It blatant and rather shameless is was Sir Foggybollock's declaration that Gaby or JaJa will most certainly win.  Hailee is like Chris Daughtry. Not winning American Idol was the best thing that could have happened to him.  He was free to choose his own path and did very well.  By not winning, Hailee avoids being tied to JLo for whatever period of time the contract would call for.  She is built for Broadway. It's apparent in the way she dances and the way that she exudes whatever the dance represents (Nigel is so wrong about that but maybe it's just part of the plan).  I'll say again that Hailee will be a more successful professional dancer than any of the other finalists.  Her world is about to explode open.

 

 

The winner doesn't have to accept the contract with Jennifer Lopez - it's carefully worded as the "chance to dance" -- 

 

I think Hailee and Gabby are both made for the Broadway stage - Virgil is already there.

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I actually think that Hailee would also be the best one to be a background dancer for JLo.  But yes, Nigel wants either Gaby or Jaja to win. 

 

And of those two, I suspect that Nigel would really like to see Jaja take the prize if only to provide an affirmation that the street vs stage format change was justified.  I would disagree and still favor the old format.  Since the ratings were so low this season, you have to wonder if more tinkering will be in order.

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