Phew! What a night. That was a whole lot of dancing for the top three contestants for this season's final performance show. Each of them had to dance four partner dances, plus a solo. That is definitely the most of any of the past finales, so I salute the three of them.
It's an interesting finale for me, because I would honestly be happy with any of the three of them winning at this point. And, I'm not so sure Kent has it as in the bag as I have stated in the past. Sure, he's seemed a favorite for quite a while now, but Lauren and Robert have been experiencing some major surges lately, and according to Nigel, the vote has been very close the last couple of weeks, so who knows! I voted. I won't say for who. But if you know me, you should be able to guess.
On to the recapping! First of all, everyone had a great night, so I'm not doing these in order of good, bad or whatever, just in the order of their phone numbers.
Kent - Ah, Kent. Kent, let's face it, is a bit of a doof. But there's something lovable about him being such a schmaltz. Most of the time. Kent's night started with a Nakul Bollywood routine with all-star Lauren. Here's the thing. I think the Bollywood pieces have lost a bit of their luster. They've just not been as amazing as that first time we saw it back with Katee and Joshua. This one was danced well enough, but I think it was tailored more to Kent and therefore not very Bollywood-y, if that makes sense. Mia made some similar comment, so it's not just me. Kent's second partner dance of the night was with fellow contestant Lauren in a Mandy Moore jazz piece set to, you guessed it, an '80s song! Way to branch out! It was very upbeat and fun, but nothing spectacular. Nigel basically said it wasn't a finale routine! Whoa, burn on Mandy. But also? Sort of true. Kent's best dance of the night was with all-star Allison in a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine. He showed a lot of real emotion in that routine, which I really appreciated, because he doesn't always do that. Of course, he's not always asked to, so maybe he could do it on a more consistent basis if given the opportunity. I loved all the little puppet hand movements, and I also loved that he was still feeling it even after the dance was over. His last partner dance of the night was with Robert in something called a malevos. Which is some kind of male tango fight? In my notes I wrote, "oh man, this could be a disaster or awesome." It was... kind of bizarre. I'm not even sure what to think. Kent's solo was more of the same from him, but he did do more actual dancing and less gymnastics, so that's at least a step in the right direction. Still too much flail though. You know how I feel about flail.
Lauren - The judges were just dripping accolades on Lauren tonight. I kind of think they want her to surge ahead of Kent and take the whole shebang. Her first dance of the evening was with all-star Twitch in a NapTab hip hop piece having to do with a political debate. I'm not sure if other people noticed, but I thought there were some sync issues in part of the routine. And it was good, but not overly memorable. Like is that going to be one of my favorites of the season? Probably not. But her second routine with Robert, in a Dee Caspary contemporary piece involving a pillow, was one of my favorites of the night. It was soft, quiet, pretty. And danced very well by the pair of them. Lauren's third routine was the aforementioned Mandy Moore one with Kent. I don't have much more to say about it so... moving on! Her final partner dance of the night was a cha cha with all-star Pasha, choreographed by Tony and Melanie. And while the judges were just dripping with compliments after this routine, I don't know. I thought her tango last week was so much better. Maybe it was the music choice. I did not like the pairing of the dance with that song. Half the time when I don't like routines, it's because of the song choice! Anyway. Lauren's solo featured a hot little red outfit and was pretty much what we've come to expect from her solos. If there is any advice I could've given, it would've been to do something creative like Jeanine did a few seasons ago, because I'm pretty sure her solo won her the whole thing.
Robert - Robert is like the little engine that could. I never would have expected him to make it this far at the beginning of the competition, but I am so glad he has. Because if I had to pick one person who had the best night tonight, it would be him. I finally got my ever-wished-for Robert and all-star Mark routine, though it was sadly not a Sonya Tayeh choreographed piece, but rather a dreaded Tyce Diorio jazz. I mean, what? These two are made for Sonya. At least it wasn't a Tyce Broadway, I would've died. In any event, it was a fun routine, and the two guys looked nearly interchangeable up there. And though I will always have an undying love for Mark, I gotta say, I think Rob was hitting the moves a little harder! But I still wish it was a Sonya jazz. Man alive. Anyway, Robert's second dance was the pillow one with Lauren, and again, danced beautifully. His third dance of the evening was with all-star Kathryn in a Spencer Liff Broadway set to Cool from West Side Story. And you know, I usually hate the Broadway pieces, but I kind of loved this one. The opening was great, and the two of them had good chemistry, and Rob actually pulled off being cool even though he can be a bit of a cheeseball. Also - split pants. Ha! Robert's last partner dance of the evening was that one with Kent, and even still I don't know what I think of it. Their suits and hats looked really cool? Am I the only one who thought it was weird? Finally, Robert's solo was, I think, the best of the solos tonight. He actually tailored it to the music (The Postal Service. LOVE.)! Seriously people, use your solos like this! They're always better when they have a purpose and it looks like it was planned, rather than the classic flail here, flail there.
And now, I am going to direct you all to an Entertainment Weekly gallery on 10 ways to improve the show. I agree with every single point they bring up. One of the points discusses the judges talking way too much this season and seriously! Tonight was the most egregious example. I started fast-forwarding through them they just went on and on and on. And on and on and on. Shut up already! Show me dancing!
All right. We're at the end of the road for this season. Who do you want to win?
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